education street vs. book smarts

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					education                                street vs. book smarts

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                                                                        street vs. book smarts             education

  n these tough economic times as people are contemplating career paths as recent high

I school graduates or adults making a new start, the million dollar question is– do employers
  still prefer that Bachelor’s Degree or does life experience suffice when it comes to obtain-
ing that sought after position?

  Let’s face it; college is expensive, even if you decide to go       “When we hire entry level positions such as teller posi-
to a two year community college or a specific trade school.        tions, we do not require college degrees. However, the suc-
With this daunting fact facing them, some prefer getting           cessful candidate will need to have a high school diploma
right out in the workforce and hope that acquired skills are       or equivalent and have prior experience working with the
enough to make them an ideal future employee. Depending            public and cash handling skills. We also offer a Tuition
on the career path, this is a fine choice, but many if not         Assistance program which allows employees to obtain a
most employers look for some additional schooling or train-        degree at little or no cost to them. There are also many
ing.                                                               affordable online banking courses that are available to
  Karen Veres, Director of Career Services at Northampton          broaden banking knowledge.
Community College, said certain fields may only require a             At Honesdale National, there is also a Management
two year degree and some even only ask for a short term            Trainee program, which takes approximately 18 to 24
training program, which is usually more hands on. “For the         months to complete depending on experience. This program
most part, many employers are still looking for some level         allows employees to better understand the bank since they
of a degree or post secondary education training,” she said.       are required to work in and learn about every department.
Street smarts and books smarts go hand in hand, and                They are also required to go to banking school, which
employers prefer practical experience along with additional        requires learning more about the financial industry.
training in order for the person to be a more attractive can-         “Other positions within our bank do require a degree or
didate.                                                            specialized training, such as Information Technology,
  On the other hand, some fields prefer skills in the indus-       Financial Services or Trust positions,” said Ms. Swingle.
try over a degree. Many administrative positions and man-             Rory O’Fee, Director of Marketing at Woodloch Resort said
agement jobs in retail and restaurants hire people without a       his team always prefers hiring from within for any advance-
degree and advance them based on longevity. For others, in         ment positions. “It takes a very special type of individual to
order to advance, some may ask for additional training.            fit in hospitality and to fit within the Woodloch mold, so we
  “With the economy the way it is, a lot of individuals            put incredible value in the initial hiring process to make
choose to go back to school because the job market is very         sure we have someone who will fit right in. Once here, if
difficult and people have a hard time securing a position,”        someone has great talent, we will try and shape them into
said Ms. Veres. At Northampton, some of the students are           what a manager needs to be and make sure we find out the
adults who have been laid off or have lost their jobs and          perfect departmental fit for them,” he said.
attend the school to retrain or upgrade their skills. In some         According to Mr. O’Fee, Woodloch is a very unique place
cases, employers offset the education depending on the             with its own set way of doing things, and once you have
position and circumstances.”                                       that foundation, you become instantly more valuable than
  In most cases, college graduates earn considerably more          someone on the outside. “Even though we mostly hire with-
than those without a college education. But college isn’t for      in, if a certain position requires a foundation of education or
everyone, and those who want to get right out in the work-         specific training it will be a requirement on the job descrip-
force shouldn’t have a hard time finding something. There          tion. With up to 1,000 employees, the talent pool is rich
are many jobs where the individual would be qualified with         with candidates who most likely already have the book
a high school education. Some people aren’t prepared to            skills the position needs.”
attend college right away and may benefit from going right            Once someone is promoted into a managerial role, they
into the workplace.                                                will go through internal and even external training if needed
  Dr. Dennis Steigerwalt, Director of Career Services at East      on how to manage their department, their employees, and to
Stroudsburg University offered some very good advice. “In          develop new skills.
order to be successful, obtain that degree or training certifi-       Woodloch also has a Management Trainee program where
cate and then get as much experience as possible either            solid, young talent is hired to learn the ropes of hospitality.
though volunteer work, internships, or summer jobs.”               They will work in every department in the company and be
Having a clear career path makes choosing additional               groomed by upper management the whole way to get them
schooling much easier. Learning a specific skill is often ben-     ready for a management position, preferably at Woodloch,
eficial and trade schools are ideal for that. For those just       but even as they move on in other areas.
starting out, identify a couple of career fields of interest and      There are affordable ways to further your education and
talk to people in that field.                                      tailor it specifically to your needs. Whether or not you
  “Remember, once you have that degree, the work is not            decide to do this depends on the career path you’re seeking.
over. Employers still often look for related experiences in        There are jobs available to meet every level of education
addition to that piece of paper,” said Dr. Steigerwalt.            from the recent high school graduate to the person who just
                                                                   received their master’s degree and everything in between.
What Are Some of Our
Local Businesses Saying?
  Marcy Swingle, Senior Vice President at The Honesdale
National Bank, said it really depends on the position if a
degree is needed or not.

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