Career Opportunities Research Proposal

Pages: 20 (5066 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 0  ·  File: .docx Other  ·  Topic: Business

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Given the state of the world economy, current college students along with recent graduates may feel that they have few options for success. But while certainly the potential field of opportunities is more circumscribed now than it was before this recession, there remains a range of possible careers for students with the right background, education, and training. Among those who should find themselves well prepared to enter the work place are Swiss college graduates. Opportunities for women are somewhat more limited for women than for men, not because women business students are less well trained but because there are still some reservations in certain firms about hiring women, especially for high-tech positions.

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In particular Swiss college students who have pursued an undergraduate degree in business should have a wide range of options before them, from working in banking to seeking a job in the IT field to working in the entertainment industry even to the agricultural sector. Other positions open for graduates with a business degree include positions in insurance and consulting, public administration, and working with NGOs. A range of jobs await business majors in a number of different types of high-tech fields, including the pharmaceutical industry, the field of medical devices, and the field of nano-technology. In this paper I examine the range of possibilities that are open to recent business graduates. Many firms in the high-tech sector have openings for business majors, especially in marketing departments. These marketing departments may be especially hospitable places for female graduates.

TOPIC: Research Proposal on Career Opportunities Assignment

Many of the opportunities available to students and graduates with business degrees arise from the specific skills that they obtain in their courses of study while others arise from the general business conditions and opportunities in the country. Of course these two are related in a variety of ways since many of the values that imbue the culture at large also are present in programs of business study throughout the country. Before looking at the specific advantages that business students enjoy, I would like to provide an overview of the climate for business in Switzerland as a whole. Swiss officials as well as business leaders cite a number of different factors that combine to create a highly favorable arena for both established companies and start-ups, for senior managers as well as for the newest of workers.

Overall Business Climate

Switzerland generally ranks at the top of lists compiled by both government and private-sector groups for overall favorable business climates in the world for a number of reasons. The following statement from DEWS (Development Economic Western Switzerland, an international agency that combines the resources of several Swiss cantons) describes the overall business environment in the following way:

Numerous criteria contribute to the business climate and competitiveness of a country. Principal among these criteria are the existence of a stable legal and political environment, a flexible and resilient economic structure, the strength of the traditional and technological infrastructure and investment in education. Overall, Switzerland has consistently been ranked among the highest nations in the world. Favorable economic conditions have existed for many years in Switzerland.

Chief among these advantages are a range of factors, including especially a well-educated workforce. Many of these workers are Swiss citizens who attend Swiss colleges and business schools while others are foreign workers who come to Switzerland to be trained and educated and others still who complete their education before coming to the country. Both male and female graduates are welcome into the workforce, which favors Swiss citizens over foreign workers. Given that there tend to be more men among the foreign workers, women who are Swiss citizens will have an advantage in many cases.

While Switzerland places some restrictions on foreigners that other European nations do not, it does welcome many skilled workers to the nation. While not as open to foreign workers as other Western European nations, Switzerland should not be seen as being opposed to welcoming foreign workers. Thus individuals who are citizens of other nations who are considering becoming educated in Switzerland in business should not be discouraged from doing so since the overall business climate in Switzerland is so strong in so many different sectors. A growing economy favors all workers, and especially those workers (including women as well as foreign workers) who have not reached parity in the workplace before.

DEWS lists some of the specific strengths of the Swiss business climate for all of these types of workers. (The following summary draws on information from DEWS, at http://www.dews.com/index).

Significant international experience of senior managers. This fact can be especially helpful to recent graduates who will be appreciated by these managers for their specialized business training and who will in turn be able to profit from the experience of having senior managers at a vulnerable point in their careers. This does have the disadvantage to women that senior managers may be somewhat less likely to hire women.

Well developed knowledge transfer. Switzerland is the site of many high-tech companies that rely heavily on innovation. However, even the most cutting-edge of firms can be severely limited, and even crippled, if it gets caught in a cycle of reinventing the wheel -- of whatever type is present in its industry. Thus a well-established, fair, and efficient system of knowledge transfer benefits the business world of a country as a whole, which is turn can be especially beneficial to younger workers who bring in their own innovations as well as their need to be guided by established protocols in their field.

Worker motivation. Swiss workers consistently score as among the most productive in the world in large measure because of their strong motivation to help themselves as well as their companies at the same time. Swiss business school help to inculcate a high level of motivation in their students, and so students who graduate from these schools are likely to be highly sought after by a wide range of businesses.

Readily available finance skills. Swiss businesses, no matter what particular field they may be in, are extremely likely to be able to benefit from the nation's long tradition of a high efficient banking system. This allows for an efficient system of capitalization of firms (whether established or start-up), which in turn leads to greater opportunities for new workers. Given that most Swiss business school will have provided important training in financial systems to their graduates, these workers will be looked on favorably by potential employers who are looking for workers who have a range of skills, including financial savvy along with general business skills.

Highly skilled foreign workers attracted to business environment. While the Swiss workforce is more homogeneous in terms of nationality than a number of other European nations, it is becoming increasingly a host to a multi-cultural workforce. Business school alumni who have been trained in being able to communicate and cooperate with co-workers from different countries and cultures will be considered to be highly qualified candidates for jobs in a range of professions.

Productive labor relations. Workers' rights are guaranteed under a nested set of regulations and laws that exist from the federal to the catonal to the local level. These laws are very similar to those in other industrial nations and include provisions such as the establishment of a minimum wage, workplace safety, and the protection of under-age workers. The Swiss workforce has a low level of collective representation: Only about 7% of the Swiss workforce is unionized. This low level of unionization reflects both the lack of a strong history of labor organization in the country and its cantons and the fact that Swiss workers are very well paid:

Employees in Zurich and Geneva not only take home top dollar, they can buy the most with their earnings. When you factor in local prices, they blow away any other international city in terms of what workers can get for their money.

Number of Fortune 500 companies per million inhabitants. The presence of a number of large, well-funded, and well-established companies in the country allows for greater opportunities for new graduates. Larger companies are generally more likely than start-ups or very small companies to need workers with both technical expertise as well as general business knowledge and skills. As new graduates are likely to have the latter and less likely to have the former, the presence of so many Fortune 500 companies is good for new graduates. Fortune 500 companies are generally welcoming of women graduates.

Availability of qualified engineers. The number of so many highly trained technical workers is beneficial for a country's overall work situation as the world move further and further in the direction of an information-based, post-industrial economy.

Each of these factors has a trickle-down effect -- or perhaps it might more properly be called a synergistic effect. Each of these strengths in the business environment contributes to the others so that the cumulative effect is far greater in terms of offering business opportunities to business graduates than would be the case if… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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