When The Pandemic Forced Young Adults To Move Back Home, They Got a Financial Education

“When we face a stressor, we tend to think more about the future,” says Brad Koontz, a financial psychologist and professor at Creighton University in Omaha, Neb. Young adults’ growing openness to discuss finances with their parents and peers, they say, reflects a kind of tribal response among people to the stress of the pandemic.

Here’s a look at what the adult children and parents of three families learned about money — and themselves — in their time of pandemic together. When the pandemic forced 23-year-old Hannah Froling to move into her parents’ townhouse in Southampton, NY in March 2020 to remotely finish her final semester of college, the financial clock began to tick.

Ms Frohling’s parents, Jennifer Schlueter and Matthew Froehling, set to move to their winter home in Florida during the fall of 2020, told her they would need to begin helping support the household in their absence. That means monthly payments of $500 for rent and $250 for family car use. They also set a deadline for Memorial Day 2022 for her to be out of the house. Ms Schlueter says she wanted to provide her daughter with a “soft landing” after the shocking experience of graduating in the middle of a pandemic. But she also wanted Ms Froling to transition to living independently, so the transfer deadline passed.

So, Ms. Froling got two waitress jobs and eventually began to rely on the savings lessons her parents took as they grew up. She has two income streams—cash tips and a regular paycheck that includes her hourly rate and credit card tips. She keeps the cash tips in a savings account and splits the paycheck between a checking account and an investment account linked to an S&P 500 index fund. She has saved about $10,000 since moving back home and started looking for apartments to rent on Long Island.

Saving and managing money doesn’t always come easily to Ms. Froling. While in college, he received an allowance from his parents at the beginning of each semester. “As a freshman, I’ll blow it in the first two months,” she says. So her parents, who both work in finance, seated her and helped her budget by outlining the necessities and luxuries in her spending habits.

But it’s been the past 18 months at home, and the closeness to her parents, which has allowed Ms Froling to be more proactive about her savings and investments, and to put all those lessons into practice. She says many of her money talks happen on family road trips. Her father helps her stay on top of the latest trends in investing and her mother shares strategies for how Ms. Froling can increase her savings and continue to build a foundation for moving out of the family home. Ms. Froling is taking it further by sharing these tips with her coworkers and encouraging some of them to open their own investment accounts.

“The lesson we want to teach her is that she can do this,” says Ms Schlueter, referencing the financial wisdom she is sharing with her daughter rather than just talking to her from being together during the pandemic. got the opportunity to do. via phone or text. That includes discussing expenses such as health and car insurance after Ms. Froling leaves home again.

Ms Froling says, while she often feels like her parents bother her about how much she’s saving, in the end she knows it’s best: “They don’t want me when I If I get out of here, it will fall flat on my face.”

breaking the money taboo

In November 2020, 27-year-old Rogelio Meza left his $1,500-a-month apartment in Austin, Texas, to move into his parents’ home in Laredo.

The move helped him work towards his goal of saving money and becoming a homeowner, says Mr. Meja, who works as a customer-experience manager for a solar-power company. It also allowed him to help his parents, who were battling the financial stress of the pandemic.

When the pandemic struck, her mother, Eudoxia Meja, who works as a cook, noticed that her hours had been cut in half. His father Juan Meja is handicapped and unable to work. Since living with his parents, little Mr. Majora has helped with grocery and utility bills, paying about $700 a month, which still allows him to take out money for a home down-payment. Is.

When he was growing up, Mr. Meja says, his family never talked about money. “Nobody really taught me how to save, nobody taught me about stock options or investment accounts, good versus bad debt.” He relied on friends who worked in finance to teach him about these things, and the conversation helped him understand where his money was going. Now, he says, he has passed on some of this knowledge to his parents.

One day, when an unusually large and overdue utility bill arrived in the mail, Mr. Majora turned it into an opportunity to start sharing his financial wisdom with his family.

“I was like, ‘Okay, let’s talk about it,’” he says, describing what led to several candid conversations about money with his parents. Indeed, after that initial exchange, he basically became the family financial advisor. Mr. Meja helped his parents calculate how much they were spending on groceries and how much they actually needed each month. He also discovered that he had $3,000 in credit-card debt and advised him to use his stimulus money to aggressively pay it off. Using a combination of direct payments from their mother’s wages, incentives and unemployment benefits, they were able to pay off their utility bills and credit-card debt in just a few weeks.

Thereafter, Mr. Meja set up a savings account for her mother and advised her to put forward 20% of her salary into the account. He also plans to help his parents open an investment account and teach them how to grow their money over time. He says being able to pay off his debt gave his parents a new starting point.

Mr. Meja has learned a few things during his stint at home as well. He says that the time he spent with his parents opened his eyes to how little he needed to be happy. For example, before reuniting with his mother and father, he often ordered takeout for lunch and dinner. But the home-cooked food he eats at home, he says, especially his mother’s enchiladas has inspired him to start cooking for himself.

As far as his parents are concerned, they say that talking about money is no longer a taboo in their family, and they will continue to seek financial advice from their son. He plans to move back to Austin in November and complete the purchase of an apartment in the city at that time.

a new perspective

Edgar Mendoza was living the high life in Chicago. The 41-year-old was paying about $3,000 a month for a downtown apartment. He often dined out and had courtside seats at basketball games.

But when the lockdown began, he began to re-evaluate his habits, limiting his activities and his spending. “What Covid taught me is no, I don’t need all that,” says Mr. Mendoza, who deals in sales and invests in startups. In January, he packed his belongings and moved to McAllister, Mont., to be with his mother and stepfather. And he doesn’t plan to leave anytime soon.

Living in Montana with his family, Mr. Mendoza says, he has reinforced the frugal lifestyle he grew up with. When he was young, he says, his mother, Maria Platt, used to tell him to “watch his money.” Now, he saves his money and invests it in places where it can grow.

Ms Platt says she is proud of the progress she has seen in her son and how she has embraced the lessons she has taught him. The family cooks together and they rarely eat out. Mr Mendoza says he is not being asked to pay the rent, but he buys all the groceries.

“He’s changed a lot,” Ms Pratt says of her son. “He used to spend money like crazy. I would talk to him and he’s like, ‘Mom, you’re right about this and you’re right about that.’ Now, in his view, he is motivated to support the family in the long run, and this has prompted him to refocus on his spending habits.

Mr. Mendoza says seeing his mother come home exhausted from work and budgeting his Social Security benefits has made him see his financial future in a new light. It has forced him to think more realistically about what retirement can be like. “When you see that you love someone… it hits you really hard,” he says. “I don’t want it to be me.”

Ms Pratt says her son still has to work on his financial habits. They sometimes forget to buy their groceries and eat food already in the family’s fridge, she says. She would also like to watch him learn to cook.

“I told him that if you make good money, save it,” she says. “I’m not going to live forever…….

By: Taylor Nakagawa

Taylor Nakagawa hails from Chicago, Illinois and earned a master’s degree from the Missouri School of Journalism in 2017. As part of the Audience Voice team, Taylor is focused on experimenting with new story formats to create a healthy environment for community engagement.

Source: When the Pandemic Forced Young Adults to Move Back Home, They Got a Financial Education – WSJ

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Related Contents:

7 Effective Ways To Get Rid of Age Spots, According to Dermatologists

There’s nothing quite like looking in the mirror—or down at your hands—to discover spots and freckles you could swear weren’t there yesterday. Even though most of us have experienced our share of hyperpigmentation, we’re also fortunate enough to have tons of options at our disposal to, well, remove those annoying age spots before they get any worse.

So what are age spots, anyway? “Also known as sun spots or solar lentigines, age spots are benign pigmented spots typically caused by ultraviolet radiation from the sun,” says Noelani González, MD, board-certified dermatologist and director of cosmetic dermatology at Mount Sinai West in New York. UV rays cause our pigment-producing skin cells to increase melanin production, resulting in those pesky brown spots.

If you have a family history of age spots, you’re more prone to developing them when you’re exposed to the sun (or tanning beds). They usually appear as flat brown spots on the areas of skin that are exposed to the sun most—face, neck, chest, hands, arms, and back—but can also appear as seborrheic keratosis, which are raised, wart-like skin growths.


When It Comes to Age Spots, Prevention is Everything

Even though age spots are usually no biggie, it’s crucial to prevent sun damage not only for aesthetic purposes, but to stay protected against skin cancer, says New York City-based board-certified dermatologist Ariel Ostad, MD, who recommends amping up your sun safety habits—like frequently applying broad spectrum sunscreen, staying out of the sun during its most powerful hours (12 p.m. to 5 p.m.), and covering your body with clothing and hats, as able.

As for the age spots that have already turned up on your skin? Here are the most effective over-the-counter and in-office treatments that dermatologists recommend.


How to Get Rid of Age Spots

Sunscreen

“The best OTC option to minimize current (and prevent future) age spots is sunscreen,” says Dr. González. Not only will sunscreen prevent the age spots you already have from getting darker, it will also keep future ones from forming. Experts recommend choosing sunscreen that offers broad-spectrum protection of SPF 30 or higher, such as Neutrogena Sheer Dry-Touch, EltaMD UV Clear, Cotz Flawless Complexion, and CeraVe Hydrating.

Non-prescription lightening creams and serums

OTC lightening creams help to reduce age spots by suppressing the production of melanin, says Anthony Youn, MD, board-certified plastic surgeon and author of The Age Fix. (Just note that they are most effective on age spots that have been caught early and are still on the lighter side.)

If you’d like to give this option a whirl, the active ingredients to look for are hydroquinone, glycolic acid, kojic acid, licorice root extract, and niacinamide. Hydroquinone is considered the gold standard of lightening, but is known for being harsher on skin and may trigger side effects, such as skin irritation and rebound pigmentation if it’s applied for too long, says Dr. Youn.

Dr. González’s top OTC picks include Skin Medica’s Lytera 2.0 Pigment Correcting Serum and SkinCeuticals Discoloration Defense: “Both contain tranexamic acid, an ingredient also known for its lightening capabilities that tends to be less irritating than hydroquinone for some,” she says. She also recommends Murad Age Spot and Pigment Lightening Gel—it contains hydroquinone and glycolic acid, which helps to exfoliate the top layer of your skin.

If you struggle with spots on your face, you could also try incorporating a vitamin C serum into your daily routine. Since vitamin C is an antioxidant, it helps to protect the skin against sun damage, prevents dark spots, and gives an overall brightening effect.

Prescription fade creams

Prescription topical drugs can work slowly to lighten age spots (think: several weeks to months), the two most commonly prescribed being hydroquinone and tretinoin. Hydroquinone works by slowing the production of melanin, says Dr. Ostad, while tretinoin is a retinol cream that can improve skin texture and reduce pigmentation. Side effects are typically minimal, but can include itching, redness, or dryness.

Cryotherapy

During this in-office procedure, liquid nitrogen (a freezing agent) is applied to the age spots. “This freezes and destroys the pigment-making cells, causing the spots to flake off,” says Dr. González. As the skin heals, it appears lighter. This treatment is best for single age spots or small clusters of them, and can be done a few times a month if necessary.

Chemical peels

Depending on the depth of the peel, this treatment can be helpful in reducing the appearance of age spots, says New Jersey-based board-certified dermatologist Shari Sperling, DO. It involves your dermatologist applying an acid to the area, which burns the outer layer of your skin to where the age spots are camping out. As this layer of skin sloughs off, a new layer replaces it. The number of treatments needed vary based on the severity of the age spots and type of peel—side effects can range from none to a few days of peeling/dryness, says Dr. Sperling.

Intense pulsed light (IPL)

“Hands down, the easiest and most effective option for age spots is IPL,” says Dr. Youn, which uses light to target the color brown. “This destroys the pigment, causing the age spot to turn darker and slough off after about a week,” he explains. Most people require upwards of four treatments for optimal effect. Bonus: There’s no downtime and the treatment is virtually pain-free.

Laser treatments

Depending on your skin color, skin tone, and the location of your age spots, there are several types of laser treatments that can help. This is the preferred method of nixing age spots for dermatologists, thanks to the quicker recovery time and longer-lasting results. “The PicoWay is an especially effective laser to treat age spots, as the advanced laser uses ultra-short picosecond pulses to break up particles of skin pigmentation,” says Dr. Ostad.

Fraxel laser treatments are also a great option for age spots, he says. The technique uses a fractional laser (a focused beam of light that’s broken into a multitude of pinpoints) to deliver heat into the skin. This vaporizes the pigmented skin cells, while encouraging collagen remodeling in deep skin layers—and in addition to a reduction in age spots, results in tighter, smoother skin.

By: Krissy Brady

Source: Pocket

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Related Sources:

We wanted to take the time to recognize some of the unsung skincare heroes in the online community, the writers who know their stuff and link to reputable sources so that you know you can trust them. These 17 skincare writers are doctors, aestheticians, scientists, and often acne-sufferers themselves, and they are making scientifically-sound skincare available to all. If you’re looking for trustworthy skincare resources, look no further than this list.

Perry Romanowski and Valerie George of The Beauty Brains

Lisa and Marcia of Beauty Info Zone

Nicki Zevola Benvenuti of FutureDerm

Geri Brin of Fab Over Fifty

Dr. Cynthia Bailey of the Dr. Cynthia Bailey Skin Health and Wellness Blog

Renée Rouleau of Renée Rouleau Skincare

Alicia Yoon of Peach and Lily and Pibuu

Elizabeth Dehn of Beauty Bets

Patricia Bright of Patricia Bright

Ruth Crilly of A Model Recommends

Amber Clark of Barefoot Blonde

Caroline Hirons of Caroline Hirons

Huda Kattan of Huda Beauty

Nikkie de Jager of Nikkie Tutorials

Meg Biram of Meg Biram

Grasie Mercedes of Grasie Mercedes

Mary Helen Leonard of The Natural Beauty Workshop

Solar Power Is Dirt-Cheap and About to Get Even More Powerful

After focusing for decades on cutting costs, the solar industry is shifting attention to making new advances in technology. The solar industry has spent decades slashing the cost of generating electricity direct from the sun. Now it’s focusing on making panels even more powerful.

With savings in equipment manufacturing hitting a plateau, and more recently pressured by rising prices of raw materials, producers are stepping up work on advances in technology — building better components and employing increasingly sophisticated designs to generate more electricity from the same-sized solar farms.

“The first 20 years in the 21st century saw huge reductions in module prices, but the speed of the reduction started to level off noticeably in the past two years,” said Xiaojing Sun, global solar research leader at Wood Mackenzie Ltd. “Fortunately, new technologies will create further cost-of-electricity reductions.”

A push for more powerful solar equipment underscores how further cost reductions remain essential to advance the shift away from fossil fuels. While grid-sized solar farms are now typically cheaper than even the most advanced coal or gas-fired plants, additional savings will be required to pair clean energy sources with the expensive storage technology that’s needed for around-the-clock carbon-free power.

Bigger factories, the use of automation and more efficient production methods have delivered economies of scale, lower labor costs and less material waste for the solar sector. The average cost of a solar panel dropped by 90% from 2010 to 2020.

Boosting power generation per panel means developers can deliver the same amount of electricity from a smaller-sized operation. That’s potentially crucial as costs of land, construction, engineering and other equipment haven’t fallen in the same way as panel prices.

It can even make sense to pay a premium for more advanced technology. “We’re seeing people willing to pay a higher price for a higher wattage module that lets them produce more power and make more money off their land,” said Jenny Chase, lead solar researcher at BloombergNEF.

Higher-powered systems are already arriving. Through much of the past decade, most solar panels produced a maximum of about 400 watts of electricity. In early 2020, companies began selling 500-watt panels, and in June, China-based Risen Energy Co. introduced a 700-watt model.

Here are some of the ways that solar companies are super-charging panels:

While many current developments involve tweaks to existing technologies, perovskite promises a genuine breakthrough. Thinner and more transparent than polysilicon, the material that’s traditionally used, perovskite could eventually be layered on top of existing solar panels to boost efficiency, or be integrated with glass to make building windows that also generate power.

“We will be able to take solar power to the next level,” said Kim Dohyung, principal researcher on a perovskite project team at Korea Electric Power Corp., one of several companies experimenting with the material. “Ultimately, this new technology will enable us to make a huge contribution in lowering greenhouse gas emissions.”

Adoption of perovskite has previously been challenged by costs and technical issues that prevented commercial-scale production. There are now signs that’s changing: Wuxi UtmoLight Technology Co. in May announced plans to start a pilot line by October with mass production beginning in 2023.

Solar panels typically get their power from the side that faces the sun, but can also make use of the small amount of light that reflects back off the ground. Bi-facial panels started to gain in popularity in 2019, with producers seeking to capture the extra increments of electricity by replacing opaque backing material with specialist glass. They were also temporarily boosted by a since-closed loophole in U.S. law that exempted them from tariffs on Chinese products.

The trend caught solar glass suppliers off-guard and briefly caused prices for the material to soar. Late last year, China loosened regulations around glass manufacturing capacity, and that should prepare the ground for more widespread adoption of the two-sided solar technology.

Another change that can deliver an increase in power is shifting from positively charged silicon material for solar panels to negatively charged, or n-type, products.

N-type material is made by doping polysilicon with a small amount of an element with an extra electron like phosphorous. It’s more expensive, but can be as much as 3.5% more powerful than the material that currently dominates. The products are expected to begin taking market share in 2024 and be the dominant material by 2028, according to PV-Tech.

In the solar supply chain, ultra-refined polysilicon is shaped into rectangular ingots, which are in turn sliced into ultra-thin squares known as wafers. Those wafers are wired into cells and pieced together to form solar panels.

For most of the 2010s, the standard solar wafer was a 156-millimeter (6.14 inches) square of polysilicon, about the size of the front of a CD case. Now, companies are making the squares bigger to boost efficiency and reduce manufacturing costs. Producers are pushing 182- and 210-millimeter wafers, and the larger sizes will grow from about 19% of the market share this year to more than half by 2023, according to Wood Mackenzie’s Sun.

The factories that wire wafers into cells — which convert electrons excited by photons of light into electricity — are adding new capacity for designs like heterojunction or tunnel‐oxide passivated contact cells. While more expensive to make, those structures allow the electrons to keep bouncing around for longer, increasing the amount of power they generate.

— With assistance by Heesu Lee

By:

Source: Solar Power Is Dirt-Cheap and About to Get Even More Powerful – Bloomberg

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Critics:

Solar power is the conversion of energy from sunlight into electricity, either directly using photovoltaics (PV), indirectly using concentrated solar power, or a combination. Concentrated solar power systems use lenses or mirrors and solar tracking systems to focus a large area of sunlight into a small beam. Photovoltaic cells convert light into an electric current using the photovoltaic effect.

Photovoltaics were initially solely used as a source of electricity for small and medium-sized applications, from the calculator powered by a single solar cell to remote homes powered by an off-grid rooftop PV system. Commercial concentrated solar power plants were first developed in the 1980s.

As the cost of solar electricity has fallen, the number of grid-connected solar PV systems has grown into the millions and gigawatt-scale photovoltaic power stations are being built. Solar PV is rapidly becoming an inexpensive, low-carbon technology to harness renewable energy from the Sun. The current largest photovoltaic power station in the world is the Pavagada Solar Park, Karnataka, India with a generation capacity of 2050 MW.

The International Energy Agency projected in 2014 that under its “high renewables” scenario, by 2050, solar photovoltaics and concentrated solar power would contribute about 16 and 11 percent, respectively, of worldwide electricity consumption, and solar would be the world’s largest source of electricity. Most solar installations would be in China and India.[3] In 2019, solar power generated 2.7% of the world’s electricity, growing over 24% from the previous year. As of October 2020, the unsubsidised levelised cost of electricity for utility-scale solar power is around $36/MWh.

One issue that has often raised concerns is the use of cadmium (Cd), a toxic heavy metal that has the tendency to accumulate in ecological food chains. It is used as semiconductor component in CdTe solar cells and as a buffer layer for certain CIGS cells in the form of cadmium sulfide. The amount of cadmium used in thin-film solar cells is relatively small (5–10 g/m2) and with proper recycling and emission control techniques in place the cadmium emissions from module production can be almost zero.

Current PV technologies lead to cadmium emissions of 0.3–0.9 microgram/kWh over the whole life-cycle.[136] Most of these emissions arise through the use of coal power for the manufacturing of the modules, and coal and lignite combustion leads to much higher emissions of cadmium. Life-cycle cadmium emissions from coal is 3.1 microgram/kWh, lignite 6.2, and natural gas 0.2 microgram/kWh.

References

 

 

 

Future Careers Get A Much-Needed Shot In The Arm

Cognizant’s “Jobs of the Future Index” posts a 29% increase as tech-oriented job markets begin to return to normal, notes Robert Brown, a futurist within the company’s Center for the Future of Work. The US labor market is recovering faster than expected, as successful vaccination programs and stimulus dollars generate sweeping impacts throughout the nation.

The $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan Act of 2021, together with the full inoculation of 51 million Americans by the close of the first quarter (and at least partial inoculation of more than 50% of the adult population by April’s end), are instilling confidence in both consumers and businesses. The accelerated use of and reliance on digital technology during the pandemic are now being accompanied by long-term investment in a digitally enabled workforce to meet the needs of tomorrow.

Cognizant’s “Jobs of the Future Index (CJoF Index)” tracks demand for 50 digitally enabled jobs of the future identified by Cognizant’s Center for the Future of Work, capturing the quarterly fluctuations in postings for these jobs. In the first quarter of 2021, the growth of the CJoF Index outpaced that of the Burning Glass jobs index by nearly 10%.

The CJoF increased 28.8% from the previous quarter (from an index figure of 1.22 to 1.57). The Burning Glass index posted a quarter-on-quarter increase of 18.9%, rising from 1.45 to 1.72. These are the greatest gains for either index in the past two years, signaling not only a strengthening labor market but also a larger shift from business survival to digital growth and expansion.

Note, however, that growth notwithstanding, digitally enabled job postings remain far below pre-pandemic levels. The CJoF Index posted a severe year-on-year decline of 22.2%, dropping from 2.02 in Q1 2020 (its highest value ever) to 1.57 in Q1 2021. Growth in digitally enabled positions, which broadly represent higher-wage earners and larger investments for employers, signals longer-term economic confidence — which has yet to be fully achieved.

In contrast, the demand for all jobs is on the verge of bouncing back; the Burning Glass index posted a negligible year-on-year decline of 2.8%. That’s because brick-and-mortar jobs have been more susceptible to business restrictions and lockdowns; they’re now seeing a rush of activity as the economy reopens.

A rising tide: Quarterly growth for all CJoF job families

In addition to total job openings, the CJoF Index monitors trends in eight job families: Algorithms, Automation and AI; Customer Experience; Environment; Fitness and Wellness; Healthcare; Legal and Financial Services; Transport; and Work Culture.

In the first quarter, all eight families registered quarter-on-quarter increases, with the most modest growth in Work Culture (14.5%) and Healthcare (18.5%). Over the quarter, Fitness and Wellness (137.8%) and Transport (38.0%) emerged as top-performing jobs families after experiencing the largest declines in Q4 2020.

Measured over the year, seven of eight families posted declines: Work Culture (-27.8%), Algorithms, Automation and AI (-24.3%), Transport (-16.9%), Customer Experience (-15.7%), Legal and Financial Services (-13.1%), Environmental (-2.8%), and Fitness and Wellness (-2.3%) all dropped. Healthcare (12.4%) was the only family in the CJoF Index to register year-on-year growth.

The Fitness and Wellness family posted the sharpest quarterly increase in job postings (+137.8%) thanks to especially strong growth in digitally enabled Caregiver/Personal Care Aide (249.5%) and Home Health Aide (156.5%) postings. These two job categories have experienced much volatility during the pandemic, running countercyclical with expectations for the progression of the virus.

During declines in the number of new COVID-19 cases in Q1 2021, patients underwent long-postponed elective and routine medical procedures, thereby increasing the demand for in-home care.

Also noteworthy was the Transport family, which realized the second-largest increase (38.0%), led by gains in job postings for Aerospace Engineer (47.6%) and Urban/Transportation Planner (42.1%). The most recent federal stimulus package provided a much-needed lifeline to the travel industry, which was hit hard by the pandemic.

Algorithms, Automation and AI, the largest family in the CJoF Index, realized a 28.3% gain over the quarter. Within this family, 15 of the 16 individual job indexes registered quarter-on-quarter growth. However, only five categories showed year-over-year expansion. Unsurprisingly, each of these also saw growth for the quarter in Q1 2021: Robotics Engineer (73.0%), Robotics Technician (50.2%), Chief Information Officer/Director of Information Technology (47.1%), Mechatronics Engineer (45.7%), and Data Scientist (+42.2%).

The pandemic dampened tech hiring despite the increased reliance on digital technologies to facilitate collaboration and interaction among remote workers. But experts predict that tech occupations will recover to their pre-pandemic strength in 2021 as organizations accelerate their adoption of cloud strategies and artificial intelligence (AI) solutions.

Quarterly ups and downs

In Q4 2020, the fastest-growing jobs in the CJoF Index were:

  • Caregiver/Personal Care Aide (+249.5%)
  • Home Health Aide (+156.5%)
  • Solar Engineer (+131.9%)
  • Sustainability Specialist (+126.1%)
  • Genetic Counselor (+123.3%)

Jobs that posted the largest declines for the quarter were:

  • Solar Installer (-22.4%)
  • Alternative Energy Manager (-20.8%)
  • Fashion Designer (-10.4%)
  • Surveillance Officer/Investigator (-4.6%)
  • Career Counselor (-2.1%)

Annual ups and downs

The fastest-growing jobs in the CJoF Index for the year ending with Q1 2021 were:

  • Solar Engineer (+263.3%)
  • Genetic Counselor (+123.3%)
  • Registered Nurse (+81.0%)
  • Solar Installer (+49.1%)
  • Sustainability Specialist (+39.0%)

Jobs that posted the largest declines during this period were:

  • Physician (-60.9%)
  • Career Counselor (-57.2%)
  • Fashion Designer (-42.3%)
  • Health Information Manager/Director (-35.4%)
  • Alternative Energy Manager (-34.5%)

We encourage you to review our overall index on a regular basis, as these COVID-19-driven shocks continue to alter the landscape of jobs of the future — and jobs of the now. Visit our Cognizant Jobs of the Future Index page to see the most up-to-date data and analysis.

Robert Hoyle Brown is a Vice President in Cognizant’s Center for the Future of Work and drives strategy and market outreach for Cognizant’s Business Process Services business unit. He is also a regular contributor to the CFoW blog. Prior to joining Cognizant, he was Managing Vice President of the Business and Applications Services team at Gartner, and as a research analyst, he was a recognized subject matter expert in BPO, cloud services/BPaaS and HR services. Robert also held roles at Hewlett-Packard and G2 Research, a boutique outsourcing research firm in Silicon Valley. He holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of California at Berkeley and, prior to his graduation, attended the London School of Economics as a Hansard Scholar. He can be reached at Robert.H.Brown@cognizant.com

Source: Future Careers Get A Much-Needed Shot In The Arm

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Career Development Perspectives- Individual versus Organizational Needs

An individual’s personal initiatives that they pursue for their career development are primarily concerned with their personal values, goals, interests, and the path required to fulfill these desires. A degree of control and sense of urgency over a personal career development path can require an individual to pursue additional education or training initiatives to align with their goals.

In relation, John L. Holland’s 6 career anchors categorizes people to be investigative, realistic, artistic, social, enterprising, and conventional, in which the career path will depend on the characteristic that an individual may embody. The more aware an individual is of their personality type, the better alignment of career development and opportunities they may obtain.

The factors that influence an individual to make proper career goal decisions also relies on the environmental factors that are directly affecting them. Decisions are based on varying aspects affecting work-life balance, desires to align career options with their personal values, and the degree of stimulation or growth.

A corporate organization can be sufficient in providing career development opportunities through the Human Resources functions of Training and Development.The primary purpose of Training and Development is to ensure that the strategic planning of the organizational goals will remain adaptable to the demands of a changing environment.

Upon recruiting and hiring employees, an organization’s Human Resource department is responsible for providing clear job descriptions regarding the job tasks at hand required for the role, along with the opportunities of job rotation, transfers, and promotions. Hiring managers are responsible for ensuring that the subordinates are aware of their job tasks, and ensure the flow of communication remains efficient.

In relation, managers are also responsible for nurturing and creating a favorable work environment to work in, to foster the long term learning, development, and talent acquisition of their subordinates. Consequently, the extent to which a manager embraces the delegation of training and developing their employees plays a key factor in the retention and turnover of employees

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References

  • Driver., and Cooper, Michael J., and Ivan T. (1988). International review of industrial and organizational psychology. Los Angeles, CA: University of South California. pp. 245–277. ISBN 0-471-91844-X.
  • McDonald., and Hite, Kimberly., and Linda (2016). Career development: a human resource development perspective. New York, New York: Oxfordshire, [England]: Routledge. pp. 2-4. ISBN 9781138786127.
  • McDonald., and Hite, Kimberly., and Linda (2016). Career development: a human resource development perspective. New York, New York: Oxfordshire, [England]: Routledge. pp. 16-18. ISBN 9781138786127.
  • McDonald., and Hite, Kimberly., and Linda (2016). Career development: a human resource development perspective. New York, New York: Oxfordshire, [England]: Routledge. pp. 20. ISBN 9781138786127.
  • Driver., and Cooper, Michael J., and Ivan T. (1988). International review of industrial and organizational psychology. Los Angeles, CA: University of South California. pp. 245–277. ISBN 0-471-91844-X.
  • “Task management”, Wikipedia, 2020-10-20, retrieved 2020-11-26
  • Driver., and Cooper, Michael J., and Ivan T. (1988). International review of industrial and organizational psychology. Los Angeles, CA: University of South California. pp. 245–277. ISBN 0-471-91844-X.
  • McDonald., and Hite, Kimberly., and Linda (2016). Career development: a human resource development perspective. New York, New York: Oxfordshire, [England]: Routledge. pp. 16-17. ISBN 9781138786127.
  • “Hollands Occupational Personality Types” (PDF). hopkinsmedicine.org. Retrieved 2020-12-14.
  • McDonald., and Hite, Kimberly., and Linda (2016). Career development: a human resource development perspective. New York, New York: Oxfordshire, [England]: Routledge. pp. 19-20. ISBN 9781138786127.
  • McDonald., and Hite, Kimberly., and Linda (2016). Career development: a human resource development perspective. New York, New York: Oxfordshire, [England]: Routledge. pp. 38-44. ISBN 9781138786127.
  • McDonald., and Hite, Kimberly., and Linda (2016). Career development: a human resource development perspective. New York, New York: Oxfordshire, [England]: Routledge. pp. 38-41. ISBN 9781138786127.
  • McDonald., and Hite, Kimberly., and Linda (2016). Career development: a human resource development perspective. New York, New York: Oxfordshire, [England]: Routledge. pp.46. ISBN 9781138786127.
  • McDonald., and Hite, Kimberly., and Linda (2016). Career development: a human resource development perspective. New York, New York: Oxfordshire, [England]: Routledge. pp. 40-46. ISBN 9781138786127.
  • Barbose de Oliveira, Lucia; Cavazotte, Flavia; Dunzer, Rodrigo Alan (2019). “The interactive effects of organizational and leadership career management support on job satisfaction and turnover intention”. The International Journal of Human Resource Management. 30., no 10 (10): 1583–1603. doi:10.1080/09585192.2017.1298650 – via Routledge, Taylor and Francis Group.
  • McDonald., and Hite, Kimberly., and Linda (2016). Career development: a human resource development perspective. New York, New York: Oxfordshire, [England]: Routledge. pp. 20-21. ISBN 9781138786127.
  • Barnett, R. C. and Hyde, J. S. 2001. “Women, Men, Work, and Family.” American Psychologist 56:781-796.Pope, M. (2009). Jesse Buttrick Davis (1871-1955): Pioneer of vocational guidance in the schools. Career Development Quarterly, 57, 278-288.

 

Exploring Nanotechnology & The Future of Renewable Energy

Imagine a future where every home, office or building is painted with solar panels and its bricks operate as batteries thanks to nanotechnology. There’s a lot of promise, but what is nanotechnology? And is it more science fiction than fact?

When you hear the term nanotech, chances are some sci-fi book or movie pops into your head, where they used the term to explain away some technological wonder or advancement. “Don’t worry about that, it’s nanotech!” It’s become a deus ex machina for science fiction writers.

But what we’re starting to see is that nanotechnology is responsible for great advances in physics, biology, chemistry, engineering and material science. It’s responsible for the new age of modern technology that will help civilization reach for the stars and more.

Nanotechnology refers to our ability to study and engineer technologies at a nanoscale, which is the range from 1 to 100 nanometers. That begs the question, “how small is a nanometer?” Well, if I tell you “A nanometer is one billionth of a meter … or one millionth of a millimeter” I don’t think that really clears things up. I don’t know about you, but my brain breaks trying to think about that scale. So, let’s try to put it in perspective: a human hair is around 75,000 nanometers wide – and remember, the range for nanoscale is 1 to 100 nanometers. Still not doing it for you? Let’s flip it around. Imagine a marble measures 1 nanometer. In comparison to that, the Earth would measure about one meter in diameter.1 Let that sink in for a minute… a marble compared to the size of our entire planet … that’s 1 nanometer compared to 1 meter.

Given how mind-boggling these scales are, we definitely have to give credit to the father of nanotechnology, Physicist Richard Feynman. It all started with the American Physical Society meeting held at the California Institute of Technology on December 29, 1959. Feynman gave a talk titled “There’s Plenty of Room at the Bottom,” where he speculated about being able to construct machines down to the molecular level — and the concept behind nanotechnology was born. It wasn’t until 1974 that the term “nanotechnology” was coined by Professor Norio Taniguchi, while he worked on ultraprecision machining.

As he put it: “nanotechnology mainly consists of the processing of separation, consolidation, and deformation of materials by one atom or one molecule.” We had the concept, then the term, but it wasn’t until 1981 that this theory became a reality with the development of a scanning tunneling microscope that helped scientist actually see atoms individually. Gerd Binnig and Heinrich Rohrer developed the microscope at IBM Zurich Research Laboratories in Switzerland and were later awarded the Nobel Prize in physics in 1986. That major achievement was followed by the Atomic Force Microscope in 1985, which had the distinct advantage of imaging on almost all surfaces, including biological samples, glass, composites, and ceramics. This would prove to be a major turning point.

With the advent of nanotechnology, scientists were now able to manipulate individual atoms. And that takes us into the realm of quantum mechanics, which is the science behind how matter behaves in atomic and subatomic scale. Thankfully, that’s out of scope for this video since that breaks my brain even more, but basically materials at this scale tend to behave differently and exhibit distinctive chemical and physical properties. Scientists were keen to learn and exploit this attribute to craft materials at nanoscale.

Since 1981, we’ve come forward leaps and bounds in the field of Nanotech. There’s so much that I could cover, but in the interest of time, I’ve picked two categories of examples that are helping to make what seemed like science fiction into science fact for our future. But I’d love to hear in the comments if there are any topics or examples you’d like to see covered in a future video.

Solar

The first category is one that I talk about a lot: solar. Nanotechnology is leading the charge for solar energy. Most silicon based solar panels, which accounts for about 95% of commercial solar, utilize nanoscale processes for manufacturing. Some are multi-junction solar cells, which layer different solar technologies to broaden the wavelengths of light that are captured and converted into energy. This layer cake of solar cell technologies are measured in nanometers. Thinner than a width of a human hair. But it’s the next generation of solar cells that are being researched now that could takes things to a whole new level.

Solar-Collecting Paint is an exciting future possibility.

Imagine the paint on your house or a building acting as a solar panel? Or how about your car? Chemistry professor Richard L. Brutchey from University of Southern California and researcher David H. Webber successfully developed solar collecting paint by using solar-collecting nanocrystals. At only 4 nanometers in size, nanocrystals can float in a liquid solution. You could potentially fit 250 billion nanocrystals on the head of a pin, they’re THAT small. Brutchey and Webber were able to find an organic molecule that would keep the nanocrystals conductive without sticking to each other.

So why isn’t this available in the market yet? Well those nanocrystals were built with cadmium, which is a toxic metal. Researchers have been busy trying to find alternative materials and there are some really promising leads.

Quantum dot solar cells

Quantum dot solar cells are one area to look at. Quantum dots are semiconducting particles that behave differently due to their size and the effects of quantum mechanics, like I mentioned earlier. They have energy similarities to atoms, which is why they’re sometimes referred to as “artificial atoms.” In June 2020 researchers at the Los Alamos National Laboratory were able to create cadmium-free Quantum Dot solar cells. Their zinc-doped variant has a high defect tolerance and is toxic-element-free.

This year researchers at the University of Queensland were even able to break a new world efficiency record of 16.6% for a quantum dot solar cell made from a halide Perovskite. That’s a 25% improvement in relative efficiency compared to the last record holder from 2017, so there’s fast progress being made. But the big challenge is around commercialization of the breakthrough, so the university is working on a large scale printing process in addition to continuing to improve the efficiency.

Perovskite solar paint

In 2014, researchers at the University of Sheffield were able to develop a spray on solar cell using Perovskite which is a class of man-made compounds that share the same crystalline structure as the calcium titanium oxide mineral with the same name.2,3 It happens to be one of the most promising solar technologies in recent years because it has a broad absorption spectrum. It consists of a 300 nanometer thin film with a crystal structure that aids solar absorption and can operate efficiently during cloudy days as well. Scientific Director at Saule Technologies, Dr. Konrad Wojciechowski, says that this could be printed using an inkjet printer.4

Swedish firm Skanska tested it on a building in 2019 and is expected to start producing it in 2021 with the expected cost to be $58 per meter and an efficiency around 10%.

The reason why all of these examples are so exciting is that a paintable solar cell opens up the floodgates for where you can apply solar power. Painting the walls of a building, not just the roof, or as I mentioned earlier, your car. It should also help to reduce the costs of manufacturing solar technologies, which will make it more accessible. It’s potentially a huge win/win.

Energy Storage

The second category I wanted to look at for this video is nanotechnology being applied to energy storage. In a previous video I’ve walked through graphene and carbon nanotubes and how they’re impacting energy storage today. Specifically, in my supercapacitor video I talked about how companies like NAWA Technologies and Skeleton are building out graphene-based supercapacitors today. Skeleton’s products can be found helping to power major tram-systems in big European hubs like Warsaw and Mannheim.5

As a quick refresher, batteries and supercapacitors share some similarities in how they work. In a battery there’s a positive and negative side, which are called the cathode and anode. Those two sides are submerged in a liquid electrolyte and are separated by a micro perforated separator, which only allows ions to pass through. When the battery charges and discharges, the ions flow back and forth between the cathode and anode. But capacitors are different, they don’t rely on chemical play in order to function. Instead, they store potential energy electrostatically. Capacitors use a dielectric, or insulator, between their plates to separate the collection of positive and negative charges building on each plate. It’s this separation that allows the device to store energy and quickly release it6. It’s basically capturing static electricity.

In one recent advancement in batteries from July 2020, scientists from Clemson Nanomaterials Institute were able to achieve high rate capability, fast diffusion, high capacity, and a long cycle life thanks to sandwiching silicone nanoparticles with carbon nanotubes called bucky papers.7 The cycle life for lithium batteries with silicon based anodes is less than 100, but thanks to the new sandwiched silicon electrode structure they were able achieve 500 cycles and deliver three times more capacity than graphite. Silicone happens to have ten times higher capacity than graphite, but it expands by about 300 percent in volume as it absorbs ions. The end result is an anode that breaks apart. This nanostructure counters this factor and would help us replace graphite with silicone, so that our batteries can become safer and lighter.

But I’ve saved the craziest research I’ve seen in a while for last… Nanotechnology could potentially turn bricks into batteries. …well, more like supercapacitors, but that doesn’t have the same alliteration. Washington University’s Institute of Materials Science & Engineering took work from their microsupercapacitor research using Fe2O3 (iron oxide – or rust) as a conducting polymer, also known as rust-assisted vapor-phase polymerization. Rolls right off the tongue. I’m not going to get bogged down into the technical details, partially because of my broken brain, but what sets this process apart is that the nanostructures formed by this process are self-assembled. Other processes like this might take several steps and treatments, which makes this process unique.

So I can hear you asking how does this possibility relate to bricks? That red pigment in your classic brick is … you probably guessed it … Fe2O3 (iron oxide – or rust). By applying their polymer process to a standard red brick, you end up with a capacitor.8 Julio D’Arcy, assistant professor of chemistry, who worked on this research, described it:

“In this work, we have developed a coating of the conducting polymer PEDOT, which is comprised of nanofibers that penetrate the inner porous network of a brick; a polymer coating remains trapped in a brick and serves as an ion sponge that stores and conducts electricity.” -Julio D’Arcy, Assistant Professor9

This process leaves a blue PEDOT coating on one side of the brick, so that could be easily hidden on one side of the brick wall. They estimate that it would take about 50 bricks to power an emergency lighting system for 5 hours, so this clearly isn’t going to power your entire house. But then again, a building is made up of thousands of bricks, so there’s a potential for a building’s brick walls to act as a massive supercapacitor to absorb solar panel overproduction, or to cover peak energy use to smooth out demand, and pair with battery storage in a hybrid setup.

We’re already seeing some of nanotechnologies benefits in the world around us today, but the research and advancements we’re seeing in the lab, like these, are what to look forward to for the future. Nanotech may have been an overused and blanket term that’s lost a little bit of it’s meaning to most of us, but there’s real progress being made.


  1. Nano.gov, “Size of the Nanoscale” ↩︎
  2. Energysage, “Perovskite solar cells: the future of solar?” ↩︎
  3. Wikipedia, “Perovskite solar cell” ↩︎
  4. Energy & Environmental Science, “Towards the commercialization of colloidal quantum dot solar cells: perspectives on device structures and manufacturing” ↩︎
  5. Railway Technology, “Skeleton Technologies to provide ultracapacitor for Warsaw tram system” ↩︎
  6. Green Techee, “How does an ultracap work?” ↩︎
  7. New Atlas, “Silicon ‘sandwiches’ make for lightweight, high-capacity batteries” ↩︎
  8. Nature Communications, 11, “Energy storing bricks for stationary PEDOT supercapacitors” ↩︎
  9. Washington University in St. Louis – The Source, “Storing energy in red bricks” ↩︎

By: https://undecidedmf.com

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Undecided with Matt Ferrell

Exploring Nanotechnology and the Future of Renewable Energy. Imagine a future where every home, office or building is painted with solar panels and its bricks operate as batteries thanks to nanotechnology. There’s a lot of promise, but what is nanotechnology? And is it more science fiction than fact? ▻ Watch Exploring solar panel efficiency breakthroughs – https://youtu.be/2uIOeHCOr-0 ▻ Vice Versa with Matt & Ricky – https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCbaG… ▻ Follow-up podcast episode: coming soon – http://bit.ly/stilltbdfm ▻ Full script and citations: https://undecidedmf.com/episodes/2020… ——————– ▶ ▶ ▶ ADDITIONAL INFO ◀ ◀ ◀ ▻ Support us on Patreon! https://www.patreon.com/mattferrell ▻ Check out my podcast – Still To Be Determined: http://bit.ly/stilltbdfm ▻ Tesla and smart home gear I really like: https://kit.co/undecidedmf ▻ Undecided Amazon store front: http://bit.ly/UndecidedAmazon ▻ Fun, nerdy t-shirts All shirts sold help to support the channel http://bit.ly/UndecidedShirts ▻ Great Tesla Accessories From Abstract Ocean – 15% Discount – Code: “Undecided” http://bit.ly/UndecidedAO ▻ Jeda Wireless phone charger: http://bit.ly/UndecidedJeda ▻ Get 1,000 miles of free supercharging with a new Tesla or a discount on Tesla Solar/Powerwalls: https://ts.la/matthew84515 PLEASE NOTE: For the Abstract Ocean discount you may have to click on the “cart” button, then “view bag” to enter the coupon code manually. Be sure to enter “undecided” there if you don’t see the discount automatically applied. All Amazon links are part of their affiliate program. Thanks so much for your support! ——————– ▶ ▶ ▶ GET IN TOUCH ◀ ◀ ◀ ▻ Twitter https://twitter.com/mattferrell ▻ Instagram https://www.instagram.com/mattferrell/ ▻ Facebook https://www.facebook.com/undecidedMF/ ▻ Website https://undecidedmf.com ——————– ▻ Audio file(s) provided by Epidemic Sound http://bit.ly/UndecidedEpidemic#nanotechnology#renewableenergy#solarpanels#exploring#undecidedwithmattferrell

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