9:39 PM

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Bangla Nababarsha celebrated at the Green University

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A colorful Rally and a Baishakhi Mela (Fair) followed by a cultural function was organized by the Green University of Bangladesh (GUB) to observe “Bangla Nababarsha (1418)” on 14 April, 2011. The Rally was attended by the Honorable Vice-Chancellor Prof. Dr. Anwarullah Chowdhury and Registrar Md. Shahid Ullah along with the teachers, officers and students. All the students went round the rally with much enthusiasm. A “Baishakhi Mela” was organized in the University Campus for observing “New Year’s Day (Bangla Nababarsha)”. Various goods of small cottage industry, earthen dolls, different type of fruits, dugdugi, muri-murki, sweetmeats and various other choiceable items of different tastes were available in the fair (Mela). The students of GUB presented various songs, drama in the cultural function.

9:13 PM

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Tomorrow's New Hottest Jobs

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Wouldn't it be great to know which jobs will see growing demand in the future? It sure would help with planning a career change, or even with picking a college major.
Turns out, you don't need a crystal ball to find out. Every two years, researchers at the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics create a new 10-year forecast detailing the specific occupations the government expects will grow and shrink over the coming decade. The 2008-2018 projections came out in December.
The new data is especially valuable because it includes the first year of the current economic downturn (2008). The new Occupational Outlook Handbook, which went up on the BLS Web site in mid-December, provides a first look at how specific jobs may recover -- or not -- over the next eight years.
Job-seekers may find the new report comforting, as BLS economists generally do expect us to pull out of our current job slump. Some broad job categories see big job growth over the next decade because they're projected from the recession-era low in 2008. An example is construction laborers, projected to add 256,000 new jobs by 2018 as the sector recovers from its current slowdown, says Dixie Sommers, assistant commissioner of occupational statistics and employment projections.
One particularly heartening piece of news involves wages: the previous fastest-growing jobs forecast showed just four of the 10 jobs had high wages. The 2018 forecast, by contrast, lists six jobs that pay more than $70,000 per year. If you're interested in health care, there's lots of opportunity for you ahead -- eight of the top 10 occupy some niche in the field.
Only three occupations appear on both the '06 and '08 top-10 fastest-growing lists -- networks systems and data communications analysts, home health aides, and personal-care aides. The other seven of the top 10 are new for '08. See these jobs listed below. Some are fairly small employment niches, but all are seeing exploding growth:

Biomedical engineer
This field's expected growth through '18 -- a whopping 72 percent -- far outstrips any other occupation. As health-care technology becomes ever more complex, demand will explode for more engineers who can combine medical knowledge with engineering principles to develop needed new medical devices and equipment. The BLS reports most have a background in another engineering specialty and additional medical training.
Financial examiner
Part of a broader trend of growth in supervisory positions, BLS foresees a 41 percent increase in demand for financial professionals who can analyze and enforce laws governing the financial and securities industries. The field is expected to add 38,000 jobs in the next decade. Most have a bachelor's degree.
Medical scientist (excluding epidemiologists)
As technology makes it possible to delve deeply into the causes of diseases, demand for medical scientists is expected to rise 40 percent. Most have a Ph.D. in a biological science.
Physician assistant
Physician assistants work under a doctor's supervision in big cities, or may be primary care providers in rural areas where doctors are in short supply. Apparently, more shortages are forecast as demand is set to increase 39 percent by 2018. Most physician assistants have a two-year degree on top of a bachelor's degree.
Biochemists study living things and their chemical composition, while biophysicists study how electrical and mechanical energy impact living things. Growth is expected to exceed 37 percent. Some in this field start with a bachelor's degree, while a Ph.D. may be needed for independent research work.
Skin-care specialist
Also known as aestheticians, skin-care specialists were No. 11 last year and made it to the top 10 at No. 8 in the 2018 projections. With expected 38 percent growth, this field is one of the quickest to get into in the top 10 -- a high-school diploma or G.E.D. and a cosmetology-school certificate are all that's required.
Athletic trainer
America's love affair with sports is forecast to grow in the future, spurring a projected 37 percent increase in the need for athletic trainers to keep our athletes fit and help them recover from injuries. Trainers usually work under a doctor's supervision or in cooperation with other healthcare providers. Most have a bachelor's degree, and more than half have an advanced degree, the National Athletic Trainers Association reports.

9:11 PM

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Change Your Career While at Work Today

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If you're jonesing for a new career in 2010, you're not alone. A surprising statistic from Robert Half International's 2009 Employment Dynamics and Growth Expectations (EDGE) Report revealed that more than half of employees plan to make a career change or go back to school as soon as the economy recovers.
Given those aspirations, you might want to take steps now -- while you still have a paying job -- to make your future transition easier. Here are a few tips for incorporating the career-change process into your daily routine:
When You Wake Up

When your alarm goes off, grab a journal and a pen and take 10 minutes to consider what you like and what you don't like in a work environment. Thought-starter questions include:
  • What is important to you and what are your values?
  • What is your definition of success?
  • How do you prefer to work?
  • What type of job would make you want to sit in traffic for hours just for the privilege of showing up?
While Drinking Your Morning Coffee

Instead of surfing Facebook, check out the Bureau of Labor Statistics' Occupational Outlook Handbook. Browse through the hundreds of thousands of occupations and make a note of the ones that interest you. Jot down the transferable skills required (i.e. project management, sales, marketing, finance), and as you're going through your day, think about how you may already be using those skills in your current job.
Over Lunch

Search for organizations on LinkedIn.com that do the kind of work you're interested in. Use this site, as well as resources like your college career center or alumni network, to connect with individuals currently working in your target fields. Email them and request a half hour informational interview in which you ask specific questions about training requirements, responsibilities, salary, work environment, and opportunities for advancement. As long as you are polite, no one will fault you for wanting the real scoop.
Before You Leave Work

When you're finished with your daily duties, stay after hours and check out an online course designed to help you facilitate a career change. Online video presentations often provide the same value as more expensive, time-consuming, and difficult-to-travel-to seminars. Feel free to check out newjobnewyou.com/webinar.html for an example.
On the Train Home
Many people resist changing careers because they feel like they can't afford it. Start creating a nest egg for your transition now by creating a spreadsheet in your Blackberry or PDA that keeps track of where your money is going on a daily basis. If you do this on the train for a month or even just for a few weeks, you'll be amazed at the data you'll accumulate.
You'll start to see patterns of unnecessary spending (your morning Starbucks run, sushi takeout, etc.) and areas where you can tighten your belt. A great question to ask yourself is: "Do I really need this?" If you honestly don't, then put the money away for your career change.

9:07 PM

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Move up by Focusing on Your Strengths

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The conventional wisdom on moving up the corporate ladder often stresses the importance of gaining new skills or improving weaknesses. But in many cases, a more effective career strategy might be to focus on developing your main talents.
According to research by Gallup on more than 2 million workers over a 30-year period, those who prioritized their core strengths enjoyed greater success than those who tried to bring up their faults.
Stand Out With Your Strengths
London-based economist and business strategist Vaughan Evans calls this best-foot forward approach the "Madonna method" because the pop diva has maintained her stardom by doing what she does best: constantly reinventing herself to keep up with the zeitgeist.
"The ideal situation is if your strengths are those strengths needed by your organization, and you invest further in them -- then you're in a terrific position, and you're immune from layoffs," says Evans, author of "Backing U! A Business-Oriented Guide to Backing Your Passion and Achieving Career Success."
But given today's far-from-ideal economic climate, Evans recommends having several fallback strategies to ride out the bad times and get ready for a recovery.
The Lower-Cost Approach
Under this scenario, you reduce your "cost" to your employer by agreeing to a salary cut, accepting an unpaid furlough, or switching to a four-day week.
"It's the Southwest Airlines strategy -- you make yourself indispensable based on price," Evans says. "It can be a strategy for success, but it also can be a strategy for survival in hard times like now."
How to 'Sharpen Your Act'
If you find your skills don't match well with your current position or your employer's core business, your long-term goal should be to determine your true passions and find a job that suits them.
But in the near term's difficult market, Evans suggests addressing any weaknesses simply to hold onto your job until conditions improve. This might entail taking classes or getting specialized training.
"In today's world with 10 percent unemployed, you're not going to take a risk of going on the open job market," Evans says. "This could be a valuable strategy for survival."
The Hybrid Approach
Sometimes a new set of circumstances can dictate a temporary change in career strategy.
For example, you may have been cruising along in a marketing position that tapped your abilities as a writer and strategist. Then you get a promotion that adds one of your major weaknesses -- a lack of good public speaking skills -- to your job description. What to do?
"The rules of the game have changed, and you would be well-advised to sharpen your act" by getting some speech training, Evans says.

9:06 PM

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7 Steps to Seeing the World With a Great Job

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In this so-called jobless recovery, you might be wondering who in the world is hiring. Job markets in some countries are a little hotter than in the United States right now, and the New York Times recently reported how professionals shut out of jobs in the U.S. found their career calling in China and elsewhere.

Such reports may make it seem like it's easier for everyone to land a job overseas. Not so.

"If you are a true hotshot in your field, you may be wooed by another country, but everyone else has to do their homework first," says Jean-Marc Hachey, author and online publisher of "The Big Guide to Living and Working Overseas."

There are other considerations. In a September Yahoo! HotJobs poll, 45% of respondents said they were willing to work abroad, and an additional 28% would be willing to move abroad for the right job. But there's a difference between "willing to" and "well prepared to."

Before you look for an overseas job, you should determine whether you would even want to work in another culture, and if so, how "foreign" are you willing to go? Do you enjoy change? Do you mind learning new and sometimes odd protocol for everything from conducting a meeting to buying tomatoes?

If you are sure overseas work is for you, Hachey and other career experts recommend several steps.

1. Look for an American-based company.
The vast majority of professionals working overseas landed their job stateside, and it's much easier to land a job overseas before hopping on the plane. If you want to work abroad, look for international employers in your line of work. While some companies with a worldwide presence offer no mobility between countries, others encourage their employees to go all over the world. If you're the right fit, the company will handle your Visa and work permit, and will do their best to convince the local authorities that only you -- over anyone in their country -- could do the job in question.

2. Don't be picky about the country.
It is much harder to look for a professional job abroad if you limit your search to a particular country, according to Hachey. "If you just love Italy, for example, and won't go anywhere else, you'll have to find a company there who wants you, get a work permit from the Italian government, and prove to officials there's nobody in their country who can do that professional job better," he says. "If you want to pick grapes or do something low-skilled, that's another matter."

3. Boost your 'I.Q.'
To land a job overseas you'll need evidence you understand different cultures and are willing and eager to immerse yourself in them, Hachey says. That weeklong trip you took to Ireland five years ago won't cut it. He recommends boosting your International Quotient by learning a language -- any language -- and spending at least a month abroad, whether volunteering for a non-governmental organization (NGO) or working at an internship.

4. Find an international mentor.
An expert in your field who has worked overseas can help share where the opportunities are, and how to act, and not act, in, say India. How do you find these mentors? The same way you find any mentor (which every professional should be doing anyway): Network. A good place to find a mentor, or at least advice, is the Expat Forum.

5. Leave, now.
If you really must leave and have the resources to do so, go to the country of your choice on a tourist visa. Once there, meet with potential employers and consider volunteering, interning, or other work alternatives while you continue to search for that ideal position. "When job-hunting, nothing beats meeting with prospective employers face-to-face," says Randall Hansen, founder and president of Quintessential Careers.

6. Teach English.
Experts recommend teaching English as a foreign language overseas as a springboard to other jobs. Even if you don't want to make a career of teaching, you'll gain valuable insight into the culture and you'll already be in the country. There are a large number of English teaching job postings on the Web, and generally it's easier to get hired before you hop on the plane. You will, however, have to demonstrate some aptitude for teaching and a strong command for the English language.

7. Work while you wait.
The average job search abroad ranges between six to 12 months, and searching for a job in any country is a full-time job itself, Hansen says. In his working abroad tutorial at QuintCareers.com, Hansen recommends using your time productively before you get that offer. That means obtaining a passport (which can take six weeks or more), learning a language or two, and even taking some classes.

Visit the U.S. State Department to find travel advisories and other helpful information. Access the local tourism site for the countries where you may be interviewing for information about local customs. If there's a good chance you'll land a job abroad, check out what vaccinations are required, and obtain them before you leave.

9:05 PM

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5 Reasons Why the Best Time for Your New Career Is Now

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Making a drastic career change can be daunting at any time in your life, but it is especially scary during times of economic downturn. Shouldn't you hold onto your current job with all your might? While that seems the most logical thing at first blush, making a career change now could actually be the better plan.

Here's why.

1. Better Chances of Advancement

Have you reached a point in your career where advancement will happen only if you further your education? That's the story for many who choose to go back to school. Further your career training and earn your associate's or bachelor's degree to kick open new doors!

Inspiration: Registered Nurse
Nursing aides offer hands-on help for patients, including the basics of bathing, dressing, and cleanliness. The pay rate for nursing aides is a median of $23,850 per year. However, career training of one year and good grades on qualifying exams can earn the title of licensed practical nurse, with a higher annual pay of $39,030.

Those who choose to advance to registered nurse can bring home a healthy $62,450 per year. An associate's degree in nursing, a bachelor's degree in nursing, or a nursing diploma are the three ways to advance to the higher pay and title of registered nurse.

2. Higher Education Equals Higher Pay

Maybe you're already in a job you love, but your paycheck doesn't reflect all those years of hard work you have put in. Earning your online degree can add quite a hefty weight to that paycheck.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, those who hold an associate's degree can make an average of $5,600 more per year than those with only a high school diploma. Those with a bachelor's degree, however, make an average of $15,400 more than those with an associate's degree.

Inspiration: Web Designer
Web designers create websites for everyone from individuals to large corporations. Their education can be just as varied, ranging from an associate's degree to a doctorate. Typically, the higher the degree, the better the position and the higher the pay. According to Robert Half International, Web designers earn a median annual wage ranging from $47,000 to $71,500.

3. Realize Your Dream

Is there something you have always wanted to do, but obtaining your ideal job never seemed to be in the cards? You're not alone, but other savvy folks just like you have managed to make it happen. Hold onto your current job while taking courses at night or online, and before you know it, you will have a degree in that field of your dreams.

Inspiration: Teacher
If you've always wanted to touch the lives of children and instill a love of learning, now is the time. Elementary school teachers will be in high demand in the coming years, and can earn a median annual salary of $49,330. A bachelor's degree is required, as well as a state license to teach.

4. Turn Lemons Into Lemonade

When that dreaded pink slip lands on your desk, what happens after you leave the building? Before you dust off that resume, take a good look at what you can do with this unexpected downtime. This is the golden opportunity to do something fresh and exciting.

Inspiration: Chef
What's cooking? Anything you want when you're in charge of the kitchen as a professional chef. Start out with career training on the job while you pursue an associate's or bachelor's degree in culinary arts. This sweet career change can lead to a median annual salary of $38,770 when you become the head chef.

5. Getting Education Is Easier Than Ever

You might think earning your degree will take too much time, or cost too much money. While some positions might require a four-year bachelor's degree or a level of education even higher than that, there are just as many options that require two years of career training or less.

Inspiration: Dental Hygienist
Helping patients learn good oral hygiene is the job of the dental hygienist. A dental hygiene program takes from one to two years to complete. Get the degree, pass the license exam, and you're on track to make a median wage of $66,570 per year in one of the fastest-growing occupations today.

Ready for a Career Change?

Now is the time to make that career leap. Earn your online degree, then use your career training to open the door to a new career adventure. You've got nothing to lose, and a whole new occupation to gain.

9:03 PM

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Top Cities for Jobs in 2010

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There was a whole lot of shaking going on in 2009 -- job losses, volatile markets, recovery packages, a new president. But in surprising contrast to that, the rankings for top cities this year remained fairly steady.

"None of [the top 10] had a meteoric rise over the last year. Most of them went up and the couple that dropped did not drop dramatically," commented Kevin Klowden, managing economist at the Milken Institute, and co-author of Best-Performing Cities 2009 report. "The fact remains essentially that there are certain locations that have advantages in terms of lower costs, improved access to talent, certain key industry resources, and other factors that help to drive things."

The Milken Institute's report highlights the fact that the top cities didn't experience the same inflation in housing prices as the rest of the country, and so they avoided the devastating correction experienced elsewhere. Another factor in success was a prominence of the oil and gas industry. These two came together favorably for Texas, whose cities took five of the top 10 rankings.

All top performers, however, showed only mild increases in employment, if any at all. High marks in 2009 reflect how well a city's economic infrastructure weathered the storm, so it is important to look at a city's performance relative to the nation and other metro areas -- 2009 is not the year to focus on the numbers alone.

The Milken Institute rankings are based on a variety of factors, two of which include job and salary growth trends. Put together, these factors demonstrated a well-balanced local economy that should remain strong into the next year and likely beyond that for the following top 10 cities for jobs. Also listed is an example job position and its median annual salary in each town, according to online salary database PayScale.com.

1. Austin-Round Rock, Texas (pop. 1,653,000)
Last year's rank: 4
Job growth: 0.32%

Due to its well-prepared grads of top research institutions and its entrepreneurial spirit as evidenced by the high rate of self-employed workers, Austin has been cooking up a hot economy in recent years. It has been recruiting a lot of technology companies, due to low business costs in the area. Plus, Austin is positioning itself well in the clean tech industry, giving it an excellent outlook for the foreseeable future. Environmental engineer - $73,500

2. Killeen-Temple-Fort Hood, Texas (pop. 379,000)
Last year's rank: 13
Job growth: 1.81%

A major army base, a strong concentration of health-care services, and robust higher education joined forces to earn this area the top spot for job growth in 2008, and it is continuing on that track in 2009. Texas A&M is in the process of building a new major satellite facility, drawing work that is already strong from Central Texas College's strong enrollment. Consolidation of military bases to Fort Hood has increased the population of stably employed workers as well. Additionally, the region had a very low rate of sub-prime mortgages, so the bursting housing bubble had a minimal effect on this region's economy. Registered nurse - $54,000

3. Salt Lake City, Utah (pop. 1,116,000)
Last year's rank: 3
Job growth: -2.58%

Holding steady in third position is Salt Lake City, with its strong technology industry and high number of quality jobs. The finance industry is also strong here, but appears to have played the lending game a little smarter than most of the country. The region demonstrated much less speculative activity and was minimally affected by the sub-prime mortgage fallout. State budget problems have been occurring, as in many capitals across the country. However, cutbacks appear to be modest, and Utah as a whole appears to be poised for growth and strong recovery in the next year. Financial analyst - $61,300

4. McAllen-Edinburg-Mission, Texas (pop. 1,116,000)
Last year's rank: 7
Job growth: -0.01%

McAllen has been coming on strong in the list of top cities over the past few years, driven by its top ranking for employment growth and high-tech GDP growth between the years of 2003-2008. The area has been luring companies with is low business costs, which has fueled employment growth numbers and helped to increase population. The service-based industry, which has taken such a hit elsewhere, continues to prosper. Software developer - $63,100

5. Houston-Sugar Land-Baytown, Texas (pop. 5,728,000)
Last year's rank: 16
2009 Job growth: -0.69%

As a leader in the oil and gas industry, and a major health services center, the greater Houston metro area rose from 16th to 5th in this year's top city rankings. Though it has experienced a slip in job growth in most recent months, partially due to cutbacks in natural gas exploration, forays into new energy technologies -- nuclear, wind, and other alternative sources -- are helping to set this area up for strong growth potential in the next year. Petroleum engineer - $114,500

6. Durham, North Carolina (pop. 490,000)
Last year's rank: 21
2009 Job growth: -1.75%

Making an even bigger jump up the list is Durham with its strength in technology, biopharmaceutical, medical research, and higher education. This area is a hotspot for young professionals, which has spurred positive population growth and has helped mitigate the effects of falling property prices. Most recently, communication technology company Nortel Network's bankruptcy has caused some hardship and layoffs, but the strength of the health and education industries has given Durham the balance needed to get through economic difficulties smoothly. Research laboratory technician - $42,800

7. Olympia, Washington (pop. 245,000)
Last year's rank: 9
2009 Job growth: -0.39%

Olympia, Washington's capital, offers a high percentage of government jobs. In recent years, the economy has also been bolstered by an influx of businesses relocating there due to its relatively low business and living costs compared to Seattle. This has encouraged employment rates; in fact, Olympia placed 14th in the nation for job growth between 2007-2008. However, significant state budget cutbacks are on the horizon, and employment with the state government is expected to take a dip in the coming year. High school teacher - $49,500

8. Huntsville, Alabama (pop. 396,000)
Last year's rank: 5
2009 Job growth: -2.19%

If you're looking for a new place with a well-diversified economy, Huntsville might be the spot for you. This city has been ranking consistently well in the last few years with its diverse industry profile, which includes professional, scientific and technical services; computer and electronic product manufacturing; biotechnology; aerospace industry; and a growing military base. Electrical engineer - $77,400

9. Lafayette, Louisiana (pop. 396,000)
Last year's rank: 14
2009 Job growth: -0.37%

High energy prices have been a boon to Lafayette's oil and gas exploration industry, pushing this metro area into the top 10 for the first time. This side of the economy is extremely vulnerable to price fluctuations, however, and for sustained growth and stability, Lafayette will need to begin moving away from reliance on its traditional industries for revenue. A focus on developing a skilled workforce, luring new businesses, and continued building of the already strong education and health industries are essential for prosperity down the road. Engineering technician, oil & gas - $51,100

10. Raleigh-Cary, North Carolina (pop. 1,089,000)
Last year's rank: 2
2009 Job growth: -3.36%

This metropolitan area's economy is founded on a strong base that educational and research institutions have created with the business community. It has laid the groundwork for Raleigh's strong technology, biopharmaceutical, and professional and business services industries. There seems to be a little bit of rough road ahead with state budget constraints leading to cutbacks, and looming changes to the pharmaceutical industry. However, Raleigh is expected to fare much better than other major centers during the readjustment and recovery. Information technology (IT) manager- $80,700

9:03 PM

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Earn More Than a Full-Timer: 10 Hot Contract Jobs

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Everyone wants a good salary. But today you might just need to think like a contractor to find it.

In an economic state like our current one, more employers offer contract jobs to save on benefits and other expenses involved in a full-time hire. But because they spend less in other areas, they're usually willing to pay better hourly rates to contractors.

The information technology industry is known for relying heavily on contractors and pays them particularly well. If that's not your field, there's still a wide variety of jobs where contractors are paid significantly better than a full-time employee (FTE). Online salary database PayScale.com ran the numbers on 10 common contracting jobs to find out just how much of a raise you could score by accepting one.

1. Registered Nurse
Median annual pay: $72,400
Increase in pay compared to FTE: +24%
Typical degree: Associate's Degree, Nursing

It's no secret that nursing services are in high demand. In fact, the Bureau of Labor and Statistics (BLS) projects an added 587,000 new positions between 2006-2016, which is one of the highest increases of all occupations. That high demand puts potential employees in a strong position for salary bargaining. Put yourself in the driver's seat for salary negotiations, and you could earn a hefty raise over full-time positions -- a 24 percent increase on average.

2. Physical Therapist
Median annual pay: $78,400
Increase in pay compared to FTE: +15%
Typical degree: Master's Degree, Physical Therapy

Physical therapy is another health-care department that is expected to hire much faster than average over the next 10 years. Medical advances that help to save lives result in an increased demand for rehabilitative services. Though it takes an investment of time and money to complete the master's degree required for this field, the returns on that investment are great in terms of employment potential and the ability to dicker for more dollars in your contracting rate.

3. Project Manager, Construction
Median annual pay: $76,400
Increase in pay compared to FTE: +12%
Typical degree: Bachelor's Degree, Construction Management

The construction industry has taken a deep hit over the last year and a half, which has slowed and often halted building projects. However, management still pays in this industry, and as green works and recovery dollars continue to spur growth, more work opportunities should follow. Though a degree isn't always required to be a construction project manager, it is becoming more of the norm, especially as competition stiffens for these positions. Plus, the added education certainly helps when bargaining the terms of your contract.

4. Graphic Designer
Median annual pay: $42,300
Increase in pay compared to FTE: +10%
Typical degree: Bachelor's Degree, Graphic Design & Fine Arts

Tell mom and dad artists can make money. From package design to animation and computer graphics, designers create visual communications for our increasingly image- and video-hungry eyes. The BLS expects job growth to be average, with much of the increase coming from the video and Internet entertainment market. Keen competition is expected for these contracts, but if you land one, you can expect to get about 10 percent more pay than your full-time counterpart.

5. Business Analyst
Median annual pay: $75,300
Increase in pay compared to FTE: +7%
Typical degree: Bachelor's Degree, Computer Information Systems & Computer Science

Business analysts are very commonly contract positions -- 27 percent are self-employed, which is three times the average for most professions. Demand for analysts is expected to rise to help companies stay competitive as the business world continues to increase in complexity. Competition, however, is expected to be quite fierce since qualifications can vary widely, which increases the pool of potential applicants. Plus, the high earning potential is luring many into the fray for these lucrative contracts.

6. Software Developer
Median annual pay: $76,500
Increase in pay compared to FTE: +5%
Typical degree: Bachelor's Degree, Computer Science & Computer Engineering

Internet technologies and electronic data-processing systems in business, telecommunications and government are fueling an expected 38 percent increase in this field. That's an additional 324,000 new jobs available to developers, which is much faster than average growth. Employers look for candidates with strong practical experience usually in addition to a bachelor's degree in a related field. The BLS notes that if you can offer a good set of interpersonal and business skills, your chances for scoring the position will be greatest.

7. Programmer Analyst
Median annual pay: $69,500
Increase in pay compared to FTE: +5%
Typical degree: Bachelor's Degree, Computer Science

Computer analyst job prospects are expected to be very good due to positions opening up as workers move into managerial positions or other occupations. The best candidates demonstrate practical knowledge and hold a four-year degree in computer science or a related field. However, the BLS also notes that graduates in non-computer related fields who have taken courses in computer programming, systems analysis, and other information technology subjects should also be able to land a good contract.

8. Project Manager, IT
Median annual pay: $85,700
Increase in pay compared to FTE: +3%
Typical degree: Bachelor's Degree, Computer Information Systems & Computer Science

IT project managers are the go-to people for all phases of a firm's information technology projects. They create the requirements, budgets, and schedules to get the job done. Projects increasingly involve upgrades to the information security of an organization. Job growth is expected to be faster than the average, and workers with specialized technical knowledge and strong communications skills have the best chance of negotiating a healthy pay rate.

9. Administrative Assistant
Median annual pay: $31,900
Increase in pay compared to FTE: +2%
Typical degree: Bachelor's Degree, Business Management & Business Administration

Administrative assistants aren't the same paper pushers of times past -- they're increasingly taking on roles of information and communication managers. Job opportunities in this field are very good. Growth will be average, but positions tend to open up as many admins move into professional occupations. Applicants with bachelor's degrees will be in greater demand for managerial assistants and complex tasks, which can earn you a fair bit more in your next contract position.

10. Mechanical Engineer
Median annual pay: $70,400
Increase in pay compared to FTE: +2%
Typical degree: Bachelor's Degree, Mechanical Engineering

Out of all the engineering fields, mechanical engineering is one of the broadest engineering disciplines, taking on projects from agriculture production to robots used in manufacturing. Despite the wide range of employment possibilities, mechanical engineering is expected to have a slower than average growth, increasing only by 4 percent. Emerging technologies, such as biotechnology, materials science, and nanotechnology offer the best opportunities for steady work and solid contracts.