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What does a Speech Therapist do?

A speech therapist, also known as a speech-language pathologist, is often a crucial link in the health care and/or educational needs of an individual. When the ability to effectively communicate is compromised, a person’s ability to learn or get the medical help can be almost impossible. That’s where a speech therapist comes in, working in such settings as hospitals, private and public schools, rehabilitation facilities and government agencies. These professionals diagnose and treat speech, language and communication disorders in everyone from small children to the elderly.

If you want a career where you are able to help people in need, know you can demonstrate empathy and compassion while delivering creative solutions, speech therapy might be a good fit for you. Speech therapists have to be able to handle stressful situations, and be comfortable dealing with patients and their families as they work through their speech problems. It’s an invaluable service, and it’s also a career that is expected to grow employment by 19 percent in the coming years, which is faster than other occupations, the BLS reports.

speech therapist

What can a speech therapist earn?

The wages for a speech therapist will vary greatly, depending on where you live and what industry employs you. About 57 percent of speech therapists work in education, according to ASHA, with 38 percent working in health care facilities. The top-paying industries include:

  • Medical and diagnostic laboratories
  • Home health care services
  • Community Care facilities for the elderly

What kind of education do I need?

Steer your courses toward the sciences, but also consider studying courses in communication, such as English and public speaking. These are good choices for an undergraduate degree as well, along with linguistics, phonetics and basic health courses such as biology and anatomy.

The standard educational requirement for speech therapists today is a master’s degree in speech-language pathology, which is required for certification by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there are 47 states that regulated the licensing of speech therapists, and many required the ASHA’s certification as requisite for licensing.

Continuing education credits are also required in many states; check with your state’s Department of Education to confirm what the requirements are where you live.

What does a Stock Broker do?

Stock brokers aim to generate profit by investing in financial products such as shares and securities on behalf of private, corporate, and individual clients.

What are the typical job responsibilities of a stock broker?

A stock broker is qualified and registered to conduct a transaction on the stock exchange on behalf of clients. They also sometimes act on their own behalf.

They are expected to be experts with up-to-the-minute knowledge and understanding of the financial markets. They are paid, usually on commission, to make sound investment decisions and provide well-informed advice. Their job typically involves:

  • Determining clients’ requirements e.g. how much they want to invest, what level of return they hope to gain, what level of risk they are willing to accept
  • Conducting research about the financial markets
  • Advising clients about investments
  • Conducting buying and selling transactions on behalf of clients
  • Monitoring the performance of clients’ investments
  • Attracting new clients and generating a client base

stock broker

You can expect to work relatively long hours–typically over 40 hours per week–including evenings and weekends at the convenience of your clients, many of whom may work during regular working hours.

What are the education and licensing requirements?

You need to gain a bachelor’s degree in accounting, business, economics, or finance to begin a career in this occupation. If you can get an internship in the summer before your final college year, as many would-be stock brokers do, it can help you gain full-time employment after you graduate.

Gaining a MBA or professional certification can be beneficial for advancement in your career.

In addition to your education, useful attributes include:

  • Research skills
  • Ability to remain calm and work effectively under pressure
  • Confidence in decision making
  • Good judgment of risk
  • Strong analytical skills

A stock broker must be registered with the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) as a representative of their firm. To become registered, you need to be employed by a registered firm for a minimum of 4 months and pass the General Securities Registered Representative Examination plus, in most States, the Uniform Securities Agents States Law Examination. To maintain your registered representative status, you need ongoing computer-based training that keeps your knowledge current.

Certification such as the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) designation, indicates experience and ongoing education, and can help enhance your professional status.

You may also need other licensure to sell certain products or services.

Earning potential

Becoming a stock broker is a lucrative and attractive career choice for anyone with a head for figures and strong risk-analysis skills.

What does a Systems Analyst do?

A systems analyst ensures that businesses, institutions and governments can rely on computer networks to perform tasks that are central to their goals. Consequently, most of these organizations rely on computer systems analysts to design, manage and modify their computer networks to perform very specific tasks.

Depending on the needs of the organization or business, systems analysts may either design and develop new computer systems or reconfigure existing hardware and software programs to perform new or unique functions. Sometimes the systems analysts who build a new computer system from scratch are called system architects.

Skills needed by a systems analyst

Systems analysts must be familiar with an organization’s needs from top to bottom in order to set up a computer network that performs all the jobs a company requires. This usually involves meeting with managers and users to better understand what their needs and expectations are.

systems analyst

Systems analysts then use a variety of tools–including structured analysis, data modeling and information engineering–to create the system needed. This part of the job often involves a cost-benefit study to determine if the proposed investment is worth the expense.

Once a system is installed and the software initiated, the system analyst runs tests to get the system running smoothly. At this stage, the systems analyst is looking for “bugs” in the system and works to resolve those issues before the computers are rolled out to users.

As the system is put to work, the systems analyst may be involved in training users and writing user manuals to help users get familiar with the system and utilize it to its full potential.

Educational requirements for a systems analyst

Most employers want their systems analysts to at least have a bachelor’s degree. It’s also helpful if a job candidate for a systems analyst job has practical experience in the organization’s area. For instance, businesses hiring system analysts might prefer candidates who have a masters in business administration, in addition to formal training in computer science. Hospitals might like to see some training in health-care related issues.

Complex, highly technical jobs might require a graduate degree. This would be true for systems analyst jobs for science-oriented businesses or colleges or universities.

What’s more, computer science is changing so rapidly that systems analysts all need to continually study in order to remain competitive. This kind of supplemental training may come from private institutions, colleges, and hardware and software vendors.

Personality traits are also often a factor in finding a job as a systems analyst. Systems analysts need to be able to communicate effectively with people who do not have technical training in computers and won’t be able to understand technical jargon. A good systems analyst can explain computer procedures in simple, easy-to-understand terms users will remember.

Job outlook for systems analysts

There are more than 500,000 computer systems analysts at work in the US and demand for more is expected to increase much faster than average in the coming years. Businesses are increasingly relying on new technology to become more profitable, and wireless Internet and mobile computing are becoming increasingly important.