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Employment and Academics

Employment and Academics

EMPLOYMENT
The Internet is a great resource to explore jobs before you relocate. Because of the large amount of high tech and governmental activity in and around south central New Jersey, there are good jobs to be found. Search tools like http://www.monster.com,  http://www.job.com,  http://www.Lipdog.com, http://www.careersingovernment.com,  http://www.indeed.com,  and http://www.careerbuilder.com,  are excellent starting points.

Many job sites offer advice on how to format your resume to maximize your job search online. But while online “Googling” can give you a feel for available jobs, nothing replaces a face-to-face interview. Plan on scheduling a trip to the area to confirm your job before you make the big move. In addition, since many locations in south central New Jersey are within commuting distance to Philadelphia, Camden and New York City, including these areas in your job search might maximize your chances to find the best fit for your skills.

ACADEMICS
Finding a school
The New Jersey Department of Education (http://www.nj.gov/nj/education) provides very detailed information regarding all schools and universities within New Jersey. The schools are categorized within one of four possibilities: Pre-school, Kindergarten through 12th Grade, Colleges and Universities and Vocational Schools.

You can also access the New Jersey School Report Card (state law requires the annual release of this information for each school) at http://education.state.nj.us/rc that covers student performance indicators, district finances, school environment and staff.

Choosing a school
Choosing a school for your child is a very important decision and research should be done before making a final decision. An often overlooked way to locate a new school is by talking to people in the neighborhood you have decided to live. Friends and neighbors that are already established in the area can be very helpful when it comes time for you to place your child in school.

Personal school visits
If the school that you are investigating shows promise, schedule a visit. Be prepared to follow up with more interviews and an evaluation of your child. Bring a list of written questions and be sure to ask about student-teacher ratios, computer availability, extracurricular activities, sports programs, music programs and gifted programs. Do not be afraid to ask how students are graded and how these results are reported.

After all of your research is done, talk to your child about the schools you like. Ask your children what they liked about the schools and what they didn’t like. Your family’s ability to readily adapt to a move and to find happiness in your new home may depend, in part, on how happy your children are in their new school.

Many families are turning to private schools for the education of their children. If you feel that a private school is more to your liking, the New Jersey Department of Education Web site (http://www.nj.gov/nj/education) contains information on those options as well. Keep in mind that although a good private school can cost thousands of dollars each year, some may offer scholarships. Be sure to check if your child meets any of the requirements for financial assistance before settling on a private school.

Higher education
Investigate universities, colleges and other higher learning options at the New Jersey Department of Education Web site (http://www.nj.gov/nj/education). A college degree can create many opportunities that would otherwise be unavailable without continued formal education. Many adults attend college while working full-time jobs or serving in the military.

When looking at colleges and universities, there are several important factors to keep in mind:
• Tuition: Education costs money, and the cost is increasing every year. When enrolling in school, research what scholarships and grants you are eligible for. Many schools also offer a work study program to help offset the cost of tuition. Talk to a guidance counselor at the school you wish to attend to see what programs are available to you, also visit http://www.studentaid.ed.gov to apply for federal student aid. If you are not able to get a grant or scholarship you may have to take a loan out from a lending institution to cover the expense of school.

• Credits: If you have attended a college or university before, find out if your college credits will transfer to the new school. If this is your Vrst year, know what you need to complete your degree and make sure you take classes that advance you towards your ultimate goal. Meeting the basic requirements for a degree is costly in time and money; have an educational plan worked out to help you manage both.

• Time: Two things that all degrees have in common are that it takes time and commitment to obtain one. Learning to manage your time between school, work and family is one of the hardest lessons you will learn while you attend college. It may seem like you are being pulled in several directions at once and it is easy to get frustrated. Make sure you schedule time for recreational activities to keep your stress level down.

• Studying: There will be a lot of subjects that you will need to study each semester. To make the most out of your time in college, it is a good idea to practice productive study habits. Find a system that works well for you and implement it into each subject you are taking. If you lack study habits or are having issues, talk to a guidance counselor for advice.

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