5 Ways to Make 2022 Your Best Financial Year Yet

5 Ways to Make 2022 Your Best Financial Year Yet

“I want to eat healthier.”

“I’m going to exercise more.”

“I want to spend more time with my family this year.”

New Year’s resolutions often revolve around physical health and close relationships. But have you thought about your finances?

According to a study done in 2018, money issues generate more stress for the average American than work or personal relationships. And after two years of a global pandemic, cumulative American household debt has reached $14.6 trillion. But you don’t have to be part of these gloomy statistics! The tips below can help you make 2022 your best financial year yet.

5 Ways to Make 2022 Your Best Financial Year Yet

 

1. Lose the unnecessary extras.
Take a few weeks and track where your money is going. (You can do this with apps like Mint or Goodbudget.) Do you see any patterns? What qualifies as unnecessary spending, and what can you do to fix it? Below are some common unnecessary expenses that really build up over time:

  • Subscriptions you don’t use regularly (How many TV subscriptions do you have?)
  • Coffee and fast food (Can you meal prep and/or make your coffee at home?)
  • Pricey bills and insurance (Is there a better cell phone plan or insurance policy?)

2. Set a budget and stick to it.

Apps like Goodbudget and Mint are great tools for creating a budget, but they aren’t required! Even if your budget starts out as simply planning for bills, groceries, and savings, that’s a great place to start. Limiting your entertainment and restaurant spending to only a certain amount per month can make a big difference as well. Design a budget that is reasonable for your lifestyle and easy to follow, and you’ll be able to stick to it.

3. Get creative with your income.

Need more money per month? Start a side hustle! You don’t have to be an expert entrepreneur to utilize your skills and hobbies for extra income.

  • Sell art and other creations on Etsy
  • Offer landscaping/yard work to neighbors or local businesses
  • Take up house cleaning

If you’re short on time, you might be able to crush some debt by selling your unused items on eBay or holding a yard sale. Assorted items like treadmills, bridesmaid dresses, or extra furniture typically fetch a good price.

4. Start thinking about retirement.

Saving for retirement can be an extremely daunting topic, but don’t let that scare you off! If you’re an employee, start by talking to your employer or HR department about 401(k) plans. Ask about company match options to make sure you’re getting the maximum benefit possible. If you’re self-employed or if your company doesn’t offer a contribution plan, traditional IRAs and Roth IRAs are good options because of their tax benefits. You can read more about these and a variety of other retirement plan options here.

5. Talk to an expert.

Knowledge is power! Get in touch with a financial planner, read books about budgeting and investing, or make an appointment at your personal bank. You’re more likely to meet your financial goals with the help of an expert.

 

If you are a technology professional looking to connect to organizations that value you as you are and the unique experiences you bring, click HERE to apply to work with a MinTech Agency recruiter and land your dream job! 

Top Software Engineering Courses to Take in 2022

Top Software Engineering Courses to Take in 2022

The world is changing, and so is the demand for software developers. By next year, we can expect to see a shift in technology with artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning, and blockchain taking center stage. Software engineers will need to keep up with these advancements in order to stay relevant within the industry. So if you’re looking for career advice or just want some ideas on where to start your professional development journey, this blog post might be helpful! Here is a list of top courses that could help you get started:

Artificial Intelligence Graduate Program

This course, offered by the Stanford School of Engineering, is designed to provide the fundamentals and advanced skills of AI, including logic, knowledge, representation, probabilistic models, and machine learning. Among the prerequisites are programming experience in C++, linear algebra, statistics, and probability, as well as a Bachelor’s degree.

  • Experience Level: Intermediate
  • Certification: Yes (considered a Graduate Certificate)
  • Financial Aid Available: N/A
  • Approx. Time for Completion: 1-2 years average. 3 years maximum to complete

Blockchain: Foundations and Use Cases

This course, offered by Consensys Academy through Coursera, serves as an introduction to blockchain technology for both developers and non-developers. Aside from learning about what the technology comprises, you’ll also learn about the philosophy of blockchain and decentralization. This course will explore beyond bitcoin and into Ethereum and what modern blockchains can do.

  • Experience Level: Beginner
  • Certification: Yes 
  • Financial Aid Available: N/A
  • Approx. Time for Completion: 10 hours to complete

Become a Machine Learning Engineer by Kaggle – AWS 

The course is offered through Udacity in partnership with AWS. By the end of the course, you will have mastered the skills needed to become a successful ML engineer. Using Amazon SageMaker, learn the data science and machine learning skills required to develop and deploy machine learning models. Prerequisites include basic knowledge of machine learning algorithms and Python Programming.

  • Experience Level: Intermediate
  • Certification: Yes (Nanodegree)
  • Financial Aid Available: N/A
  • Approx. Time for Completion: 5 Months

So what does the future of software development in ten years look like? Artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning, and blockchain, and developers who are able to keep pace with these advancements will thrive. If you’re looking for career advice or just want some ideas on where to start your professional development journey, be sure to follow our blog; we’ll have more tips coming soon.

If you are a technology professional looking to connect to organizations that value you as you are and the unique experiences you bring, click HERE to apply to work with a MinTech Agency recruiter and land your dream job! 

Tips For Women In Tech: Juggling Family, Career, and Self-Care

Tips For Women In Tech: Juggling Family, Career, and Self-Care

COVID-19 has radically changed the working landscape in America. While working from home offers benefits such as protection from potentially contracting COVID-19 in the office and reduced transportation costs, it also brings about unprecedented challenges — specifically for working women. 

According to TrustRadius’ annual report that surveyed the impact of COVID-19 on professional women in tech, “women in tech are 1.6x as likely to be laid-off or furloughed than men.” In addition, women are still expected to assume a large part of the child care responsibility, and thus are “nearly 1.5 times as likely as men to report feeling a greater childcare burden due to COVID-19.” 

To avoid the effects of COVID-19 burnout, continue reading for helpful tips you can begin implementing in your professional and personal life to feel less stressed. 

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Tip #1: Manage Expectations 

Routines are superb for accomplishing goals and sticking to habits. However, when you are juggling your career, your children, and personal care, strict deadlines and routines may go out the door faster than you think. Carve in an extra 10-15 minutes in between your important tasks of the day and allow yourself the space to be flexible. 

Tip #2: Set Clear Boundaries at Work

Now more than ever, checking Slack notifications during lunch time and answering late-night client emails in bed has become the norm. However, these habits can leave you feeling depleted and burned out.

If you find yourself working outside of normal office hours on a consistent basis, make it clear to your employer that unless it’s an emergency, you will be logging off at a certain time. Your employer does not need to know the specifics and if he/she objects, consider having a conversation about ways to streamline the work during the day or shuffling some tasks to other members of the team. 

Tip #3: Get Your Endorphins Pumping

Move your body throughout the day! Just 30 minutes of daily exercise can have a significant impact on reducing stress levels and raising your endorphins (the “feel good” hormones). If you can’t block out a chunk of time to workout, consider investing in a standing desk or a seated bicycle to keep you active during extra-long Zoom calls. 

Tip #4: Ask for Help

According to CNBC.com, symptoms of burnout can often manifest themselves in wanting to be alone. While quiet time for introspection is a great way of reducing stress levels, consider tapping into your support system and reaching out to friends, family, or neighbors to help alleviate feelings of stress or loneliness. 

Download and save on your desktop or phone for a reminder:).

March-blog-juggling-family

A final note on being a woman who works from home…

You’re doing amazing things with your career and the fact that you’re able to work from home, take care of the family, and have other obligations is astounding. If you haven’t heard it before, you are great, validated, and we love to see you thrive!

If you are a technology professional looking to connect to organizations that value your diverse background and the unique experiences you bring, click HERE to apply to work with a MinTech Agency recruiter and land your dream job!  

Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in March 2021 and has been completely revamped and updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness.

Negotiating the Salary You Want

Negotiating the Salary You Want

Negotiating salaries or asking for a raise can be daunting. This is especially true for people who identify with minority groups and/or women of color (WOC). Research from the University of Virginia Darden School of Business shows that college-educated black men earn 20 percent less than college-educated white men, and the gap is 8 percent for college-educated women. Additional findings from this study revealed that participants who were racially biased expected black job seekers to be less likely to negotiate as compared to their white counterparts.

Therefore, it is critical to enter salary negotiations prepared. If you’re ready to take the next steps, MinTech Agency has put together 4 tips for prospective hires and current employees to ace their salary negotiations. 

Negotiating Your Salary as a Prospective Hire

Tip #1: What Are You Worth? 

Before entering any salary negotiation, survey the pay landscape for your specific industry and job title. With up-to-date information on the average pay someone in your position receives, you can be confident in knowing your salary negotiations are backed up by industry statistics. 

Tip #2: Prepare Yourself for Resistance

Once you’ve received a job offer from your hiring manager, take pride in the fact that you have presented yourself as a potentially valuable asset to the team or organization. That being said, salary negotiations can often be tense environments that new employees may be afraid or not willing to enter into. However, it’s all part of the game

According to the Harvard Business Review, “You need to prepare for questions and issues that would put you on the defensive, make you feel uncomfortable, or expose your weaknesses. Your goal is to answer honestly without looking like an unattractive candidate—and without giving up too much bargaining power.” 

negotiating-the-salary-you-want

Negotiating Your Salary as a Current Employee

Tip #1: Assess Your Accomplishments 

Before entering salary negotiations, inventory the accomplishments you have achieved during your employment. When your employers see the value add of your work to the organization, they are more likely to see the validity behind your ask. According to Glassdoor.com, “Your salary is more than a deposit to your bank account: it’s how your company shows you that they appreciate your work and value you and your skills.”  

Tip #2: Consult Your Peers or Career Advisors

In addition to researching the average pay for your current job title in your industry, it is beneficial to consult with career advisors in your field. Human resources may also be a valuable asset in helping you to determine the perks and benefits of your job, and who can communicate your desires for a pay rise to your supervisors. 

A final note on negotiating your salary…

Not every negotiation will result in a salary increase. If you ever come across a situation where the company will not negotiate salary, and you truly want to work with this company, consider negotiating other aspects of your job offer. For example, more time off, flexibility in your schedule (remote versus flex/hybrid schedule), or you just walk. The great thing about having the power of negotiation in your hands is that you are in control.

If you are a technology professional looking to connect to organizations that value your diverse background and the unique experiences you bring, click HERE to apply to work with a MinTech Agency recruiter and land your dream job!  

Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in February 2021 and has been completely revamped and updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness.

Should you consider getting a second degree for your tech career?

Should you consider getting a second degree for your tech career?

If you are looking to boost your tech career by getting a second degree and don’t know why doing this would help you, be sure to keep reading this article!

Today, many specialties opportunities are rising in the tech industry. This is something that did not happen some years ago, as the educational field usually offered few degree options.

However, with the tech industry leveraging up pretty fast, getting a second degree may sound like a good opportunity for tech professionals to enhance their careers, change paths or find more job opportunities in other tech-related fields.

Should you consider getting a second degree for your tech career

How to choose your second degree? 

Before deciding which path to pursue, it’s essential to consider some things like:  

  • Your goals. When choosing a second degree, having clear goals about what you want to achieve is crucial to trace an educational path that it’s really worth for you. Therefore, define your goals properly before taking any steps. 
  • Your time. Consider how much time you have available to dedicate to it. 
  • The area of expertise you want to get in. Before choosing, also evaluate the market and opportunities in the new specialty you are seeking to enroll in. This way, you can verify if it’s really worth it. 

Degree options for tech professionals 

Check out some degree options you can pursue in your new specialty! 

Computer Science 

A computer science degree usually offers graduate and undergraduate degrees, meaning you can enroll in bachelor’s or master’s programs depending on your goals.  

In these programs, students can explore many fields like:  

  • Artificial Intelligence; 
  • Software Engineering; 
  • Software Development; 
  • Game Design and Development, among others. 

Educational Technology 

This field of expertise provides graduate-seekers the opportunity to contribute to the learning system in regard to technology studies.  

Professionals in this field can enroll in master’s degrees and search for job opportunities in educational, business, and other areas, in positions like: 

  • Consultant; 
  • Computer Instructor; 
  • Course Designer; 
  • Corporate Training; 
  • Project Manager, etc.  

Electrical and Computer Engineering 

This is a fundamental area of expertise in today’s world, and the students seeking a second degree in this field can find job opportunities as: 

  • Hardware Design Engineers; 
  • Project Engineers; 
  • System Engineers; 
  • Circuits Engineers; 
  • Controls Engineers, etc. 

An undergraduate degree will probably be required in this field. 

Information Systems 

Information Systems is a broad sector that deals with many issues related to the IT field. The degree-seeker can find job opportunities in the educational, business, government, and other areas. Some positions are: 

  • Systems analysts; 
  • Computer Programmers; 
  • Computer Support Specialists; 
  • Consultants, etc. 

Library Science and Information Studies 

This is a more unusual line of work in the tech field. However, many tech professionals are searching to enroll in a master’s degree in this field to explore studies like content management, chief information officer, library systems, and application development, among others.  

Master of Business Administration (MBA) 

MBA degrees can offer career paths in areas like marketing, management, finances, and administration. This can be a great opportunity for tech professionals who seek positions in the business field.  

Job opportunities are: 

  • Market Research Analysts; 
  • Chief Executive; 
  • Training and Development Manager; 
  • Financial Manager, etc. 

Techno-MBA 

Techno-MBA degrees gather a traditional MBA degree with the IT field and offer more high-demand job opportunities to tech professionals seeking to enroll in sectors like innovation, transformation, digital strategies, IT design, telecommunications, etc. 

Computer Animation, Graphics, and Multimedia 

These areas of expertise involve positions related to creativity, such as web productions and TV. Professionals in this field are responsible for creating visual pieces, computer graphics, animation, and visual effects. It offers bachelor’s and master’s degrees.   

Telecommunications 

In Telecommunications, the tech professional can explore fields like the Internet of Things, wireless networks, communications systems, and more. Tech professionals can enroll in advanced degree programs and find jobs positions like: 

  • Data analyst; 
  • Computer programmer; 
  • Systems manager, etc. 

Now that you know some possibilities and career paths, you are ready to take the next step in your tech career and enroll in a second-degree program to boost your skills!  

And if you like this content, be sure to keep following our blog for more!  

If you are a technology professional looking to connect to organizations that value your diverse background and the unique experiences you bring, click HERE to apply to work with a MinTech Agency recruiter and land your dream job!