General Motors Corp. announced in late November 2005 that it will close 9 of its United States auto manufacturing plants as well as three assembly-related plants which includes one location in Canada. Ford Motor Co. followed suit in early December 2005 announcing it is considering the shutdown of up to 8 of its U.S. manufacturing plants, including engine and assembly operations, with one in Mexico. Americans are well familiar with the downsizing, outsourcing and offshoring of the U.S. manufacturing base which has seen 2/3 of its jobs lost in the past 20 years, having been traded in for third world cheap labor. And while white-collar workers have hardly been immune from offshoring practices infiltrating boardrooms, indication this week is that the tide has changed.

Both the Intel Corp., the world’s largest computer chip manufacturer, as well as J.P. Morgan Chase & Co., one of the world’s largest financial institutions and 2nd largest in the U.S., are investing in creating new jobs in India over the next few years rather than in the U.S. Different in prior offshoring scenarios, however, is that back-office jobs such as investment banking, software engineering and research and development, previously occupied by American workers, will now originate from India as well.

J.P. Morgan plans to locate 1/3 of its investment banking and support staff in Bangalore, India by the end of 2007. It will double the amount of its employees by hiring 4,500 graduates over the next two years. 3,000 of the new hires will work in investment banking with 1,500 providing support in its retail and commercial banking operations. There are presently 4,500 employees in front-office staff positions in Mumbai, India.

With only 200 on staff in India just two years ago, in order to achieve their latest goal, J.P. Morgan will hire between 300-400 graduates a month in order to have 9,000 total positions in front and back-office positions by 2008, which includes complex derivatives settlements and structured finance transactions. The remaining approximately 4,000 – 4,500 employees J.P. Morgan employs will be divided between Bournemouth, England and New York, NY, although the ratio between both countries was not disclosed.

Similarly, Intel will invest $1.1 billion in India over the next 5 years, with $800 million dedicated specifically for research and development operations and other projects including chip design, also in Bangalore, according to Chairman Craig Barrett. Although Intel will also explore expanding its manufacturing prospects in India, its present investment will largely be for more complex high-value work as opposed to just technical support and call-center jobs, which most IT firms offshore today.

Other firms following this latest trend are Cisco Systems, the world’s largest maker of internet equipment, which announced in October 2005 that it would invest $1.1 billion in India, tripling its work force to more than 4,000 from 1,400 in the next three years. It too will have research and development located in Bangalore. And it is likely that more of the banking industry will soon follow J.P. Morgan’s lead such as Goldman Sachs & Co. which may double its staff to 1,500 in Bangalore.

Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates is expected to invest $400 million in Hyderabad, India where he plans to hire several hundred workers. Gates has been outspoken, with his statement in April 2005, citing that there were not enough U.S. college students majoring in computer science, and thus wants to expand the H1B Visa program, allowing more foreign workers to come to the U.S. But critics believe that Gates and other industry executives are not being honest in their assessments, to wit, the banking industry’s India strategy which is hiring finance graduates and not computer science graduates in expanse of their industry.

In fact, consultants such as Stefan Spohr of AT Kearney estimate that investment banks could raise their staff levels in India to as much as 20% in the next few years. Since salaries in India are 70-80% lower than in the U.S., with total costs about 40% lower than in the U.S., the trend of offshoring will no longer exist. Rather, jobs will now originate from India and totally bypass the U.S.

Disputing the fact that there are not enough quality candidates, for example, in the computing engineering field, is the change in the way in which U.S. engineers are hired. Candidates are not only competing with their peers but also with the fear that they will be replaced by either imported foreign workers or offshore workers, even after they are hired.

Companies are directly contributing to the supposed engineering shortage themselves by requiring that an applicant meet every item on a detailed list of qualifications. Transfer of like-skills is a long lost concept. With approximately 200 responses for every job listing, companies have the luxury to hold out until they get the perfect candidate, as job cuts in technology positions are up 20% in the past year, according to Challenger, Challenger, Gray & Christmas. The unemployment rate for computer programmers and engineers is higher than the national average which does not reflect those who remain unemployed in Silicon Valley as they no longer register for unemployment benefits, nor those who were forced to move on to other careers.

According to Veronique Weill, head of operations at J.P. Morgan’s investment banking division, “The quality of the people we hire is extraordinary and their level of loyalty to the company unbeatable,” when referring to the hiring of employees in India. Funny, but that’s what used to be said about American workers. Perhaps the American worker’s biggest error was requiring a decent wage for quality work done. And others would argue that maybe it was their expecting U.S. companies would prefer them over foreign labor. Tragically, greed, under the guise of a global economy was the error, committed not by U.S. workers but by U.S. CEO’s, and condoned by the U.S. government.

Copyright (c) 2005 Diane M. Grassi

The career of finance is very broad and diverse. You can enter into banking, mortgage brokering, accounting, insurance, or securities, just to name a few. Just like the career field, your finance education can be just as varied. To help get you started, some tips on how to pursue a career in finance are listed below.

Some career aspects of finance can be very competitive, so it is a must to have at least a bachelor’s when entering the field. However, before you enroll in a degree program, you must do some soul searching to determine which financial track best interests you. This will ensure you choose the best program for your needs. You can major in accounting, finance, economics, or statistics, just to name a few.

Some degree programs will require that you perform an internship. If your college or university does not, then try to get a internship or summer position on your own. There are many part-time entry-level positions like bank tellers, call center representative, and accounting clerk.

While a graduate degree is not a necessity to enter the field, it will typically be necessary as your progress in your career. If you are already a working professional, check with your human resources department. Generally, companies will help pay for your advanced education.

Finance is a field that can correspond to all personalities and types of people because it is a combination of science, business, and creativity. Even with the current economic condition, there are currently many jobs open in the industry.

A lot of women dream of pursuing a college degree but financial worries have prevented them from fulfilling that dream. With that in mind, the Obama administration has instituted a scholarship program that grants up to $10,000 scholarships to women, especially mothers.

President Obama understands that money is the main hindrance that stops many women from getting a college degree. With the $10,000 scholarship grant, mothers can go back to school and earn a college degree. They can also use the money to help pay for their daily living expenses like food, rent and utilities. They can even use it to pay for daycare for their kids while they are in school.

For mothers who do not want to leave their kids at daycare centers, they have the option of taking their courses online. Taking an online course is not a problem these days because a lot of universities now offer such programs. This will give mothers the freedom to study at home without having to worry about who is taking care of their kids. They can take care of their kids and at the same time earn a college degree within the comfort of their own home.

Women now have the chance to pursue a college degree without having to worry about finances and their kids’ welfare. The best thing about President Obama’s scholarship program for women is that you don’t have to pay it back. All you have to do is apply for the scholarship program, so send as many applications as you possibly can. The sooner you start sending in your applications, the better your chances are.

Interested in finance and insurance (F&I)? Love cars? Looking for a way to merge the two into a long-lasting and fulfilling career in the automotive industry? It’s time to consider a career in auto sales and F&I management. Now is a great time to invest in F&I training, which can provide everything you need to succeed in this career. That means you will acquire excellent leadership and communication skills and have the expertise required to handle the financial and legal aspects of a sales transaction.

Automotive Business Manager programs are designed to teach the skills required to oversee the financial and legal aspects of the automotive industry. Students in these automotive training programs are trained in finance and lease options, sale of after-market products and the use of specialized software.

Becoming an F&I manager means you will be in the center of the action. It also means you will have a direct impact on profitability and be rewarded accordingly. Need another reason to invest in F&I manager? Job Futures 2000 predicts that more than one-third of all jobs created in Canada will require a skilled trade designation or a college diploma.

What about the extensive restructuring of the automotive industry? There has been a lot of change, but the automotive industry remains one of the world’s largest and most important business sectors. Moreover, a surge in demand is expected as consumers make purchases that would normally have been made in the last two years and additional demand is created by increases in population, new consumer offerings and improved manufacturing technology. Employment prospects for automotive sales and F&I management are good for the following reasons:

  • A growing shortage of well trained individuals to fill sales occupations
  • Service Canada predicts there will be strong demand for qualified candidates in Sales and Service, Business, Finance and Administration “because this sector will account for more than 45% of all retirements over the next five years.”
  • Significant worldwide growth within the automotive industry

You know what happens when demand for a specific job goes up. Salaries also go up. That’s exactly what is happening for F&I Professionals. Key elements of F&I training programs can include the following areas of study:

  • Business Manager’s Role in the Dealership
  • Financial Institutions and Their Requirements
  • Getting the Contracts Purchased
  • Credit Reporting Overview
  • Understanding Credit Scores and Risks
  • Reading Credit Reports
  • Prequalification Using Credit Reports
  • Cash Conversions
  • Bank Conversions
  • Use a Customer-Friendly, Aggressive F&I Process
  • Qualify Your Customer, Use The Right Words
  • Product Knowledge
  • Effective Selling Techniques
  • Menu Selling Leasing Skills and Techniques