Monday, December 1, 2008

No Outsourcing Here: Jobs That Are Staying Put

by Kelly McCarthy,

For U.S. businesses seeking to cut costs, outsourcing is an increasingly popular practice. Jobs initially sent offshore were mostly manufacturing jobs, but nowadays employers are taking advantage of all types of cheap labor overseas.

Invest Wisely

You didn't spend years getting an education only to lose your livelihood to foreign workers. The monthly wages they earn wouldn't pay your cable bill here in the U.S. That's why it's imperative that you carefully research your chosen degree area prior to investing loads of time and money.

It Doesn't Matter What Color Your Collar Is

Blue collar, white collar -- Nearly all industries can be affected by outsourcing. Any company looking to save money is likely to investigate what savings can be had by moving some (or all) of their labor needs to a foreign country.

Is Your Career Choice Vulnerable?

When outsourcing first began, most college students and recent grads weren't concerned with whether or not their chosen industry would remain based in the U.S. Today, many workers realize they have equally educated and skilled workers competing for the same jobs overseas. To become more competitive, many now choose a career path that is firmly planted on our home turf.

Jobs That Are Here to Stay

Here are nine jobs that are not likely to be shipped oceans away (source: U.S. Department of Labor):

Dental Assistant
It's tough to clean teeth from across the world. A career as a dental assistant usually begins with an associate's degree from an accredited college or university.

Pharmacy Technician
People take their health seriously -- that's why a certification as a pharmacy tech is not likely to be outsourced.

Fitness Professional
It's hard enough to be motivated in-person. Offshore encouragement won't cut it. A career in fitness can begin with a certificate program.

Teacher Aide
Teachers need live help to care for kids. An anonymous, off-site representative just won't cut it when it comes to educating our kids.

Auto Repair Technician
Most car troubles can't be repaired with simple, over-the-phone instructions. An auto tech studies anywhere from 6 months to 2 or more years, and will always have a steady stream of live customers.

Pet Groomer
Along the lines of a dog trainer, pet grooming just must be done in person. This is usually only a certificate program.

This career depends fully on local workers -- plumbers definitely won't be phoning in from overseas to unclog your toilet.

Veterinary Assistant
A pet's health and happiness is of serious importance to most owners, and they won't be putting it in the hands of foreign workers. You can become a vet assistant by completing a certificate program.

This highly technical and hands-on job simply can't be done any other way, except live and in-person.

Original here

Microsoft, Yahoo said in talks on search deal (CNET)

According to one report, Yahoo and Microsoft may once again be working on a search deal.

The Times of London reported this weekend that Microsoft is in talks to acquire Yahoo's search business for $20 billion. According to the paper, former AOL CEO Jonathan Miller and fomer Fox Interactive President Ross Levinsohn are set to head the effort.

"Senior directors at Microsoft and Yahoo are understood to have agreed the broad terms of a deal, but there is no guarantee that it will succeed," The Times said in its report.

Microsoft declined to comment on the report. It is worth noting that as of Friday, the market capitalization of Yahoo in its entirety was just shy of $16 billion. Microsoft was once willing to pay far more to get Yahoo, but a lot has changed since the early part of the year.

Since Microsoft made its last offer for Yahoo, Yahoo and Google have announced and abandoned a search deal, Yahoo's shares have plummeted to single digits, and the company has said it would replace Jerry Yang as CEO.

In the days following the Yang announcement, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer indicated that the company was decidedly not interested in a full acquisition of Yahoo but said that some sort of search partnership remained "an interesting possibility." CNET had earlier reported Microsoft's continuing interest in such a deal.

Update:Kara Swisher of D: All Things Digital talked to Ross Levinsohn, who the Times of London said would be involved in the $20 billion deal. He told her the report was "total fiction," and sources from Yahoo and Microsoft denied such a deal was in the works. Of course, this series of denials doesn't mean that a search deal between Yahoo and Microsoft isn't a real possibility in the near future.

Original here

9 headless bodies found in Mexican border city

By MARIANA MARTINEZ, Associated Press Writer

A soldier secures the perimeter of a crime scene, background, where nine AP – A soldier secures the perimeter of a crime scene, background, where nine decapitated bodies were founded …

TIJUANA, Mexico – The bodies of nine decapitated men were found in a vacant lot in Tijuana Sunday, part of a wave of violence that claimed at least 23 lives over the weekend in this border city plagued by warring traffickers, authorities said.

The heads were discovered in plastic bags near the bodies in a poor neighborhood of Tijuana, across from San Diego, Baja California state police said in a statement. Three police identification cards were also found at the site.

The statement gave no motive for the killings, but they came as Mexico's drug cartels wage a bloody fight for smuggling routes and against government forces, dumping beheaded bodies onto streets, carrying out massacres and even tossing grenades into a crowd of Independence Day revelers — an attack that killed eight people in September.

More than 4,000 people have died so far this year in drug-related violence in Mexico.

Across Tijuana on Sunday, attacks by gunmen killed five people in addition to the nine beheaded bodies.

State police said nine more people were killed in attacks on Saturday. In one, gunmen killed a 4-year-old child in an attack on a grocery store.

Baja California has suffered a rising wave of homicides, which officials blame on a struggle between rival cells of the Arellano-Felix drug cartel.

The Arellano Felix cartel emerged in the 1980s as a drug trafficking powerhouse across the U.S. border from San Diego, but has been weakened in recent years as leaders were killed or captured.

Last month, police arrested Eduardo Arellano Felix, the alleged leader of the cartel. Authorities say his nephew, Luis Fernando Sanchez Arellano, has taken over the cartel's operations and is fighting contenders.

President Felipe Calderon on Sunday vowed his government would never negotiate with drug lords no matter how much the violence escalates.

Since taking office on Dec. 1, 2006, Calderon has sent more than 20,000 soldiers to battle drug trafficking across Mexico, helping to seize of 70 tons of cocaine and 3,700 tons of marijuana, he said.

"We know that the results are far from what society demands, but that's why we'll keep fighting these criminals across the country," Calderon told a meeting on Sunday marking his first two years in office.

Original here