Archive for the ‘trade schools’ Category

McKinley Books and Music Sale This Weekend

January 16th, 2015

Friends of the Library of Hawaii is holding a three-day sale of more than 40,000 records/CDs and over 10,000 gently-used books to help support literary and public libraries throughout the islands. It will be in the McKinley High School cafeteria at 1039 S. King Street, from 9 AM until 3 PM on Sat., Jan. 17 and Sun., Jan. 18. On Martin Luther King Day, Mon., Jan. 19, they'll wrap up sales between 9 AM and 1 PM. Collectors are already planning to line up early to get first crack at possibly finding rare albums and books. Kudos to all the Friends volunteers and the Hawaii State Federal Credit Union for putting together this event!


Haven't been posting lately because my 27-inch iMac, which I love, was in the shop for a week. Mac Made Easy in Kailua diagnosed the problem and had to order a video graphics card from Texas because it's a 2009 model. Not sure if the Apple Store at Ala Moana could have fixed it sooner, but I didn't want to drive to the other side and have to lug my large screen iMac through the mall crowds. I could imagine some shopper with their eyes fixated on a cell phone walking right into me and sending my machine crashing to the ground. In Kailua, I just have to watch out for Japanese tourists on bikes crossing my path.

When I got my "old" iMac back, it was like seeing my wife after she had been gone for awhile... well, maybe not quite that emotional. But I really did miss my computer and couldn't get into writing on my tiny back-up laptop or iPad. At first, the repaired iMac seemed fine. Then a little later I noticed the right half of the screen was darker, as if covered by a shadow. I fiddled with the brightness control, moved it around, and it remained dimmer on one side. I Googled the problem, and it turns out many iMac owners reported the same glitch. They complained that Apple would not admit it was a known issue related to the 27-inch screens and was charging about $500 to repair it if not covered by warranty... which always seem to expire just before your computer goes on the fritz. In the future, I'll have to get the extended Apple Care plan I think. Sigh.

Anyhow, after shutting down the computer and rebooting, the dimming has lessened and is barely detectable. Yet it makes me wonder if Apple's famed quality control has been slipping the past couple of years. Anyone have thoughts on that?


This month's Career Changers TV episode happens to be related to computers and business education programs. We've partnered with DevLeague, a coding bootcamp, to promote what I believe is a great alternative to 4-year college computer science programs. I'm a proponent of getting a well-rounded liberal arts education -- if you can afford it, and aren't sure what you want to do for a career, that is.

But if you're interested in website design, building apps for smart devices, or becoming a startup entrepreneur in the high tech field, what you really need to know is computer coding. Nothing beats hands-on experience and small classes with guidance from professionals who know what companies are looking for in programmers and website developers. DevLeague does exactly that, and to date, they say all of their graduates have succeeded in finding employment after completing the bootcamp or their longer 24-week "part-time" program (still pretty intensive though!).

You can see that video segment on the CCTV YouTube Channel or by clicking here.

Also, we've got a sponsored story about Remington College's new Business Administration program. They consulted with local companies, big and small, who are part of their Program Advisory Committees, and revamped the biz courses into three tracks that address the needs of potential employers in Hawaii.  Their instructors have MBAs and solid real world work experience themselves -- stuff you can't learn just from text books. Here's the link to that piece.

For daily viewing times of my show, visit www.CareerChangers.TV. Have a great weekend -- and check out the McKinley Book & Music Sale if you're out and about!

Dev League Computer Coding Scholarships

April 9th, 2014

While filming our segment about the first-ever Honolulu Mini Maker Faire at Iolani School last month, I heard about Dev League's coding boot camps and introductory programs for kids who have an interest in computers. We just had a brief mention of them in the piece that's running on the current episode of Career Changers TV, but that led to Russel Cheng calling me to talk more about what they're doing... and I'm glad he did, because it's directly related to many topics we've covered on my show.

We've done a number of stories about startups, business incubators and accelerator programs, which all have one thing in common: they need people with computer coding skills to set up websites, program software and create apps for smart devices. Yet there were no intensive hands-on training programs in Hawaii to teach coding in a concentrated time span, according to Russel, until they launched Dev League's boot camps a few short months ago. He believes graduates who complete their 12-week course will have a good chance of receiving high-paying job offers from big companies that he and his partner, Jason Sewell, are working with -- and that's the key to justifying their price tag of $10,000 per student for the program.

It sounds like a lot of money... and it is, but if you compare it to college costs for courses and degrees that may not lead directly to any kind of employment in that field, it seems like a much better deal for anyone who wants a career in high tech. What's more, if coming up with the tuition is a challenge, you may be able to qualify for a scholarship or financial assistance. I'm copying excerpts from the Dev League press release below. We'll be doing a segment on them for our May episode, but you can find links to our Mini Maker Faire video on the CCTV YouTube Channel and daily viewing times for Career Changers TV by clicking here.

BTW, there's still time to sign up for their next "part-time" 26-week course,  April 28 - October 25 Wednesday & Thursday 6 - 10pm, Saturday 9am - 8pm

From Dev League's press release:

Dev League to Advance 21st Century Technology Competency in the Islands Announces Scholarships and Tuition-Assistance for Coding Courses
In its groundbreaking business initiative to bring technology competency to the Islands, Dev League today announced two scholarships: a tuition-assistance loan plan and a federally-funded workforce development program to help motivated individuals learn professional web development at its coding boot camp. Located at the Manoa Innovation Center, the 12-week program aims to ready students for jobs in entry-level web development both here in Hawaii and on the mainland.

According to LinkedIn, the top 25 hottest skills of 2013 required coding skills. Technology skills are highly valued. Web programming was number 13, right between number data engineering and algorithm design.

The Women Who Code scholarship is 25 percent off cost of tuition for a single selected applicant to a qualified female applicant. The low-income scholarship is 100 percent off cost of tuition for a single qualifying applicant. Both scholarships are sponsored by Dev League to increase diversity and opportunity in the tech industry.

Dev League’s partnership with is a tuition-assistance plan that enables applicants to finance their tuition over a term of five or 10 years based on future income. This unique loan program helps match qualified “upstart” individuals with “backers” who make offers to help fund an individual.

Oahu WorkLinks job development program enables qualified applicants up to 80 percent tuition assistance to Dev League via its federally funded job training services as part of the Workforce Investment Act program. To learn more about the scholarships, tuition-assistance programs and to apply, visit the Dev League web site at The company has posted three new courses on its web site (click here).

Dyslexia Link to Enterpreneurs

May 25th, 2012

Last week I interviewed Paul Brown, the man behind the salons, hair products and a cosmetology school that bears his name, and learned something interesting: he's dyslexic, and that was perhaps one reason he found his calling in the hair biz. As a 12-year-old boy, he started cutting his own hair and discovered that looking in the mirror made things easier. Then he began cutting his family's hair and started charging others 50 cents per haircut. Paul has come a long way since then. In addition to his six Hawaii salons, his hair care products are being sold all over the world. Just this month, over 500 T&G salons in Indonesia began selling his line.

I recalled reading about a study back in 2007 that showed 35 percent of American entrepreneurs surveyed, identified themselves as dyslexic -- compared to 1 percent of corporate managers who have dyslexia, according to an NY Times article. About 10 percent of the general population has dyslexia, which ties into my 10 Percent Theory column I wrote awhile back for the old Star-Bulletin (click here for that piece).

Paul said he was quite aware of that study, and believes there is something to the idea that people with dyslexia compensate by becoming their own boss. Dyslexia is defined as having problems with the "visual notation of speech" -- such as transposing letters or numbers, and having trouble reading or writing certain words. To get around that, they tend to delegate more tasks to others, which frees them up to deal with bigger problems and ideas. Here's a Businessweek piece about a HBO documentary on the subject that aired last year.

An Inc. magazine article noted that Richard Branson, Charles Schwab, Ted Turner, and Cisco CEO John Chambers have the disorder. Henry Ford also had dyslexia. Click here for that link. Our segment on Paul and the Paul Brown Institute at Remington College won't begin airing until June 7, but you can still catch our current episode this weekend and throughout next week on OC16.

For daily viewing times and other useful career-related links, visit www.CareerChangers.TV -- and check out videos from past and present episodes on the CCTV YouTube Channel. Have a nice Memorial Day weekend, and please take a moment to reflect on the meaning of the holiday. Mahalo.

Best Career Options for 2011?

December 8th, 2010

U.S. News & World Report's list of "The 5o Best Careers of 2011" is out, and while the job titles are all over the map, a couple of themes seem apparent. Health care, technology, and financial services continue to be growth fields. And nearly all the positions listed require specialized college education. As it happens, the Career Changers TV show I produce has done stories on local college programs that provide training in many of these high-demand areas.

Full disclosure: colleges pay to sponsor these segments on CCTV, which also enables us to provide "free" content as well. But the testimonials we get from students, graduates and faculty are totally authentic. The for-profit schools we feature, such as Remington College and Argosy University, take a great deal of pride in their programs and are proud of their success stories. However, on the Mainland there have been other for-profit institutions that have come under scrutiny for promising more than they could deliver, and for the amount of federal money they receive through student loan programs.

What I've seen locally though, is schools that offer career-specific training and education are filling a real need in Hawaii. They make a concerted effort to line up internships and job interviews for their students, which often does lead to employment. Colleges like Remington have also done their homework on projected job demand, so it's no surprise that they asked us to do stories on programs that correspond to the U.S. News Top 50 Careers list. If you watch CCTV or visit our YouTube Channel, you'll see we've done pieces on Massage Therapy and Medical Assisting programs, which are both on the list. So is Marriage and Family Therapy counseling, a program that Argosy offers (click on hot-linked words to view videos).

I think a 2011 "hot jobs" list for Hawaii would be somewhat different because of our heavy dependence on tourism. If the overall economy is picking up, travel should continue to rebound and that may bode well for service sector jobs. But will there be more openings in marketing, management and executive level positions for the travel industry? Hard to say because there's been so much consolidation going on in that field.

It seems evident that our aging population base will also create more job opportunities in the health care field, and services related to assisting the elderly in everything from housing to basic needs and recreation. That's a topic we'll be covering in future CCTV episodes, so if you have a biz that caters to senior citizens, I'd like to hear from you -- shoot me an email at to pitch your story!

I'm cautiously optimistic about the economy improving next year. Two years ago, it looked like we might be heading for a Great Depression. The past year has been tough and job creation is still lagging. But with Hawaii hosting the Asian Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit in November, Disney opening the Aulani Resort in Ko Olina next fall, and all the media exposure our state will be getting through Hawaii Five-O and movies that will be released next year, there are good reasons to believe better days are ahead for us.

Today's relevant links:

U.S. News & World Report 50 Best Careers for 2011

Huffington Post 13 Great Careers for College Grads

Career Changers TV viewing schedule and CCTV YouTube Channel videos from past shows, which includes segments on college programs at Remington, Argosy, Chaminade and Heald.

Trade Schools Get National Scrutiny

March 15th, 2010

A week ago, I wrote about "Public Versus Private Colleges" and noted how I anticipated that many people would enroll in schools to bolster skills because of the weak economy. On March 13, the NY Times ran a lengthy article headlined, "The New Poor: In Hard Times, Lured Into Trade School and Debt." Then in today's Advertiser op-ed pages, there was an interesting piece about the need for vocational training in Hawaii's high schools. (Links at end of post.)

In my blog post I questioned whether the traditional four-year liberal arts college approach was adequately preparing graduates for jobs in the real world. I admitted I was skeptical of for-profit colleges and trade schools, but after visiting Heald and interviewing both administrators and graduates, came away with a positive impression of what they had to offer. In the comments section, I also mentioned how there used to be vocational high schools back in New Jersey when I was living there in the 1970s.

The NYT article focused on ITT Technical Institute, the Le Cordon Bleu culinary school, and online college programs like Phoenix University. It didn't refer to Heald or Remington, the two for-profit colleges that are best known in Hawaii. According to the Times, a huge chunk of the tuition payments are being made through federal loans and Pell grants for lower income people. What's alarming is many graduates are not finding decent jobs, which means the loans will never be repaid... and yes, the taxpayers ultimately get stuck with the debt.

However, in the NYT comments section, many readers pointed out that you could make the same statements about public colleges and elite private universities. All schools say the key to getting better paying jobs is education. But there are no guarantees that getting a degree from UH or Harvard, while racking up debt on college loans, will necessarily result in landing the job you hoped for. You still have to put in the work, and get experience somewhere.

Let me be clear about one thing: Heald is NOT an online diploma mill. Their instructors take great pride in working closely with students and providing hands-on training. What's distressing about the NYT comments were online college teachers who said they were told to pass everyone, or they would be fired. So, caveat emptor -- let the buyer beware. The same goes for massage and culinary schools that promise more than they can deliver. As one commenter wrote, you can learn more about cooking by asking to assist in a top restaurant kitchen for free, rather than pay $40,000 to take classes from a mediocre chef. Learn by doing, in other words.

Which brings me to the Advertiser op-ed piece by David S. Matsumoto, a retired Japan Airlines regional exec. He presents a good case for making vocational education a bigger part of Hawaii's high school curriculum. As my wife pointed out, in Japan you were expected to do long apprenticeships before you became a sushi master or swordmaker. In this country, people used to become apprentices too before hanging up their carpenter or plumber shingle... now it's Donald Trump who has turned apprenticeships into a reality TV show gimmick. Sigh.

What do you think? Is it time we go back to some of the old ways to better prepare young people for the jobs that are in demand today?

Today's relevant links:

NY Times article on trade schools (comments at bottom worth reading too).

Advertiser commentary on vocational training.

My prior blog post on public versus private colleges. link for show times and YouTube Channel videos.