May 20, 2016: Friday News Roundup

Hope everyone had a great week. It’s time to sit back and soak up some news about older people in the workforce, growing numbers of talented folks staying independent, and a feel-good story to wrap things up.

Why high-skilled freelancers are leaving corporate life behind
Here’s further evidence that having a rich combination of skills in different areas is more valuable than being an accomplished specialist at one thing. Those generalists are increasingly choosing to go freelance rather than in-house, posing interesting challenges around hiring.

Disproving beliefs about the economy and aging
This article dispels some common myths around older workers, such as the idea that they drag down the economy by not contributing to it or that, when they do keep working, they block younger people from job opportunities. With these misconceptions debunked, it makes good economic sense to retain older employees.

College is worth it if you have these six experiences
The debate rages on: is that diploma worth the soaring cost? A recent Gallup poll suggests the answer is a qualified yes, but being a high-performing student isn’t enough. College grads tend to thrive if they’ve formed relationships with mentors and had professors who got them excited about learning. It also helps to be involved in extracurriculars and have a job or internship that leverages the knowledge and skills they’re studying.

The languages the world is trying to learn
This is just kind of cool. You may not be surprised to see that English tops the list in many countries around the world, but what are people in predominantly English-speaking countries learning? In the U.S. and parts of Scandinavia, it’s Spanish. Elsewhere, French and German still attract the most language learners.

This 54-year-old custodian just graduated from the college he cleaned at night
Finally, meet Michael Vaudreuil, who went to work as a janitor at Worcester Polytechnic Institute in Massachusetts after his plastering business tanked in the 2008 recession. “It was about a 50 percent pay cut, the work wasn’t stimulating, but the benefits were good. He decided he would take advantage of every free benefit the school offered so it would feel like he was making more money.” This week, Michael graduated with a degree in mechanical engineering.