Get Smart

#Smartypants Trends for 2018

GetSmart 0818

August 2018 Issue
By Suzanne Eisinger

Eleanor Roosevelt, first lady, social activist, and ultimate #smartypants once said, “Happiness is not a goal; it is a by-product.” Happiness cannot be pursued on its own; it is a by-product of a lifetime of choices and, yes, a little luck, too.

Since most of us havent figured out how to create our own luck yet, the next best thing is to make smart decisions for the future. Career, money, fitness and recreation are just some of the building blocks for a happy, healthy life.

So, let’s make the process a little easier by learning about 
the newest smarty pants trends of 2018.

In its list of the 100 Best Jobs of 2018, US News and World Report looked at jobs that paid well, offered opportunities for challenge and advancement, provided a healthy work-life balance, and had good projected job growth. Not surprisingly, the healthcare professions took 20 of the top 25 spots on the list. Why? The aging population, coupled with changes in the way health care is delivered, has created an enormous market for not only providers of healthcare, but also the myriad positions that help support that infrastructure (medical records, medical imaging and repair, etc). The result: Healthcare jobs are expected to grow 18 percent by 2026.

Technology is another winner. With our society so heavily dependent on information, professionals skilled in the ability to analyze data to solve problems are in great demand.  Hot careers included software developer, IT managers, information security analysts, and engineers.

This information is not new to our local post-secondary schools.  According to Leigh Copeland, Assistant VP of Marketing and PR at Technical College of the Lowcountry, there is a “skills gap” both nationally and in the South, meaning there aren’t enough skilled workers to fill available positions in many fields. To combat this, TCL works with local business leaders to develop the most relevant programs for its students. Right now, that means the health sciences, computers/technology, and technical careers such as surveying and civil engineering. The result: A 94 percent placement rate for graduates. Check out their link for degrees that pay,

Leta Salazar, Director of Career Services at USCB, suggests an additional reason these careers are in high demand is they are less vulnerable to outsourcing (e.g., try replacing a nurse).  According to Salazar, USCB graduates with four-year degrees in computational science, hospitality management, business administration and nursing had the highest placement rates after graduation, (i.e., they found a job or were accepted to graduate programs).

Banking & Finance: 
Online banking, which allows customers to manage accounts and pay bills via computer, has been an industry mainstay for two decades. However, with 77 percent of all Americans (and 92 percent of 19 to 29 year olds) now owning smartphones, it’s time to swipe over to the digital age. Customers can now use the ATM, pay bills, manage accounts, deposit checks, and make real time purchases, all with the use of a smartphone, tablet, or smart watch by simply downloading an app onto their device and linking it with their checking, savings, or credit card account. To deposit a check, simply log-in, snap a picture and press “deposit”. Customers can also make purchases by linking their bank account to Apple Pay, Google Pay or other mobile payment apps. Need a Gatorade after that workout but forgot your wallet? No problem, just pay the cashier with your checking account loaded smart watch.

And don’t forget about mobile texting. Customers who have questions about their bank balance or recent transactions can text their bank and receive the information back within minutes, if not seconds!

From the surge in fitness clothing and Fitbits, to the ever-expanding array of group fitness programs, it’s clear that smart fitness isn’t just about sweating it out in a gym for an hour and then calling it a day. Fitness has become a lifestyle, one in which exercise and healthy living are woven into our daily lives. Because of this, customers expect more out of their fitness routines -- intense, productive workouts, concrete feedback, and socially engaging studio settings—all with the individualized attention of a personal coach.

Enter: Orange Theory. This #smartypants group fitness program has been taking the country by storm since its launch in 2010, and was recently declared “Fastest Growing Female Owned Company” in 2017 by Forbes. Orange Theory’s newest studio just opened on Hilton Head Island in June and, according to GM and Owner Kelly Ogden, it’s a fun, energizing, and very user-friendly workout. Employing high intensity interval training, classes are taught by trained coaches who work with each participant to achieve the most effective workout possible. The rationale is simple: Using a combination of treadmill, water rowing machines, and floor exercises (e.g., weights and TRX straps), participants attempt to work at 84 percent or more of their maximum heart rate for a total of 12-20 minutes. This is known as the ‘orange zone’ and has been shown to produce after-burn effects for 24 to 36 hours following the workout. To accurately assess their progress, participants wear heart-rate monitors, which project their current heart rate on an overhead display. Afterwards, participants receive a summary of their workout, including how many minutes were spent in the top heart rate zones, calories burned, and ‘splat points’ (that’s a good thing). Classes are offered 7 days a week and the first class is free.

Recreation and Fun:
What’s not to love about the Lowcountry? Beaches, golf, tennis, and boating are just a few mainstays for visitors and locals alike. But, according to the travel and leisure industry, Americans are getting smarter about the way they spend their leisure time. Dubbed the “experience economy,” consumers are spending their money on activities that are less about entertainment and more about the overall experience they provide.

And businesses are paying attention. Going shopping? Retailers may soon be adding Ferris wheels, fish tanks, and even bowling alleys to entice shoppers. Successful restaurants, seeking to provide “eatertainment,” will repackage themselves into “social dining experiences” complete with gourmet chefs and artistic meal presentations.

Global travel has seen a surge in trips to ever-more remote destinations, tours promoting eco-adventure, wellness and cultural discovery, and environmentally sustainable cruises. Here in the Lowcountry, even a simple paddleboarding lesson through the marshes can lend itself to a half-day eco-system tour.

The common thread: The consumer’s desire for a custom life experience reigns supreme. So, get smart, get out there and have some fun…you’re limited only in your own imagination.

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