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Bank of America Hiring 1000: Other Banks Could Follow

Bank of America is making a move into the small business banking niche, although it’s not the usual sandbox Big Banking plays in.
When that expansion of the Bank of America brand is completed, it will have 1000 new small business bankers. There’s more. Loans will become more available for entrepreneurs who had been shut out of the credit market since the downturn began.
The roll out will begin this year in Los Angeles, Dallas, Washington D.C., and Baltimore. Small business banking involves knowing the community and being well connected in it. That means if you are based in those areas and have some experience in financial services you should start digging for information about the job descriptions, who to contact, and how to present yourself. Be persistent.
When one giant in an industry adopts a new strategy, others are bound to follow. That’s the lemming factor in business. Therefore, expect to hear more about other major banks hiring for the small business category.
Bank of America, the largest U.S. bank by assets, said on Thursday it will hire up to 1,000 small business bankers by 2012, expanding into an area once the exclusive domain of its smaller rivals.
BofA will begin hiring bankers in Los Angeles, Dallas, Washington, D.C., and Baltimore through year’s end, with plans to expand into additional cities in 2011 and 2012.
The lenders will focus on courting small business customers whose businesses earn between $250,000 and $3 million in annual revenue.
The initiative is one of the first steps taken by Joe Price, new consumer banking chief, in a continuing overhaul of BofA’s consumer bank, and is the company’s latest foray into an business once the dominated by smaller community and regional banks.
“This is one of the initial steps in how we want to position the business going forward,” said Price.
Under the new program, small business bankers will court deposits and loans, coordinating with existing small business bankers in BofA’s 5,900 U.S. branches and with the company’s commercial banking arm as clients grow.
Small business banking has traditionally been avoided by the larger banks, as the profits were relatively small compared with catering to larger corporate clients. With narrower profit margins, the segment was long the domain of smaller community and regional banks.
But Price said the effort will be profitable for the bank.
“We can align our infrastructure and costs against what the customers need in a way that works,” he said.
Small business loans held on Bank of America’s books have shrunk since the financial crisis of 2008 and subsequent recession have stifled U.S. economic growth.
As of June 30, BofA’s small business loans totaled $16 billion, down 16 percent from $19 billion in 2008. While borrowers’ increased credit problems are partially to blame for the decline, Price said the biggest impediment was the U.S. economy.
“The biggest effect that will reverse that trend would be economic health, Price said, referring to the bank’s shrinking small business loan portfolio.
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100 Best Jobs in America

We recently completed our annual project with CNN/Money Magazine that ranks the 100 Best Jobs in America. These jobs were determined by numerous factors, including pay, job growth, estimated employment levels, and various quality-of-life factors, such as job security.

The top jobs are a mix: some allow a lot of schedule flexibility (Software Architect), some require more training and education than that provided by a bachelor’s degree (Physician Assistant), and some make the world a better place (Environmental Engineer).

Top 100
Money and PayScale.com rate the top 100 careers with great pay and growth prospects.
Rank     Job title Job growth
(10-year forecast)
1 Software Architect 34%
2 Physician Assistant 39%
3 Management Consultant 24%
4 Physical Therapist 30%
5 Environmental Engineer 31%
6 Civil Engineer 24%
7 Database Administrator 20%
8 Sales Director 15%
9 Certified Public Accountant 22%
10 Biomedical Engineer 72%
11 Actuary 21%
12 Dentist 15%
13 Nurse Anesthetist 13%
14 Risk Management Manager 24%
15 Product Management Director 12%
16 Healthcare Consultant 24%
17 Information Systems Security Engineer 23%
18 Software Engineering / Development Director 17%
19 Occupational Therapist 26%
20 Information Technology Manager 17%
21 Telecommunications Network Engineer 53%
22 Environmental Health & Safety Specialist 28%
23 Construction Project Manager 17%
24 Network Operations Project Manager 23%
25 Emergency Room Physician 22%
26 Information Technology Business Analyst 20%
27 Director of Nursing 16%
28 Information Technology Consultant 17%
29 Psychiatrist 24%
30 Test Software Development Engineer 20%
31 Information Technology Network Engineer 23%
32 Senior Sales Executive 15%
33 Information Technology Program Manager 17%
34 Primary Care Physician 22%
35 Computer and Information Scientist 24%
36 Hospital Administrator 16%
37 Programmer Analyst 20%
38 Applications Engineer 34%
39 Research & Development Manager 15%
40 Regional Sales Manager 15%
41 Project Engineer 24%
42 Training Development Director 23%
43 Human Resources Consultant 21%
44 Speech-Language Pathologist 19%
45 Business Development Analyst 24%
46 Physical Therapy Director 16%
47 Structural Engineer 24%
48 Nursing Home Director 16%
49 Systems Engineer 13%
50 Healthcare Services Program Director 13%
51 Transportation Engineer 24%
52 Operations Research Analyst 22%
53 Practice Administrator 16%
54 Construction Estimator 25%
55 Attorney / Lawyer 13%
56 Optometrist 30%
57 Clinical Research Associate 12%
58 Employment Recruiter 28%
59 Intensive Care Unit Nurse 22%
60 Information Technology Specialist 17%
61 Marketing Consultant 12%
62 Tax Manager 22%
63 General Sales Manager 15%
64 Statistician 13%
65 Nurse Practitioner 13%
66 Systems Administrator 23%
67 Web Developer 13%
68 Anesthesiologist 22%
69 Accounting Director 11%
70 Technical Services Manager 17%
71 Social Worker 22%
72 Customer Service Manager 18%
73 Sales Account Manager 15%
74 Rehabilitation Services Director 19%
75 General Surgeon 22%
76 Biotechnology Research Scientist 13%
77 Information Technology Systems Manager 13%
78 Auditing Manager 22%
79 Information Technology Training Specialist 23%
80 Outside Sales Manager 15%
81 Category Manager 12%
82 Practice Manager 16%
83 Compensation Analyst 24%
84 Public Relations Director 13%
85 Environmental Project Manager 15%
86 Clinical Services Director 16%
87 Director of Communications 13%
88 Technical Writer 18%
89 Business Operations Manager 12%
90 Construction Superintendent 17%
91 Business Manager 12%
92 Senior Product Development Scientist 12%
93 Senior Data Analyst 13%
94 Architect 16%
95 Information Technology Project Coordinator 17%
96 Web Project Manager 13%
97 Geographic Information Systems Analyst 13%
98 Security Director (Facilities, Personnel, etc.) 12%
99 Medical Case Manager 22%
100 Obstetrician / Gynecologist 22%

From the November 2010 issue
Sources: PayScale.com, Bureau of Labor Statistics, and MONEY research

* Job growth is estimated for 2008-2018 from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
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