Weekly business rail, with tips on a safe career, BBB advice on layaway and more.

Tip of the Week

Because nearly everyone is at risk from a cyber security threat, professionals in information systems security are bucking unemployment trends. Five careers under the information security umbrella are helping keep the virtual world safe from would-be hackers and viruses:


- Network systems and data communications analysts are projected to be the fastest growing occupation, with projections of more than 50 percent growth through 2016. They analyze, test and evaluate network systems.


- Information systems security specialists help organizations prepare for, react to and recover from security threats. These experts develop and implement security procedures, protocol and policies.


- Disaster recovery agents work to ensure a company's data systems and networks are recoverable. They often perform and analyze disaster simulations to ensure prompt restoration of services.


- IT managers play an important role in implementing technology in their organizations. They oversee network security and direct Internet operations.


- Computer forensics specialists perform the vital task of investigating suspected fraud and criminal cases. They recover deleted, encrypted or damaged digital files and often provide expert testimony in criminal court cases.


-- ARA


BBB Watch


As more families struggle in the tough economy, retailers are trying to make paying for holiday gifts more flexible by offering layaway options. With layaway experiencing a comeback, the Better Business Bureau advises consumers to get everything in writing and offers the following checklist of questions to ask:


- How much time do I have to pay off the item?


- When are the payments due?


- How much do I have to put down?


- Are there any storage or service plan fees?


- What happens if I miss a payment? Are there penalties? Does the item return to inventory?


- Can I get a refund or store credit if I no longer want the item after making a few payments?


- What happens if the item goes on sale after I’ve put it on layaway?


- Does the retailer or third-party layaway service have a good BBB rating?


For more advice on how to be a savvy consumer this holiday season, visit www.bbb.org.


The List


According to a jobs report by CNNMoney.com, here are the top 10 jobs in terms of how people view their work’s benefit to society:


1. Physician/general practice


2. Physician/obstetrician/gynecologist


3. Intelligence analyst


4. Veterinarian


5. Human resources manager


6. Clinical psychologist


7. Physician assistant


8. Anesthesiologist


9. Nurse practitioner


10. Speech-language pathologist


Number to Know


$1.2 billion: The amount of money General Motors has lost since it exited bankruptcy. But the loss is lower than previous losses and is seen as a sign that the auto company is starting to turn around.


Tech Talk


Looking for a new smartphone but don’t know which one to get? Check out the tool on InfoWorld.com, which has you rate seven areas in order of importance to you, and then suggests what smartphone meets your needs. Check it out at www.infoworld.com/mobile-calculator.


GateHouse News Service