Here's the stories we're reading about the world of commerce, retail and work this week:

πŸŽ“ The Most Valuable College Degree
πŸš€ 50 Most Exciting Startups
🏍 Harley Rides Into Silicon Valley
πŸ’° More Americans Optimistic About Pay Raises
πŸ‘‹ Study Reveals Brands Lack Human Connection
😍 Top Startup Jobs In The Land
πŸ™ŒπŸ» How Important is Culture in Workplace?

Let's dive right in.

πŸŽ“The Most Valuable College Degree
What's the most valuable college degree in the nation right now? Turns out, it's a science -- actuarial science, that is. According to research from Bankrate, students studying this field can earn upwards of $108,658 per year, average unemployment rates of 2.3 percent, and a propensity to go on to earn higher degree studies.

The next four most lucrative collegiate majors include:

🐼 Zoology

🏭 Nuclear Engineering

πŸ’‰ Health and Medical Prep

βž• Mathematics

πŸŽ“ Learn more at the top degrees in all the land at Business Insider.

πŸŽ“Rankings That Reflect College 'Outcomes'
Colleges now are listing different rankings that the traditional approaches. Some, including Ivy institutions, are including what's called 'outcomes' that rate how many students they graduate from low-income homes. According to U.S. News, the top universities are:

  1. Princeton

  2. Harvard

  3. Columbia, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, University of Chicago, and Yale (All of which are tied for third place in this new category).

πŸ‘€ Read about the top 3 colleges and learn more about these rankings at US News.

πŸ’° More Americans Optimistic About Pay Raises
Here's a bit of positive news about how we're feeling about pay day.

πŸ‘πŸΌTurns out: Positively.

A new survey discovered that growing legions of Americans are becoming optimistic about income growth, despite flat wages. Perhaps, it's because of the record low unemployment rates (hovering at 5 percent since 2014-15).

πŸ€” How come more Americans are feeling positive? Learn more from Bloomberg.

The Big Idea πŸ€”

πŸ‘‹ Study Reveals Brands Lack Human Connection
Forrester’s 2018 Customer Experience Index results continue to show that companies are struggling to create and sustain a human connection with their customers. This is not a question of delighting customers as an endgame or some fluffy sense of emotional attachment; this is a crass and clear story of financial risk.

ℹ️ Read more about the study and its impact for retail and business in Forbes.

🏍Harley Revs Into Silicon Valley
One well-known American motorcycle company is getting revved up for an interesting change.

Looking to keep pace with the growing number of automobile companies and car manufacturers who are going electric, Harley Davidson, the iconic Milwaukee-based motorcycle company, is opening up an R&D office in Silicon Valley to develop new technologies that advance the legacy brand into the next generation.

β€œRecently we shared with the world our accelerated plans to build the next generation of Harley-Davidson riders globally,” said Matt Levatich, President and CEO of Harley-Davidson, Inc. β€œThis new R&D facility in the heart of Silicon Valley will help us deliver on those plans and demonstrate our commitment to lead the electrification of the sport.”

πŸ“– Read more in TechCrunch, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel and in Harley's official press release.

πŸ“‰ Ten Years Since Financial Crisis
This week marks 10 years since the financial collapse and the fall of Lehman Brothers. The 'Great Financial Crisis' that followed and the worst recession since the Great Depression are in the distant past, but the lessons, painful memories, and lingering effects continue to reverberate throughout the U.S. economy.

What did we learn? What did the financial industry learn?

πŸ’° Read more about the hard lessons learned in this ongoing thread over at LinkedIn.

Heard From Around The Web πŸ’¬

😍 Top Startup Jobs In The Land
Last week, LinkedIn named the top 50 startups in the country. From retail to ride-sharing, big names and a mix of upstarts were included.

But, what companies are the hottest and who is looking for jobs there? LinkedIn looked through employment data and discovered the ten companies highest on people's radar.

βœ… Check out the top 50 startups in this year's LinkedIn list.

😍 Read the top ten companies in INC Magazine.

πŸ™ŒπŸ» How Important is Culture in Workplace?
Culture. Today, the term is everywhere. This whole cultural-workplace discussion is about something that's not tangible. It's often credited for some of the greatest business successes, while also blamed for some of its biggest failures. We recently chatted with an CX expert about how it can impact your workplace and shape it's bottom-line.

In the webinar (the complete transcript which is published below) outlined three key points:

  • What culture is, and isn't
  • What's a service-profit chain
  • Tactics to change culture in your company
  • How to measure impact of culture

πŸ‘€ Read the full transcript of our webinar with CX expert, Annette Franz.