Monday, 29 April 2013

What could be Better- Joining Job or Going to Grad School?

As cliché as it may sound, you have to choose what’s best for you. Being at the most significant crossroad where you have to decide whether you choose a grad school or join a job, it can get difficult to make a decision. Not that you want to pursue higher degree for defining a promising career but getting into job at the earliest is attempting possibility of earning money. After all, anybody will like to gain freedom on financial abilities rather than investing another two to three years into studies. But a closer observation would emphasise on the fact that gaining further skills and expertise in a specialised subject at graduation level can only bring more promises to your career.

Graduate School Blues
Graduate School Blues (Photo credit: ChiILLeica)
So, if you are in dilemma and cannot comprehend what to do, here is a look at the following.

Determine the following Factors

·         Do research

Take a foray into weighing pros and cons of different jobs and also prospective of graduate programmes. Get into contact with students who are struggling to get into grad school without any former knowledge or adequate preparation and if this policy is helping them the least. Ask yourself whether an advanced degree is at all necessary in your career path. While careers in medicine, academia and law might persuade you to earn advanced degrees, which can only be achieved through grad school; not all careers demand advanced courses. In that case obtaining masters will only jeopardise your career and put it into debt. Following an extensive research can only bring viable ideas so that you realise whether to seek higher degrees for the career you have on mind, or getting into jobs immediately after undergraduate degree.

·         Weighing all Options

Reaching to a decisive point is not easy. Do a lot of introspection to realise what’s best for you. Ask yourself a few questions like are you defaulting to a grad school just because you are left out of option? After all, the decision should be taken after much consideration, since some grad programmes can consume a maximum of 6 years.

Think pragmatically or idealistically as the situation demands. Consider the entire situation and take a practical approach towards it. This will eventually help in reaching to a decision that will shape your career. Remember, a wrong choice will spill blunder on money that you had spent or time wasted in taking a decision. Do not forget to draw a viable budget when taking up advanced programmes in grad school. A costly programme might be a heavy pinch to your pocket, instead pursuing a job is all that takes to accumulate some savings for investing in grad school later in life. Unless, your career demands or you are fully ready financially or practically you should not consider joining a grad school.

·         Is it now or later?
2009 Graduate School Commencement 003
Graduate School Commencement
(Photo credit: pennstatenews)

Just because you let go off the thought of enrolling in a grad school today, does not mean that you cannot join it later. This is a very advanced concept where many recent grad schools are offering courses for students at later age or who are already into professions. Nevertheless, delaying joining in grad schools so as to make more informed decision is absolutely a great idea.

A decision made after extensive research and thoughts is sure to earn fruitful results rather than a decision made in haste.

Friday, 26 April 2013

Enrolments made Easy for Online Learners to Complete Higher Studies

Good news for distance learners!! Leaders of higher education will be taking bigger attempts to simplify all rules and regulations at colleges in order to enrol students coming from different countries. This will result in the global expansion of the online education market.

As per rules, colleges must seek authorisation from each and every state where they would like to offer online programmes. The requirements and fees would vary accordingly from one state to another. However, the education leaders objected on the cost factor and said that the entire system would be extremely pricey, especially during such a time when millions of students are showing keen interest in making use of online technology for completing higher education.

It was just a couple of weeks ago that a proposal came over from the commission led by Richard W. Riley, the former education secretary of the United States stating that the states would be entering reciprocity agreements to regulate online programmes. In other words, single home state authorisation sustaining minimum standards for consumer protection and institutional quality would only permit colleges to register students coming from other states volunteering to take part.

According to Riley, it’s his belief that the proposal is surely going to make a huge difference in letting institutions offer distance learning courses for higher education across the nation with more effectiveness. He further said with enthusiasm that the opportunities will keep increasing for students who wish to complete higher studies which in turn would help the system take the lead in college completion rates.

The commission of Richard W. Riley launched by the State Higher Education Executive Officers and the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities just the previous year comprised a total of 21 members out of which some came from states and colleges while some were accrediting heads. The members said that the representatives would be coming from the majority of states to meet in Indianapolis for discussing on how to put their plans into action.

Excelsior College
Excelsior College
(Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Assistant vice president of Excelsior College and a commission member, Paul Shiffman said the biggest hindrance that stops colleges from offering online programmes in certain nations is the state-by-state regulations. He further said that Excelsior would not register one of its programmes in Massachusetts due to the rising expenses and red tape. According to the commission, the present system said that a public community college comprising 257 students in 5 states could end up paying $76,100 in compliance with the regulations while a public university could pay $5.5 million for complying with the rules applicable in 49 states.

However, the commission warned that the major issue was none other than consumer protection. The states must be watchful and must therefore try to resolve consumer complaints. (Source)

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Tuesday, 23 April 2013

Online Education to become a Common Market Place for Online Learners

A set of educational organisations and state officials unveiled a proposed compact among the states with the intention to create a so-called common market for online education so that students can easily enrol from anywhere they wish. Besides, the proposal also aims to set certain standardised consumer protections that would give students the space to approach their regulators with complaints regarding any issue.

English: The United States Esperanto: Loko de ...
English: The United States (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In the United States, there are nearly seven million students who are presently accessing college programmes online. However, the rules and regulations designed to authorise the universities offering those courses differ from state to state. Out of them, there are many who date back to the pre-internet period, that is, the time when a college used to operate solely in the state where they sustained a physical presence. Well, this has led to confusions affecting negatively the worldwide distribution of online courses.

Although most of the reputed non-profit as well as for-profit online providers have made lump sum investments to seek approval for letting students enrol in all the fifty states, some states like Minnesota, Arkansas and Massachusetts have turned down students. Confusions also popped up on behalf of the system when they identified issues like what would happen if students migrate to such a state having unaccredited institutions.

The proposed compact moreover will act as a kind of an agreement among the states that will require legislation in some cases, whereas all the states would require voluntary buy-in. States imposing stringent requirements might express reluctance in joining. The organisers however said that the proposal has given rise to extensive work where all the constituencies will have to contribute a lot. In fact, it is being expected that the representatives of 47 states will soon be taking steps in the form of implementations.

What’s the best and innovative part of the compact is that the regulators can willingly address student’s complaints made against institutions based in California to somewhere else. If somehow they fail to do so, they might be expelled from the compact. As per Michael Goldstein, an attorney in Washington, those states imposing stringent requirements on institutions might need to be a bit flexible since it might give rise to a new layer of state-level accountability.

Well, the compact wouldn’t have any negative effect on the international students pursuing courses from the United States. Even the MOOCs would not be affected in any way offered by reputed universities through accredited platforms like Coursera, edX and Udacity.
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Monday, 15 April 2013

A Newfound career in Midlife is Highly Prospective with Intelligent Information Technology

If you have got January blues it’s time to think of career change. A job making you bore, burning out energy to never-ending and doing no good should be left midway. It is pretty clear that when something starts to rot, a new flicker of interest is found elsewhere. If no, then you might do some research of the job market to realise what can bring impetus in the direction you have your eyes on.

Image: utah.edu

What you can do as part of your research?

There are places you can visit on the internet. Undeniably, the online medium is one of the most productive platforms to feed you with ideas and concepts. While you might get loads of results on career change and new prospects, going by definite search will end you up with precise result. One of the advisable sites would be Linkedin, where the Group ‘Career Shift’ is highly informative. Here, you know and learn about what you can get if you want. Participate in the group and discuss with each other to share experiences, ideas and thoughts to come up with best result. But to be part of discussion forums you need to sign up and be a member of the group. Refer: http://www.linkedin.com/groups?gid=4813325&trk=hb_side_g.

While in the process of discussion and sharing thoughts, assess what you want to get at the next step for finding new career prospects.

Assess what you want?

Take the first step by doing some self-assessment of your desires and values. What you would love to do, how you would prefer to map out a newfound career, and which domain has maximum prospects. As most people desire to search for new opportunities, career prospects, more money and more heights they first think of a field, which can embrace all these four elements. In this context, the IT domain is one suggestive area that inculcates great scopes, money and intrigue for anyone on the lookout for better career prospects in life. Besides, nowadays everyone has little or extensive knowledge pertaining to computer. The IT is one of those realms where employers are hunting for computer experts.

The field concerns itself with development, design, improvement and implementation of computer technologies, so you will find application of IT in every aspect of life. But you need to have knowledge and skills in Information Technology to take the plunge whenever you feel it right. So, what you can do? 

Image: totaljobs.com

Seek an IT degree course?

Yes, this is the most viable option to start with. But from where you can get the course? There is no meaning to getting back to college with greys in hair. While it can be embarrassing, it can be a lot of pressure to evade criticism from students half your age. Obtaining an IT degree course from online is a fine choice at this complicated point.

·         You study at your flexibility and pace

·         You need not worry about criticism or adjustment with other students half your age

·         You do not have to take the endurance of travelling to colleges. While you study you handle any present job or other commitments

·         You learn about new skills and gain knowledge in Information technology with tutors and study materials to help you all the way

·         With no such constraints as felt in traditional learning, you go on improving skills into your old age with immense liberty

Apparently, accessing an online degree course in IT and Telecommunications from a well recognised UK University helps you grab prospective placements in the industry. With passion to strive ahead and desire to learn the intricacies of the field that focuses on different subject areas like IT networking, Data Analyses and Data base Design, Strategic planning, Human computer interface, etc., you are ready to carve out a career that you might be dreaming of now.

Leaving your past jobs and experiences at a fine point and bifurcating to a career you are desperately looking for, IT renders opportunities with no bounds.

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Friday, 12 April 2013

Social Networking brings the Fun Element into Education for New Age Learners

People consider education to be a serious aspect of life and this is where they make the biggest blunder. Probably, it’s the key reason why the brick and mortar classrooms today have taken nightmarish forms for numerous students who rather prefer playing with technology for achieving success in the field of education. It’s sad that there are many teachers who are still under the impression that education comes only through books and blackboards. What they fail to realise is that the social networking tools can bring a splendid difference in one’s study habits which will consequently make one a better learner than others.

The Principal of the Science Leadership Academy in Philadelphia, Chris Lehmann said that it’s really disgusting that many schools put little emphasis on computers and more on their glorified workbooks. He rather suggested that teachers must now start adopting networking skills so that they can utilise them for improving the educational standards of their students.

Teachers must look beyond this Networking model.
(Image source: twitterforeducation.wikispaces.com)

Teachers must adopt networking skills

The dependency for books has been probably one of the biggest drawbacks in schools that have actually hindered students from acquiring interest towards pursuing education with pleasure. Rather, students should adapt themselves in making use of the social networking tools to not only study but exhibit their ability to update themselves with time.

Image Courtesy : prosofteng.com

So, how exactly must teachers and students use social media for making education more effective?
  • Open up accounts – There are certain bookmarking sites where a teacher can open up accounts for students so that the latter can preserve, systemise and even share links. Besides, they can also view links of others and even browse to find what others have posted. In this way, teachers can keep their students engaged and make them learn in an innovative manner.
  • Enter interactive forums – The modern world calls it ‘chatting’ which a teacher can now do with his/her students and vice versa through interactive forums online. What stands beneficial here is that those who are reticent can feel confident in communicating with their educators, and this is where online learning stands out of the crowd.

    Source: cognitivedesignsolutions.com
  • Classroom presentations – Presentation work wonders for students, whether they are taking classes online or offline. Often, you fall short of words while explaining a specific lesson to an entire class. A nice PowerPoint presentation would instead say everything with the help of images, texts and animations thereby making students grasp the lessons with supreme interest.
  • Social networking sites – Believe it or not, social networking sites can help you educate in a fun-loving manner. It’s just like how you love communicating with your friends, sharing updates with them, posting images and videos etc. Similarly, both students and teachers can make use of sites like Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn and get all these activities done to keep themselves updated.
Well, more and more technological developments are getting implemented into schools, colleges and universities where the educators are now getting into the trend of teaching their students through podcasting, file swapping, tagging and blogging. Social media experts have in fact said that a time will come when students will carry no bags full of books and will instead be asked by their teachers to bring nothing except their laptops.
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Wednesday, 10 April 2013

Better be late than never should be your Motto in Seeking Studies through Online at any Age

Today, the tendency is to get quickly in jobs at an early age. In the rush, many fail to complete studies and end up with ordinary job profiles.  They feel the urge of seeking higher studies at a later age when they realise that a mere school level pass out degree cannot fetch coveted job profiles. But then it is too late to enrol with students too young to their age. This is what triggers the importance of online education that comes as a saviour to help them continue studies without feeling the embarrassment of age.

Online, the most useful Medium

Those with an intention to complete education at any point of their lives to upgrade their career can always go the online way. Many might be school pass outs without a concrete degree. At this point, we suggest a bachelor’s degree that serves your option the best. It is the qualification required to enhance knowledge to apply for a secured job.

Graduation (Photo credit: uonottingham)
Here, is why we suggest a graduation degree?

Achieving a graduation or bachelor’s degree proves a real investment for your future and great career opportunities. A person with a minimum level certificate with basic position in service finds a bachelor’s degree to be a potential investment for future career. It not just opens great career opportunities but improves job prospects. In this regard, we advice that if the discussion has convinced you to opt for graduation courses then go and choose a UK university accredited online institution. It is one of the most recognised universities offering authentic and validated courses that have actually enabled thousands of students to take the courses.

Studying a bachelor degree online has never been more accessible with significant developments in distance learning over the past decade. Increasing costs for campus-based students combined with advances in online technology have created an increase in demand for UK university undergraduate courses studied online.

Options for you to seek graduation Courses

·         Business
·         Management
·         Psychology
·         Law
·         HRM
·         Finance and Accounting
·         Tourism and Hospitality
·         Sales and Marketing
·         IT and much more.

Now that we have discussed that age should not be barrier in seeking graduation level courses through online medium have a read to learn about these great personalities who completed graduation at a later life, but it served them best.

 Real Life Examples

Mark Zuckerberg
Mark Zuckerberg (Photo credit: jdlasica)
Mark Zuckerberg is a fine reflection of how to continue studies later in life if not completed on time for fortifying career options. He is a renowned computer programmer who founded the Facebook, the most popular social networking site. At a later age, he attended college to major in the subject area computer science and psychology. He went on to become a billion dollar owner at a young age.

Alan Rickman
Cover of Alan Rickman
Alan Rickman had a fine future prospect with graphic design business with an art degree. But then he met his twist of fate that somehow convinced him to leave his profitable business and take up acting. For this, he went to Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts where he studied in acting. He choice of taking up acting reached him to high notches of success.

The above are instances that throw light on how education can be achieved during any part of life, despite what your age spells. Thus, with encouragement from real life stories, you should go ahead with a career and if you need to take higher studies like graduation degree in a prospective field. Though late than never, enjoy the milestone in career with taste of success.
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Saturday, 6 April 2013

Reddit is the Next Step towards Modern Education

Reddit, the “front page of the internet”, as tagged by them, is an open education forum where the visitors can gather knowledge about diverse subjects. The users, who are known as the redditors, write about different topics and also create sub-reddits. They have formed UReddit as well, which is basically known as the University of Reddits.

Image representing Reddit as depicted in Crunc...
Image via CrunchBase
In the UReddit section of this particular social networking site, the students can learn about various issues of their interests but there are no trained professors to teach them. This is an open forum and therefore anyone is eligible to teach a subject to anybody who is interested in learning that. This feature of Reddit makes it totally different from the MOOCs, i.e. the Massive Open Online Courses, where the subjects are taught by conventional professors.

Blooming Popularity of Reddit

Reddit founder Alexis Ohanian with the Reddit ...
Reddit founder Alexis Ohanian with the Reddit Alien (Photo credit: Anirudh Koul)
The founders of Reddit, Steve Huffman and Alexis Ohanian, tried to go against the standards of higher education. Reddit is a platform where the students are eligible to learn and know about anything which grabs their attention and makes them excited. However, this is seldom possible in the schools or colleges where we need to learn things we do not like. This idea behind the site excelled in grabbing the attention of almost 75,000 people who have already registered to this site for over 100 different courses.

Although Reddit has nothing to do with the traditional professors, still due to so much of hype about the website, Dr. Philip Bishop, one of the professors of University of South Florida, could see something relevant out of this. He, therefore, have started his web-only classes on UReddit for his freshmen students. With the help of this website, he shares videos and various discussion forums with the students.

Due to the budding popularity of the site, two of the pioneers of Reddit, Anastas Stoyanovsky and Elliot Volkman, have already launched a kick starter campaign in order to raise funds for the development of the website. This way they intend to help the students by providing them with searchable transcripts, and have also termed their project as an ‘open compass’ which is absolutely different from edX and Coursera.

Professor Bishop, along with his colleague Mr. K. Edward Renner, believes that this open forum of learning and teaching is nonetheless a great step towards education. However, the only drawback, according to them, is the fact that it is quite impossible to track the number of students visiting the site and also because the site includes discussions and topics about video games, like StarCraft, it is lacking in credibility.

Whatever might be the case, Reddit has undoubtedly shown a different genre of education to the society and also there is no denying of the fact that in the near future, it will come up as a paragon of modern education system.
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Wednesday, 3 April 2013

Education acts as the Instrumental Force behind Children’s Health and Nutrition

Parents’ income and education is indirectly proportional to children’s health. A study published in the March issue of journal Public Health Nutrition reveals that parenting behaviour is highly influenced by educational background. In this context, education influences behaviours and beliefs, which bring direct impact on nurturing and bringing up a child.

A Look at a Research Report of Recent Times

A wide research was conducted in eight European countries for 15,000 children aged between 2 and 9 to realise the connection between children’s nutrition and parents’ education level. The survey further detailed that those children of parents subjected to very low or medium levels of education depended on low quality and quantity of diet. They are of the tendency to feed their children with more sweet drinks and processed foods.

Image: JonesAlexandra Wordpress Blog

On the contrary, parents with high level of education are more likely to give their children foods that contain high nutritional value like pasta, rice, vegetables, fruits and also whole-grain bread. The research was conducted in countries like Cyprus, Belgium, Germany, Estonia, Hungary, Italy, Spain, Sweden and others.

What Experts have to say to this Report?

Juan Miguel Fernandez Alvira, belonging from the University of Zaragoza in Spain had a serious take on that. According to him, families with varied level of education brought varying influence on consumption of foods like vegetables, fruits and sweet drinks. While he explained his research on impact of education on food consumption in a Plataforma SINC news release, his speech worked as an eye-opener to millions of people from across the globe how education is significant in influencing eating habits.

The report nipped the fact that lower education kept parents at backstage and children from such families are more likely to fall prey to obesity or malnutrition. Children of such families either suffer from overweight or malnutrition leading to health problems. Parents are hardly aware of the severity of such situations due to lack of knowledge and so they let their children grow on high-fat and low-nutrient foods.

So, what initiatives can parents really take to monitor children’s diet for healthy results? The answer to that would be accessing further education on nutrition.

Online, the Best Source for Further Education

The internet is the best chosen medium by millions of parents at middle age to access more knowledge on nutrition so as to tackle children and education, simultaneously. These are online institutions accredited by State University so as to cater career-enhancing tips, literature and advice. The idea is to progress one’s professional and personal goals with proper achievement on health and education. The best part is online study offers a spree of advantages like great value for money and abounding flexibility.  You can get information on such Health and Social Care course here. The greatest advantage of these courses is that parents can study at their own pace, look after their children and enhance knowledge on nutrition.  After qualifying they can even be a professional Nutrition consultant as well.

Thus, education for parents enhances their knowledge to help children with proper and adequate nutritional diet for a better and brighter future.

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Monday, 1 April 2013

Gamifying Learning is the new way to Attract Students

There have already been many discussions about how to improve the educational system and make the students more inclined towards their books but nothing seems to have helped much. However, some of the HR and training institutions have introduced gamification as a new tool to interact and teach people. They are of the view that it is a great way to engage people and make them know about different things in a fun way. The educators shouldn’t, however, be the last one to include this in their day to day teaching. This way, both the teachers and the parents will be able to prepare the educational syllabus of their respective students and children so that they feel excited about carrying on with their courses.

Gamification in the Previous Years

Image : Amazon

The educational program of Fizz and Martina’s Math Adventures was loved by the students about 10 years ago. It became immensely popular amongst the school students who were found to be absolutely engaged in solving their problems which were posed to them during the show and at times they even wanted to continue with the same during recess period.

Students were seen to be working as a group and also through constant interactions with each other. This is indeed a great way to learn things without feeling weary of the subject. The students were even asked by their teachers to reason out how they solved their respective problems and the students absolutely loved it.

Gamify the Classrooms and Reward the Students

Recently, a lot has been brewing up about the gamification of education. It is nothing but presenting the contents in a game-like situation in order to attract the learners and motivate them to do something innovative with the given topic. However, this should not just be a fashion in the arena of education and the educators should think positively about slipping in the same in their education system as early as possible.

How popular game Angry Birds can make students do the Math with more Interest
Let me give you an example showing how gamification of education might help the children to learn better. For example, if the teachers are constantly forcing the students to do well in mathematics because in future it will help them to be an engineer and design different equipments, including bikes and cars, then why not demonstrate them the importance of the subject by showing them a video of car or bike making and designing so that they can learn it in a better way? This way not only the students will be thoroughly engaged to the video but they will also be able to learn about the intricacies of the given subject, and in turn will be able to fetch good marks for the same as well.

So, why not take a bit of risk and give a wake-up call to our education system? Why not try and do something new by which we will be able to improve the overall results of the students? Gamification of education needs to be done by one and all and therefore by the help of it, a student will be able to learn a thing in much better and improved manner
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