"Education is the most
powerful weapon which
you can use to change
the world".

-- Nelson Mandela



"Genius without education
is like silver in the mine."
-- Benjamin Franklin

Archive for June, 2008

Professional Certificates Offer Short Path to Sweet Jobs

Monday, June 30th, 2008

The way to an interesting, professional job is not always through two to four-year traditional or online degree programs.

A smart option allows a faster way to a specialized job:  a professional certificate program.

Although an associate’s degree generally requires two years of full-time college work, a professional certificate often takes less than a year.  And an online certificate program may be completed through distance learning while working a full-time job.

Online certificate programs are available through online schools, vocational schools, and junior colleges. Most involve a short, intensive course of study focused upon gaining excellent knowledge and skills in one career area.

After finishing the program, it is possible to use the the professional certificate to boost one’s resume or indicate to prospective employers that specialized training has been completed.

A few career fields that may be available after completing a professional certificate program include:

  • Web Design
  • Motorcycle Repair
  • Graphic Art
  • Travel Agent
  • Medical Billing
  • Jewelry Design
  • Private Investigator
  • Bookkeeping
  • Nursing Assistant
  • Photography
  • Floral Design
  • Child Care

Once the professional certificate allows entry into the desired career field, additional education via e-learning may pave the way for promotion and higher pay.

Sometimes the shorter path is the sweeter path to finding the right job. So check out professional certificates for so little to lose and so much to gain.

online professional certificate, career, online degree program, professional certificate, distance learning, online schools, e-learning, motorcycle repair, web design

Popularity: 5% [?]

Posted by vida

Economist’s Prediction of $7 Gas May Spike Online Schools’ Enrollment

Saturday, June 28th, 2008

As the escalating cost of a barrel of gas is predicted to hit $200 by the year 2010, economists predict that gas prices could also reach $7 a gallon for consumers within the next two years.

Most of us already feel the pain at the gas pump; and decisions about summer activities have already been adversely influenced by the additional expenses involved in traveling away from home.

In this uncertain economic atmosphere, as current gas prices nuzzle uncomfortably close to $5 a gallon, some colleges and universities have noticed a significant increase in online class enrollments for summer school. 

If gas prices continue to escalate, distance learning will be the only viable choice for a large segment of students who entertain college ambitions, yet cannot afford the higher transportation costs of attending on-campus lectures.

The future of online schools is poised to explode as students choose to step into the huge advantages that e-learning has to offer, including:

  • not having to drive to a college campus for lectures,
  • not having to drive to a campus to register, buy books, or use the library,
  • being able to arrange study time around a full-time job,
  • being available for important family events, and
  • not having to leave work early to attend on-campus classes.

As gas prices appear to be without bounds, adjustments by individuals and families will need to take place in order to aid economic survival.

One obvious adjustment will be to find ways to drive less. But something else is also certain: accredited online schools and distance learning will continue to prosper. 

gas prices, colleges and universities, online class, e-learning, conservation, accredited online school, economy, distance learning, transportation costs

Popularity: 4% [?]

Posted by vida

California Firefighters Lose Pay Raise from Diploma Mill Degree

Friday, June 27th, 2008

As fires rage out of control in Northern California, a controversy rages in Solano County, where seven firefighters from the American Canyon Fire District received pay raises based upon fraudulent college degrees from Almeda University

The pay raises were rescinded, according to the TImes-Herald, after an investigation confirmed that the firefighters did not earn an accredited online degree, but instead purchased a fake college degree from the notorious diploma mill. These Solano County employees simply paid a fee and received their diplomas in the mail. No college work was required.

The controversy is still fueled by the fact that the firefighters have not been required to pay back the taxpayer dollars they gained in raises using the bogus degrees. Apparently, the educational incentive pay raises were approved before the labor union added language specifying that the college degrees had to come from ”accredited schools”.  

So through this loophole, seven employees received money they did not earn through any work on a college degree. However, the wheels of the legal process continue to churn; and perhaps the money in question will later be returned to Solano County for approved expenditures.

Unfortunately, diploma mills continue to thrive, even with easy public access to information about them. Plenty of buyers appear to be willing to risk their future careers by dishonest gain in the short term. It requires so little research to expose fake degrees; and it takes only 2 years of full-time college work to earn an accredited online associate’s degree. In an additional 2 years, an online bachelor’s degree may be completed.

Employers are beginning to realize that diploma mill consumers are often fully aware of what they are doing and that they are not victims. By purchasing fake degrees, buyers feed a fraudulent, shady industry that is interested only in making money and not in the harm they cause. 

Those who claim higher education degrees that they have not earned wreak havoc on the public — especially in the areas of health care, engineering, psychology, homeland security, criminal justice, accounting and finance. In the end, we all suffer. 

Warning signs that a website is a diploma mill disguised as an accredited online school include the following: 

  • little or no college-level work is required,
  • there is no physical campus or address in the U.S., other than a post office box,
  • few or no faculty members are listed on the ’school’ website,
  • a one-time fee for the degree is required, instead of tuition per semester, quarter, or other term,
  • to add a second degree requires a mere upgrade in the cost,
  • it is possible to choose your grade point average,
  • there may be a transcript-verification option,
  • life experience is the only criteria used as a qualification for the degree,
  • the diploma arrives in the mail within a short time after payment is made.

So before enrolling in an online school, check several sources for information — including the U.S. Department of Education, CHEA (Council for Higher Education Accreditation), and the DETC (Distance Education and Training Council).

In addition, you may want to type the name of the online school into a seach engine, like Google, to see if it has been in the news as a diploma mill. Several states, including Texas, Maine, Michigan and Oregon, maintain a list of unaccredited and substandard schools that may be helpful as well.

Firefighting has its share of heroes. But as happens in most professions, there are those who find ways to cheat or skirt the rules. There were 15 firefighters in the American Canyon Fire District that received the incentive pay raises. And thankfully, 8 of them honored their profession by earning their college degrees the way men and women of integrity always have — by successfully completing a challenging course of study. They are true heroes.

firefighters, California fires, accredited online degree, fake degree, diploma mill, Almeda University, online associates degree, online bachelors degree, homeland security, health care

Popularity: 5% [?]

Posted by vida

Want-Ads Spill the Beans about Promising Careers Like Nursing

Tuesday, June 24th, 2008

Although discouraging reports abound regarding the condition of the job market, a particular section of one’s local newspaper can be quite illuminating in a job search: the classifieds, or want-ads.

Of course, the want-ads are an obvious place to look for a job. But the classifieds also reveal so much about what is happening in a particular town, city or state.

For example, in a fast-growing metropolitan city, jobs in business, sales and the health fields may be prominent. In a small farming town, the want-ads may reflect the need for those with training in agricultural sciences, veterinary sciences and bookkeeping. A coastal town may attract artists, environmental scientists, travel industry specialists, and parks & recreation personnel. And so it goes.

Those who are contemplating a new career often discover vital data in the want-ads that is both revealing and tailored to the needs of the various industries and businesses that are specific to that geographic area.

For example, generalized job reports may tell you that there is a nursing shortage. But the local want ads may indicate that the need is for hospital nurses that specialize in pediatrics, chemotherapy, administration, or forensic nursing. Or perhaps more LVN’s (licensed vocational nurses) are needed than RN’s (registered nurses). The need for nurses may even be so critical that special nursing programs have been developed to provide training via the combination of an online degree program and practical hospital experience, as has happened in a few cities.

For example, an ad in my local newspaper this week read: “RN/LVN, $40hr & $30/hr. Full time night shift available.” This information provided the hourly wage that the hiree could expect; though nothing was included about benefits. But in the San Francisco Bay area where housing has one of the highest costs in the nation, a career in nursing would appear to provide a satisfactory income.

But career seekers should gather their information from several sources:

  • Check the want ads in the local newspaper over the course of a few weeks, or even months, to get an accurate feel for what is happening in the local job market.
  • Check the Bureau of Labor Statistics website to learn the future demand for the newly chosen career.
  • Check with the Placement Office of the online school or traditional school that will be the source of training for the new career.

Using the want-ads to glean wisdom about a potential career is a smart move. And distance learning can offer great preparation and certification in the new field.

online degree program, online school, distance learning, career, job, employment, job search, nursing

Popularity: 6% [?]

Posted by vida

8 Reasons Why Today’s Children are Tomorrow’s E-learners

Saturday, June 21st, 2008

Once again, the winds of change are blowing.

And this time, a generation of young children is happily and subtly being trained to change the future face of higher education.

These young ones are being raised up as tech-savvy sponges, unlike their technologically-challenged grandparents or, in some cases, parents. And it will be these future college graduates who will make a higher education choice that fits in with their plans to work, travel or start a family. None of these life choices will interfere with college aspirations; because these young people will gravitate toward online degree programs as their college choice.

These are some of the reasons:

  1. Young children are computer-savvy. Both teachers and and parents have introduced the computer as a useful and fun tool. According to the U.S. Census, there is one computer for every 4 children in public elementary and secondary schools — a total of 14.2 million computers.
  2. As of 2003, 100% of public schools have Internet access and 75% of children between ages 3 and 17 use the Internet at school, home or another location to complete homework assignments, according to the U.S. Census. 
  3. According to the Sloan Consortium, at least 3.5 million students took one or more online courses in the fall of 2006, a number which increased 10% from the previous year. This included 20% of all college students; with the numbers continuing to rise. 
  4. Economic concerns — like the loss of jobsforeclosures and a student loan crunch – may force more high school graduates to consider full-time employment, which will boost enrollment in online degree programs. As parents struggle to make ends meet, students may be forced to shoulder their own college costs.
  5. The rising cost of gasoline continues to peak interest in online education. With gas at almost $5 a gallon, a reduction in transportation costs is a major plus in budget decisions concerning whether to choose an online or traditional degree program. Students save gas by studying online.
  6. In response to the success of for-profit online schools, like the University of Phoenix, almost all accredited, degree-granting colleges and universities now offer online classes. And a growing number of them have invested millions of dollars to set up online degree programs or blended programs that combine on-campus and online classes. 
  7. There are thousands of online degree fields of interest; so the same career preparation that was once reserved for the college campus is now also available through e-learning. Popular choices include business & accounting, criminal justice, information technology, psychology, education, and health administration.
  8. Young children are watching their parents study at home to earn college degrees. Currently, 38% of all college students are 25 years of age and older. Many of these adult learners – older students who are busy with adult responsibilities – are modeling for their children what it looks like to earn an online degree. Their children know the ropes and will comfortably join the next generation of distance-learners. 

The evolution of online degree programs is headed toward efficient refinement and technological fine-tuning. And tomorrow’s e-learners will find it difficult to resist an education delivery system that fits their high-tech upbringing like a glove.

online degrees, online degree program, online schools, e-learning, distance learning, University of Phoenix, parents, higher education, students, training children


Popularity: 4% [?]

Posted by vida

Online Education: A Second Chance for a College Degree

Wednesday, June 18th, 2008

In a perfect world, everyone would have the opportunity to enroll in college right after high school, then graduate from college and walk right into a perfect, high-paying job with health benefits and vacation pay.

But life is not perfect; and things do not always go according to plan. High school graduates often go to work after high school, and may marry and begin raising children.

Like a conveyor belt, one life event is tacked onto to another and so on, until the individual is headed in a direction that may not even resemble the original life plan. For some, there may appear to be little or no recourse for changing direction now. But for others, changing direction is not only possible, but probable.

One key way to change directions is through online education. With all of life’s responsibilities, distance learning is the way to keep moving forward with work and family, yet divert to a higher education path. While accessing the latest educational technology in an e-learning format, a new job may soon appear on the career horizon.

By choosing an online degree program, those who traveled a different road after high school can now return to school and earn a college diploma without sacrificing time at work or time with family. The ability to study and complete coursework from the home computer makes this option a win-win situation.

The journey from high school graduate to college graduate may not be easy; but today’s distance learning delivery systems offer:

  • flexibility,
  • efficiency and
  • numerous career choices.

Everyone deserves a second chance to prepare for and advance in a career that is desirable and satisfying. By completing an online degree, the dream of a college diploma can become a reality with much less fuss than at any other time in history.

So grab that second chance today and change your destiny.

online degree program, online degree, e-learning, distance learning, online education, high school graduate, college diploma, new career, second chance

Popularity: 6% [?]

Posted by vida

Adult Learners Enjoy E-learning Success

Tuesday, June 17th, 2008

Only those who have been stranded on a desert island are unaware of the huge rise in e-learning and online schools popularity.

According to the Sloan Consortium’s most recent report, online education is growing at 9.7% annually, while overall higher education is growing at only 1.5%.

And as e-learning, or distance learning, becomes a permanent part of the educational landscape, adult learners are equipping themselves with computers, modems and Internet connections to take advantage of this comfortable, convenient form of education.

Research has shown that those who continue to challenge their brains throughout life may avoid or delay Alzheimers and other types of dementia. However, the main reason adults return to school is to upgrade skills in order to earn more money and enjoy greater professional satisfaction.

But upon re-entering the halls of education after a long break, adult learners often second-guess themselves while pondering a few questions:

  • What classes should I take?
  • What college or university should I choose?
  • Will I be able to keep up with homework assignments?
  • Am I too old to learn?

However, these questions generally result in positive answers for adult learners.

Once potential students choose an accredited online degree program or online class, the fun begins. Adult learners often discover that they  feel a wonderful sense of accomplishment and satisfaction in learning new information and successfully completing their program of study.

But there are a few tidbits to remember when taking e-learning classes:

  1. Adult learners should not feel intimidated about returning to school.
  2. Adult learners often find that proper planning and time management is vital in completing course assignments.
  3. Adult learners are usually highly motivated and focused, which helps them to be successful students.
  4. Adult learners generally have a foundation of discipline, life experience and work experience that aids in completing the tasks required in their classes.
  5. Adult learners often discover that taking classes and gaining new skills provide a sense of well-being, pride and confidence that spills over into other areas of life.

E-learning has been a boon to adult learners and other students, especially with the training for some careers taking 2 years or less.

Remember, now is the time to jump into online education and swim to a goldmine of promise, potential and career success.

online schools, online education, online degree program, higher education, earn more money, e-learning, distance learning, computer learning, college_and_university, adult learners

Popularity: 6% [?]

Posted by vida

Six Ways to Make Ends Meet with Online Degrees

Thursday, June 12th, 2008

As gas prices reach an anticipated $4.75 per gallon by July 4th, it is the rare household that is untouched by rising consumer prices — including high gas costs, expensive airline travel, layoffs, downsizing and economic uncertainty.

But in the midst of this swirling cauldron of doom and gloom, a light shines in the form of online degrees, distance learning and e-learning classes.

A lifeline of both savings and potential income is available to those who plan ahead, in spite of dire recession forecasts.

Here are five ways that online education can save money and add to the household coffers:

  1. An online degree program can save a great deal of money in transportation costs. Gas prices are heading toward $5 a gallon; and with e-learning, there is no need to drive anywhere to attend school. This is a definite money-saver.
  2. By enrolling in online classes instead of on-campus classes, adult learners can continue to work full-time while attending school. This avoids reducing household income by leaving work early to attend classes; and marketable skills are bumped up at the same time. Study time can be designed to fit in with the job schedule.
  3. College students who choose online degrees are available for apprenticeships and on-the-job training in the chosen career field while completing their degree. This provides income and beefs up the resume; so that the chances increase for a better-paying job after graduation.
  4. While working a day job just to pay the bills, the off-hours can be spent preparing for a more lucrative and satisfying career. Coursework for a number of careers can be completed in 1-2 years. These include paralegal, real estate agent, and web designer. Check with the Bureau of Labor Statistics for additional career choices.
  5. Homemakers can prepare for a career while raising children and running a household. After the children’s bedtime and during their naps, work on online classes may be completed. Once the children are all enrolled in school, preparation has been completed for successful entry (or reentry) into the workplace. The additional paycheck then helps to boost household income.
  6. Save on children’s college costs by encouraging them to enroll in an online associate’s degree program for 2 years in the local junior college or in a reasonably-priced accredited online school. This saves money on tuition, dorm and travel costs. And if the student works while in school, money can be put away to pay for the junior and senior years.

E-learning is a vital cost-saving strategy as the U.S. economy struggles to move beyond its current financial woes. By taking advantage of the strengths of this high-tech, higher education alternative, individuals and families may soon find themselves in safer financial waters and untouched by the economic sharks swimming nearby.

online schools, distance learning, e-learning, homemakers, online degree program, online education, higher education 

Popularity: 3% [?]

Posted by vida

From Soldier to CIA Operative and Other Post-Military Careers

Wednesday, June 11th, 2008

Movies like the Bourne Identity have glamorized the idea of working for the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) in clandestine service.  

After all, who wouldn’t want a career that offers an excellent salary with great benefits, international travel opportunities with major expenses paid, excellent language training, working with top-notch personnel, and operating in a fast-paced, dynamic environment. For a select group of people, this describes the ultimate job.

For others, there are are a number of interesting jobs within the CIA that do not involve the cloak-and-dagger aspect and that offer similar great salaries and benefits. But it helps to be a self-motivated, high-achiever; since job applicants will find that competition is keen for any position.

Fortunately, military personnel are in a prime position to snag one of these jobs, depending upon qualifications and service record — including education and experience.  Distance learning offers perfect preparation for those who plan to apply for a CIA career. 

And those who have taken advantage of their military benefits to pursue a traditional or online degree program may find it easier to walk into a lucrative and exciting career that capitalizes on the soldier’s unique background and training.

These are a few of those post-military career possibilities with the CIA:

  1. National Clandestine Service Officer, which often involves living and working in a foreign country. 
  2. Scientists, Engineers and Technology Specialists, which may involve developing and implementing technolgies that are not for general or widespread use.
  3. Analysts in the fields of psychology, economics, leadership, military strategy, medical and health, crime and counternarcotics, politics, science, technology and more.
  4. Language Officers, including those who are already fluent in required languages, as well as those who will receive language training by the CIA to meet job qualifications.
  5. Support services include jobs that are available to talented individuals who have training and qualifications in a number of fields – including finance, architecture, logistics, cartography, human resources, library science, accounting, security, nursing, paralegal, criminal justice, psychology, telecommunications, etc.

Jumping from life as a soldier into a career with the CIA offers continuity in government service; it offers another honorable opportunity to serve the nation.

E-learning through online schools offers the opportunity to gain the knowledge and credentials that will be necessary to win one of the coveted spots with the CIA.

And those who are successful in their quest can enjoy a stimulating, unique and rewarding career.

careers, distance learning, e-learning, jobs, military, online degree program, online degrees, online schools, CIA 

Popularity: 8% [?]

Posted by vida

Reputable, Low-Cost Online Degree Offered in Health Informatics

Tuesday, June 10th, 2008

As the need for qualified health care professionals goes through the roof, new online degree programs attempt to help fill the gap between supply and demand.

And one of the newest careers, health informatics, combines the hot field of health care with the high-tech, high-demand field of information technology management.

Western Governor’s University may be the best deal out there for an online bachelors’s degree in health informatics. Tuition is just $2,890 for a 6-month term, or $5,780 a year.

Those who already have an associate’s degree in information technology management or health care may be able to complete the online bachelor’s degree program more quickly; but the coursework takes 4-5 years for those with no background in either field.

The online education in health informatics offers career-boosting knowledge and exceptional job potential. Upon receiving the coveted college diploma, graduates are qualified to “design, develop, and operate health information systems”, whether in hospitals, private practices, nursing homes, medical governmental agencies (like the Veterans Administration), and other similar venues.   

Read more . . .

online degree program, online schools, health care, Western Governors, online bachelors degree, career, job, online education

Popularity: 6% [?]

Posted by vida