"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 January, 2009

Bill Gates & You — A Recipe for Success?

Friday, January 30th, 2009

Bill Gates was a junior at Harvard University in 1975, when he left school to cultivate a business that he and a friend had just started.

Although graduation day was less than 2 years away, Gates believed he needed to act quickly to get ahead of the crowd in developing software for the growing computer industry. And after all, he had already distinguished himself at Harvard with his programming skills and knowledge of computers.

Of course, the rest is history; and his business, Microsoft, is a household word.

For individuals today, there are five things to keep in mind in the search for a successful career:

  • Like Bill Gates, it is still crucial for individuals to develop a career plan, invest in acquiring knowledge and skills, then diligently work to pursue a vision for filling an unmet need in a growing industry.
  • This is a great time to plan for the future, even though there is a slowdown in the current economy.
  • The Bureau of Labor Statistics offers a look at which industries are expected to grow significantly. The usual suspects — health care, education, information technology, criminal Justice, computer science, and others — are broad in scope and provide a wide berth in choosing a particular career.
  • Creativity in the career search and job preparation phase contributes greatly to standing out among the crowd.
  • Environmental issues, the growth in technology, a transformation in population demographics, and changes in how people and businesses spend their money will help define trends in the job market.

Once a career vision is clear, knowledge and skills are readily available through online degree programs, online classes and vocational certificate programs.

Elearning is the future of education; and staying out of tuition debt is possible by researching online schools to find the best bang for the buck. The availability of scholarships, federal grants and low-interest loans are often an unexpected bonus for returning students.

Not everyone will experience the same success as Bill Gates, but many will find their niche, along with sufficient income, a higher standard of living and a sense of fulfillment. And along the journey, the love of family and friends often completes the picture; because relationship time remains intact when using a flexible online study format.

So say yes to a potential future of promise, originality, visionary foresight and, of course, success.

online school, online degree programs, online classes, business, careers, debt, elearning, hope, invest, jobs, Microsoft, money, plan, spend, tuition, work

Popularity: 7% [?]

Posted by vida

Women Courted for Prime Slots in Executive MBA Programs

Tuesday, January 27th, 2009

If women make up more than half of the U.S. population, why do women make up such a small percentage of executive MBA graduates?

That question is finally being answered by schools offering the prestigious, executive MBA program (EMBA), a program that translates into fast-track entry into prominent echelons of the business world.

According to the Wall Street Journal, women comprise less than 20% of the class in most EMBA programs, with female enrollment falling as low as 5% in top-tier schools. In contrast, 40% of part-time students in traditional MBA programs are women.

Business schools now realize that recruiting women into their EMBA programs is a win-win situation for everyone. It helps to fill the slots of a program that can cost $150,000 or more for a 2-year program; and as a result, more women become eligible for high-profile executive jobs.

Successful strategies currently being used to reach recruitment goals include:

  • One-on-one personal recruitment of new college graduates
  • Flexible schedules, including the use of online classes
  • Full and partial scholarships targeting women who enroll in EMBA programs
  • Portraying female executives in online and print recruitment ads

Traditional and online MBA programs are popular among business professionals and cost far less than the hefty outlay of tuition dollars required by EMBA programs.

Women who need to juggle work, family and school find that an online bachelor’s degree followed by an online MBA is a flexible career plan that allows uninterrupted full-time work. This is especially helpful in the present economy, as workers concerned about layoffs find it detrimental to take time off from their jobs to attend school.

Online colleges and universities cater to fast-track professionals, while providing an array of financial aid options - including grants, scholarships, student loans, work study and GI bill tuition benefits for those who are eligible.

Women can look forward to increased career opportunities, as executive and traditional MBA schools expand recruitment to include this “other half” of the population.

online school, executive MBA, flexible, jobs, layoffs, MBA, online bachelor’s, online classes, online colleges, online MBA, online universities, professionals, prominent, scholarships for women, slots, women

Popularity: 7% [?]

Posted by vida

Hope Translates into Dollars with Online Degrees

Tuesday, January 20th, 2009

As President Obama steps forward after the inauguration to take over the reins of national leadership, hope springs anew in the hearts of many who have experienced layoffs from jobs, financial hardship, housing challenges and a myriad of other disappointments.

But in this new day as the hard work of economic recovery continues, one time-tested solution involves individuals returning to school to earn extra dollars by working toward a college degree. And although it may seem like a daunting undertaking, a college education generally translates into a better job, more money and a higher standard of living.

According to a 2002 U.S. Census report, average annual earnings are $25,900 for high school graduates, $33,000 for associate’s degree graduates, $45,400 for bachelor’s degree graduates, and $54,500 for master’s degree graduates. Of course, earnings vary depending on the career field.

Online degrees in accounting, nursing, business management, criminal justice, information systems, paralegal studies, engineering, education and health care are among popular choices; and online classes may be found in traditional colleges and universities, online schools and junior colleges.

An exciting new year with a new president who is raising new hopes may also signal a new career path for motivated, visionary individuals.

online degrees, online school, online classes, health care, president, disappointment, financial, hard work, hope, national, new day, recovery, dollars, inauguration

Popularity: 5% [?]

Posted by vida

Zoom Ahead of the Pack with Accounting Careers

Saturday, January 17th, 2009

Perhaps never before in history have accounting-related stories popped up in the headlines so often.

News reports of financial scandals involving well-heeled, well-educated, unethical sharks have shaken the accounting profession – and the stormy economy — to its core.

Yet accounting remains a promising way to make a living, a relatively safe harbor in a sea of beached companies and massive layoffs. And online schools may offer the best way to navigate a full-time job while earning an online accounting degree.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, accounting is a rising star; and jobs in the field are expected to grow at a rate faster than the national average into the year 2016. With median annual salaries upward of $54,000 (the top 10% earn more than $94,000), it is a business career that may be worth its weight in gold.

Four major areas of accounting – public, government, management and internal auditing – provide the majority of jobs in this field, with education, information technology, investment & financial planning, and consulting offering additional opportunities.

The growing specialty of forensic accounting, combines law and criminal justice with accounting skills to investigate securities fraud, embezzlement, bankruptcy, money laundering, income tax evasion and other potential criminal transactions. Forensic accountants work closely with law enforcement officials and may also testify in court as expert witnesses.

The University of Phoenix, Kaplan University and DeVry University are several online schools that offer accredited online degrees in accounting.

So zoom ahead of the pack by preparing for a career in this detail-oriented field.

online schools, online accounting degree, careers, jobs, accounting degrees, elearning, headlines, financial, economy, gold, zoom, accounting degree online, online school

Popularity: 6% [?]

Posted by vida

Why I Signed Up for Online School

Wednesday, January 14th, 2009

What do the cities of Chicago, Las Vegas, Los Angeles and Jackson Hole all have in common?

They are all places in which I have either worked on my online class assignments or prepared for the new semester  — completely by computer.

I live in sunny California; and this past year and a half has been a suave, yet challenging, entrance into the world of high-tech learning.

Frankly, I decided to pursue online education because I didn’t want to be confined to attending classes on a specific day at a specific time every week for 17 weeks at a time. I needed the flexibility to study around my husband’s work schedule, my own job, visits to Mom, and other family-related events.

Still, it was more than a little scary to go back to school, especially online school.

Sitting on the couch with a bowl of popcorn while watching American Idol or House was more my speed. And besides, I had heard that online classes were time-consuming and difficult to understand on your own. Worst of all, according to naysayers, there was no teacher around to help.

But in spite of what were rumored to be significant roadblocks, I joined the millions of men and women who have enrolled in online degree programs, online schools, online classes, online certificate programs and online vocational programs.

I signed up for web design classes and began a cool journey that — six online classes later — has left me full of pleasant surprises, but with no regrets.

online school, American Idol, California, Chicago, family, house, Las Vegas, Mom, not, online certificate, online degree programs, online education, school, suave, women

Popularity: 6% [?]

Posted by vida

Online Degrees: Have You Been Left Behind?

Thursday, January 8th, 2009

Although distance learning has been around for over a century, never before in its history has there been such a plethora of options for education seekers.

Computers have replaced “learning by mail” correspondence courses; and phrases like “e-learning“, “online schools” and “surf the web” are now commonly used by millions of people.

Yet for some, a shroud of mystery continues to surround distance learning. And as a result, misinformation and misconceptions prevent those individuals from taking advantage of this advanced technological tool for earning a college degree, training for a new career, or taking current job skills up a notch.

So here are just a few facts to remember about online education:

  • Over three and a half million college students took at least one online class in the fall of 2007, according to a study of 2500 schools by the Sloan Consortium, and the number continues to grow each year.
  • E-learning classes are popular on traditional college campuses, often filling up before the on-campus versions of the same class.
  • Accredited online degree programs are reputable and held to strict educational standards by many of the same major accrediting bodies that accredit traditional colleges and universities. Of course, earning an online associate, bachelor’s or master’s degree involves challenging course assignments; but the resulting college diploma is worth the effort.
  • Online degree programs are designed to work best for students who are self-starters, who are disciplined in their studies and who do not need the stimulation of a classroom setting. For adult learners, this type of learning is a great fit. It also works well for others who lead busy lives and who appreciate the flexibility that e-learning offers.
  • E-learning students are generally in close contact with their professors via e-mail and message boards. Online teachers tend to be more accessible and work diligently to help their online students complete the required coursework successfully.
  • There are tens of thousands of different online degree programs, professional certificates and vocational programs – including business administration, accounting & finance, health administration, criminal justice, psychology, English, computer information systems, paralegal studies, nursing, history, software design, writing, interior design, and engineering.
  • The price of owning a computer has decreased significantly over the years, so there is no need for online students to rely on computers at work, in libraries or at Internet cafes in order to complete homework assignments. A laptop with an internal modem can be purchased for under $300 today, which makes it easier to travel and take classes at the same time. And connecting to the World Wide Web is also easier, with free Internet available in a number of “wi-fi hotspots” all over the world.

There is no reason for anyone to miss out on the advantages of distance learning as it continues its mission to reach all who desire to take the higher education journey, but without ever leaving home.

online degrees, online schools, distance learning, e-learning, online bachelor’s degree, online master’s degree, professional certificate, wi-fi hotspot, Internet, World Wide Web, business administration, software designer, criminal justice, psychology

Popularity: 5% [?]

Posted by vida

Broaden Your Skills for Better Job Prospects

Saturday, January 3rd, 2009

In Florida, rows of yachts sit in front of multi-million dollar homes on the Intracoastal Waterway of Fort Lauderdale. These belong to movers and shakers who continue to prosper, in spite of a hurricane-lashed economy.

It makes one wonder whether regular folks might also find a little piece of stability in the midst of an economic storm.

It is no secret that job losses in America are widespread, rapidly increasing beyond the current 6.7% rate, as companies continue to downsize or close their doors forever. But it is a little-known fact that many businesses actually continue to do well enough to hire new workers, in spite of escalating problems with the economy. They are holding their own, even prospering in many cases.

As a result, it may be possible, and perhaps advisable, for motivated chameleon-types to broaden employment skills in order to become what employers are seeking in a job applicant.

Online schools , distance learning classes at local junior colleges, and online degree programs offered at 4-year colleges and universities provide opportunities to make headway in a job market that has seen better days. And those who are fortunate enough to remain employed should consider that learning additional skills may add points when the boss is making decisions about who to keep and who to let go.

The dour employment numbers reported by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) — which cites job losses of 533,000 in November, 320,000 in October and 403,000 in September of 2008 — may appear hopeless. Yet there is a glint of sunlight in employment numbers that show approximately 154 million people still working in the U.S.

Motivated individuals should be encouraged that going back to school is like panning for gold and could lead to pay dirt. It will not only strengthen a resume; but it may add confidence, open new doors or even lead to a promotion or pay increase.

Among projections of the fastest growing industries listed by the BLS are:

  • management, scientific and technical consulting,
  • individual and family services,
  • home health care services,
  • computer systems design,
  • residential care facilities,
  • software publishers,
  • amusement and recreation industries,
  • architectural and engineering services, and
  • financial services.

Of course, these may change over time; so it is important do a little research and talk to professionals in a chosen field.

Rather than honing in on the dark cloud of economic forecasts, why not rise above the clouds to discover that the sun is still shining?

Even in a pessimistic climate, well-maintained yachts still travel up and down the East Coast. And though that may not be everyone’s path, there is a lesson in this. Perhaps, through higher education, more of us will joyfully discover what that lesson happens to be.

online schools , distance_learning , America , economy , employers , employment , health care , higher education , job losses , jobs , online education , e-learning

Popularity: 5% [?]

Posted by vida

‘Go Back to School’ is Always a Favorite New Year’s Resolution

Thursday, January 1st, 2009

Once again, we watched the ball drop in Times Square, saw Dick Clark, and joined in the popular New Year’s Eve countdown.

And along with millions of others, we listened to the familiar strains of Auld Lang Syne and looked forward, with anticipation, to the Rose Bowl parade and to the excitement of a new year.

As our thoughts continue to wrap around the saying, “out with the old and in with the new”, wisdom beckons us to cling to the best of the old years.

After all, we tried new things in 2008 that worked well for us. And if we continue to hone our lives so that nothing of value is skimmed off the top and discarded, then each year will greet us with new hope and  promise.

Most of us crave new beginnings in this New Year; signified by our jotting down a few resolutions that may or may not be followed by relevant action. But the new beginnings that sprout up and blossom are those that are well-planned, consistently tended and rarely neglected.

Yes, we have arrived at another new year; but the challenge for each of us will be to determine what our focus will be in this particular year.

One popular choice for new beginnings is a return to school to earn a college degree or professional certificate. For adult learners, this may involve distance learning through traditional or online schools.

Distance learning has drawn millions of students back to school and opened doors of opportunity to many who would not otherwise complete a college degree or certificate. The flexibility of online schools — studying via computer at convenient times in a location of choice — has revolutionized higher education.

But whether the focus for the New Year is on returning to school or another area, hopefully 2009 will offer little to discard and much to keep.

We wish you a Happy New Year!

online schools, new beginnings, in with the new, resolutions, old year, change, happy new year, rose bowl, times square, beckons, new hope, watch the ball drop, out with the old

Popularity: 4% [?]

Posted by vida