"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 October, 2009

End of recession news brings hope of jobs to come

Thursday, October 29th, 2009

Good news from the Commerce Department indicates that the recession may be over, since the GDP (Gross Domestic Product) rose to an annual rate of 3.5% in the 3rd quarter ending September 2009.

An article by Olsen Olbright at NBC Los Angeles also reports that President Obama’s efforts are finally paying off:

According to a new UCLA economic forecast, all those buy-outs, bailouts, TARPs and clunker sales have finally put the U.S. economy back on track. (10-29-09)

Once again, the economy is closer to recovery; and a flurry of new jobs are hopefully on the way.

The overall unemployment rate of 9.8% in September painted a dismal picture; but today’s news may spur consumer confidence enough to get people spending again, which is crucial to economic recovery.

No one expects the bulk of the jobs to show up too soon, so now is the right timing to acquire new training, certification and college degrees.

E-learning is one way to accomplish this goal without sacrificing income or spending additional money on transportation.

Online degrees, certificates and diplomas may be completed in a few months or a few years; and a program of study can be accelerated or slowed down to accommodate work schedules.

A few promising career paths include health care management, nursing (RN to BSN), environmental studies, engineering, business administration, computer science, and information technology.

Scholarships and financial aid are available for qualified students. Online schools offer financial aid counseling to students who are seeking alternative ways to pay for school.

Active-duty military students, veterans and their spouses often qualify for additional scholarships and G.I. bill aid that may allow them to attend school for free or at a significant discount.

Potential job applicants should take advantage of the time now to earn credentials that will shine when employers roll out the welcome mat once again.

online schools, 3.5 percent, certificate, commerce department, credentials, elearning, financial aid, jobs, military students, online degree programs, online degrees, recovery, recession over, jobs, career

Popularity: 3% [?]

Posted by vida

Why Nursing is a Perfect Job for Men

Thursday, October 29th, 2009

Today, men all over the country are vying for coveted spots in nursing schools to train for a profession that is the hottest ticket in the nation.

They still constitute only about 5.8% of all registered nurses (RNs); but men are suddenly willing to take a serious look at a profession that pretty much has it all.

The term “nursing” had been a stumbling block for many, conjuring up the ages old connotation of females wearing white uniforms and rigid nursing caps. But forward-thinking men are looking beyond semantics to discover a career that fits the bill in so many ways.

Nursing is a perfect career for men with the “right stuff”. Some reasons for this are:

  • Nursing offers high salaries. According to the 2008 Occupational Employment and Wages Report, the median salary for nurses is $62,450, ranging from $43,410 at the lowest to $92,240. With overtime, many nurses earn even more. For those who are supporting a family, this is definitely a plus.
  • Nursing is fast-paced, stimulating and filled with suspense. Each day presents hospital nurses with a new set of circumstances and outcomes; and men may enjoy the “seldom-a-dull-moment” experiences.
  • Nursing offers multiple opportunities for advancement. Even after becoming RNs, motivated nurses may continue with online nursing degrees to move into nursing specialties — i.e. forensic nursing, oncology nursing, pediatric nursing, and perioperative nursing. Nurse educators are also in high demand for the training of new nurses. Additional advanced practice specialties, including nurse midwives, nurse anesthetists, nurse practitioners and clinical nurses, are available with additional certification.
  • Nursing studies may be completed in as little as 2 years for registered nursing. Graduates may begin entry-level nursing positions and make money while preparing for the national licensing exam, the NCLEX-RN, which must be passed in order to earn the RN credential.
  • Nursing jobs are expected to be plentiful in the future. Nursing is the hottest, in-demand career, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS); and at least half a million additional nurses are needed between the years 2006-20016. Hospital jobs are the most plentiful, along with positions in nursing homes, doctor’s offices and outpatient centers.
  • Nursing offers excellent benefits. Most nursing jobs offer generous benefits’ packages, including medical, dental, retirement and more. These are obvious perks, given the benefits cutbacks in other industries. Some employers also sweeten the pot with signing bonuses that may range from a few hundred dollars to more than a thousand dollars.
  • Nursing offers flexible schedules. Since medical care is offered round-the-clock at most medical facilities, there are a number of scheduling options for nurses — and seniority is an advantage. Men may find more time to spend with family and friends or to pursue hobbies.
  • Nursing requires adequate upper-body strength. Working one-on-one with patients generally requires having the physical strength to move them, and any relevant medical equipment, as needed. Men fit the bill perfectly.
  • Nursing is technology oriented. Health care has evolved into a high-tech arena filled with diagnostic machinery, computers and electronic records. Men who love technology should find a home in nursing.
  • Nursing is a prestigious, honorable, well-respected profession.

Men will find that the white, starched uniforms have been replaced by casual, comfortable attire, usually blue, in an updated unisex look.

And what is the “right stuff”? Men have an advantage if they have an aptitude for the biological sciences, a desire to work closely with patients and co-workers, a willingness to take orders from doctors and other nurses, and a significant comfort level within medical environments.

Nursing is a wonderful profession for men; and the future will undoubtedly find a higher percentage of them exploring the benefits and opportunities that abound in this widely popular career field.

online nursing degrees, benefits, career, health care, high tech, hospital jobs, jobs, medical, men, nurses, nursing, online degrees, hospitals, registered nurses, rn

Popularity: 4% [?]

Posted by vida

Five Ways to Impress An Employer with Your Online Degree

Friday, October 23rd, 2009

Recent statistics show that employers view candidates with online degrees much more favorably than they did in the past.

But a shrinking percentage of employers still struggle with the concept of online schools and online degree programs. Job interviews with those employers could involve a few uncomfortable moments if the online degree graduate is not prepared.

So how can online college graduates increase their chances of impressing a potential employer?

Here are five ways:

  • Walk into the interview confidently and well-informed about the company, industry and position for which you are interviewing. Anticipate the questions that may come up about your online degree; and be careful not to let your voice drop or your confidence wane when speaking about your online school, program of study, or distance learning methods used. Remain positive and upbeat about the educational experience without sacrificing honesty and integrity.
  • Find opportunities to interject positive tidbits of information about the online degree program if the employer is slanting the interview in that direction. According to statistics, employers who have an unfavorable attitude toward online schools are simply uninformed or misinformed about e-learning. They do not know how challenging an accredited online degree program is; and most are unfamiliar with the high degree of interaction e-learners experience with instructors and fellow students through distance learning technology. So you may say, for example, that the “rigorous program of online study, with its practical application of learned principles, prepared me well for the integration of technology and expertise required for this position”. Be subtle and not preachy about the benefits of an online education.
  • If the interviewer does not bring up the online aspect of your degree, you should not be the one to begin a discussion about it. You have obviously scored an employer who does not consider e-learning to be an issue. Interviewers tend to focus on what is important to them and to the company; so flow with the interviewer and stick to answers that remain within the bounds of the questions being asked.
  • Before earning an online degree, do your homework and research the chosen higher education institution to be sure that it is properly accredited by accrediting bodies recognized by the U.S. Department of Education. Check out the online degree program of study, the required and elective classes, and the school’s areas of specialty. Choose an accredited online degree program that will fit well into your chosen career niche.
  • In preparation for a job, if you are still a student, excel in your e-learning classes and don’t wait until the last minute to work on assignments or study for tests. Cramming at the last minute may get you through a test; but when you need the information in an interview or on the job, it is often missing in action.  Employers are impressed with job candidates who are eager to learn, eager to work, and who love a challenge. If you already have your online degree and have forgotten a lot of the material you learned in school, review relevant materials and notes over the few days before the interview so the information will be on the tip of your tongue if needed.

These suggestions, along with the practical and common etiquette required for any job interview, should help increase the success of winning a desired job. The library is a wonderful resource for general resume and interview information that will complement these suggestions.

So happy job hunting!

online degrees, college, cramming, distance learning, elearning, employees, employers, graduate, higher education, job, job interview, online degree program, online schools, student

Popularity: 3% [?]

Posted by vida

Online Certificates — A Short Way to a Long Career

Thursday, October 22nd, 2009

When conversations turn to higher education and going back to school, some people become uneasy.

To be honest, returning to school is a daunting prospect for a large segment of the population.

Even online school, with its “do it your way” scheduling, looms large for those who thought they were done with ‘reading, writing and arithmetic’.

Many adults are content to forget about school, except for one thing — they need to make more money. And an online certificate program may be the fastest way to make that happen.

Many online certificates can be earned in weeks or months; and the time is well spent when it translates into higher pay and eligibility for better positions.

Vocational and professional certificates are awarded upon completion of short-term courses designed to nurture expertise in specific career areas.

And since certificates take a shorter time to complete than college degrees, students often enjoy the learning process because the subject matter is practical and related to the current job or a desired position.

Traditional and online certificates are available in an array of vocational and professional fields — including business, computers, nursing, beauty school, auto mechanics, accounting and bookkeeping, interior design, personal fitness, dental assisting, graphic design, aviation mechanics, culinary arts, early childhood education, criminal justice and education. Certificates may also be earned in unusual fields, like taxidermy.

Those who are interested in a longer course of study may want to consider enrolling in an online degree program that will lead to an associate’s, bachelor’s or doctoral degree.

Otherwise, online certificates may be the only way to go.

online degree programs, online school, certificate, return to school, higher education, make more money, dental assisting, beauty school, accounting, job, job market, career, life

Popularity: 3% [?]

Posted by vida

Diploma Mill Victims Complain to Better Business Bureau

Monday, October 19th, 2009

In spite of repeated warnings from the Better Business Bureau (BBB) and other agencies, diploma mills continue to scam trusting victims who recognize online education as a pathway to success.

As a result, the BBB continually receives complaints from individuals who unknowingly toss away hard-earned cash for worthless high school diplomas or fake college degrees advertised online.

Belford Among Scam Diploma Mills

Four diploma mills are high on the BBB’s list of scam schools:  Belford High School, Belford University, Jefferson High School Online, Vencer High School Online. But many other diploma mills also bank on those who are eager to acquire a diploma as quickly as possible.

Over 117 complaints have been lodged against Belford from 40 states — just the tip of the iceberg.

Diploma mill victims are often shocked, even embarrassed, to find out about their worthless diplomas from potential employers, military recruiters, or accredited colleges and universities to which they apply.

Slick advertising and professionally designed web pages lure unsuspecting individuals with promises that “life experience” or a simple test is the lone gateway to a high school diploma or online degree.

Phony accreditation is usually created as part of the scam. But neither the phony schools nor their bogus accrediting bodies are recognized by the U.S. Department of Education.

Red Flags and Warning Signs

Warning signs of diploma mills include the following:

  • little or no college-level coursework is required;
  • the diploma is based completely upon ‘life experience’;
  • tuition is charged per degree (associate’s, bachelor’s or doctorate) rather than per unit;
  • discounts apply if ordering more than one degree;
  • diplomas are sent out quickly, usually just days or weeks after payment; and
  • no faculty members are listed on the school website, or the faculty members all have degrees from the diploma mill.

Diploma mills are riding high on the tremendous popularity of online education. Online degree programs have captured the hearts of adult learners who juggle multiple responsibilities and require greater flexibility in education. Online classes are also in-demand from a generation of students with sophisticated high technology expectations. According to the Sloan Consortium, the growth rate of online degree programs is higher than that of traditional on-campus programs.

Anyone who plans to enroll in an online degree program should check their school out carefully with the U.S. Department of Education and the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA) in order to avoid becoming a diploma mill victim.

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Popularity: 3% [?]

Posted by vida

Free Online Classes Offer Everything But the Kitchen Sink

Wednesday, October 14th, 2009

It doesn’t have to cost an arm and a leg to enter the virtual halls of higher education.

In fact, several colleges and universities have stepped up to the plate to offer many of their campus classes free to anyone who wants to learn via online education.

One of the top schools offering free college classes is MIT, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, through their OpenCourseWare program.

They offer more than 1,900 free courses covering all major college subject areas — including arts, science, business management, foreign languages, architecture, engineering, physical education, music, math, health, environmental studies, economics, history, women’s studies and literature.

The free online classes generally include a syllabus, homework assignments, exams, video materials (where applicable), and lecture notes.

However, they do not include an instructor or course credit; and they are not considered to be part of an MIT education. No degrees, certificates or other credentials are linked to completing the courses.

But virtual students will find offerings like The History of Computing, Fundamentals of Music, Introduction to Psychology, French 1 & 2, Expository Writing, Principles of Microeconomics, Introduction to Biology, Calculus, Fundamentals of Ecology, the Civil War and Reconstruction, and much more.

Those who love to learn and who are interested in studying class materials on their own through e-learning will discover a gold mine of information in each OpenCourseWare class — and all for free.

Now that’s a bargain everyone can afford.

online education, elearning, online classes, higher education, free education, mit, opencourseware, certificate, free college classes, virtual students, university, college, women

Popularity: 4% [?]

Posted by vida

Now Is a Great Time to Enroll in Online Schools

Monday, October 12th, 2009

Now is the best time to enroll in online schools , online degree programs and online classes.

Why? Because online schools allow career professionals and others the opportunity to earn a new college degree, professional certificate and other credentials without giving up precious work hours or time with loved ones.

Some students may have the luxury of not having to juggle a job and other responsibilities. But for those who are trying to balance a busy schedule, online school is a perfect way to keep moving forward in a career without making unnecessary sacrifices.

Online degree programs come in numerous sizes, shapes and flavors. Business management, education, computer science, software design, paralegal studies, advanced nursing, criminal justice, psychology and engineering are just a few of the available choices. And online degrees may be found not only in online schools, but also in community colleges, public universities and private colleges.`

Online schools offer an excellent education at prices that range from bargain basement to expensive, just as is true of traditional colleges and universities. Accredited online schools are also eligible for federal financial aid, which provides students with several options for financing their education.

Potential students should shop around for the best online degree program for their chosen career field, financial situation and desired graduation deadline.

But there is no better time than now to pursue a college education and find fulfillment in finally choosing to turn dreams into reality.

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Popularity: 3% [?]

Posted by vida

Obama’s Administration Is Not Just About Health Care

Saturday, October 3rd, 2009

Contrary to all of the pot-stirring by news outlets, health care is not the only issue that defines President Obama’s administration.

And although health care and the war in Iraq may deserve top billing today, federal stimulus money is trickling down and beginning to make a difference in several segments of the U.S. economy.

In fact, many who are skilled in road construction or engineering may already have jobs associated with one of the hundreds of highway projects initiated by the new administration.

And teachers, students, parents and school administrators are eagerly awaiting the benefits of education monies that are trickling down even now.

A few days ago, U.S. Education Secretary Duncan announced that $43 million in Teacher Quality Partnership grants has been awarded to 28 “high-need school districts, their high-need schools, institutions of higher education and their colleges or departments of education, arts and sciences”.

These grants will be used to improve elementary, junior high and high school education by reforming teacher preparation programs in higher education institutions, while providing teachers with the tools they need to succeed in the classroom. The grants will also help specific schools and school districts.

Another $100 million will be added to this program in 2010 through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA).

Presidents Obama has also suggested changes to the public school system that include longer school days, less summer vacation, and a greater emphasis upon math, science, and technology subjects. Although these recommendations are unpopular with school children, they are geared toward helping American students keep pace with students in other developed countries around the world.

Online learning factors heavily into President Obama’s education recommendations; and online school programs will offer new, high-tech e-learning opportunities to students of all ages.

The new administration is working to fix a slew of problems, like our roads and education — not just health care.

And money is trickling down into the economy, like water into a dry desert. It will take awhile to feel the effects; but it should be refreshing to know that help really is on the way — especially for those who need it most.

health care, president obama, news, issue, war in iraq, online schools, teachers, students, parents, children, high needs, elearning, roads, 2010, online learning

Popularity: 3% [?]

Posted by vida