"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 the ‘online degree’ Category

Why Employers Hate to Love Online Degree Applicants

Thursday, December 16th, 2010

Employers are in a tough spot these days.

Every time they list a job opening, applicants flood their places of business.

And as can be expected in a high-tech world, many applicants hold accredited online degrees, which still create hiring barriers for some employers.

But these motivated graduates often had barriers of their own in earning a college degree; so they found another way — online learning.

And although this form of learning is not an easy road, they sacrificed time and money to study and learn via computer in order to strengthen job skills and earn necessary credentials.

Employers cannot deny the fortitude, perseverance and discipline that is inherent in these applicants; but a few still have difficulty with the concept of online degrees.

Yet over time, more naysayers are discovering the following about e-learning graduates:

  • A large percentage of online degree graduates are military students, who maintained their grades through graduation, while being transferred to several different duty stations — including locations in active war zones.
  • Working dads and moms, who juggle numerous responsibilities, are another admirable group.
  • Others include disadvantaged inner city grads, physically challenged grads, English as a second language grads, and single parents who transcended insurmountable odds to earn college diplomas.

Although some would love to discount their accomplishments, wise employers quickly learn that online degree graduates of accredited online schools are a valuable commodity.

And soon, employers find themselves whistling a new tune of admiration instead.

online degrees, online learning, working moms, jobs, employers, military students, war, english as a second language

Popularity: 2% [?]

Posted by vida

Why Undocumented College Students Deserve a Tuition Break

Friday, July 16th, 2010

As the heated battle over illegal immigration continues, a few states have tossed a tuition lifeline to undocumented, primarily Latino, college students.

According to today’s Los Angeles Times:

Ten states have passed laws to allow undocumented college students to pay in-state tuition, and several have expanded access to state-funded health benefits and improved enforcement of wage and hour laws.

Perhaps these states are not just being generous, but are securing and improving their own futures by taking into consideration a few facts:

  • College graduates are far less likely to commit crimes.
  • College graduates earn more money and have a higher standard of living than non-graduates.
  • College graduates help to fill higher-level job vacancies throughout the state.
  • Children of college graduates are more likely to attend college.
  • College graduates are positive role models for children and others in their communities.

So, by extending a helping hand to undocumented college students, forward-thinking leaders are making a down payment on a more prosperous future for their states.

They are investing in lower crime rates, a well-educated work force, and an overall higher standard of living for the state’s population. They are also insuring better cooperation and coexistence between the people of their state.

Some state leaders may believe they cannot afford to give undocumented college students this type of break.

But perhaps they can’t afford not to do it.

college, college students, tuition, latino, latino students, college graduates, jobs, undocumented, illegal immigrant, less crime

Popularity: 5% [?]

Posted by vida

Northern California Wine Country Feeds Culinary Arts

Wednesday, April 14th, 2010

Visitors from all over the world love to visit the Northern California wine country — a region of beautiful vineyards, scenic countryside and spectacular coastline.

Last week, 25,000 visitors from 47 states flocked to just two wine-tasting events, according to the Press Democrat.

In addition, spectacular architectural displays, such as the Castello di Amorosa winery in Calistoga — also know as ‘The Castle’ — draw busloads of tourists to the area year round.

The emphasis on wine-tasting and production, however, also enhances the proliferation of fine dining establishments, where local wines are promoted and served alongside sommelier favorites from outside the Napa, Sonoma, and Mendocino region.

Budding chefs and restaurant entrepreneurs discover inspiration through a variety of culinary arts opportunities in Northern California, including the French Laundry Restaurant, which has an 8-week or more waiting list. It is no wonder that culinary arts schools thrive in this gastronomical environment.

One of the premier cooking schools in the area, the Culinary Institute of America in St. Helena, is adjacent to the Wine Spectator Restaurant, where diners enjoy a sweeping view of picturesque vineyards from its outdoor patio.

This beautiful setting provides an idyllic training ground for the soon-to-graduate culinary arts students next door, who work closely with the professional restaurant staff at the Wine Spectator.

However, culinary arts programs are not limited to Northern California, but are available throughout the nation. Interested students who desire a restaurant or food services career may choose from qualified culinary arts programs closer to their homes.

To make it easier for students who are far from a local culinary arts school, some colleges offer online culinary arts programs. Ashworth College, offers an online diploma in Gourmet Cooking & Catering, with a series of 20 contained lessons that can be completed at home.

After graduation, culinary arts students may consider career opportunities that take them to far away dream locations — including the tantalizing Northern California wine country.

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Popularity: 5% [?]

Posted by vida

U.S. Employers Accept Online Degrees of Foreign Workers

Wednesday, February 24th, 2010

Do employers accept online degrees? Will they unequivocally hire individuals with an online bachelor’s, master’s or doctorate degree?

The answers to these questions heavily influence those who are considering an online degree program.

An article in The Economist today, A Triumph of Democracy: Should an MBA be open to anyone?, appears to bolster the notion that a rising number of employers favor online degrees, including online MBAs.

According to the article, the acceptance of online degrees by U.S. employers is particularly evident in India.

There, distance-learning is legislated as a valuable and acceptable means to gain additional credentials, training and higher degrees. According to Indian law, employers must accept accredited online degrees in hiring, promotions and pensions.

So what does this have to do with U.S. employers? Well, considering that U.S. companies are outsourcing jobs to India in droves, this is extremely relevant.

A growing number of U.S. businesses have eliminated departments and moved entire companies overseas in order to shift operations to countries, like India, where employers pay a fraction of what they previously paid to American workers.

Yet millions of highly skilled workers in India receive their training and college degrees online. So by shifting operations to these workers, U.S. employers are wholeheartedly accepting online degrees across the board.

In 2004, both Fox News and USA Today predicted that the outsourcing of high-tech and accounting jobs to India (and other nations) would increase significantly over the years. In fact, hundreds of thousands of U.S. tax returns are prepared in India each year through American accounting firms that may or may not divulge this fact to their clients.

Today’s article in The Economist confirms that India has “. . . a huge and diverse distance-learning market.”

Distance-learning continues to dominate higher education in India in order to meet the needs of 230 million potential students who cannot be served by traditional means. As these students graduate with online degrees, they are integrated into the mainstream of new jobs created by an increasing number of U.S. and foreign businesses.

So, is it possible that U.S. companies could so firmly embrace foreign workers who earned online degrees, yet question the validity of accredited online degrees earned by American job applicants?

It seems that this issue would cause quite a stir in the climate of the current job market, especially if employers attempt to use an accredited online degree as an excuse not to hire someone.

Hopefully, such a hypocritical stance is unacceptable to any honest, well-informed employer.

Instead, taking the few minutes to check the validity of online degrees through the U.S. Department of Education, as well as contacting the Admissions & Records departments of the schools in question, appears to be the best route to insure a win-win situation for all.

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Popularity: 6% [?]

Posted by vida

The Berlin Wall and Veterans Day: A Remembrance

Wednesday, November 11th, 2009

As the celebrations of the fall of the Berlin Wall continue in Germany, we once again commemorate the members of our armed forces on Veterans Day.

Almost 50 years ago, the city of Berlin was divided by a formidable wall that remained standing for almost 30 years.

East German soldiers patrolled the east side of the wall; and American, British and French soldiers guarded the west side.

My father was a soldier stationed in Germany in the late 1960’s; so I remember the Berlin Wall.

I will never forget traveling into East Berlin as a ‘military brat’ on holiday with my family. We boarded a bus in West Berlin and arrived at Checkpoint Charlie.

There, our paperwork was checked out by U.S. soldiers; and we were given explicit instructions about what to expect on the trip — and how to conduct ourselves. Then the bus drove into East Berlin.

Just a little past the Berlin Wall, the bus stopped.

When I glanced out of the bus window, I saw a mean-looking, well-trained group of uniformed soldiers march up and surround our bus. A few quickly crawled beneath the bus for an inspection, while others walked around it and visually inspected every nook and cranny.

Then, several of them came onboard; and I was suddenly afraid.

They were not friendly fellows. They did not smile, and they certainly did not make small talk.

Instead, they took each person’s passport and stared intensely at the person, then at the passport picture, and again at the person. When it was my turn, I hoped the cold, penetrating stare would not cause me to make any observable misstep.

But I must have done okay; because the soldier moved on and eventually got off the bus with his comrades.

An East German guide boarded the bus and coolly relayed more instructions. The rest of the trip was interesting and uneventful; though we saw only what they wanted us to see — including the majestic Brandenburg Gate.

We were not allowed to talk with any East German citizens, we could not wander off alone, and our bus could not make any deviations from the scheduled tour.

We went through another thorough inspection of the bus before being allowed to cross back into West Berlin; and it was only then that I noticed the tiny crosses that lined the western side of the Berlin Wall — most with flowers, but all standing out as reminders of those who were shot and killed trying to escape into West Germany.

The Berlin Wall was erected in 1961. By the time it began to fall on November 9th, 1989, it stretched nearly 100 miles and was topped with barbed wire.

Historians should continue to remind us of this and other significant events. Without historians, naysayers would attempt to erase or sugarcoat history, in order to promote their own agendas.

Students who major in history should be proud of that choice. And if they can, they should travel to some of the places where key historical events took place.

If they enroll in online degree programs, it will be easier to travel. But online schools and online classes, though convenient, are just one way to pursue a history degree. Community colleges and traditional universities offer additional options.

The Berlin Wall is now gone, thank goodness, but we should remember those soldiers — past and present — who earned the freedoms that America, western Europe and some other countries continue to enjoy.

Soldiers of the U.S. military deserve our highest respect and gratitude, on Veterans Day and every day of our lives, for their generous actions on our behalf.

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Popularity: 8% [?]

Posted by vida

Swine Flu Cases Multiply Rapidly As Colleges Prepare for Fall Students

Wednesday, July 29th, 2009

As excited college students prepare to move into campus dorms, they look forward to meeting new roommates, fitting all their belongings into half of a dorm room and registering for classes.

They are not concerned about catching the flu.

That job belongs to health officials at the Centers for Disease Control who are, indeed, concerned.

Even as students and parents prepare to lug heavy boxes into dorm rooms all over the nation, the Centers for Disease Control epidemiologists are working feverishly to head off the potentially serious consequences of a fast-moving, unpredictable — yet still mild — flu virus.

The H1N1 virus, known as the swine flu, has already struck 43,771 Americans in confirmed cases (as of 7-24-09) and continues to move rapidly throughout the population during this unusual summer season. Normally, the summer is not a part of flu season.

Some CDC officials estimate the numbers of flu cases to be closer to a million; since most people who contract the current strain of H1N1 are not tested for it and are able to recover without serious complications.

But the scenario may change in the fall, when school children and college students cluster again together in close quarters.

Although there are only 302 confirmed deaths in the U.S. from the H1N1 virus (as of 7-24-09), the strain is poised to mutate into a more dangerous flu virus that could cause tens of thousands of deaths if not averted.

However, there are preventative steps that may limit serious repercussions of the swine flu:

  • Distributing antiviral drugs as needed,
  • Students opting for online classes, online schools and online degree programs instead of on-campus classes that force them to be exposed to sick people,
  • Educating the public about what to do if they become sick with the swine flu,
  • Avoiding crowds when sick or if in a high risk category, like having asthma or a compromised immune system,
  • Washing hands frequently to help prevent becoming sick with the flu,
  • Covering the nose and mouth with a clean tissue when sneezing or coughing,
  • Contacting a doctor if experiencing high fevers or breathing difficulties.

Flu season came early this year, with a head start on the students who will soon begin their college or university studies.

But those who opt for online education may find solace in the opportunity to study in the comfort and safety of their flu-free homes.

antiviral drugs, antiviral drugs, cdc, college, epidemiologist, flu season, h1n1 virus, online degree programs, online schools, students, summer season, swine flu

Popularity: 8% [?]

Posted by vida

New Education Benefits Arrive for Post 9/11 Military Veterans

Friday, July 24th, 2009

A brand new group of educational benefits arrive on August 1st, 2009, for military personnel who served a tour of duty after September 11th, 2001.

This financial windfall covers major expenses for post 9/11 soldiers and former soldiers who return to school to pursue a college degree or vocational certificate.

The Post 9/11 Veterans Educational Assistance Act of 2008 provides financial aid and support to active-duty military personnel and veterans who enroll in accredited online schools, traditional colleges and universities, and vocational schools.

Students will receive all or a portion of the costs for tuition, housing and books if they meet the selective eligibility criteria.

For eligible military members and veterans, the benefits will cover:

  • Full tuition up to the amount of the most expensive public college in the applicant’s state,
  • $1,000 a year stipend for books & supplies (for veterans only),
  • a monthly housing allowance equal to the basic allowance paid to a military E5 with dependents (for veterans only),
  • Tutorial assistance or up to $2,000 for one licensing or certification test,
  • The option, for some, to transfer these educational benefits to dependents.

Eligibility requirements for the new education benefits apply to those applicants:

  • who are still serving in the military or were honorably discharged after serving at least 90 consecutive active-duty days following 9/11;
  • who were released from active duty into a branch of the military reserves following 90 consecutive days of active duty after 9/11; or
  • who were honorably discharged after 30 consecutive active-duty days following a service-connected disability.

Additional criteria may apply; but students may enroll in military-approved online degrees, online vocational and certificate programs, and traditional college, university and vocational programs.

Costs incurred before August 1st, 2009, are not eligible for these particular benefits.

Benefits remain active for 15 years following the eligible military tour of duty and are payable for up to 36 months for those who meet all of the necessary criteria.

For further information, check out the Department of Veterans Affairs website.

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Popularity: 8% [?]

Posted by vida

Ten Ways to Cruise on the Cheap While Taking Online Classes

Monday, June 15th, 2009

Summer has arrived; and adult learners may be wondering how to take a cheap vacation without skipping a beat in online classes.

Thankfully, the travel industry is happy to oblige by offering great deals on just about everything. Still, cruising may be among the best ways to save money on a vacation while continuing with online degree studies.

For the price of gas, food, a couple of nights in a mid-range hotel and activities, e-learners and their families or friends could sail away on the vacation of a lifetime.

Just check out these facts about cruising to an online degree:

  1. The costs for a 4-day cruise this summer begin as low as $184 per person (before taxes and fees) from Florida, New Orleans or Long Beach, according to today’s 90-day ticker from Vacations to Go, a  website that lists the best cruise deals, especially last-minute bargains. Additional special discounts may apply for past passengers and those over age 55.
  2. Cruise costs cover a bundle – ship transportation to exotic ports, 24-hour food, some beverages, lavish entertainment for adults and children, room service, twice-daily cabin cleaning and more.
  3. For 4 people staying in the same cabin, the 3rd and 4th persons pay just a fraction of the full fare, generally between 40-60% less. This is a kid-friendly deal for families, but also works well for family gatherings, friends and co-workers.
  4. Onboard credits are free money that is offered by travel agents, credit card companies or the cruise line. These are valuable because they are applied to the onboard account and may cover tipping fees, excursions, alcoholic drinks, shopping or other additional costs. A good travel agent can help explore this option.
  5. Most ports can be explored without purchasing expensive excursions from the ship. A good guide book from the library can give excellent tips about saving money while seeing the sights on your own.
  6. Most ships offer onboard Internet cafes and designated public WiFi hotspots. Some ships, like the new Celebrity Solstice series, offer data ports for Internet access in individual cabins, which is great for online students. Some Princess ships offer the use of individual laptops for the duration of the cruise on a first-come, first served basis. Discounted Internet plans offer cheaper rates then paying by the minute.
  7. To save money on Internet rates, online students may opt to gather web research ahead of time. Then on the ship, they can work offline and connect to the Internet only to turn in assignments or email instructors.
  8. Tipping is generally not mandatory on the ship; although there are suggested amounts per day to cover cabin stewards, waiters, head waiters, and other staff. Even when the tipping fees are automatically deducted from the onboard account, passengers may raise or lower the tipping amount at their own discretion. However, after observing how diligently the staff works on their behalf, the suggested tips — totaling about $10 per adult passenger per day — often appear to be reasonable to most cruisers.
  9. The 3,634-passenger ship, Independence of the Seas, not only provides extensive Internet access, it also offers rock-climbing, a water park, a surf park, ice skating, youth clubs, a full-size boxing ring and sports court, miniature golf, a fitness center, a casino, shopping — plus a multitude of other diversions for those who need extra study time to devote to online classes while family or friends literally dive into the fun onboard.
  10. Retirees, homeschooling families and others may find deeper discounts in the fall and winter, as vacationers return to school and jobs. And most cruises that are more than 90 days off usually require only a modest down payment, with the balance due at a later date. Also, bargains extend to world cruises and, amazingly, an online student could travel the world by sea while earning an online degree.

Of course, it is important to ask questions during booking about cancellation policies, passport requirements, taxes, port fees, the minimum travel age for an infant, and what is covered or not covered in cruise fees.

Still, cruising is a wonderful opportunity for online degree students to enjoy a vacation and stay on track with online school, In fact, it may be the perfect way to enhance one’s career while making loved ones happy.

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Popularity: 12% [?]

Posted by vida

Laid Off Workers Eligible for Thousands in Scholarship Money

Monday, June 8th, 2009

Things may get a little easier for some laid-off workers, thanks to Western Governors University.

Adults who lost their jobs within the past 12 months may be eligible for up to $7,500 per person in scholarship money to return to school and work toward an accredited online bachelor’s or master’s degree.

The WGU Economic Turnaround Scholarships are based upon financial need, academic record and other criteria; and students must hurry to apply for the scholarships before the application deadline of June 30th, 2009.

The scholarship winners will be required to enroll in a Western Governors University online degree program in one of four areas: business, information technology, education or health professions (including nursing).

Western Governors University continues to rise to the top of the class in offering high quality accredited online degrees — without charging an arm and a leg in tuition.

Bargain-hunting students should be flocking to this school in droves (just as quickly as they are racing to buy the new $99 iPhone), simply because WGU offers one of the best values available today for those seeking online bachelor’s or master’s degrees.

Founded by the governors of 19 U.S. states and supported by over 20 major corporations and foundations, this competency-based online school is a model of excellence in higher education. The heartfelt mission of Western Governors University is to not only serve the greater community of adult learners, but to also insure access to higher education for first-generation college students, minorities, low-income students and those who are geographically beyond the reach of a local college or university.

Money for school is generally available through WGU’s financial aid office, even before and after these generous scholarships have been distributed. Federal grants and students loans are usually available year round to eligible students.

The WGU scholarships should fully cover the reasonable tuition for up to two and a half terms, long enough to earn an accredited online degree and to continue on the path to a new job, new career and new hope for the future.

For more information about the WGU Economic Turnaround Scholarships, click here.

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Popularity: 9% [?]

Posted by vida

Glut of Musicians Leads Many to Seek New Careers

Saturday, May 23rd, 2009

Beethoven’s passion for music was so great that he continued to compose, even when he was deaf — completing his much-performed 9th Symphony, also known as “Ode to Joy”, during that bleak time.

Today, a passion for music motivates hundreds of thousands to pursue excellence on musical instruments, with the hope of earning a living by playing or singing in a band, winning an orchestra spot, or carving out a solo career.

And although a small percentage of musicians end up in well-paying performance jobs with great benefits, others find work in non-performance positions as composers, recording engineers, sound technicians, arrangers and piano tuners — generally after receiving additional training and education.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), competition is keen for full-time openings in the music field. Therefore, many musicians work jobs outside of music as they pursue their passion at night and on weekends.

Musicians with either a substantial performance resume and/or a college degree may vie for jobs in education as professors, lecturers, music teachers, and band or choral directors. But often, those jobs are also difficult to snag, especially in a sagging economy.

A bonus for musicians and singers has been the growth in online degree programs. Online degrees, online classes and online certificate programs allow professional and aspiring musicians the opportunity to pursue training for a “bread and butter” career while still maintaining a flexible enough schedule to accommodate freelance gigs, auditions and practice time.

Many career fields are conducive to the life of a musician or singer; since flexibility on the job is often important. Online degree and certificate programs offer the credentials for careers that provide the necessary flexibility while providing a steady income stream, health care benefits and peace of mind.

Careers in information technology, software design, graphic design, fashion design, education, web design and real estate are popular choices for musicians. However, professional work in accounting, paralegal, business, health care also awaits those musicians who are interested in following their hearts, but who choose to increase their options in order to pay the bills.

When Beethoven continued his quest for musical excellence during the “deaf years”, he made significant changes in order to reach his goals.

And today’s musicians are ready to do the same in order to keep make beautiful music.

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Popularity: 5% [?]

Posted by vida