"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

Why Employers Hate to Love Online Degree Applicants

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.

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Popularity: 1% [?]

Posted by vida

Earning a College Degree is Still a Great Accomplishment

December 11th, 2010

It is no surprise that prospective students are confused about whether to proceed with a college education.

The high price of tuition has millions feeling frustrated; and many are asking whether returning to school is worth the time, effort or cost.

As a result, quite a few folks give up without fully exploring their options.

So they end up closing the door on what could have been one of the most transforming opportunities of a lifetime.

Yet, no one should give up their college dreams, because the following is still true about higher education:

  • Overall, college graduates make significantly more money than those without a degree.
  • Skilled and well-educated applicants still walk away with the best jobs over unskilled applicants.
  • Gaining an advanced degree is necessary for moving into management and administrative positions in most fields, i.e. in business, criminal justice, health care, and other high-demand careers.
  • There are painless ways to pay for an education through scholarships, Pell Grants, military education plans, employee tuition reimbursement programs, low-cost student loans, community colleges, tuition-free state colleges, working and paying for college while enrolled in online schools, etc. Some of these are not well-publicized and have to be unearthed before and during the enrollment process.
  • The satisfaction and fulfillment of gaining a college education is priceless.

Of course, it is important to make an informed decision about where to enroll, which career options offer the best jobs, whether to enroll in full or part-time education programs, and how to pay for it.

But most importantly, the answer is yes, a college education is now and always will be a worthy accomplishment.

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Popularity: 2% [?]

Posted by vida

Online Criminal Justice Degrees Deliver Lucrative Job Prospects

December 6th, 2010

There is no need to holster your dreams of a criminal justice career.

Now, more than ever, a job in this field is well within your reach, especially if you prepare now to meet all academic, physical and mental qualifications.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, job opportunities in the criminal justice field are favorable for qualified individuals, especially in densely populated areas. Growing cities need an increasing number of qualified criminal justice professionals; and prison officials are also needed for overcrowded penal institutions.

Recent news highlighting the latest airport security screening methods, upgraded terror alerts, and prisoner escapes offers a peek into the varied opportunities available in the criminal justice field.

Adventurous candidates are drawn to the excitement of apprehending the “bad guys” as law enforcement officers, while others may love the idea of working in the background to support the work of police officers and other homeland security agents.

Military veterans are particularly suited to law enforcement careers, due to previous military experience and training. However, others who are well-trained and intellectually prepared are also coveted candidates.

Support personnel may work in security or administrative positions that center around the process of bringing apprehended suspects to justice in the courtroom, securing them in penal institutions, and preventing the fruition of threats to national security.

If law enforcement is your dream, you may access the best jobs in this field through the completion of accredited higher education degrees and certificates. Criminals do not take a break; so why should you?

This is the best time to prepare for interesting and challenging work as a law enforcement officer, airport security personnel, prison guard, criminal investigator, fish and game warden, or other jobs that pertain to national, state or local security.

Of course, the most financially rewarding jobs are available to those who have bachelor’s or master’s degrees in criminal justice or homeland security. Supervisory and management positions almost always require an advanced degree; and an accounting or business background is helpful.

Yet, even associate’s degree graduates are routinely hired as police officers, especially since additional training is provided for qualified applicants. Law enforcement jobs generally offer excellent salaries and a wide range of valuable benefits.

Online schools enable working adults to earn a college degree at home when it is convenient. Interested individuals will find it easy to investigate the many possibilities in the criminal justice field by using reputable websites like Directory of Schools to find an accredited online college or university.

Future police officers, homeland security agents, prison personnel and others should respond to their desire for a criminal justice career by enrolling in accredited online degree programs today for tomorrow’s jobs.

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Popularity: 2% [?]

Posted by vida

Moms Bask in the Marvelous World of Online Learning

December 2nd, 2010

The arrival of a new baby often signals the end of the new mom’s pursuit of a college education.

High day care costs, the desire to stay at home during the child’s early years, and the lack of flexibility in traditional schools once turned college dreams into distant memories.

But that has changed with the rise of distance learning technology, which has ushered in the unparalleled convenience of online learning.

Suddenly, moms are jettisoned back into the higher education equation. They now choose from a gourmet menu of career choices that are easily pursued via computer, one class at a time.

While infants and other children are sleeping, moms click through numerous study options on their computers, through reputable education sites like Directory of Schools.

For example, on the Directory of Schools website, moms are able to check up-to-date listings of popular online degree programs, online schools, and vocational programs. They may also choose from hundreds of education articles about popular careers.

After feeding and burping the baby, or putting toddlers down for a nap, moms may take a few minutes to fill out short and easy forms to have online school information packets sent to them, at no cost and no obligation. They can peruse financial aid information as well — without ever leaving home.

Moms may decide to take a long-term approach to earning a college diploma, so that when they are ready to return to the job market, they will be well-prepared with the latest skills and credentials.

Some moms may enroll in college classes to become better advocates and tutors for their children through the elementary, junior high and high school years. They want to be able to communicate more effectively with college-educated principals, counselors, and medical personnel, while increasing their understanding of any complex issues.

Others may simply want to learn more about raising children in order to improve parenting skills. Online classes in early childhood development and child psychology present information that can help dedicated parents become even better parents.

But the bottom line is that moms no longer have to wait until their children are older in order to pursue their dreams of earning a college diploma.

Thankfully, advances in technology continue to enable mothers to earn college degrees while experiencing the pregnancy and child-rearing years — by allowing them to take advantage of the marvelous benefits of online education.

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Popularity: 2% [?]

Posted by vida

Video Game Designers Play Hard and Earn a Small Fortune

November 29th, 2010

Video gaming is a $10.5 billion industry; and there is no end in sight, as consumers rush to purchase the latest games and systems.

In fact, this past Thanksgiving weekend, Nintendo sold an estimated 1.5 million game systems — 900,000 DS units and 600,000 Wii consoles.

So it is no surprise that there is a high demand for software engineers in a field that is expected to grow faster than most other occupations.

Anyone who loves the idea of designing video games could discover a well-paying and fun-filled career, especially if they pursue higher education credentials.

An online bachelor’s degree in computer science, software engineering, or mathematics is one way to conveniently prepare for this exciting career. Training for software engineers who design video games may include computer science, mathematics and graphic design courses, along with other online classes.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, software engineers with relevant college degrees should have excellent job prospects through the year 2018. The median annual salary range for the best jobs is between $59,600 and $139,930 according to the May 2009 employment and wages report.

Software engineers who design and develop video games generally work in quiet offices and spend a great deal of time on computers.

Once they create the video games, developers usually test the games by playing them, just as a consumer would, to check for design flaws. They may also attend video gaming conferences as part of their job, in order to remain plugged into trends and projections in the video gaming industry.

Anyone who thinks it sounds pretty cool to design video games and play them at work, might love this creative, interesting and fun career.

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Popularity: 3% [?]

Posted by vida

CBO Confirms Stimulus Successfully Created Millions of Jobs

November 24th, 2010

The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) reported today that the $814 billion stimulus package did indeed put millions of Americans back to work.

According to the CBO report, between 1.4 million and 3.6 million people gained jobs in the short period between July and September of this year; with many more jobs on the horizon.

Without the implementation of the president’s stimulus legislation, unemployment rates would also have been much higher than the current 9.6% rate.

The newly-released report injects a heavy dose of truth into the falsehoods that have been circulated by special interest groups and others. Erroneous beliefs about the ineffectiveness of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act factored heavily into recent election results as well.

In addition to the jobs that have been created, most Americans benefited from tax cuts, extended unemployment benefits, low-interest mortgage loans, or other economic recovery programs.

As a result of the improved U.S. economy, retailers are excited and expectant about the probability of a profitable holiday season. Seasonal hiring is a boon this year, with some retail stores — like Kohl’s, JC Penney, and Toys R US, increasing their holiday employees from last year’s numbers.

All of this good news has increased consumer confidence, with Black Friday sales expected to soar — encouraged by early online shopping offers and Thanksgiving Day store openings.

In addition, students continue to flock to online classes, according to the Sloan Consortium, racking up one million new online students for the school year ending in 2009. Online students enjoy the best of both worlds, as they are able to snag a new job while completing their studies at home.

The stimulus package did what it was supposed to do; it created millions of new jobs. And now, those who benefited are stimulating the economy with their dollars, thereby assisting the long-term goal of providing jobs to all Americans who are seeking work.

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Popularity: 3% [?]

Posted by vida

New Sloan Report Shows 1 Million New Online Students in 1 Year

November 17th, 2010

The newly released Sloan Consortium report brings good news to the beleaguered online education community.

It shows that almost one million new students have enrolled in online classes during a one year period ending in 2009.

Online education is rapidly becoming the preferred form of learning among higher education students; and 63% of the colleges studied in the report consider it to be a “critical” part of their strategic long-term planning.

There are now 5.6 million students taking at least one online class in traditional and online colleges and universities.

This was, surprisingly, the largest 1-year increase in the past 8 years that online education has been studied. It indicates that the economic downturn has not hurt higher education, but has led to an explosion of growth for e-learning.

The report, entitled “Class Differences: Online Education in the United States, 2010“, studied over 2500 higher education institutions in the U.S. that offer online classes. Both Sloan C and the College Board partnered together in compiling the data for the report.

It pointed out that the 21% growth rate in online education enrollments over a year far outweighs the 2% growth rate for the overall college student population.

A record 30% of all college students are currently enrolled in one or more online classes — an all-time high.

The Sloan report addresses a number of other issues relating to online education, including the new higher education rules:

“The proposed regulations, however, would apply to all higher education institutions that provide any form of federal-based financial aid. These new rules would mean possible changes in policies and procedures at all educational institutions, as well as increased reporting requirements.”

It reiterated that the new rules affect all federally-funded colleges and universities, not just the for-profit schools. Many non-profit schools are concerned about the impact the rules will have on their institutions.

Online education continues to grow exponentially; and there appears to be no end in sight. The Sloan report, once again, proves this to be true.

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Popularity: 4% [?]

Posted by vida

Tuition-free college programs give hope to recession-weary students

November 16th, 2010

Although news of joblessness and economic ills pours from the media like flood waters, a few glints of sunlight provide a welcome respite from the deluge of doom and gloom.

Expensive college tuition is one of those dreary economic topics. But sporadic bright spots, like the surprising availability of a tuition-free education, is giving hope to both parents and college-bound students.

In fact, some parents are choosing to relocate to areas where their children will be eligible for a free college education down the road. The lure of a debt-free graduation is an offer many parents, and students, cannot refuse.

Most free-tuition scholarship programs require a minimum 3.0 or above grade point average (GPA) at high school graduation, residency for a specified amount of time in the school district or state offering the free tuition, and maintenance of at least a 2.5 GPA while attending college.

Students must primarily attend public or charter higher education schools to receive the full benefit of these scholarships. Those who choose private in-state colleges or universities may receive a lesser amount of scholarship money; and family income levels may influence eligibility.

Listed below are a few of these remarkable free-tuition programs:

  • The New Haven Promise is one of the newest free-tuition programs. Located in New Haven, Connecticut, which is home to Yale University, the program will provide full or partial tuition scholarships for eligible students to study at any Connecticut public college or university. High school graduates with a 3.0 GPA who have attended New Haven Public Schools (NHPS) since kindergarten will receive full paid tuition. Those who have attended for the last 3 years of high school will receive 65% paid tuition.
  • The Hope Scholarship gives Georgia’s top high school graduates the opportunity to attend public colleges and universities in Georgia for free. Paid tuition and fees apply to those who graduated from high school with at least a 3.0 GPA.
  • Say Yes to Education, in partnership with Syracuse University, offers free tuition assistance to students in the Syracuse City School District (SCSD). Eligible students who spent 10th-12th grade in Syracuse public high schools and are enrolling full-time in an eligible college or university will be able to attend college for free. Other grants and scholarships will be taken into account in calculating how much funding students will need in order to be guaranteed free tuition.
  • Florida Bright Futures Scholarship Program pays all of the tuition and fees for eligible students at public Florida colleges and universities. Students also receive a small stipend for books and supplies. The high school GPA must be at least 3.5, with specific requirements for SAT scores. Students must also complete 75 community service hours. Those who are lacking in one or more of these areas may be eligible for 75% paid tuition with the Florida Medallion Scholars Award.

Several colleges and universities offer free tuition to all students who are accepted into their programs, including Moody Bible Institute (Chicago) and Curtis Institute of Music (Philadelphia). However, competition is keen for places in such schools. A number of colleges and universities also offer free tuition to National Merit Scholars, valedictorians, low-income students, or those who major in specific career areas (i.e. education, nursing or engineering).

The thought of paying for college should not be a sore subject. Parents and students who plan ahead may discover an oasis of financial ease as the college years trickle by peacefully and debt-free.

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Popularity: 5% [?]

Posted by vida

New Online Students Enjoy Free Trials in For-Profit Schools

November 9th, 2010

In an effort to increase graduation rates and success in online classes, two of the largest online universities are now offering a free 3-5 week trial period to prospective students.

According to the Sacramento Bee:

“Kaplan Higher Education, which enrolls 112,000 students, announced it would let prospective students attend the first five weeks of class without charge. The University of Phoenix, the country’s largest for-profit school, recently introduced a mandatory three-week orientation to screen out unprepared students before they borrow.”

Students will be able to try out online learning without paying tuition or taking out student loans until after the trial period.

They will not risk any money until after they have had ample time to complete a few assignments and consider whether they want to remain enrolled.

There is no obligation to continue after the trial period ends.

These are just a couple of the for-profit schools that are responding to new federal legislation that requires for-profit schools to disclose graduation rates.

In light of this legislation and in order to help students achieve their dreams of receiving a college diploma, some online schools are increasing their efforts to insure greater success for their students.

This is a great time for potential students to take advantage of these free trials to find out if online learning is the way to go.

After all, going to school doesn’t get much better than “free”.

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Popularity: 5% [?]

Posted by vida

Freshman college year on sale for $999

November 2nd, 2010

The word “sale” adorns most merchandise advertising these days, especially as the winter holiday season quickly approaches.

But now, the word has found a new home — in online higher education.

A young company, called StraighterLine, claims that it can provide the full freshman year of required college courses for a set price of $999. Or if students choose, they may pay $99 a month plus $39 per course for up to 10 classes.

Either way, students can save thousands of dollars on their college education, while conveniently studying online.

StraighterLine is no diploma mill. The company provides rigorous online classes; and students have access to instructors with master’s and doctorate degrees. About 2,000 students are enrolled in their program.

The Washington Post refers to StraighterLine as “. . . a serious education company and a force that could disrupt half a millennium of higher-education tradition.”

The Baltimore Sun states, “Company officials point out that its courses have been reviewed and recommended by the American Council on Education, the main organization that evaluates courses and their credit equivalency.”

The basic online courses, designed for college freshmen and others, include English composition, math (algebra, calculus), accounting, economics, business statistics, general chemistry, introduction to biology, and business communication.

However, StraighterLine is not an accredited online school; and students should verify that the school to which they are transferring will accept the classes for college credit. StraighterLine maintains a list of colleges and universities that agree to accept the courses.

Perhaps StraighterLine is a front-runner and visionary that signals the flurry of tuition sales and college cost-saving strategies to come.

But for now, at least some students have a new option to consider for saving education dollars.

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Popularity: 5% [?]

Posted by vida