Friday, 26 December 2014

Business Education Gearing Up To Face Future Challenges


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As more and more technological innovations are introduced, traditional classroom-based models of business education are getting disrupted. A new study titled See the Future, suggests that with the growing popularity of online programmes and MOOCs, increasing tuition fees in colleges, demanding needs of employers and strong market competition, traditional education approaches face a severe challenge.

Looking At The Future Of Business Education

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The research was done by B-school consultant and education market research establishment CarringtonCrisp, in association with the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) and the European Foundation for Management Development (EFMD). See the Future has gathered opinions from CEOs, chairmen, employers and even Directors and Deans at B-schools from more than 63 nations.

The study found that colleges and business schools face four main challenges, namely technology, staffing problems, market competition and costs. Hence, almost all institutions feel the compulsion to re-evaluate their courses and curriculum. Why? As there is a strong move to a multidisciplinary way of learning and a growing need to fulfill the demands of students and businesses, business schools have realized that it is time to reconsider their offerings. The research also discovered that lifelong learning will keep being significant for students, but due to technological progress, lifestyle learning will also become important.

Increasing Demand For Online Study

 Businesses and employers need training and development programmes that are fast, cheap and highly effective and which offer excellent value for money. The study discovered that these employers are increasingly accepting more online diplomas and degrees mainly because it does not require accommodation and travel expenses. See the Future found that even though online education was well accepted, but almost 80 per cent respondents claimed that “Executive education for senior managers and directors will remain face to face.” Alan Hatfield, ACCA director of learning, said “Anytime, anywhere learning is on the rise, providing students with the flexibility to learn at their own pace and around their other commitments such as work and family.”
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Author of the study, Andrew Crisp, said “This situation is not a perfect storm, but the Dean who sticks their

head in the sand and fails to think about how best to position their school for the future risks their school and its students being left behind.”

Hatfield added “When they hire new talent, employers believe a professional qualification is essential or desired. As a professional body, ACCA is committed to business education - working with universities, MOOC providers and business schools around the world, we aim to ensure the future of business education remains relevant and valued.”

Providing “Rounded Education”

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CEO and DG at EFMD, Eric Cornuel, said “It has been clear for many years that the pace of change in business education is accelerating. Understanding the drivers of change and the demands of those seeking to learn in the future are key to our member schools delivering effective solutions. More and more, our members recognize the need for business to be studied in a wider context, to see the impact it has on society.”

He concluded by saying “To this end, there is a growing need for business schools to work with other faculties, departments and experts throughout universities and beyond to ensure students receive a rounded education.”

How are technology and other factors changing traditional business education? Say what you fee by sharing your thoughts and comments below. We would love to hear from you.

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Friday, 19 December 2014

Traditional And Online Education: Finding The Right Balance


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Many students aspiring to pursue higher education wonder whether they should go for traditional on-campus learning or online learning. However, the question is not about choosing between online or on-campus learning, when we focus on making higher education widely available and more affordable. It is about how much we need to use among both options.

Online Or On-Campus

This was one of main issues discussed by a panel on college affordability and access at a National Education Week “Thought Leader Summit”. As online courses and competency-based qualifications are becoming more popular in the higher education sphere, now students need to determine whether the campus experience, including fraternities, football, friends and other experiences are worth the huge amounts of
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money than the far more affordable alternatives, suggested one of the panelists.

Phil Bronner, co-founder and CEO of Quad Learning, said “For traditional schools, the cost of those institutions is not going to change in the short term.” He added “Because of health care and other things, the price will go up. The only way a parent or a student can get a lower cost is to transfer in lower cost credits.”

Finding A Balance

Bronner believes that in future our students will keep earning degrees from conventional colleges and universities; however those learners will end up spending much less time than at brick-and-mortar colleges than before.

According to Burck Smith, founder and CEO of Straighterline, more needs be done in order to assist our students realize the real price of earning a degree. Smith said, “If you think about how many ways we—the country and higher education—have to confuse what the actual price is, it’s really sort of astounding. You’ve got the list price, net price, scholarships and discounts … not to mention what kind of loan terms or what kind of Pell grant you get, whether the loans are dischargeable or not.”

About the planned college rating system of the Obama administration, which aims to support future college students take informed decisions regarding which institution to attend, Smith said “It’s almost impossible to know what you’ll be paying. Until you can actually make the price clear, ratings aren’t going to do much.”

Focusing On Competency-Based Learning 
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Chris Etesse, CEO of the online course material providing company Flat World Knowledge, propagated the importance of competency-based education. It allows learners to study at their own pace over online courses which simply “map back” to courses with credit-hours and meet at particular periods.

Competency-based learning allows students, especially adult learners with work and family commitments, to study while in transit or during lunch hours or whenever they get free time to do coursework. Etesse said “That’s where we’re going to get the benefit … when we allow students to learn the way they act in real life.”

What do you think? Share your views and opinions with us by commenting below. We would love to hear from you.

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Friday, 12 December 2014

Online Business Diploma - A New Rostrum For Entrepreneurs

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Do you aspire to become an entrepreneur? But do you need business education to become one? This question seems to be the in the mind of most individuals planning to start their own business. Read on to learn more....

Does Business Study Make You A Better Entrepreneur?

I have come across a number of new entrepreneurs who were extremely passionate about their business. However, none of them had the same educational background. While some had high school diplomas and bachelor's degrees, others had Level 5 diploma and even MBAs. When it comes to entrepreneurship and education, there is no fixed formula regarding your degree. However, I have seen that having a management diploma can work wonders for your business. I do believe that there is growing need for equipping our entrepreneurs with business education to cope with the ever-increasing challenges of the corporate world.

Can You Learn Entrepreneurship? 
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You can find a number of Level 5 and Level 7 business programmes from various reputed universities across the world. But can you learn entrepreneurship in a classroom? Or is it better to learn on the job? Caroline Daniels, professor at Babson College, says “Entrepreneurship can be taught. But passion for an idea, for the opportunity, has to come from the entrepreneur.”

Education experts argue that pursuing a business programme like Level 5 diploma in management will enable you to recognize opportunities and design effective business models. However, many believe that business education must not remain confined to the classroom. Chris Guillebeau, author of New York Times Best-Seller ‘The $100 Startup’, says “You might as well learn as much as you can from as many sources as you can. Experience may indeed be the best teacher, but you can certainly supplement that education with more traditional or non-traditional kinds.”

So if you want to gain some experience in your chosen field and still pursue business studies, then one of the best options is to go for an online business programme. Online undergraduate diploma programmes offer you excellent flexibility so that you can gain significant work experience and yet study business management at your own pace.

The truth is business education will open doors to new entrepreneurial opportunities. Michael Karnjanaprakorn, the CEO of Skillshare, says “My graduate degree from the VCU Brandcenter really shaped the way I think around creativity, innovation and disrupting the status quo. It's made me a better entrepreneur because it allowed me to view the world in a different way, which led to the creation of my company.”

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 Is A Business Diploma Worth It?

Karnjanaprakorn adds “College isn't 100 percent evil like most people are playing it out to be. I think the timing is different for every entrepreneur. Some start companies at 18, and others at 28 like myself.”
However, with rising college tuition and growing student debt, pursuing traditional education programmes can become challenging, especially for aspiring entrepreneurs. This is where online undergraduate diploma in management comes in. As these programmes are more than affordable, you don’t need to spend too much money or time on your education. Instead you can effectively invest the money in your start-up and build your business.

Should You Study Business?

To be honest, the answer depends on a lot of factors. Pursuing a business degree from a reputed B-school requires a significant amount of investment. I believe that it is much better to study online as you can not only save money, but you can also gain relevant experience while you study. Karnjanaprakorn concludes by saying “There are certain things that can be taught, frameworks, concepts, etc...But the only way to learn about entrepreneurship is by doing it.”

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 Do you believe you can be a better entrepreneur by studying business? Share your thoughts with us by commenting below. We would love to hear from you.

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Tuesday, 9 December 2014

Higher Education Trends: What Surprises Are Waiting For Our Teachers And Students?

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The education sector has changed considerably in the last few years with the introduction of various advanced learning tools. Although there are still some challenges that create some resistance to change, experts believe that a number of higher education trends will soon emerge which will effectively modify the entire education system worldwide.

Education experts claim that the way colleges and governments associate or collaborate with one another will change drastically in the coming future. Moreover our society will also undergo a tremendous transformation and shift focus to an information society from an industrial society. I believe that globalization will also gain further ground in the academic sector. Furthermore, other remarkable trends will also arise from the entry of business organizations.

Here I have listed some of the foremost education trends predicted by the industry experts-

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Departure From A Rigid Learning System

Educationists forecast that we will observe a striking diversification and expansion in the higher education system in the near future. This means the existing rigid system will cease to exist and a more flexible and efficient system will be adopted to provide the needed education.

Assortment Of Educational Institutions

If you ask me, in the near future only 3 types of institutions will take the lead: the brick and mortar classrooms, the online classroom and the hybrid classroom. What does it mean? Although traditional classrooms will continue to exist in the future, but online educational institutes along with classrooms that use the blended learning approach will also take center stage.

Customized Education

Presently, the educators and the schools decide what our students will learn. But experts claim that in the coming years the power will shift from the hands of the teachers to the hands of the learners. Our students will take charge and decide what they need to learn for their development, which course modules should be included and other aspects related to their higher education.

Focus on Learning 
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Till now, our education system has focused on the process of teaching with sheer dedication and on the time needed to complete a course. But now, as things are set to change, the focus is gradually shifting towards learning. According to the upcoming higher education trends, time will become a suggestive variable in education while learning will become constant.

Unbundling Functions

Educators have strictly focused on specific functions of research, teaching and service for long. But now there is a strong need for unbundling the functions. Hence, now some of our educators can concentrate on research, while other teachers and graduate assistants can take care of teaching to develop an enhanced learning approach.

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Changing Value Of Degrees

For long, students were expected to earn and hold a college degree as it was considered of high value. However, this will change soon. Experts believe that in the near future, educational outcomes will be considered more valuable for students instead of degrees. Thus, the changing value of college degrees is undoubtedly one of the fastest emerging trends in higher education.

Did we miss anything? Would like to add some more higher education trends to the list? Then simply comment below and add to the discussion.

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Friday, 5 December 2014

Promising Careers Options for MBA Students


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Students graduate from business schools every single day. The reason why students try their best during their examinations is because they seek employment after they get their degree. There has been great progress in the world of business in this regard.

Often students wonder, what kind of job should he choose for a reasonable salary and job satisfaction in future? No one likes to remain stuck in a job that pays very poorly and does not have an environment of peace and harmony. Let us have a look at the prospective jobs for the future MBA graduates.

Chief Technology Officer

There are many jobs that are available and have a promising future. One of them happens to be the job of a chief technology officer. The person who is employed in such a job is responsible for the overall technological progress of a company. Research and development as well as special projects are the areas that are focused by such people. They very rigidly maintain the technical standards of the firm.

Computer And Information Systems Manager

Another promising job is that of a Computer and Information Systems Manager. This job requires planning and needs a person who can efficiently handle computer-related activities of a company. One needs to be conversant with the use of internet and intranet sites. There is also the need to install and upgrade both software and hardware. The computer networks too need to be constantly developed. There is also the need to maintain the security of the networks.

There is great growth in the areas of computer systems design establishment, data processing, software publishing, healthcare organizations and technical consulting as well.

Handle Finances by being a Financial Manager

Another job that is very popular is that of the financial manager. They look into the financial activities, create financial procedures and they also take care of the budget. They also focus on raising capital, handling mergers and acquisitions and looking into the transactions on a global scale. One who is familiar with the aspects of finance and certification are the ones who can manage these tasks efficiently. They are paid about $151,000.

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 Health Care Industry and Its Professionals

We have also seen that the healthcare industry seeks people who have an MBA degree. They are responsible for the work performed by doctors, technicians and the clerks. There are special areas such as patient care services and finance that are taken care of by these people.

The Responsibilities of a Management consultant

The job of a high-end management consultant ensures that the companies remain relevant and maintain the competitive spirit. The problems related to management are dealt with by these consultants. The company’s costs, profits and the productivity of the workers is managed by these people. They also make sure that the efficiency is also increased as well. They help companies conform to the latest business regulations and make sure that they can have the online business operating successfully. They also act as an advisory body for chief executive officers, chief operation officers, chief financial officers and the executives that exist at the highest position in various firms.

The Importance of an IT Director

Another very popular job is that of an information technology director. These professionals take care of the computing resources for the various companies. The availability and the security of the company’s information technology need to be looked after by such people. They also need to be efficient managers, strategists. They also maintain the infrastructure of the firm. These professionals earn around $100,000.

Being An Investment Banker 
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When the question of raising money in the capital markets arises, investment bankers also play a very important role in assisting the various companies and government agencies. They are interested in equity and debt. Those who are interested in finance are fit for the role. The investment bankers perform tasks in the department of securities, commodities and miscellaneous investments.

There is also the job of an investment fund manager which is important. They act as financial advisers and they direct the investment of money for various companies and those who make personal investments. Stock markets, real estate and other areas are primarily focused upon by these managers. They make sure that the objectives are met. They select the asset mix, securities, execute portfolios, revise them and they also pay attention to the performance.

Making Magic With The Job Of A Marketing Manager

One of the most important jobs is that of the marketing manager who assists the firms in finding customers and markets that are slowly evolving. They have the aim of increasing the sales and the profits of the firms. They find out the latest trends, look for the best opportunities, find out more about the demands of the customers and also set up campaigns.

Sales Manager’s Responsibilities

There is another important job which is that of a sales manager. These professionals make sure that there is a steady improvement in the sales procedures and they also encourage promotions so that the products are sold. They also make sure that the people who are engaged in this department are trained so that they can carry on with their job very efficiently. They take care of the latest trends in the market and they also make sure that they have a personal word with customers so that they know about their requirements as well.
Now let us have a glimpse at the various salaries of professionals working in various posts in the business world.

The Recent Salaries of the various business professionals 
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All of these jobs ensure that those who are employed receive a very good salary. The chief financial officer earns about $ 168,000. Finance directors earn $ 151,000. Senior financial analysts earn $ 85,000. Sales directors earn $137,000. Operations directors earn $120,000. IT project managers earn $100,000. 

Marketing directors earn $ 133,000. Business development managers earn $105,000. Marketing Managers get $102,000. IT directors get paid an amount of about $ 120,000. IT project managers get $103,000 and IT managers get $99,000.

The Vice-President of IT gets around $ 165,000 while the IT director and IT project manager gets $114,000 and $97,600.

Sales directors earn $114,000 while HR directors earn $ 101,000. General or operations managers earn $85,000. The Chief financial officer earns $ 125,000 and the Financial controller earns $90,000. The senior accountant earns $ 60,800. These are the most prospective jobs in the world of business today.

These are the prospects for the students who are interested in business and who have the energy, determination and the qualification for such jobs. Indeed the future of these candidates is very prosperous and it is an ever-evolving field which is inviting students and interns every day.

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Wednesday, 3 December 2014

Online MBA: Climb Up The Career Ladder With Confidence


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Can you earn an MBA degree without leaving your job? Yes. As online education becomes increasingly popular, numerous students from around the world are now pursuing business education degrees online. This has perhaps proved to be a boon for many adult students who need to balance their jobs, family and education at the same time. But are online distance learning programmes worth it? Let’s find out...

Why Study Online MBA?

Anthony Yu, who is pursuing online MBA from Sandermoen School of Business (University of Fredericton), found this mode of learning especially helpful when his wife was about to give birth to their third child. 40 year old Yu, who works as a bank branch manager, says “I always joked with my wife, ‘I might be bringing my computer with me into the hospital room’’.

It has now become a growing trend for most reputed B-schools to offer some kind of business degree online. Apart from a number of online schools, many top-rated, reputed and elite institutes like Queen’s School of Business and Harvard Business School are also providing online programmes to their students.

This can provide the perfect solution for individuals like Mr. Yu who wish to advance their careers by pursuing a higher education degree, without leaving their jobs or barely managing time for their families. Yu says “This (was) a better route for me, for my family, and for work-life balance. You still need to participate in your (live online) lectures and readings once a week (but), really, this was the route for me because of the flexibility it gave.”

Work Full Time, Study Any Time

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 Peter Mersereau, Director of Operations at University of Fredericton, says “The main thing that sets us apart is how our programs are designed. They are created for working professionals; thus, students can study from anywhere in the world, at any time, completely online. The program provides students the opportunity to continue their education without sacrificing career momentum.”
This seems to be the aim of most universities that offer distance learning opportunities via the internet.

Athabasca University also offers a world class online MBA programme that aims to help professionals boost their careers in the direction they want. Dr. Alain May, MBA Programme Director at the university, believes that now is the perfect time to go for online studies. She says “When I first started going to conferences five years ago, once they found out you were from an online school, they would turn around and not talk to you, because they didn’t think you had a lot to tell them. When I’m at those same conferences now and you say you’re online, suddenly you’re the most popular person in the room.”

Fast Track To An MBA

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Dr. May believes that online MBAs offer enhanced accessibility and flexibility, which the traditional universities could even dream of providing. Students who wish to do a full time job and study can easily cater to their professional commitments and pursue an MBA programme online. By pursuing a distance learning top up programme from an accredited online B-school, students can easily manage to study their coursework over the internet from the comfort of their homes as per their convenience. 

Moreover, learners can also study during lunch time at work or during leisure hours. This gives professionals the freedom to study at their own pace. One of the greatest advantages of an online top up MBA is that it allows students to fast track to an accredited MBA degree without investing excessive time or money.

A Collaborative Experience

In fact online learning is often more collaborative than students might think. She says “I think there’s an impression of online education that it’s a person sitting in a room all by themselves, working on their own. The reality is, we are very effective in networking the students so they can collaborate and build. Students work closely together and learn from each other constantly.”

As technology progresses further at an unbelievable pace, numerous universities and colleges are gearing up to improve their online offerings to reach more students worldwide. Dr. May adds “As technologies move, we’re trying to move, as well. We’re moving toward providing mobile applications for students. We try to innovate all the time.”

Mersereau of University of Fredericton says “It’s how work gets done today.” He continues “If someone sees an online MBA as second-rate, they are not prepared to do business in the 21st century. We live in a virtual world today, so I see no reason why someone would need to stop their career momentum to attend a physical location.”

Changing Employers’ Perspectives

Moreover, now recruiters and employers are also recognizing and accepting online degrees more than ever before. A new report from the Online Journal of Distance Learning Administration shows that nearly 50 per cent of the surveyed employers believe the format of a degree is not a major factor in the recruitment or promotion of a candidate. The only thing that matters is whether the programme and the degree are correctly accredited or not.

Paresh Mistry, vice-president of the recruiting agency David Aplin Group, says employers are no more concerned about whether candidates earn MBAs online or on-campus. He adds “The working professionals aren’t readily willing to give up a full-time job for school purposes. In all the years I’ve been doing this, I can never recall a client turning down a candidate because of the circumstances surrounding their MBA. I don’t think that’s going to become an issue.”

Climb The Ladder With Online MBA

Online business degrees have enabled professionals like Anthony Yu to pursue their dream careers by getting further education. By studying for a distance learning top up degree in business, many young professionals can acquire the necessary skills and knowledge to climb up the career ladder and boost their careers to great new heights.
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 Mistry concluded “It’s going to make this easier for a lot of students. If technology didn’t evolve to where we’re at today, I’ll tell you right now I wouldn’t have completed my MBA,” he says. “It would not have been possible.”

Article Source: bit.ly/1BUnsUV

Thursday, 27 November 2014

Staff Mobility For Bringing Excellence in Higher Education

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Staff mobility is a teaching experience for faculty in various universities. Under such programs, teachers generally spend a few weeks at an institution for higher education in another country that is also a part of this teaching program.

Why is there focus on staff mobility in universities?

This is done so that institutions can broaden the span of the lectures and enrich the content of the lessons that are being offered to the students. The students, who cannot visit different universities, can listen to the lectures of teachers from various universities.

What Are The Benefits Derived From Staff Mobility?

The students get an opportunity to acquire the skills that are necessary when they join a firm later on in life. Students and teachers can work in multinational groups during this time. They gain new perspectives on various current issues that are taking place in the world today.

Usually these events are better known as workshops or conferences, which are taking place in the major countries in Europe as well as in other countries around the world.

Staff mobility is needed so that learning becomes more internationalized, research oriented and interactive. There are still some universities that are yet to understand the value of these programs and encourage active participation in these events. The process has begun very recently but there are still miles to go before everyone realizes the importance of staff mobility.

How Can Institutions Point Out Its Relevance And Importance Today In The World?

If the importance of staff mobility is not restricted to teachers and students alone, it would become more popular. It requires a strategic direction both nationally and internationally. Data collection is essential and case studies should be encouraged. Joint degrees and exchanges through the cooperative partnership of universities should be favored.

Language training and and developmental projects can be conducted by universities and these joint ventures can help strengthen the unity among various schools of thought.

Many universities are ensuring that mobility is not restricted to only the teachers. All kinds of staff are being sent from one university to another for the sake of cultural exchange and to cross barriers such as language, behavior, perspective and other minor differences.

Many institutions are now taking a step to make sure that people can have access to archives and reports so that policies may be made and researches may be conducted in future based on the observations.

The future of higher education is indeed bright but with careful planning and determination on the part of the students and teachers we can share information and encourage other sister universities to join hands for a proper cultural exchange and development in future.

Article Source: bit.ly/1uYpoaf

Friday, 21 November 2014

The Kind Of Degree We Earn Matters


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Walt Disney once stated that all our dreams come true if we have the courage to pursue them. This statement is indeed true in the case of everything we try to accomplish in life. We have a dream, a goal, an ambition and we work hard to make it come true. Education is one of the most important aspects of our life that we can’t ignore or forget. With the help of education we can make ourselves face problems and find success. We also look for quality in education. We prefer a good institution, a good course and everything that will ensure that students have a bright future.

There are millions of people all over the world who are struggling every day to educate themselves in order to fulfill their dreams. Look at the lives of people around you.

Problems That You Might Be Facing Like Many Around You

You might spot an employed mother struggling to balance her entry-level job with her responsibilities at home since she is married and has two children who need her constant attention. She wants a promotion at work so that she can educate her children and give them the best opportunities in life too. She needs a job of a junior executive and for that to happen she needs to go to school. But that would mean that she would have to leave her job, or settle somewhere away from her family overseas. Also this option is very expensive since she has to take care of her children’s needs. She can’t attend regular classes at a college. Is there no hope for people like her to move forward in life?

And Here Comes The Easy Solution 
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One of the easiest options that are available today is distance education. One doesn’t need to wait and leave a job or quit anything else in life. People can get the majority of the work done at home and can visit the campus on rare occasions such as during exams.

Hi-Tech Education- A Short-Cut To Success

Now, with the advent of technology, people can choose to learn and appear for exams online. It is flexible and affordable since anyone can learn from home and can cut down on expenses that often are incurred on transportation and tuition at the college campus.
Students who need a less expensive option to earn a degree can get a diploma through an online course. There might be many people who have just graduated from high school and they don’t want to study for four years at college.

 The Online Management Diploma Is Pacing Forward

Today's generation, that is entering the world of business education, is keen to embrace the opportunities that are provided by the implementation of technologies. Consequently, a modern age business student has the access of a flexible, innovative and job-oriented management diploma online study program, thanks to the radically evolved online learning.

To Fast Track Students' Achievements

The online undergraduate business program not only provides students with an enhanced learning experience, which extends beyond academics, but it also furnishes them with strategic & leadership expertise.

  • Learners will explore the bonding with people within the sector after going through level 5 diploma course in business, the modules of which concentrate on key elements within business and management to fast track students to the final year of an associated Undergraduate BA degree.
  • Online courses also equip the future business professionals with the skills to make right decision at the right time and proceed with it in the right way.
  • Turning a problem into an advantage with creativity is another key skill that is explored through management diploma online program.
Now, pursuing Level 5 diploma will be a cheaper option for students but they will be acquainted with the skills that will help them become entrepreneurs soon after. They can make business plans, know about the various business laws, can make plans in marketing and sales and will also develop interpersonal skills and leadership skills.

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The Expansion That Students Need

Level 5 diploma through online mode can help anyone who is interested to learn at his own pace since it is very flexible. It helps students learn how to face challenges and they can share information online with others all over the world.

The students have the option of going to approved centers where they can take lessons in a class. They can choose not to go anywhere and contact teachers online or over the phone and get personal doubts clarified on a one-to-one basis.

They can also choose to attend blended classrooms where they might have to attend classes on campus and online as well. It helps build a strong network with other students so that common errors can be eliminated and new ideas can be incorporated by the online learners.

The bottom-line is that we all seek quality in whatever we purchase. Education should equip us with the knowledge that is needed to ensure excellence in performance once one is employed. It motivates a student to go to the finish line successfully. If there is anything lacking, there will be some negative effect on the learner. Knowledge should be free and accessible by all who seek it.

Article Source: goo.gl/CqLmLU

Thursday, 20 November 2014

MOOCs: Are These Free Online Courses Worth It?

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In the past few years MOOCs (Massive Online Open Courses) have become one of the most popular trends in education and corporate training. Numerous students from across the globe are now pursuing MOOCs offered by various colleges and universities. For the uninitiated, MOOCs free online courses which can be pursued by large number of learners. Most of these courses are free and are offered by reputed universities and institutions worldwide.

There is no doubt that these educational courses have acted as a boon for learners who are interested to gain knowledge in a particular topic. But you need to be cautious about some challenges that you will encounter while studying a massive online open course. Here we will dissect some of the highs and lows of pursuing MOOCs. Read on....

Benefits That Can Change Your Life  

Wide Range Of World-Class Courses

You can find an array of high quality education courses via MOOCs that are offered by recognized and reputed colleges, universities and institutions. You can choose to learn about different topics like yoga, neuroscience, entrepreneurship, computer coding or anything you are interested in. With MOOCs there are no limitations.

Free Of Charge

Most of the courses offered through MOOCs are entirely free as the key objective of these courses is to make education available and accessible widely. Considering the rising cost of college education and corporate training, MOOCs are certainly an advantage for individuals as well as businesses.

Flexibility

MOOCs are designed to be highly flexible. If you wish to attend college or corporate training, it is imperative that you take time off from your current employment. But with these online courses, you can study at any time you want and fit your studies around your daily routine. As you can access the course material on the internet, you can study as per your convenience and stay committed to your day job.

No Specific Requirements

You do not need to possess any specific qualifications to pursue a Massive Online Open Course. As these courses do not have a limit on the volume of applicants, the process is not selective. You can get started easily just by providing some general details.

And Here Comes The Challenges

Lack Of Accreditation

One of the biggest drawbacks of MOOCs is that most of the courses are not accredited. As a result, these are usually not considered valuable by employers. Although adding an online course qualification on your resume will not damage your reputation, but it will not have the same effect on your employers as an accredited qualifications.

Not At Par With Traditional Courses

Generally the online courses are simplified versions of college programs and often are not at par with traditional courses. As MOOCs aim to make learning more accessible by reaching a wide group of students, these tend to be very basic.

Student Retention Issues

Another major downside of MOOCs that has gained considerable attention is substantial inclination to abandon the course. The flexibility of MOOCs, which can be a great advantage for many, offers learners the freedom to such degrees that their professional and personal commitments take more priority than studies.

Lack Of Teacher Interaction

As thousands of learners enrol for MOOCs, it becomes impractical for the educators to track progress of every student and offer them the support they would require. Although MOOCs offer online forums for student support, but the queries and posts on these forums are usually answered by fellow learners. Moreover grading is also done either by peers or automatically.
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What Should You Do?

Now the question that comes to mind is “Are MOOCs useful for your career”? Well, the answer depends on what you expect to gain from these courses. If you wish to enrich your knowledge and understanding by pursuing an affordable and accessible course that offers quality education, then MOOCs are for you.

However, if you are looking for a substitute for college education, then you might need to think again. These courses can certainly be helpful for your career development, provided you invest adequate time and effort and steer your own progress.

What do you think about MOOCs? Who do you think a MOOC can help your career goals? Let us know your opinions and thoughts by commenting below. We would love to hear from you.

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Monday, 17 November 2014

Social Media – A New Era Evolves In Education

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The new generation of students has grown up knowing that they need to pack their tabs in their bags and keep the pen drive in their pocket. They can tell time and can be reminded about their next class when their teacher sends a notification on their smart watches.

Experiments in laboratories have become interesting and fun exercises for both teachers and students since they get to make observations from very close quarters with the help of Google glasses. Explanations are so much easier to follow on smart boards.

Social Media Barges In...And Transforms Learning

Just a few years ago, people were introduced to the world of social media for fun and entertainment. People used these tools to share pictures and stories about private moments that were shared with friends and loved ones. But gradually they have been molded to give a new shape- that of a medium of instruction in schools, colleges and universities. Some social media tools have become very popular very recently.

Social Media Tools Favored by the World

  • Some of the great social tools that are used in schools are Edmodo, in which the teachers and students in class can connect online.
  • Grockit is the tool that helps students find study-buddies and they learn in groups. Skype can help students and teachers interact with each other from anywhere in the world.
  • Quora is favored by teachers since they can find topics for class discussions and debates. This is available worldwide.
  • The tool named ePals can assist students who are learning new languages and about countries and cultures that are different from theirs.
  • Google Earth is popular for students who are learning about geography.
  • Very recently, blogging has become popular among students and teachers. According to Dan Roddy, an eLearning Designer from UK, blogging is the best way to consolidate personal learning. Many authors can connect and learn about the latest information on a very informal platform.
  • Kora Stoll, a fifth grade teacher in Miami Florida favors Podcasting since students can hear, edit and publish mp3s in an innovative manner.
  • Jeroen Bottema, the teacher trainer for the School of Education Amsterdam pointed out how Twitter proved to be an important and useful tool when there was a need to have conferences and while having discussions.
The Extent to Which Social Media is Being Used by Students and Teachers

Social Media is also used by teachers and students at the level of higher education. Social media is personally used by 70.3% of the faculty. 55 % use it professionally outside the classroom and 41% use it inside the class. This no longer remains restricted to high school alone. It has been widely accepted by colleges and universities as well.

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Social Media & Digital Education–The Juxtaposition

Since 2000, when Friendster and MySpace were introduced as the quintessential domains for youngsters, social media has gone mainstream. The vast range of social media tools such as blogging, Tweeting, and Google+ hangouts also allow online students to both create and curate content, to collaborate with other students & teachers, and to build their own learning networks as well.
  • Group works and assignments are the genres of Online education where Wikis and other collaborative document tools can be used.
  • Personal and class blogs are reckoned to be important to submit writing assignments and reflections.
  • Online students can make their presentations using Youtube, podcasting, or mind-mapping software and post these presentations online for others to evaluate.
The Academic Revolution

With the advent of social media, it has become a tool that is used by teachers in colleges and universities and the respective students for open discussion, explanation and the medium of expression both verbally and in a written form. Students feel free to submit original work without the fear of plagiarism.

 
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The future of education is indeed very promising since it is evolving and transforming itself in the most positive direction and people too are being shaped and molded based on the knowledge that they are gaining. It is indeed great to see how we have been able to transcend barriers such as countries, cultures, languages, expressions, values and other minor differences to become an integrated global community with a common goal... to strive towards perfection by gaining knowledge that is free for all.

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Tuesday, 11 November 2014

How Apprenticeship Can Influence Your Career Growth

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Our world is dynamic. New discoveries are being made every minute and inventions are making our careers lively and innovative. If any student is interested in being an apprentice, it is a very good choice since an apprenticeship is an actual job that trains a student with all the necessary skills for the specific job.

When Do Students Choose Apprenticeships?

Usually, it has been observed that students who are still in high school have chosen to become apprentices at the tender age of 16. But at the same time they are studying for their high school degree on a part-time basis so that they can go to college.

In Which Fields Can One Become An Apprentice? 
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Usually one is engaged as an apprentice for one to four years in a wide variety of industries like engineering, finance, veterinary nursing and accountancy. There are 1,200 jobs that select candidates as apprentices. A student gains work experience and skill training.

Some of the jobs that hire students for on-the job training are stewarding manager, IT systems, Hardware and Build Engineer, Digital marketing, Systems and Networking, Technician, Internal Service Desk Engineer, Assistant Information and Content marketing.

The average wage of any apprentice is about 170 pounds. It has been studied that on an average those who have an advanced level apprenticeship earn about 100,000 pounds and see great progress in their careers. There are several levels to apprenticeship like intermediate, advanced and higher apprenticeship.

The Growth of Apprenticeship – What Recent Studies Say

There has been a growing need to have more apprentices in IT and construction industries. John Coombes an apprentice in advanced engineering had the opportunity to complete his bachelor’s degree and found employment right after that.

There are still some academicians who frown when students claim that they are apprentices, but with time it is hopeful that this concept will change and pupils who are employed and trained are accepted everywhere.
Recent statistics have shown that in the previous academic year 510,000 apprenticeships had begun. Some of the students who have chosen to be an apprentice are over 25 years of age. It is not restricted to high school graduates alone.
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The report called Apprenticeships for the Future stated that 1.8 billion pounds worth benefits were delivered by apprentices in 2012-13.

What To Do To Fast Track Your Growth

Though there are regular courses in colleges and universities which you can avail & utilize your knowledge in the field of employment, what about those challenges that you will be thrust into when you step on the ladder of your career? As apprenticeship means “you earn while you learn”, distance learning is one of the best options that you can take to go ahead.

An online degree will not only equip you enough to face real life business challenges, it will also provide you with enormous flexibility & accessibility. You only need a computer & Internet connection.

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 Online Degree – Door To Many Paths

Getting a degree online has become so much easier. You don’t need to quit your job or refrain from getting the desired experience. Instead you can keep working towards your career and the credits which will help you get your degree. You will be astonished to discover how useful your online courses will be in practical life too. Whatever you learn can be applied when you are training to become a working professional. You can complete your bachelor’s degree and think about completing your post-graduation too. It will help your promotions at work too and recruiters would select your resumes if you have higher degrees.

So there is no reason to give either your studies or job up. Getting a degree online will ensure that your dreams come true both academically and financially. Reach the finish line with perfection and find success waiting for you in the end.

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Monday, 10 November 2014

What You Will Get Back From Your College Degree


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Every parent wants to invest money on his child’s education so that the person can earn a decent salary for a comfortable livelihood. It is true that some candidates struggle to get a job in a stagnant economy. There are many who are apprehensive about paying back loans that they have to take to complete their education. These are real problems faced by people. It makes everyone doubt about whether the degree will pay off or not.

If a student doesn’t go to college, he will be denied access to decent jobs. The jobs that will be available will pay less and will be less stable. No one wants to remain stuck at a low-level job like that of a waiter or retail sales clerk.

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 "This is what I'll call the 'Job vs. Career' trajectory. Individuals without a degree move slowly towards their highest earning potential, with somewhat stagnant early years," said Shanker Mishra, the Ladders Vice President of Data Science And Analytics. "Individuals with a college degree may start in the same compensation range, but grow exponentially over the course of their careers.”

If one attends a college with a good reputation, students can establish personal connections with people in class and can make a huge social network.

A Little Of Everything Counts

Another truth is that not only will your college degree be taken into account, but your hard work and dedication will also be judged. So take a look at the various fields of employment and the salaries that people are estimated to be getting.

What The Statistics Say 

  • According to a study after obtaining a bachelor’s degree in education, people in the field of humanities like Lawyers are earning $ 79,997. The wage and job growth in this job in five years is 14% and 29%.School Health Care managers from the field of life sciences are earning $87,360. The wage and job growth rates in five years are 14% and 15%.
  • The Head Nurse and Medical Supervisor in the health department are earning $76,960 with wage
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    and  job growth rates of 18% and 11%
  •  For people who work in business administration as a financial administrator, the salary is $82,992 and the wage and job growth rates are 16% and 8%.
  • In the field of engineering, a school specialized engineer gets around $79,997 and the wage and job growth rates are 28% and 7%.
  • The school principal and administrator in the field of education receive$91,437 for a wage and job growth rate of 14% and 8%.
  • In the social sciences, a psychologist gets $77,875 and a wage and job growth rate of 18% and 30%.
  • Geologists, Geochemists and Geophysicists in the field of mathematics and physical sciences get $88,525. Their wage and growth rates are 19% and 3%.
 It has also been observed that the incomes of men exceeded the income of women in the similar fields.
It is evident from these reports that earning a bachelor’s degree can help any student in any relevant field to earn a salary of this kind. In the times of global recession and stagnant employment opportunities, it is still necessary that one should get a bachelor’s degree. That will ensure a bright future. It will encourage advancement of the students too if they are interested in higher studies. There will also be an opportunity to pay the debts off faster if they were incurred during studentship. So prospects are favorable for anyone who wishes to graduate and find employment in the world of globalization and universal progress.

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Friday, 7 November 2014

How To Teach - Not A Process, But An Education

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In every nation it is essential that people have their children well educated. But what most people overlook is that teachers too need to be properly trained in order to teach children

A compassionate nature and teaching skills are highly essential. A teacher is a professional who trains students to be successful in every other profession. A teacher creates employees for the future.

Teaching Is A Recreation – A Misconception

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There is a misconception that teaching is like a hobby which is learnt when the teacher gets the job. In reality the process begins from much earlier than the time the person begins teaching. Alarmingly, this notion is still present among Education bureaucrats and institutions such as the National College for Teaching and Leadership.

What Is Being Done To Train Teachers?

To ensure that teachers get proper training , the universities are working together with schools to educate and train the teachers so that they can meet the requirements. These teachers are getting the training from teachers who are already employed and are dealing with the real classroom scenarios.

Unlike the specialized trainers in universities, these teachers who also teach children are unable to provide the latest information about the field of education. Those teachers who are trained in universities are well equipped with updated knowledge.

The Global Scenario

It has been observed that countries such as Finland and China have been able to achieve excellence in terms of standards in education. Their educational system is very attentive to the needs of both teachers and students.

The Hurdles Faced by Teachers and Students 
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Very recently it has been observed that the School Direct programme has continually been unsuccessful in allotting seats to trainee teachers. Unfortunately, in universities where there are limited seats, candidates are competing to secure a place for a proper training.

This will only lead to a deficit of available and properly trained teachers. Universities like Worcester, University of Bath Anglia Ruskin University and others have faced a reduction in the number of teacher training laces at the universities. This is being controlled by the National College for Teaching and Leadership. This body is slowly transferring places away from universities.

While reducing the number of teachers who are being trained, they are increasing the number of students who are choosing to work right after graduating from college. There are several reasons why teachers need to be trained.

Why Teachers Need To Be Trained

· The students need to be properly trained by teachers who are themselves both academically and practically trained and qualified.

· Apart from having a cheerful disposition and patience, teachers need to understand how to use technology in classrooms.

· They need to be well conversant with the different teaching methodologies like individual, pair and group learning and peer -teaching.

· They need to also know how long the lectures should be conducted to avoid drudgery.

· They should know how to introduce lateral teaching while using visual aids.

· These don’t happen overnight or they don’t just come to the mind the minute a teacher steps into a classroom. 
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Solve These Issues – Little Step At A Time

The government needs to look into these little details which can really help improve the life of teachers and the students since they will get better jobs if they receive the best knowledge. Teachers can successfully teach using the knowledge that they will get if they are trained. So the benefits will be mutual and will help the nation lead in terms of education and skill.

If you have any statements, leave them in the comment box below. 

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