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.”


 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.”

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