Monthly Archives: March 2014

How Online MBA Programmes Pose a Threat to US Business Schools?

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Online learning poses as a threat to the traditional face-to-face mode of education. A number of mediocre business schools are on the verge of getting shut down because of the rise in the popularity of online education.

Richard Lyons, the dean of University of California, Berkeley’s Haas School of Business, has a grim prediction for business education in United States. He says, “Half of the business schools in this country could be out of business in 10 years, or five”.

Top MBA programmes will soon start offering degrees online

According to Lyons, the biggest threat is that more and more top MBA programmes will soon start offering degrees online. It is sure to put the business model of industry in danger. Most business schools make revenue through part-time and executive MBA programmes, which will in near future have to compete with top online alternatives for survival among the same population.

However, this phenomenon is more likely to have an impact over lower-ranked business schools, rather than prestigious ones like Wharton and Harvard Business School. As soon as the recognised schools get into the fray of offering online degrees, even the students from remote locations who might have gone for convenient part-time programme nearby their homes will be drawn in.

Online MBA programmes are likely to attract high-quality attendees

Part-time and online MBA programmes do not burn a hole in the pocket of students, who are made to pay dearly in terms of tuition fees at full-time programmes. As most of the part-time and online MBA programmes are designed for corporate strivers staying put near campus, such programmes can be sure of stable flow of high-quality attendees.

In many cases, it is seen that working professionals with family responsibilities or other obligations do not want to relocate to some other places for having a business degree, which can boost their career prospects. Lyons says, “Education technology has the potential to make the proximity factor go away”.

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Part-time and e-MBA programmes have sticker price

Most business schools do not make public the total amount of financial aid awarded to MBAs, Lyons makes an estimate that a 25 percent discount on tuition fees is given to average full-time student at a top tier business school. On the other hand, an average student needs to pay only the sticker price at part-time and Online-MBA programmes.

Lyons says that if premier schools draw in the creamy students, part-time programmes with lesser demands may become less effective. These part-time programmes may not stay in business without an able and premium student body.

Reputed business schools are likely to offer their degrees online

While only a few reputed business schools have started offering MBA programmes online, a number of other business schools have. However, the elite business schools have now slowly started warming to online world, experimenting with non-degree online learning. Until now, online education was mostly associated with down market educational institutions, but it has mostly shed the stigma, as some of the top-tier business schools like Stanford, Wharton, and other prestigious institutions are likely to provide online degrees.

Online education is certain to change the patterns schools vie for students. With more and more traditional universities going online, for-profit MBA programmes have been dubbed as the early losers. As the big brands follow the online programmes, lower-ranked business schools may be reduced to dust in near future.

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Healthcare Degrees making Students Walk on Bright Career Paths

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There is a misconception among students today, especially the new age learners that earning degrees in health and social care leads to nowhere. Instead, there are many students who think that certificates earned in healthcare or medicine leads one to settle careers either as doctors, medical researchers or nurses.

Believe it or not, many career seekers willing to enter medical professions in the United States prefer sidestepping conventional healthcare career options. Instead, the 21st century learners are now showing keen interests towards pursuing courses in health and social care online owing to the necessity of accumulating work experiences.

What students opine today about medical careers?

Prior to moving to the positive aspects in studying a health and social care course online, what is first important is to know what students and experts are opining on these courses.

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According to one of the medical graduates, Soren Kudsk-Iversen  from Sheffield University, “The whole experience was fantastic. I learned a lot from being in a different culture with stretched resources, a high burden of disease and colleagues from a variety of backgrounds.” After working for over a year in a hospital in South Africa, he was quite pleased with his experience he gained after earning a medical degree.

Sara Dodd, who attended a health exchange programme and kept camping throughout the course said, “We set up clinics in tents and treated members of the local community who would visit us. It was very basic, but really rewarding.” According to him, today’s healthcare graduates might find working in an environment to be quite challenging. However, it’s also true that it keeps bringing new opportunities to them with the passage of time.

Experts too hold positive opinions

Apart from students, academic experts also perceive medical degrees to be prospective for new age learners who are looking forward to prosper in medical fields. According to Professor Jane Zuckerman, the academic lead for electives at University College London, “The students are unrecognisable when they return. It opens their eyes to global health issues, exposes them to challenging ethical situations, and makes them better, more-rounded physicians.”

Online courses can be high-scoring

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In this respect, the medical courses online can prove to be extremely beneficial since they come with effective modules that aim to make individuals thorough professionals in the medical world. Accordingly, an online programme in health and social care can no doubt be a wise career option.

An online course in health and social care usually covers the following areas:

  • Ø Adopting study skills that helps in enhancing one’s learning potential
  • Ø Thorough understanding of today’s health and care settings
  • Ø Supervising as well as planning resources
  • Ø Learning to work in an absolute collaborative manner
  • Ø Improving one’s caring skills that can later help one to take care of people
  • Ø Deepening one’s concept of work-based projects that can be undertaken through self-directed learning
  • Ø Acquiring leadership skills to become a motivator at work

So, if you are willing to earn an online degree in health and social care, what you need to do is look for an accredited university that can help you do so as per your own convenience. Just forget all those misconceptions and take a new initiative to march on the career paths of the medical world.

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Relevance of STEM Education seems to be Rising High for Women

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If experts are under the impression that men outscore women in terms of earnings, they might be taken aback on knowing that the number of women earning college degrees and higher credentials is actually more than men. Reports say that over half of the population in America not only comprise women but the workforce even takes them a bit less than half.

Despite, the majority of women fail to qualify for STEM jobs which are counted among the fastest growing ones that relate to disciplines like Science, Technology, Engineering and Math. It’s indeed a sad scenario that keeps a lot of women deprived from such bright career opportunities and this crucial matter has now been realised by experts. The current census says:

  • In the United States, 26% of the STEM employees are women
  • Accordingly, 74% of the STEM jobs now employ men

One of the biggest reasons why this has been perceived as a critical issue on a global basis is the American families’ growing reliability on women who is considered to be the primary bread earner. So, what must be done now?

STEM gender gap must be eliminated

To gradually wipe off the gender gap for STEM, fields like science and technology must be made more accessible to women. For this, the Million Women Mentors (MWM), which is a programme initiated by STEMconnector, will lead to a collaboration between non-profit organisations, corporations and government entities. Well, this will raise support and awareness among women as well as young girls in obtaining STEM education. Moreover, there have been more than 50,000 pledges already made to young women in STEM fields.

As far as today’s scenario is concerned, STEM needs to play a strong role that would not only keep it exposed to women but also to students and minorities from economically weaker communities who have always been underrepresented while making way to STEM industries.

Local schools must look for career opportunities in STEM

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What local schools must require now are grants that would keep fetching them career opportunities in STEM. In fact, this would also encourage the younger generation, especially women to look for more of these prospective careers. It will also strengthen the importance of engineering programmes and thereafter bring more and more STEM instructors to areas of high requirements. With the introduction of the STEM Gateway Act in Congress, there will be a grant programme for elementary and secondary schools and community colleges that would cater to students coming from economically as well as historically deprived backgrounds.

Now, a ray of hope is left, and that is, women should stop representing them as “the only woman” in jobs related to computer science or something equivalent. Instead, membership can do a good job by helping young women place their feet on the right track and perhaps help them later to get promoted. Rather, a strong mentor can let all those young women progress in their respective careers and hence make them fulfil their dreams.

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Introducing Online Technologies in Education can Yield High Benefits for Students

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Technology plays a greater role in meeting with the current educational needs. In educational TV series as well as at the debates, the future of online technology and education is discussed by the eminent panellists and energetic audience.

Unlike students, teachers do not favour online education technologies

If students feel optimistic about the future of online technology and digital education, not every educator seems to have the similar perception. Some educators are anxious about the future of traditional teaching, and pose questions whether online learning could offer true engagement and meaningful activity. They are also concerned if social media could offer real interaction between the end users. In addition, some educators also raised concern about the role of virtual classroom in keeping the human element intact.

Though these are all well-founded issues, but symbolize the dodgy hypothesis that cherished educational priorities can’t be preserved under a different learning environment. There are online courses dedicated to promote valid learning and teaching and virtual tutors who are committed to provide significant engagement and instil the human element to the students throughout the world.

Disregard for online technologies at traditional set-ups

In the contrary, most traditional secondary and university classrooms ignore the priorities of live lecturers and teachers who can automate instruction. In such classrooms, education is objectified and students are isolated that reduces education to mere transfer of content.

However, the quality of educational experience in both, online and face-to-face learning medium, depends a lot on the reliability of the programme, the tutor and the student community.

Teachers and educational leaders should shrug off their reservations

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The teachers and leaders in educational sector share the views of not to integrate online technology in education. First and foremost requirement is that digital-naive teachers should move beyond the comfort zone and enter the world of digital-native students. Then, the traditional schools should show their faith into a relatively unknown and new world of online technology. They must let go of the familiar model that we embrace only because we know it so well, but not because it works so well. Third and most crucial, online education shift the power of learning from teacher to student. It works as a launch pad for learning rather than the provider of knowledge, and in doing so, it allows students to gain control over their own learning. It might be a worrying viewpoint for a number of educators and parents, as online learning is more about surrendering control and taking risks.

Internet has become a natural part in the lives of students. It has become the common platform for watching TV programmes and movies, accessing music, organising their day-to-day lives and interacting with friends. It does not surprise us when they do not look at online learning medium as an uncertain venture. Internet has provided young students access to plenty of educational material that teachers could not have anticipated while undergoing teachers training. 

Some people may argue that we require moving with caution, as students may suffer by the bold moves in adoption of online learning technologies. However, educationists suggest that the students’ future may suffer more because our teachers and leaders are too timid rather than too bold in introducing online learning curriculum.

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How Attractive can your Study of Psychology be for you?

The fast cosmopolitan lifestyle round the world brings with it manifold complexities that affects human mind sometimes with severe impacts. Human psyche that always has an inclination to follow nature gets entwined by the modern affairs of the world. So, in today’s world, we badly feel for a psychological support everywhere. No wonder, psychological experts are so much in demand in every place of modern life.

People having interest in psychological analysis are getting tremendously interested to study this subject nowadays, and many of them are even pursuing successful career in several sectors of psychology. There is a good opportunity to earn attractive salary once candidates gather some considerable work experience. And, to work and study side by side, one can go for a degree in psychology online. The flexibility of learning schedule in online studying lets a candidate involve into any relevant job to accumulate experience parallel to learning.

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Various Streams of Psychology

One of the greatest advantages to have a psychology degree is getting variety of career options open to graduates. They can tailor their education to focus on special areas that attract their interest. Among many such areas are:

  • Clinical psychology
  • Health psychology
  • Forensic psychology
  • Sports psychology
  • Human factors psychology
  • Industrial-Organisational psychology; etc.

Career Options:

Whatever your area of interest may be, there are various attractive career paths with your qualification over psychology. Almost each of them is attractive enough in respect of remuneration and job satisfaction.

Counsellor:

The most predominant by-product of our modern ways of life is ‘tension’. Whatever one’s age or type of work is, everyone gets struck with the cloud of tension in some point of time in his/her life. Here requires the healing power of a counsellor. Being a counsellor, your job becomes to understand the socio-economical situation of a person and provide necessary advice to help him out. It is an interesting job, but requires sufficient experience and deftness to deal with critical issues. Average annual salary of a counsellor is about $47,530.

School Psychologist:

The pressure of study and typical social changes affect student psyche more than anyone. Especially, when they are in their adolescence period, their psyche really needs an expert help in most cases. As a school psychologist, you will be responsible for handling multiple problems among school students. You can expect an average annual salary of $59,440 as your remuneration in this profession.

Vocational Counsellor:

Unemployment is such an issue that creates huge tension among youth. As a vocational counsellor, your responsibility would be guiding aspirants to proper educational and thereby career direction according to their areas of interest and talent. You can earn an average salary of $46,000 as a vocational counsellor.

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Image Source: bit.ly/1cEKFOJ

Genetic Counsellor:

If you want to work as a genetic counsellor, you have to have educational background in psychology, biology, social work etc. Your responsibilities include helping couples and families out from genetic disorders relating to general health and reproduction. As a genetic counsellor you can earn an average annual salary of $47,530.

Forensic Psychologist:

Your role as a forensic psychologist would engage your expert knowledge of psychology and criminal forensics to analyse and detect crimes to help initiate law enforcement. As a forensic psychologist you will have to work with different law enforcement professionals. And, you can earn on an average annual salary of $60,430.

Clinical Psychologist:

It is the oldest branch of psychology, and being a clinical psychologist your role may involve treating variety of mental emotional and psychological disorders in hospitals or in private clinic. With this role your average annual salary can be about $75,100.

Sports Psychologist:

Sport psychologist is fast becoming a popular career option. As a sport psychologist your areas of action may be of two types. You can improve athletic performance with your advice. And, you can also improve mental and physical health of sportsmen. You can get an annual average salary of $57,500.

Industrial-Organisational Psychologist:

It is quite new application of psychology, yet quite interesting. Industrial-organisational psychologists help employees improve their work performance. But, you at least need a master’s degree to work as an industrial-organisational psychologist. The remuneration for industrial-organisational psychologists is also very attractive. They can earn an annual average salary of $98,800.

Special Education Teacher:

Special education teachers work with students with special needs, in most cases, who have various emotional and mental disorders. Due to the increase in population day by day, jobs as special education teacher are profuse in number. With this job role your annual average salary may be about $54,820.

But, as is said, you need good length of work experience to impress big employers. And, a degree in psychology online is a great way to achieve sufficient work experience to secure top jobs with your bonus advantage. Plus, you save a whole lot of money with the cost-efficient online mode of study, where course fess are as low as just 40% of the one offered by any on-campus college or university. The global community you form during your online study from an international university lets you build influential contacts that can be your source for future employment or other career-oriented ventures.

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Burdened by Rising Tuition Fees? Consider Taking Part in Apprenticeship Program

For a long time, apprenticeship was seen as the connecting route between education and employment. Today, a large number of people are attracted to apprenticeship because it provides the opportunity to earn while they learn.

In the UK, National Apprenticeship Week, into its seventh year, aims to raise the awareness about apprenticeship programs among pupils, parents and teachers. The National Apprenticeship Week usually runs from March 3 to 7 every year.

Apprenticeships are Better for Young Students

Anyone aged 16 and above can take part in apprenticeship program, which generally lasts for between one and four years. Those taking part in the program are considered as the employees of the company, which is liable to pay at least the national minimum wage of £2.68 to under-19s. Participants can also study for their qualification, mostly after they are leased for the day, at college.

Those who are studying at intermediate, advanced and higher levels can take part in apprenticeship programs.

Participation in Apprenticeship Program

In terms of participation, it is still small in comparison with the alternate educational routes. About 108,000 out of 495,000 pupils enrolled for university course took part in apprenticeship in the first quarter of 2013-14. However, if compared with previous years’ trends, the numbers have grown swiftly. In 2012-13 alone, about 860,000 pupils were taking on apprenticeship programs. The figure is double from the past five years.

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Apprenticeship programs have become more interesting alternative to full-time working professional and university students because of the recession and mounting tuition fees. The National Apprentice Week held in early March was aimed to increase awareness about the virtues of apprenticeship programs.

Karen Woodward, Deputy Director at the National Apprenticeship Service (NAS) says that the prestige of the companies involved in the program has boosted the popularity of this career path.

Prestigious Companies Take Part in National Apprenticeship Week

Some of the prestigious companies taking part in the program include Rolls-Royce, BAE and BT, banks and consultancy firms like PwC and Barclays. Usually, there are more than 10 applicants vying for one place, which makes the competition stiff.

Woodward says, “Getting into some of these blue-chip apprenticeship programmes can be as difficult as getting into Oxford or Cambridge,”

In the National Apprenticeship Week, pupils belonging to diverse career fields, such as accounting, piloting, PR, project management, were given opportunities for 1,500 different roles in 170 sectors by about 100,000 employers.

So, pupils at intermediate, advanced and higher levels are suggested to take part in apprenticeship programs, as it may change the future course of their career for better.

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MOOCs: A Global Platform to complete Higher Education

As an educator, I feel immensely happy when I see people taking interest in studies. I really like youngsters who have an unquenchable thirst for knowledge and are open to various ways and modes of learning. It is a universal truth, that there is no end to learning, and individuals who pursue academics to better themselves, prove this point. For many, putting careers on hold to study more is no big deal, but for most, even the thought of quitting one’s job is frightening. For such people online learning is the best option. However, online courses also cost money, or do they? MOOCs also allow students to study a plethora of courses without having to pay anything or going anywhere.

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The convenience and popularity of MOOCs

Over the years, MOOCs have emerged as a very popular mode of learning for people who are keen on learning. MOOCs are meant for everyone who is interested in increasing their knowledge in a particular subject. People of all ages, religions, communities, and ethnicities can take up these online courses. These courses are free so they can be studied by anyone regardless of their economic condition. So, stay at home parents, teachers, students, working professionals, retired individuals, anyone can take up these courses. These courses are more popular because they can be studied from anywhere, anytime.

Satisfying the thirst for education or just a fad?

There are many who start these courses and drop out mid way, just for the sake of taking it up. There are many MOOC junkies all over the world, who find it necessary to join every MOOC that come across as interesting. Some of these people are actually serious about the course and complete it whereas many start with it and don’t see it through. Just because, it is free, many students who study in MOOCs don’t take it seriously and leave whenever they feel like. On the other hand, if these courses were paid, they would be compelled to complete them.

An alarming example…

The kid who lives next door, is working these days, but sometime ago, when I asked him, he said that he was studying a course on social care and health and recently he told me that he’s studying a course on fiction. So, worriedly, I asked him how he’s paying for them and how he’s studying two courses simultaneously and working. To that, he replied that he’s not paying for them and was studying them because he felt like it. Once he got bored of studying the first course, he dropped out and started the second. This amazed me and I asked him if will complete the present course, to which he replied, that he will, if doesn’t find disinteresting.

So, basically, I concluded that he was following a fad whereas an ex student of mine was actually, studying management at a MOOC to improve and do better at work. Another, reason why MOOCs can be treated as a fad is that most people who study these courses are already graduates and therefore treat this as an additional learning experience. So while for many, MOOCs are a blessing, for many, it is just another way of passing time. So yes, I believe, if you do want to quench your thirst for education with conviction, there’s no better way of doing it than studying at MOOCs as they are convenient.

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