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Degree

Should you consider pursuing a Masters

Graduates with a resume boasting of an excellent academic track and a lot of work experience will definitely thrive in a competitive job market. Over the last few years, master’s degrees have become a very popular choice for students across the world for many different reasons. But does a master’s degree really provide any significance value? Does it offer a job guarantee?

Master’s degree’s value is industry specific

Not all master’s degrees are valuable. They are all industry specific. Certain industries value real world experience while others need academic excellence. For example, the media industry prefers candidates with work experience instead of a master’s degree because it is a practical and creative environment that can be understood only with experience and not in the classroom. On the other hand, if you plan to become a doctor then a master’s degree can be very helpful. Industries like media, sales and recruitment do not necessarily require a master’s degree if you have good work experience.

Which master’s degree is financially valuable?

Most students today opt for a master’s degree with the belief that it will add some value to their overall salary. Reputation.com has conducted a study by analyzing online resumes, salaries and job profiles. Their study points out the fact that the average increase in salary for recent graduates from a master’s degree (non-MBA) is less than $2,000/year. In fact, master’s degrees in areas like social work, architecture, journalism, English, history and public administration do not provide any significant financial increase.

Other than an MBA, master’s degrees in chemical engineering, electrical engineering, physics, chemistry, marketing and economics are the most financially valuable.

Understanding the labor market

Students contemplating a master’s degrees should follow labor market information and employment trends before making a decision. Although recessions and economic depression can alter outcomes, students should try to gain an understanding of what employers would want from an ideal candidate by the time they complete their course and start searching for a job. Check labor market information for the geographical area that you plan to seek employment in. Ask important questions like whether your field is shrinking or growing, if you would be getting the certifications, skills and knowledge employers are looking for and if you would be able to use your skills and degree in a different industry.

The school and the program you select for pursuing a master’s degree is also very important. Contact the program chair to learn more about their current job placement rates, the kind of jobs past students have secured and if they have partnerships in the industry for internships and placement opportunities.

Pursue a master’s degree for the right reasons

Overall, it is important for students to understand that a master’s degree will only be valuable if they pursue it for the right reason. You should consider a master’s degree only if you are passionate about that particular subject and if you think it would be a step up for your sector. It is also important to ensure that your master’s is relevant to your industry. If you are still in doubt, contact a target employer or specialist recruiter to learn more about what they think a master’s degree in your field is really worth.

Tips for Choosing a Major

Attending a college or university entails a significant financial investment and several years of your life. You want to make the most of the experience. Selecting the major that is right for you can lead to a successful and satisfying career. There is a wide array of options, with some universities offering hundreds of degree programs. Here are some tips for choosing a major.

1. Set Priorities

You are in college to learn, earn a degree, and qualify for a good-paying job. In selecting a program, you need to balance your financial ambitions with your interests. If money was the only factor, everyone would be an engineering major. If the salaries of all occupations were equal, there would probably be more teachers and artists.

You need to make enough money to pay off your student loans and enjoy a financially secure life. Research the average salaries that graduates of certain degree programs earn, and the rates of job growth in various fields.

Understand that some professions require more than a four-year degree. To become a doctor, for instance, you have to attend an additional four years of medical school and complete a residency. The fact that this takes a lot of money, as well as time, is a serious consideration.

Remember that, after you graduate, you are likely to be working 40 hours a week or more. If the job is not something you enjoy doing, you are not going to be happy, no matter how much it pays.

2. Identify Interests

Do some self-analysis to identify the subject areas that most interest you. Assess your academic strengths and weaknesses. Consider the subjects that you liked, and those you hated, in high school.

Think about the activities you enjoy doing, and the topics that fascinate you. Identify jobs that would allow you to make a living while doing or studying those things. Imagine what you would like to do every day, if money was not a factor. As much as possible and practical, pursue your passions.

3. Research Programs

Compile a list of potential degree programs. Read the university’s course catalog to learn about the courses, subject matter, and requirements involved with each of the majors you are considering. Take a look at the textbooks and the sorts of assignments you would be expected to complete.

Take advantage of resources like professors, advisors, and fellow students. Ask them about courses and programs. High school and college counselors also are excellent sources of information and advice.

Speak with professionals who have careers in fields you are considering. Find out about the joys and drawbacks of their jobs. Picture yourself doing what they do, and try to determine whether it looks like something that would make you happy as well as financially secure.

4. Take Your Time

Relax and realize that you do not have to make a decision right away. College freshmen face enough of a challenge in adjusting to their new lives, dealing with academic and social pressures. You don’t have to decide upon a major until your sophomore or junior year.

Until then, start completing general-education course requirements. In addition, take math and science classes, because many majors require them. Select electives that you find interesting. If a course intrigues you, there’s a good chance it will be relevant to the major that you eventually choose (or to a job that you get someday).

5. Change Your Mind

Selecting a degree program does not set in stone what you are going to be doing the rest of your life. Few students end up graduating in the field they initially chose. Nearly everyone changes majors at least once.

You may find that the work is too difficult, or that the subject matter does not spark your interest to the extent that you expected. It’s possible that you will discover another subject area that seems more promising. This is called learning and growing, so do not resist it. Don’t feel trapped in your major; you can always change your mind.

Your options do not end upon graduation. People frequently change careers. at some point in their lives, because their passions change or the demand for their services decreases. This is why it is important to take some college classes that you find interesting, even if they don’t apply to your major. They may teach you information you can use later in life.

Choosing a major that leads to a career is one of the most significant actions you will ever take. Though the advice of parents and others can be helpful, it is a personal decision. You need to take a hard look at your interests, abilities, and financial goals. Then you can pick the degree program that is right for you.

Exciting & Happening Careers in Medicine

Medical careers are among the most financially lucrative professions. They also offer rewards in the form of job satisfaction, because health-care providers are in a position to help patients live healthier, fuller lives.

High school students interested in becoming medical professionals are advised to take multiple science and math classes. They include anatomy, biology, chemistry, physiology, and algebra.

Most medical careers require bachelor’s degrees in some type of science, with a pre-med concentration. Students are advised to make sure they attend accredited four-year colleges or universities. Courses include biology, chemistry, English, math, physics, the humanities, and social sciences. On-the-job experience may be gained by volunteering at medical facilities during undergraduate school.

Students studying to become doctors also must obtain degrees from four-year medical schools. Internships, residencies, or fellowships also may be mandatory. State-issued licenses and board certification are required for many health-care jobs.

Getting high grades, and performing well on tests, as an undergraduate student make it easier to get accepted by an accredited medical school. Competition for spaces in their programs can be intense.

These 12 positions are among the rewarding careers in medicine that students may want to consider.

Anesthesiologist

Anesthesiologists are doctors who sedate patients and monitor them during medical procedures. They are trained to administer the proper doses of drugs, to minimize a patient’s pain and discomfort. Postoperative care includes prescribing medication, and assessing patients to detect complications or reactions to drugs. Anesthesiologists help create and implement pain-management plans.

The first step to becoming an anesthesiologist is obtaining a bachelor’s degree. That must be followed by four years of medical school, which involves two years of classwork and two years of clinical training. In addition, a one-year fellowship and a three-year residency program are mandatory.

Audiologist

Audiologists help people suffering from hearing disorders and related balance and coordination difficulties. They conduct examinations and diagnostic tests, then provide the appropriate treatment.

A bachelor’s degree in a life science and a doctorate degree in audiology are mandatory to practice in this field. Training is provided while in medical school, and during internships following graduation.

Brain Surgeon

Operating on the nervous system, including the brain, to correct disorders or extract diseased tissues is the challenging task of a brain surgeon. These doctors, also called neurosurgeons, conduct complex operations like removing tumors and transplanting organs. They also make minor nerve repairs and perform elective surgery.

After undergraduate college and medical school, the next educational requirements are an internship and residency of three to eight years (depending upon the medical speciality).

Cardiologist

Cardiology is a specialty in the field of internal medicine. Cardiologists are doctors who treat diseases, disorders, and injuries involving the heart and blood vessels. They examine patients and perform diagnostic tests to identify the nature of ailments. The next steps are determining, and conducting, the appropriate surgery or other medical procedure.

Educational requirements include a bachelor’s degree in a science like biology or chemistry, completion of a four-year program to become a doctor of medicine, and as many as eight more years of internships and residencies. This entails a significant investment of time and money, but cardiologists are among the highest-paid doctors.

General Practitioner

General practitioners, also called family doctors, are often the first medical professionals patients see when symptoms of illness appear. These doctors must be familiar with a wide range of ailments, diseases, and disorders. They also treat patients who have suffered injuries. General practioners conduct examinations, make diagnoses, provide a variety of treatments and therapy, and refer patients to specialists.

A bachelor’s degree and completion of medical school are required. Some medical schools have programs that take six or seven years to complete, combining a bachelor’s degree with a doctorate in medicine. GPs also must complete residency programs lasting three to seven years (depending upon whether a medical specialty is being pursued).

Gynecologist

Obstetricians and gynecologists, also called ob/gyns, are doctors who provide medical care to women. They perform surgery and prescribe treatments for diseases and illnesses. The position entails attending to women’s reproductive health, from counseling them about pregnancy to delivering their babies.

A bachelor’s degree in science, completion of medical school, an internship, and a residency program are required. This education and training lasts 11 to 16 years, depending upon the speciality.

Neurologist

Neurologists are concerned with the health of the central, peripheral, and automomous nervous systems. They diagnose and treat disorders and diseases of the brain, head, spinal cord, and associated muscles and blood vessels. Some of these doctors specialize in performing surgery.

After obtaining a bachelor’s degree, including a pre-med program, students studying to be neurologists must pass the U.S. Medical Licensing Examination and complete a one-year internship. That is followed by a residency program, which lasts three or four years.

Oral Surgeon

Oral and maxillofacial surgeons are dental specialists who perform operations on various parts of the head and neck. Oral surgeons treat diseases, deformities, and injuries of the mouth, including teeth and gums. Maxillofacial procedures involve the head, face, jaw, neck, and sinuses.

Becoming an oral or maxillofacial surgeon requires two years of predental education in undergraduate college, completion of a four-year program at an accredited dental school, and four to six years of residency training.

Plastic Surgeon

Plastic surgeons perform operations to repair and alter various parts of the human body. Most conduct either cosmetic surgery, to change a person’s appearance; or reconstructive surgery, to correct damaged or malformed features. Specialties include burn treatment, microsurgery, laser surgery, pediatrics, tissue transfers, and body contouring.

A bachelor’s degree, a doctorate in medicine, and completion of a five- to seven-year residency program are mandatory. Surgeons may then undergo fellowship training to become more skilled in their specialties.

Respiratory Therapist

Respiratory therapists work under the supervision of doctors to treat patients who have breathing problems and cardiopulmonary ailments like asthma, emphysema, chronic bronchitis, pneumonia, and cystic fibrosis. They conduct tests to diagnose ailments, then provide therapy to relieve patients’ symptoms and restore their functions.

To practice respiratory therapy, the minimum education requirement is an associate’s degree. It is mandated by nearly all states and employers. This degree is provided by universities, community colleges, technical schools, and vocational institutions. To work at a hospital or in emergency medical services, a bachelor’s degree is usually needed. Master’s degrees may be necessary for those who wish to become administrators or independent respiratory therapists.

Trauma Surgeon

Trauma surgeons perform operations and other procedures to help people with severe injuries and illnesses. Many of these doctors work in hospital emergency rooms. Special training is needed to be able to cope with high-pressure situations.

A bachelor’s degree in science, following by four years of studies at an accredited medical school, are the preliminary educational requirements of this position. Residency training of three to five years, as well as a fellowship program lasting one or two years, also must be completed.

Urologist

Urologists specialize in diagnosing and treating diseases, disorders, injuries, and deformities of male reproductive organs, as well as both genders’ urinary tracts. A urologist is a surgeon who conducts operations, and performs various other treatments, on the bladder, kidneys, prostate, uterus, urethra, and adrenal glands.

Following undergraduate and medical school, a prospective urologist must complete a residency program of at least five years.

These are just a few of the numerous rewarding careers in medicine. The duties involved, and the amount of education and training required, vary widely.

A number of skills are needed in these positions. Manual dexterity and attention to detail are crucial for doctors and other medical specialists. Physical stamina is needed to stand through lengthy operations. Doctors should have a good bedside manner with patients, providing reassurance while projecting confidence and strength. They must be good listeners who can show empathy and provide support. Good communication skills are need for dealing with medical and administrative staff, as well.

The stress can be severe. Surgeons are under a lot of pressure to not make any mistakes, as they literally hold patients’ lives in their hands. They must be able to perform efficiently under these conditions. The working hours can be long, and doctors may be on call to respond to emergencies.

Those who feel they can handle the pressure and requirements of a job in medicine have many choices of fields in which they can specialize.

Important facts every applicant should know about online degrees

Online degrees offer a very flexible alternative to on-campus classes for those who are working or are busy parents. However, there are several things you should know about online education before you can decide if it is suitable for you:

Some online degrees are better than others

There are certain study areas that are more suitable for online learning than others. For example, if you plan to get degrees that would normally require a lot of practical study instead of theory, you would be better off enrolling in a traditional college. However, degrees in business, nursing and education offered by online schools are quite popular because they are easier to accomplish through online classes.

Class requirements

Many students choose to enroll in an online program because they think that these programs are easier and not as demanding as traditional classes. However, this is incorrect. In fact, online classes are just as demanding, sometimes even more than the traditional classes. Online education requires a lot of time commitment as well as discipline. In order to be successful, students often have to spend up to 15 hours a week for a single course. A typical course often requires a student to devote up to 6 hours of study after class each day. Students have to set aside time for assignments, tests and for reading.

Education format

In online degrees, education format is quite different than traditional classrooms. Students need a computer and reliable internet connection. Work is typically done at home or any other quiet location where they can complete their papers, written assignments and read. They need to take several online tests and quizzes throughout the year. These assignments are then graded and feedback is posted online for students. Students communicate with their instructors through email and participate in discussions with students online.

Accreditation

A large number of online degrees today are accredited. In most cases, regional accreditation tends to be most recognized. Online degrees offered by accredited schools are also accepted by most employers. Employers today consider online degrees to be just as valuable as traditional degrees. Students that want to transfer their credits or want to apply in a regular university will have no problems with their online degrees.

Federal loans and scholarships

If the school is accredited, there will be no problem for students to use government sources like federal loans and scholarships to fund their tuition fees for online degrees, just like traditional students.

Enrollment age

Perhaps one of the best things about online colleges is that they generally do not have an age restriction for enrollment. Students of any age can earn an online degree. In fact, an increasing number of seniors today are taking various degrees online for subjects they always wanted to learn.

Although online degrees were looked down upon initially, today the general attitude of employers and students towards online education has changed. With the flexibility, range of choice and affordability that online schools offer, it is a good alternative to traditional education.

Is Online Degree Program the Right Choice for You?

Some benefits of an online degree program include:

  • Flexibility of working at your own pace
  • Choosing a program from any school (subject to availability)
  • Working alongside study

While an online degree program may not be the first choice for many people, it is great for those who are working. Those individuals who are looking for career advancement can opt for an online degree given that they can manage the increased work load of assignments and self-study. For young high school grads, there may be some things to consider before choosing an online degree program:

Self-Determination

The first thing to be clear upon is whether you are responsible and focused to opt for an online degree. Online programs require self study and meeting assignment deadlines. You need to be sure that you can study by yourself and meet the assigned deadlines, without having campus influence to motivate you in doing so. Procrastination and lack of motivation will kill your online degree.

Comprehension Skills

Are you an avid reader? If yes, proceed to tick that off in favor of an online program. If you cannot read lectures or understand them through videos, it may not be for you. You should also keep in mind that acquiring a degree online would require you to connect with other students or your professors through email. You should be really comfortable in using the computer and internet for communication and research. You may also be required to group online with fellow students through video chat to work on projects etc.

Home Environment

Consider the environment at home. Will you be able to devote time towards your study being at home? Will your folks be supportive or there will be too much distraction? Do you have a working computer in good condition and a high speed internet? You should also be self-sufficient in using the computers resources as all your lectures will be online in the university database.

Consider Financial Options

Another thing to consider knows how you will meet your finances. There are limited choices for financial aid in online programs. Student loans are usually given at higher interest rates as compared to getting one for the conventional degree program. There is also limited access to grants, work study and certain other financial aid in online degree programs.

Find Accredited Online Degrees

Carry out thorough research on the online degree that you would like to pursue. Find its credibility and the colleges which are offering it. Understand the course requirements and work load, thus evaluating if you would be comfortable in managing it on your own. Also consider if the degree that you want to choose will provide same or better value in acquiring it online. For example, if it requires practical coursework or exposure how that would be accomplished? How do employers in your chosen field of study view an online degree?

Limitations

While online degree programs provide many benefits and allow more flexible learning it does have its drawbacks. Online study means that there is no face-to-face with your professor and any questions that you may have will take time to answer. From the viewpoint of employers, many consider it okay to have earned your degree online but there are also those who disregard it. It is advisable that you consider all options with an open mind and thorough research. Talk to your counselor and evaluate all your options. Keep in mind your preferences and limitations of choosing an online degree program and affiliate yourself with an accredited program if you wish to do so.

Degrees for All Seasons - Recession Proof Your Career

It is a good thing to have flexibility in today’s job market. So it’s a good idea to look for degrees that will give you the option of different careers. Some job sectors are continuing to show growth, so it is wise to think about these when you decide to go to college. Any degree can improve your job prospects, but if you really want to boost your chances you should think about degrees in these fields:

Business Administration

This field usually has the largest number of students and graduates. It is also worth knowing that many graduates in this field find jobs within a year of graduating from college. Almost every type of company needs people who have skills to help them to be effective. Employers like to hire these individuals because they already have the training to make a business successful. This degree is useful in every industry including manufacturing, design, marketing and healthcare. With these skills you could even go on to start your own business.

Information Technology

The sector of computing and information technology continues to grow and the starting salary for recent graduates is increasing. Almost every industry relies on technology to function properly. Many people with information technology degrees earn large salaries not only as workers, but also as consultants for various companies. Other jobs in this field include IT forensic specialist, software developer, network administrator, programmers and web developer.

Medical Assistant

People with this degree work in the healthcare sector and use their skills in various parts of the healthcare sector. They are very much in demand and this is demand is expected to grow by 30 percent by 2030 according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. A medical assistant can work in both the private and public sectors and in different types of healthcare facilities.

Engineering

Engineers are constantly in demand and according to labor experts, this demand will continue to grow. People with engineering degrees take on roles in management consulting, business managers, patent work, technical work and training and teaching. Engineering graduates usually find jobs quickly after they leave school.

Physics

A Physics degree can give you the flexibility to choose a number of different career options. It is a very challenging course, but the majority of students find it highly rewarding. The number of job prospects continues to attract students to this field, and they are in high demand when they graduate. Some of the jobs available to people with Physics degrees are teaching, research scientist and telecommunications. They can also find jobs in the oil and gas industry, space exploration and in the defense industry.

Any new college student should be careful in exploring their courses and career options. Talking to a campus counselor or family members can be helpful in pointing them in the right direction. However, the degrees listed above offer many career options. Other degrees worth looking at that offers more than one career path include Mathematics, Library and information Science and Languages.

Scam City - Wading Through the Online Degree Maze

Many people become victims to online scams every year. Even in the field of education, you have to be careful because some courses are not what they seem. Online degree scams are common, but there are ways to protect yourself and your money.

It is understandable that students sometimes fall for online scams. The people behind this illegal practice know how to make their websites look convincing. Here are some tips to help you to know the difference between genuine online degrees and the fake ones.

Looking at Some Online Scams

Education scams have existed for many years, but the Internet made it easier to carry out this type of crime. Here are a few examples of some types of online education scams in recent times:

  1. After a child died following poor advice, the doctor, Laurence Perry was investigated. It was found that he purchased his diplomas from fake online schools.
  2. Dixie and Steven Randock were convicted of selling thousands of bogus online degrees. They also created fake degrees in the names of legitimate universities.
  3. As part of an undercover operation in 2005, the US Secret Service bought degrees from James Monroe University. The agency had concerns that terrorists could use fake diplomas to get jobs in the US.

Many other cases of diploma mills have been reported over the years.  These fake schools take advantage of people who want degrees to help them to get better jobs or move up in their jobs. Unfortunately, some people are aware that the degrees are virtually useless, but a large number of people are unaware. They only find out that the degrees are useless when they try to get a job or get into another degree program elsewhere.

How to Spot Scams

Diploma mills give real online schools a bad name, as they make some people overly cautious about online degrees. However, if you take the time to check, you will be able to spot the signs that an online school is a scam. Also, doing your own research is important when considering attending an online school. Some ways to confirm the validity of an online program include:

  • Finding out where the school is based: Many fake online schools are from places like Liberia or The Middle East. If you cannot find the location for a school’s office, then you should avoid it. Any real online school has an office that students can contact and ask questions.
  • Check with local authorities: In many states across the USA, and in many countries, agencies keep a list of accredited online schools. Do not apply to any school that is not on this list.
  • Research the school: You can find many complaints online about fake schools. Check for criminal cases brought against the school or complaints from former students. Real institutions that offer training online will often have some affiliation to a more traditional institution.
  • Look for reviews: Good schools usually get good reviews for the curriculum and quality of teaching. Do not apply to schools that attract many complaints and poor reviews.
  • Avoid the quick and easy: Schools that promise that you can earn your degree very quickly are not to be trusted. Compare their statements to those made by other online schools. Some fake schools make big promises because they know that some people are in a hurry to advance their careers.

The most important thing to remember as someone who wants a college degree is that it is best not to rush things. Take the time to look around and make comparisons of different schools and the programs that they offer. Talk to people who have earned real degrees from online schools.  Remember that your college degree is an investment and you don’t want to throw it away by applying to a fake school.

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