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4 Steps to Planning a Career When Studying Abroad

Career planning is an often-neglected aspect when students are looking up top universities abroad, or in their locality. Properly deciding on a career path, and hence selecting the right universities that could bolster your chances of success is crucial to your long-term success in life. The following is a four-step method of finding the right career path for you:

  1. Knowing Yourself
  2. Exploring Careers
  3. Short listing Decisions
  4. Taking Action

Step 1: Knowing Yourself
On a piece of paper, draw two parallel lines across the page, dividing it in two. Next, further divide it into three equal portions such that the paper has 6 boxes. Mark them as “past”, “Where I am now”, “Where I want to be”. Start working on where you want to be based on your passions and your dreams. Ask questions such as:

  • Where do I want to be?
  • What do I want out of a job or career?
  • What do I like to do?

Write short answers to these questions above the line. Next move to the current “where I am now” and answer the following:

  • Where am I at now?
  • What are my strengths?
  • What is important to me?

Using these answers, you can easily search for various occupations and find the skill sets that they demand, or look for, in their employees. This will greatly help you select the right universities and university programs to build those skills.

Step 2: Exploring Careers
This step is about exploring the occupations and learning areas that interest you, and which you have stated in the previous step. The occupational preferences that you have gained from the research will tell you the required skills you have to work for now. Ask the following questions:

  • Where do I lack?
  • What skills do I need?
  • Where is the work?
  • Do my current academic and financial options limit my choices of universities?

At the end of this you will have a clear idea of the skills that you have to focus, the specific university options that you should be looking for (types of scholarships etc).

Step 3: Short Listing Decisions
This step involves comparing your options and narrowing down your choices. Ask the following questions:

  • What are my best work/training options?
  • Are they realistic: How do they fit with the current market?
  • What will help and what will hinder me? Moreover, what can I do about it?

This step will give you a laser view of the options you should focus on and have more of an idea of what you need to do next to help you achieve your goals.

Step 4: Taking Action
By now you will have researched about different facets, so ask yourself:

  • What actions/steps do I need to take, do I need professional assistance?
  • From where can I get help?
  • Who will be able to support me?

Now, compile all the work into a comprehensive plan. Then check out the top undergraduate universities on www.scoolist.com

Guide to the Costs and Payoff of Attending University

With the cost of attending university rising every year, parents are concerned about what to expect when it’s time for their children to go to college. Funding is a huge issue for parents as well as students and it is important for parents to have all the information they need to see if their investment may pay off in the future or if attending college from home makes more financial sense.

Tuition fees

Universities in most countries today charge tuition fees and if your child is enrolling in a foreign university you may expect to pay a higher price in comparison to domestic students. Tuition fees vary greatly from university to university so parents will have to research and compare the costs of each university and course before they pick one. Tuition fees will also be different for private universities and state universities. As a general rule, private universities tend to have higher fees. The fees will also depend on the academic program you choose.

Living expenses

Other than tuition fees, parents will also need to factor in living expenses. Your child will need funding for accommodation, food, books, study materials, activities, transportation and more. Add health insurance, visas and other additional costs if your child will be attending a university abroad. In most cases you will be able to get an estimate of expected living expenses from universities before you enroll. You can also check government websites for local living costs to get better insight into what to expect when you budget.

Student loan

If your child plans to take a student loan to fund the expense of university, you should take the time to understand how these loans work. Student loans are made up of two parts: tuition fees and living expenses. The amount that you can borrow will depend on several factors such as grants they receive, household income, location of university and more. The living cost and tuition fee loans combined will provide you an estimate of the total debt your child will have. Student loans have to be repaid once your child graduates and starts working. Interest rates vary based on the source of the student loan but if it is a national scheme student loan, interest rates are generally very low. Use online calculators to get a close estimate of what kind of debt you can expect with different student loans.

Financial assistance

Most universities today provide fee waivers and bursaries to students from low income families. Scholarships and grants are also often available so you may want to first contact the shortlisted universities to see if your child is eligible for financial assistance. In certain cases, you may be able to make multiple payments towards the tuition fees throughout the year instead of paying the entire amount upfront. You may also be eligible for many government grants and financial assistance schemes based on your household earnings.

Student jobs

Most students attending universities take up part-time jobs to contribute towards their living expenses. Search for job options available on campus as well as off campus and estimate what your child may be able to earn. If your child plans to study abroad there may be restrictions on the type and amount of work that is allowed. It is important to understand that students do not spend too much time on a job since it may negatively impact their academic performance.

What is the payoff of attending university?

When you are investing a considerable amount in your child’s education, it makes sense to ensure that there will be some financial payoff from the money you invest. Graduates tend to typically earn more than those who do not have a degree. Before you pick a university and a course, consult reports, job market news and labor reports to get an idea of what type of jobs are available, salary expectations and estimate of future demand for graduates in a particular field. You may also want to select a university that provides your child career support, advice and internships.

Studying abroad definitely makes a student more employable as employers generally value international experience. Parents should also spend some time finding out how a particular university ranks in world rankings and if it is viewed favorably by employers.

12 Rewarding 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.

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

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.

Choosing Between Campus-Based and Online Degrees

Since there are so many online schools around these days, students have even more options for furthering their education. People who have jobs find online schools appealing as it allows them to keep their jobs without making any major changes. However, this does not mean that choosing between studying on campus or online is an easy choice. When trying to decide between the two, it makes sense to look at the similarities and differences.  Your career choice and finances will also play a role in your decision.

Scheduling

This is one of the biggest selling points for online degrees. Many people like the fact that they can generally set their class time for the time most convenient to them. When you are on campus, you do not have this flexibility. If you miss a class online, it is generally easier to catch up as many programs have online forums where class notes are uploaded. Of course, with advances with technology, this is now possible with many campus-based programs as well.

The downside to online learning flexibility however, is that some people end put putting off their classes and assignments for too long. By doing this, some students take much longer to complete their courses. If you are working and your job does not have flexible hours and you are good at time management, then online classes could be the right thing for you. Some people prefer the strict format of campus based learning as it challenges them to work harder. When you do classes online, you will have to motivate yourself.

The program

Details on any course of study are important if you want the best value for your investment. Make comparisons between the course curriculum for both online and campus-based schools. The online program should offer the same or similar subjects as campus-based programs of the same course. If important areas or major differences exist, look at other online schools or select a traditional brick and mortar school.

Cost

There is no doubt that most online programs are cheaper than studying on campus. Online schools generally do not charge as much as other universities for the same course of study. Also, you don’t have to worry about expenses like staying on campus or traveling to school. Overall, however, most online students are happy with the fact that they can save money on their education.

Interacting with others

If working with other students face to face is important to you online learning might not be suitable for you. This is one of the drawbacks to studying online. You will only be able to keep in touch with other students and the lecturer by email, web conference or by text. Some students have no problem with this, but others may find it difficult.

Access to technology

For online learning to be successful, you need to have the necessary tools to participate in the classes. If you do not own a computer and have no Internet access, learning online will be difficult. When you attend a campus, some of these challenges are less. You have to think about the expense of getting a good computer and access to the Internet if you want to study online. Alternately, you need to have a reliable alternative such as a library. On the other hand, even if you have to pay a computer and get Internet access, it may be still be cheaper than paying for a campus-based program.

In the past, many online schools had trouble getting accreditation. These days, this is not such a major issue. Most accreditation bodies recognize most online schools. In addition, many online schools are affiliated to or are extensions of established traditional universities. This means you can get a valid degree by studying online, but it makes sense to research the school first. Choosing between online or a campus for your studies is a personal decision. Take the time to explore your options so that you will make the best possible choice.

Internships – It’s Not Just About the Money

Turning in a resume that boasts a GPA of 4.0 is something to be proud of, but it’s not enough to make you stand out in a job interview. When you’re ready to start a career, there’s something that matters more: experience.

Survey Says

Nine out of ten employers look for students who completed an internship. Internships lasting at least three months are the most desired. College seniors who interned accepted higher salaries after graduation than those who did not intern prior to graduation. Recent trends show internships are on the rise.

Internships are quickly becoming the new interview. If you secure an internship with an organization, you have taken the first step towards getting a job there. You should consider each day you walk into the office another interview.

A good company recognizes interns as the future. If your skills and attitude meet expectations, and they have already invested time in teaching you about the company, you are likely to fair better in a post-graduate interview than someone who never interned at the company.

Training

Working in a professional environment has its perks, and one of them is free training. You may learn to use a program or earn a certification that others would typically have to pay for in order to add to their resume. Internships allow you to take advantage of free training that you won’t find in your college courses.

Interview Ammo

The more interviews you complete, the more confidently you can answer interview questions. When an interviewer asks you how you handle certain situations, or inquires about a specific skill set, you have the ability to show how you used certain skills in a professional environment. This speaks volumes for what you are capable of. Experience and confidence are a winning combination.

Networking

Connections are important in any industry. If you aren’t offered a job at the company you intern at simply because there aren’t any openings, use the connections you made as references for other employment opportunities. In addition to asking for references, ask your boss if he or she has any connections they might be able to put you in touch with.

Choosing a Career Path

It should be said that internships can also help you determine what you absolutely don’t want to do. You may be thrilled that you were hired as an intern, only to find out a few weeks later that the company or the job just isn’t right for you.

Internships enable you to test the waters before jumping too far in. You may even decide to change your major or try new courses as your interests change and develop.

Special Opportunities

Interns often get special perks you wouldn’t get at a normal student job. You may be offered a travel opportunity, VIP passes or other free items. While these won’t help your resume, they’re a nice perk. Just be sure you’re on your best behavior when receiving or using them. Remember, your internship is an interview.

Completing an internship provides you with experience that a classroom simply cannot. Take advantage of this stepping stone while you’re in college to open more doors and gain a better understanding of the path you want to take as a graduate.

How to Recession Proof Your Career

The one overriding concern that has occupied the thoughts of professionals across the globe over the past few years has been the Damocles sword of possible redundancy. Whereas most of us– as individuals – feel somewhat powerless before the vagaries of the market, the right career choices (or at least career decisions based on the right logic) can go a long way in ensuring that we can as professionals make ourselves recession proof.

To understand the whole process in a logical flow we do a top down analysis of what it takes to be “recession proof”. These guidelines will be specifically useful for parents whose wards are in high school; and are on the verge of selecting a career and a college.

  1. Good times or bad, nothing lasts forever. Just as growth, periodic recessions are an integral part of any economy. Accepting this truth is the first step.
  2. Understand the psychology of organizations. Organizations incur a substantial cost in recruiting and training people, so retrenching human resource is usually a last resort. However during financially tough times when reducing overheads becomes a necessity, the hierarchy of redundancy is determined by the specific personnel’s cost to the organization (CTC) vis-à-vis their direct or indirect contribution to the “bottom-line”. So the best way to ensure continued relevancy in an organization is to stay ahead on the productivity curve.
  3. How to stay Productive? Being Passionate about what one does = Being good at what one does. In other words make sure you have chosen a career for the right reasons. The ranks of redundant workforce usually comprises of those professionals whose choice of a specific discipline was dictated by what – is/was “in demand”; or the “financial prospects” or the “glamour”; or “respectability etc – i.e. almost every possible reason other than the all important one – “whether they were passionate about their chosen career. A great rule to go by – when extraneous factors threaten to cloud your judgment about a choice of career – is that “It is always better to be the best in a mediocre field, than be mediocre in the best field”.
  4. Have a career NOT just a job. Your career defines who you are; it is your value addition to the organization you work for; and in a larger context your contribution to the society at large. The definition of a career is far broader and goes beyond just the “job” you hold, your designation in an organization; or the size of your pay-check – these are but some indicators of your degree of success in your chosen career.
  5. Make changes for the right reason: It is an accepted fact that your priorities in life and career will change, however it is imperative that you make a change for the right reasons, i.e. not just based on – “well meant and practical advice” from well wishers or “the frequent gold rushes” that grip the certain industry sectors from time to time.
  6. A good education goes a long way in “recession proofing ones career”.  Whereas most of the aforementioned aspects can be addressed and influenced entirely by your approach to career in general, making the right choices about your higher education provider is crucial, because – you cannot influence or change the quality of education an entity offers; but you do have the power to make the right choice at the onset. Remember it is a choice you will be “stuck with” possibly for the rest of your life.
  7. Understand what a good education entity is supposed to be: What constitutes a good educational entity is often misunderstood, and is solely based on infrastructural accompaniments (like laboratories and classrooms) that an entity possesses –these are aids to enhancing the quality of education provided. The most important factors that an education provider should be judged on is its emphasis and ability to create an environment that encourages or in fact demands -a genuine passion about the chosen discipline from students and faculties alike, a continuous exchange of ideas, a research oriented, knowledge seeking mindset among its students and a renowned faculty that is actively involved in research while pursuing active ties and collaboration with respective industry segments.

Though it is never too late to take stock of one’s career, ideally this is a continuous process and the sooner one starts at the  formative years of one’s career, during high school or right after it.

8 Easy Sources of Employment at College

Working during college can be a huge struggle. But the first part of that struggle is finding work during college. Luckily there are many community resources dedicated to the search for work.

1. Your School

Consider working at your school or at the very least checking with your school to see if they have any job postings. Your school may also be able to match you with paid and unpaid internships that are related to your field of study. In fact, some schools go as far as REQUIRING internships for students in certain programs.

2. Your Place of Worship

As strange as it may sound, your place of worship is often a brilliant place where you can make lots of connections and learn of new job opportunities. If you do not have a place of worship consider trying to make connections through a club of people with similar interests. Often times there are plenty of job opportunities within circles of acquaintances. Churches also have job opportunities posted on bulletin boards.

3. Your Family

Consider working for a relative who has a family business. Note: this may not work for those who are seeking internships for academic reasons as most schools will prohibit students from earning credit based on an internship completed at a family business. If you are looking for an internship for credit it may be best to look elsewhere.

4. Uncle Sam (Government)

Yup, you guessed it! One of the largest employers of students is good old Uncle Sam, AKA the United States government. The same is often true for other governments. The United States government offers a variety of internships. The main program is the Pathways program. Internships in this program are typically highly competitive but also very well-paying. Expect the selection process to include a security clearance. Unfortunately at this time the program is not open to those who are noncitizens.

 5. Look at your Town’s Largest Employers

Look at your town’s largest employers. Consider what type of industry your town is known for. Certain towns are known as tourist destinations. Tourist destinations in particular often hire students during the summer which coincides with when most school breaks occur. Of course other industries also have many different programs available to students.

6. Research Opportunities with Large Corporations

Large, nationwide corporations often offer internship opportunities to promising and upcoming students with lots of talent in a specific area. Large corporations like Target offer a variety of internships in the IT, business analysis, marketing, and pharmacology fields. Other corporations such as Petsmart

7. Look for Startups

Startup companies are looking for young, eager, fresh-faced and brilliant people with lots of different ideas. Start-ups may not always offer the most pay but it can be great knowing that you contributed to something as monumental as a new company. New companies offer a chance to grow your career and show your leadership skills.

8. Do Volunteer Work

Okay, so maybe it’s not paid work! But volunteering can provide you with a lot of great life experience. It also looks impressive on a resume and if you volunteer somewhere there is a significant chance that, if you play your cards right, it could lead to lots of more permanent employment. It also shows a lot of drive and initiative. But more importantly it shows that you have compassion and that money is not your biggest goal in life. Future employers will look for ‘whole people’ who respect others and have compassion. Volunteering is a nice, big way for you to show that to a prospective new boss for any paid job.

Be Employable - Stay Smart

How do you define being smart? For most people, it is a mixture of several positive attributes like intelligence, foresightedness, quick-wittedness and being a fine performer. Apart from this, smart people have smart ways of getting things done. That said, the question that now remains is what you need to do in order to stay smart in college and beyond? Here are a few ideas to get you thinking along these lines.

No Alternative for Books

Contrary to popular belief, smart gadgets do not make you smart – knowledge does! If you are hoping to become smart, be prepared to read through different books and educational resources that enlighten you with different possibilities and existences. Books or resources do not imply your course work. There is a world beyond your school curriculum that is waiting your perusal. Read about things that interest you and be open to learn new things. Such a mindset usually gets you further than your fellow mates.

You can begin by developing a habit of reading thirty minutes before getting into bed. Regardless of whether it is literature, stories, fiction, history, geography or any other genre for that matter; just pick up a book and read it for thirty minutes before getting into bed. This does not only mean whatever you read remains with you for long but also that you will be reading about things you would otherwise not be familiar with.

Best Use of Modern Gadgets

Smartphones, tablets and other similar gadgets have become more of a need of today’s world. If you are fortunate enough to have such devices, put them to the best possible use. The best part about Smartphones is that there is an application for every task. So if you like taking notes at random or you would like to record every idea that crosses your mind, there is an application just for it. Moreover, you can even read books (eBooks to be more appropriate), articles, magazines and other resources on your phone. This not only reduces the weight of your baggage, it also makes reading possible anywhere and everywhere!

Updated With Current Events

Smart people know what is going on around them. So it is best not to lock down your sensors to your surroundings. Read the news regularly and find out details about things that are of interest to you. Even though there are aspects of your surroundings that you may not be willing to research (for instance, some people may find politics quite disturbing), it is best to read a little about it nevertheless. This keeps you updated with the current information.
On a technological note, there are applications that help you sift through news from different publications on the same platform. As said previously, make the best use of technology that you are in possession of!

Playing Intellectual Games

It is not possible to remain surrounded by literature all the time. You need to relax every now and then in order to prevent a burnout. However, you can make the most of this time period by playing intellectual games. Go for crosswords and Sudoku instead of racing and/or fighting games. Look for games that require strategy and mind skills. So even in your leisure time, you are learning something through games!

Meditation

It has been scientifically proven that meditation does not only help you in relieving stress and clearing your mind but also promotes the development of new brain cells. Meditation can help you in improving focus, attention span and memory. Consequently, you will be able to remember and retain more information and thus get smarter by the day. Reserve at least thirty minutes of your day for meditation – you will see noticeable improvements from the first day!

Choosing the Ideal Course for Your Dream Career

Deciding which university to attend is difficult enough but you will also need to decide which course to sign up for to get your dream job. If you already know your dream career, you’re halfway there. However, you’ll also need to learn how to get to that dream career. Deciding which course to select will depend greatly on the kind of job you want after graduating. This guide will provide you the help you need to select a course that fits the bill:

Meet a career counselor

One of the best things to do to find the right course is to actually get help from a career counselor or a student advisor. A career counselor will be able to guide you in the right direction with good information as well as personal experiences.

Identifying your abilities and interests

Identify your academic strengths and your interests. Begin with a broader search area to decide which field interests you and then decide on the concrete subjects. Self assessment tests can be found online to help you understand what type of career you are best suited for.

Research

Once you know which career is the most suitable for you, the next step would be to research to learn more about the job prospects for that career. Get more information by talking to other students, professors or by searching online. Learn more about the courses you are interested in by checking the websites of various universities. Talk to professionals working in the industry as well as to graduates to get an insider’s perspective.

Course outline

Before signing up for courses at the university, always check the course outline to ensure that it will cover the subjects you are interested in learning. Learn more about the examinations, types of assignments and learning methodology for the course so you know what to expect. You will also need to learn more about the course duration and whether you want to study part-time or full-time.

Admission requirements

Certain courses tend to be very competitive and it may be very hard to get accepted for those courses. Some courses are also too difficult to complete successfully, even if you have good academic capabilities. Be realistic and honest when it comes to course selection. If you are not quite confident of being accepted into a particular university, check similar courses offered at other universities that might be easier to get in.

Cost

While the course you select might be perfect for you in every aspect, affordability is also a crucial factor to consider. Other than the tuition, there might be additional costs for field trips and text books that you may not have accounted for. However, there are several financial aid options available today that may help you so it would be a good idea to look into these options.

The right course can propel you in the right direction and increase your chances of getting a job you always wanted so it is important to spend a considerable amount of time researching and comparing your options.

Cyber Jungle - A Guide to Staying Safe

Today, it’s almost impossible to escape social media. It’s everywhere. Companies use it, teachers use it, and your future boss is likely using it too. Before you dive head first into tweeting, posting and recording every moment of your college years, stop and think about what can be seen and by the public, how it will affect your future and how to take advantage of this tool.

Privacy Settings

Always check the privacy settings for your social media accounts. You should receive notifications when privacy features are changing, but it’s smart to check these settings each week to ensure that you aren’t sharing that you wouldn’t want presented to a parent, teacher or future employer.

To Post or Not to Post

Everyone has different interests and values different life events, but when you prepare to post something, ask yourself what it says about you. Photos and posts about life on campus, including volunteering or football games could be appropriate. Anything involving alcohol, inappropriate clothing or inappropriate language is probably best to keep to yourself. Use your best judgment. If you aren’t sure, it’s probably best to keep it private.

Build Your Brand

Branding isn’t just for corporations. You can brand yourself. This becomes especially important as you begin to apply for internships and job interviews. If you have a clear online brand that represents what you’re about, you can use it to tell your story.

For example, if you’re applying for an advertising job, you may have your own site that displays ads you’ve created in class, copy you have written or photos and designs you have created. You may share some of what you’ve learned on a blog or a YouTube channel that tells more about you and your career goals. Use social media to leave a positive and memorable mark that shows you’re serious about your future.

Get Linked

Recruiters are saving time by using LinkedIn these days. You can use your profile to apply online, and you can also be found by future employers. Create a LinkedIn profile as a student and begin building your online resume. If appropriate, you can use a part-time job title, or even a volunteer position. Now is the time to start networking and gaining recommendations from other students and professionals you work with. Don’t leave out internships and awards. You can also add PowerPoints and writing to your portfolio.

Join groups and ask questions that are well thought out. Make your presence known to gain attention so you’re taken seriously. Follow thought leaders and learn from what they’re posting.

Find Your Focus

You can use your skills, talents and interests to build your own brand. Do you enjoy writing? Consider blogging about what you’re learning in classes related to your major. Are you a creative type? You could use your blog to display photos and ads you create. Be sure to put a copyright symbol on your work with a link back to your site. It’s easy to steal work these days.

Is design and production your thing? Or, are you interested in being a news personality? Create your own YouTube channel and share your knowledge. Talk about your favorite topics, review books or films, or consider sharing tips and tricks.

If you have an important cause, create a Facebook page and learn how to gain likes. This kind of marketing knowledge can be valuable to a company. You can also use Facebook to promote your other social networking channels. Don’t forget about Twitter. It’s another great way to promote your work. Just be sure your account is appropriate. You may consider making a completely separate and private account to tweet with friends.

In the end, remember that it’s much harder to take something off the web than it is to put it on. People can copy, save and share your life in an instant. Rather than falling victim to the world of social media, use it to build your future.

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