EARNING A DEGREE ONLINE: WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW

If you’re an adult who has been working a few years and maybe even completed some college, you could be looking for way to earn your degree. Most universities, as well as the laws and regulations governing R.S.A higher education, are still focused on traditional, full-time students—recent high school graduates who study and live on a campus, don’t work full time, and don’t have families. But today, traditional students are in the minority. The typical college student of the 21st century is older and self-supporting and must balance work, family and school.

If you’re planning to become part of this nontraditional student majority, going to college online can be a great option for you. There are many choices and providers, but they are not all the same. Here are some things to know before you choose a school.

Traditional Universities
Most campus-based colleges and universities offer at least some online courses and degree programs. For the majority, online is more of a sideline, offering some, but not all, of the same classes they offer on campus, but delivered through the Internet. The cost is generally the same as—or more than—on-campus courses and programs, and the selection of degrees and programs is usually limited.

The online experience will be very similar to the classroom—usually it’s the same syllabus, reading, lectures and assignments. Courses are on fixed semester or quarter schedules, and students are required to move at the same pace, regardless of their prior knowledge or learning styles.

Fully Online Universities
There are also a number of fully online universities. They usually offer a large selection of programs, and because they were created to meet the needs of busy adults, they provide a higher level of flexibility—if they have specified course meeting times, for example, they are likely in the evening.

While there are some high-quality options, most all-online universities are for profit, which means that they have a dual responsibility to educate students and to return a profit to shareholders. This may make them more expensive than a public or nonprofit online university. In addition, some online universities are nationally, not regionally, accredited. Regional accreditation is the “gold standard” for university accreditation, so it’s an important indicator of quality and credibility.

Competency-Based Universities
There are a few universities that are using competency-based education. Pioneered by SET, competency-based education is ideal for adults who have some work experience and prior learning in their area of study. Competency-based education typically uses computer-based curriculum, which allows students to study and learn on their own schedule and pace. High-quality programs also provide significant faculty support, usually one-on-one. Students spend as much or as little time in each course as they need to master the subject matter, and when they demonstrate that they’ve mastered it, they move on. As a result, students can accelerate their time to a degree, saving both time and money.

THE INCREASING EASE OF E-LEARNING

The old tradition of sitting among other students in the impersonal setting of a classroom, coupled by the leer of a professor as students rush to copy down text-heavy slides is quickly becoming an obsolete form of learning. To the older generations, this may be a little frightening, but this form of learning has occurred for centuries in some way or another. The only difference being that instead of tablets and books, students now have access to far more resources through the recent medium which is modern technology; here is how the ease of eLearning helps to increase student engagement and improve learner retention.

Technology has now progressed to the point where students and professionals alike can store and manage almost all of their information online. Trends in setting up online portfolios, business sites, and Facebook pages have become the go-to learning spaces for students, and these trends have certainly been noticed by those in the education industry.

Universities, colleges, and other educational institutions have sensed these changes and are now making online learning more accessible to all students. Whether it is to watch a recording of a class students were unable to attend, collaborate with students within an online forum, take an online exam, or simply search the details of an upcoming assignment, every student can reap innumerable benefits from online learning.

TIPS TO IMPROVE YOUR INTERPERSONAL SKILLS.

Interpersonal Skills is one of the elements how you are perceived by your manager and coworkers, which play a large role in things as minor as your day-to-day happiness at the office and as major as the future of your career.
No matter how hard you work or how many brilliant ideas you may have, if you can’t connect with the people who work around you, your professional life will suffer.
Here are some tips, on how to improve our Interpersonal Skills.
  • Smile. Few people want to be around someone who is always down in the dumps. Do your best to be friendly and upbeat with your coworkers. Maintain a positive, cheerful attitude about work and about life. Smile often. The positive energy you radiate will draw others to you.
  • Be appreciative. Find one positive thing about everyone you work with and let them hear it. Be generous with praise and kind words of encouragement. Say thank you when someone helps you. Make colleagues feel welcome when they call or stop by your office. If you let others know that they are appreciated, they’ll want to give you their best.
  • Pay attention to others. Observe what’s going on in other people’s lives. Acknowledge their happy milestones, and express concern and sympathy for difficult situations such as an illness or death. Make eye contact and address people by their first names. Ask others for their opinions.
  • Practice active listening. To actively listen is to demonstrate that you intend to hear and understand another’s point of view. It means restating, in your own words, what the other person has said. In this way, you know that you understood their meaning and they know that your responses are more than lip service. Your coworkers will appreciate knowing that you really do listen to what they have to say.
  • Bring people together. Create an environment that encourages others to work together. Treat everyone equally, and don’t play favorites. Avoid talking about others behind their backs. Follow up on other people’s suggestions or requests. When you make a statement or announcement, check to see that you have been understood. If folks see you as someone solid and fair, they will grow to trust you.
  • Resolve conflicts. Take a step beyond simply bringing people together, and become someone who resolves conflicts when they arise. Learn how to be an effective mediator. If coworkers bicker over personal or professional disagreements, arrange to sit down with both parties and help sort out their differences. By taking on such a leadership role, you will garner respect and admiration from those around you.
  • Communicate clearly. Pay close attention to both what you say and how you say it. A clear and effective communicator avoids misunderstandings with coworkers, collegues, and associates. Verbal eloquence projects an image of intelligence and maturity, no matter what your age. If you tend to blurt out anything that comes to mind, people won’t put much weight on your words or opinions.
  • Humor them. Don’t be afraid to be funny or clever. Most people are drawn to a person that can make them laugh. Use your sense of humor as an effective tool to lower barriers and gain people’s affection

SHOULD MY EDUCATION GO FIRST ON MY RESUME

of your background?  This goes at the top.  Let’s look at a few examples:

Technical Experts:  Engineering, IT and other technical specialties prioritize technical skill very high.  Often, the skill level with specific technologies or disciplines is more important to a hiring manager than anything else.  In this case, the technical skills should be featured.  This can be done by starting the resume with an executive summary or a skills section that demonstrates these skills.

Experienced Professionals:  Individuals that have worked in a field for a number of years usually will want to lead with their experience.  Starting the resume with an executive summary and then the work experience section makes the most sense.  It highlights the experience doing the job that the job seeker is pursuing.  Often, prior experience in the same role is the most important attribute a hiring manager wants.

Career Changers:  If you are attempting to change career fields, your decision of what to prioritize may change.  Your experience won’t be as significant in the new field.  In this case, you may want to highlight your transferrable skills or your education first.

Unusual Specialties:  There are some experiences, skills and abilities that are unusual and in high demand.  Being able to speak a foreign language, possessing a government security clearance or experience managing hospital construction projects are examples of specialties that are rare.  They are often non-negotiable requirements for some positions.  There are a lot of specialties that are rare and in demand.  If you possess have experience in one of these areas, it should be highlighted on your resume.