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Busting the Myths About Online Education

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Online education has come a long way. No longer is it just a class here and there. No longer is it of little or questionable substance. Universities around the world have developed top-quality education programs, offering undergraduate and graduate degrees in a variety of fields, with all coursework done online. Online news resource www.insidehighered.com cites an estimate that one-fourth of students enrolled in U.S. schools are enrolled in online programs; that’s about 5.5 million online students. Here’s a look at some of the myths about online programs that today’s online students are discovering for themselves.

It’s Too Easy

A common misperception is that online coursework is too easy, so it’s valued less than a traditional education. Online students have more options about when and where they study, but the coursework is the same and so are the assignment deadlines. These students may actually have it a little harder, having to be more self-directed in managing their time and coursework. As for work quality, academic standards may vary from school to school, but most institutions require that all students meet those same standards.

Online Credits Won’t Transfer

Some students may encounter trouble transferring credits no matter where or how they are enrolled. But that is not due to the course being an online offering. It may instead be due to trying to transfer credits to a for-profit institution or a specific program. Often, the school has no way of telling if a transfer course was taking in class or online.

Online Courses Aren’t Accredited

Accreditation varies from school to school, as with traditional courses. Students definitely need to research their school and program of choice for regional accreditation by a trusted agency. Student aid may not be available and credits may not transfer from schools that are not accredited by a reputable organization. Students should visit the Council for Higher Education Accreditation or the U.S. Department of Education to see whether an accrediting agency is legitimate.

Employers Shy Away From Online Degrees

This may depend on the individual employer. If you can show an employer that your program and school have top-quality academic credentials, most organizations will support you. Seek schools with a good reputation and programs with high standards, such as George Washington University (GW) and Maryville University. Learn more about the healthcare MBA offered online by GW and the online MBA in supply chain management offered by Maryville.

Not Enough Interaction with Instructors

Although you’re not physically in class, colleges have found ways to work around this to the student’s advantage. Enrolled students can reach instructors via online chat sessions or Skype, by sending an email or even by phone. Instructors are happy to work with you and many offer regular online and in-person office hours.

What getting a good online education comes down to is choosing a reputable school, researching its accreditation and taking advantage of the many ways you can interact with instructors. For businesses seeking to get up to speed on advances in their fields, and for business people who seek career advancement, online degree programs provide a means of doing both.

Image courtesy of jk1991 at FreeDigitalPhotos.net


5 Tips to Make It as an Entrepreneur

climb to success, successGetting ahead in today’s business world is an incredibly hard feat and looking at figures such as Richard Branson, Bill Gates and Anita Roddick, it’s easy to forget that they too were once in your position. But every story has a beginning and it’s fair to say that these heavyweights struggled with naysayers, doubts and constraints just like any other visionary. Using the following tips, you can take positive steps to avoid these pitfalls and transform your story into one of success too.

1. Never Give Up

This motivational chant is heard in gymnasiums around the world and now you need to bring it into your workspace. Reality and Murphy’s Law dictate that sometimes, things will go pear-shaped, so be prepared for this. Ron Bakir, an established Australian businessman, learnt some hard life lessons when he experienced legal and financial trouble in the mid-2000s. However, using great resilience and by learning from his mistakes, he managed to reinvent himself and is now the CEO of a successful property development company.

risk taker, success2. Be a Risk-Taker

You’ve got to be in it to win it. It’s all about the clichés when it comes to this tip; a successful entrepreneur is one that weighs up the risks and benefits and has the courage to take the plunge. The key is to be informed, not reckless. Richard Branson is a well-known proponent of innovation and taking risks, The balloons only have one life and the only way of finding out whether they work is to attempt to fly around the world. It has certainly worked out well for him.

3. Education is Key

Self-improvement by way of continued education is a great way to both stay in touch with your industry and learn of new opportunities or techniques that will aide your business. Many industries will not favour those that remain stagnant and rely on information from five years earlier, so hit those books, blogs, websites, magazines or courses. Michael Bloomberg, business mogul and former mayor of New York City, has been quoted as saying aspiring entrepreneurs should never stop learning.

4. Have a Mentor

Instead of learning from your own, painful mistakes, why not learn from someone else’s? By providing valuable lessons and advice, this is exactly what a mentor can do for you. Other benefits include the comfort of knowing you have someone to turn to, having a source of inspiration and motivation, and having access to critical contacts and/or resources. American business magnate Warren Buffet often talks about the impact his mentor, author and lecturer Benjamin Graham, had on his career.

5. Use Free, Online Resources

Owners of start-up businesses are often loathe to part from their precious monetary funds but there are many free, beneficial resources on the internet these days. From marketing to outsourcing services, and from file storage to social media, you really can find anything under the sun. Take advantage of free trials and basic accounts before investing in premium, paid services. Great examples include Google Analytics, Dropbox, FreelanceWriting.com, Google Hangouts, HootSuite and MailChimp.

What do you think? Will it be Ron Bakir’s story of triumph against the odds that inspires you? Or perhaps Warren Buffet’s influential mentoring relationship? If you have your own tips for making it as a successful entrepreneur, share them below!

Image credits: suphakit73, koratmember/FreeDigitalPhotos.net


Are Companies Following Marissa Mayer’s Management Footsteps?

work from home, online education, e-learning, work at home

Marissa Mayer is the new CEO at Yahoo.

She is instrumental in changing things whether its for the better is yet to be discovered. Her new rules are no working from home. If you did not want to work in the office then you do not want to keep your job. This did not go over very well with people who worked from home on their computers. They started to submit pleas for special circumstances but this rule is being strongly enforced.

Will other companies follow suit? Many people feel that it is a huge step backwards in productivity.

People develop management ideas from their backgrounds – in life, in family, in education. Telecommuting conflicts with what Marissa Mayer wants businesses to do. She is focusing her efforts more on technology and less on media. This bold move caused much scrutiny from outsiders as well. Those who have the luxury of being able to work from home started getting worried that their company might also consider limiting this practice.

Consider all of the pros and cons of Marissa Mayer’s management footsteps. There are people that are on both sides of this change.

Pros:

  • Everyone will work together as a team if they see each other at work in person.
  • There will be more interaction and sharing of ideas if they are in the office.
  • Productivity may escalate if there are no at home distractions.
  • It is simpler to have meetings to discuss specifics if everyone is there.

Cons:

  • There will be added expenses for the employees such as daycare and work attire.
  • Contact at work escalates illnesses such as the flu. These are viruses that are spread in work environments.
  • The work day will be confined to only the hours the office is open. Usually if people work at home they may work longer hours or on weekends to get the job finished.
  • It may create a sudden loss of employees that go over to other companies that offer work at home situations.

The pros and cons on this issue are balanced but a lot of companies like the face to face interaction and the ability to physically see people working. As old school it sounds coming to the office everyday to work encourages people to keep their focus throughout the day rather than having distractions that come with working from home.

This is a topic that would be very controversial in a course in the online business degree curriculum. Students whom are going to school for business enjoy the ability to take classes online and are used to discussion boards and lectures that they can stop, rewind or replay. Some students argue that they do much better in this environment than they do by physically going to class. However, going to work is a bit different than catching up on lectures, the work environment has always been a place you go from 9-5 you build relationships, collaborate, and are able to be approached by coworkers who have questions or concerns.

What side of the debate are you on?

Image credit: telegraph.co.uk


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