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Education Specialist, works as educational counselors addressing a variety of student challenges.

Friday, 25 April 2014

How you can Make your Business Studies Smarter and More Productive

A degree in business masters continues to be regarded as one of the most popular ways to make successful career ahead. According to the Graduate Management Admission Council’s report surveyed on over 12,000 prospective students worldwide, 53% of prospective students think that an MBA would be the best degree for their career.

Convenience around Learning

With the rapid popularity of distance MBA, the process of getting this master’s degree has become really easier. Now, one does not have to sacrifice their jobs or other important responsibilities of life, and at the same time they can pursue their MBA degree in the comfort of home. In the blended learning MBA, however, students need to visit the institution for a few occasions. So, overall, distance learning MBA is greatly flexible in design, whereon, candidates can really enjoy a huge time entirely to themselves for their all round development.

Cost of Usual Learning

Taking up distance learning MBA, huge number of learners is also dealing shrewdly with the high cost of doing an MBA degree. To pay the huge fees of MBA programmes, students now turn back to their parents. According to the report from the same survey, parents will bear 15% of business school o average. It was recorded 12% in 2009. This implies parents will now complement the decrease in amount students expect as scholarships, grants as well as fellowships, which fell to 18 in 2013 from 20% in 2009.

Learning that Perfects Practical Skills

But, the greatest of all benefits with distance learning in business studies is the direct opportunity of industrial involvement while continuing studies. This is the most remarkable trait of going with a distance learning mode for business studies, as it is conducive to enhance practical skills along with the theoretical knowledge. And, in a time when employers value real life experience in any industry over one’s academic scores, business scores that enable the students honing their hands-on industrial skills with greater importance.

A postgraduate diploma in business is an effective beginning to such business education model, where instead of years of theoretical extravagance, learners come across various project-based programmes where their maturity comes from learning by doing. Enrolling in any international level 7 diploma, one can hone his skills with practical work-based experience in life, and get direct tips from global industrial gurus who through their project-based appearances impart unparalleled knowledge of international trade and business.

And, after completing this diploma, students will be able to make their MBA study shortened by 1 year. For the skills these students earned in their diplomas, they can fast track their business masters, and with the hands-on industrial experience, earned through multiple projects and opportunity of job-involvement alongside studying.

Through online distance learning, anybody can plan a business diploma for very affordable cost. Plus, it will make their ways to further studies much easier, shorter and effective. And, if anybody wants to enter into his professional life right away, he can also look forward to do that to make his work experience even further.

Thursday, 24 April 2014

Is an MBA Degree Crucial for Becoming a Successful Entrepreneur?

With a number of people inclined towards business sector, entrepreneurship today has become a highly popular MBA specialisation. However, pursuing entrepreneurship degree alone does not guarantee you of roaring success.

Today, the academic circle is hotly debating about the importance of an MBA degree for a career in entrepreneurship. In sharp contrast, it is also a fact that lots of thriving entrepreneurs observably do not have MBAs. Almost each MBA programme cost approximately £50,000 a year, and it would not be wise as an entrepreneur to burden yourself with debt before you have even started. Most times, they think that money invested in MBAs could be better spent hiring office space or building a trial product.

Nevertheless, MBA students are more and more showing inclination towards entrepreneurship. According to a recent survey conducted by Graduate Management Admissions Council, almost 11 percent of MBA alumni having graduated between 1959 and 2013 currently run their own businesses. And, most top business schools have tailored MBA programmes to make sure they instil the required skills crucial to set off own company. “Schools now offer many more organised extra-curricular options, including entrepreneurship clubs, venture clubs and pitching competitions,” says Aled Owens of QS Top MBA.

MBA programmes attracting the top talent

London Business School offers a wide portfolio of eight different programmes meant to educate students about everything associated with the life-cycle of a start-up. The Centre for Entrepreneurship of Cass Business School provides their recent alumni access to a venture fund, which already has invested in seven start-ups, the biggest of which is Alva with annual turnover of £2m and employs 25 staff.

But the MBA programmes itself are not the sole reason to pursue the MBA courses. These courses have attracted the top talent of the world with an acceptance rate of less than 10 percent for top 10 programmes. Who knows if the fellow students become your future business partners or prove crucial as your future go-to network? Jim Hall, Executive Director, Entrepreneurship Centre at Said Business School, says, “this is where entrepreneurship happens.’

Some people even argue that these business schools should not be considered as substitute for the school of life, but the truth is that many business schools like Warwick bring in faculty with real-life entrepreneurial experience for delivering their knowledge to prospective entrepreneurs.

The early spark matters

However, Taavet Hinrikus, Skype’s first employee and co-founder of peer-to-peer money transfer business TransferWise, and Insead alumnus seems less convinced as he says, “People skills are critical when working in a start-up. Yet the classes at the typical school do not teach enough of them, instead setting team projects and tasks that merely allow natural interpersonal skills to flourish.”

Even faculty at business schools accept that no lecture or workshop could offer a student eureka moment. Nick Badman of Cass says, “You have to have a basic itch or spark that needs to be ignited.” But, if are inspired, business schools can enhance your chances of success by instilling key skills, such as time management, innovation and design, entrepreneurial finance, required to begin your own venture and equip you with the confidence to make use of better ideas.

Basically, MBA degrees are broad and teach you the fundamentals of everything from marketing, finance and law to taking risk. So, even if you are planning to work for a big business house, the MBA course will offer you up to two safe years. The worst outcome could be that you graduate with an MBA degree and obtain a good job. 

Wednesday, 23 April 2014

Community Colleges still in Demand in Distance Education

Online education seems to be the future of the education sector and it continues to grow, reports suggest. According to a report by the Instructional Technology Council, online enrolment in community colleges in the year 2013 saw growth even if the overall enrolment in such two- year institutions seemed to drop. The Council is affiliated to the American Association of Community Colleges and released this report, on online learning, in their annual meeting.

In the year 2013, around 142 officials, related to distance education, who responded to the survey said enrolments for community colleges were up by 5.2%, which is lower than previous years, but they also pointed out that in those years, the overall enrolment both in-person and online, was higher but that was not the case in 2013. So basically the trend has changed over the years resulting in the drop.
“Online enrollment has continued to be the predominant source of enrollment growth in higher education during the last nine years, and the growth in online enrollment continues to slow.”
– Instructional Technology Council's report

Interesting stats the report revealed

The report revealed a few rather interesting figures and facts. It shows how important online education is to community colleges but says that is doesn’t always apply to MOOCs or Massive Open Online Courses. The report says that nowadays it appears that colleges are deciding against MOOCs and not going that way at all. 42% of the survey respondents, last year, said that they had no plans of including MOOC content in their courses and this year that figure has increased to 73%. The report also adds that just about 3% of the colleges are actually using the content from MOOCs in their courses.

“Poor student retention rates and public failures...have called the appropriateness of the MOOC approach into question. Distance educators were aghast to hear MOOC executives state that only 5 to 6 percent of their students completed the MOOCs in which they enrolled. Their college administrators would never have allowed them to continued teaching online with such low student retention rates.”

Some other findings & revelations

According to the report, in the learning management system market of community colleges, the loss of market shares have stopped. Comparing Blackboard with other products has not been easy as, it has bought other entities like Angel, etc. over the years. However, along with the other entities and products, Blackboard now captures 58% of the shares at community colleges. Other products that have been gaining ground are Moodle, that has risen to 17% this year from last year’s 14% and Instructure Canvas has also risen in the community college scenario with 12.5% compared to last year’s 9. One product that has lost ground, considerably, is Desire2Learn.

Out of the survey respondents, 54% say that their institutions charge a payment or fee for the distance courses they provide. The fee varies from $4 to $75 per credit with a standard of $23.
One of the biggest challenges faced by administrators of distance education is to provide sufficient services for students who take up distance learning. In fact, according to the report, this is the third year in which this challenge has been identified.

So it would be right to say that online enrolment to community colleges is on the decline but still going strong. This goes to prove that the demand for online community college courses has not stagnated completely.

Tuesday, 15 April 2014

How MBA Applicants can develop a Personal Brand?

A number of b-school applicants are hesitant to think of themselves as a product or brand. However, in order to find out the best MBA programme to match their unique profile, they need to take the time to examine their personal qualities, aspirations and values.

You can put it into other ways as well. Suppose if you are entrusted with the task of creating a marketing campaign for a new car, and if you decided to highlight the seat warmers and sound systems of the vehicle, when the potential customers are looking for fuel economy, then your marketing message may not be able to create frenzy in the market.

The drawbacks in preparing your brand message for MBA application are similar. What you need is to think like a marketing strategist and develop a personal brand only after identifying its strengths. Here are three exercises to help you do it effectively.

Make a brag sheet

Though the practice of bragging is usually disapproved of in the real world but when it is about effectively sending out a set of messages you eventually want to communicate to admissions committee, the best way to begin is by writing down most unique, wonderful, exciting things about yourself. Consider it as brag-storming.
You should know that admissions committees look for pleasing candidates with experience of life and those who have chased their passions and achieved their professional as well as personal goals.

Create stories

MBA applicants should sift through a wide range of life experiences and find out their core strength. Leading off with what applicants perceive as their strengths and then searching for example stories to back things up is not a fruitful idea. 

You can write stories about personal successes, leadership achievements within and outside of professional life, instances when your actions made a difference or times when you initiated to solve a problem. Do not hesitate to jot down setbacks or failure, as the strategies you made to overcome them are the best supporter of your success in business world.

Discover stories for strengths

To separate out your stories, you need to discover the aspects of your skills, strengths, talents and character contributing to your achievements. You should ask yourself how your life is shaped after certain experiences or the strengths, attributes and talents assisted you in making a difference.

Usually, the goal of a traditional marketing plan is to come up with a product in effective and thoughtful manner. Here, the product is MBA applicant. The goal is awareness about the self, and going through your accomplishment is of greater help. You can focus on the best MBA strategy once these factors are clarified.