Going into IT: 5 Advanced Degrees That Will Land You a Lucrative Tech Career Reply

Computer science is a field that is constantly evolving with education and career opportunities. At the forefront of this development is the evolution of Information Technology (IT). With so many companies becoming technologically centered, high demand has been placed on creating scholars that are prepared to enter a lucrative workforce. Here are five advanced IT degrees that open the doors to well-paying and satisfying positions.

Masters in Health Informatics

For those interested in the solid field of healthcare, a Masters in Health Informatics is the pathway to go through. Here, the study of healthcare and technology converge and cover the ever-expanding health industry and how it has evolved with technology. Students can specialize in biomedical systems, as well as office management systems and other technological components of the industry. Those who work their way to director positions with this degree may earn up to $80,000- $100,000 a year. Many schools now offer a health informatics master’s degree online.

Master of Science in Information Science (MSIS)

Most of these programs consist of two-year curricula with 48 units. The focus of this degree is submerging students into the various theories and practices applied today in organizing, analyzing, representing, and retrieving information. This gives scholars a broad spectrum of knowledge that can be used through multiple avenues within the IT industry. For example, information technology directors and auditors can earn anywhere from $65,000- $82,000.

Master of Science in Computer Security

Graduates from a Masters in Computer Security or Cybersecurity go on to be professionals that devote their career to keeping information intact. They use their knowledge of complex systems to detect suspicious activity and keep compromises in security at bay. With experience, salary has great potential in this field. Those with 1-4 years of experience can make up to $94,000, while those with ten or more years can look to earn a six-figure salary.

PhD in Computing and Information Sciences

This doctorate degree is one of the highest obtainable within the tech industry as a whole. Graduates usually go on to work as educators or with government agencies to teach or apply their knowledge. The degree encompasses a wide range of principles and subjects, including information systems, software systems, and artificial intelligence. The median annual wage for researchers with this degree is $110,000. Those with top experience and employment may earn up to $170,000.

Master of Science in Information Technology

Known as the original IT degree, a strong base of knowledge is built upon to provide advanced training to those in the IT field. Graduates are likely to become managers, auditors, senior analysts, etc. With so many positions open for different specialties, expect to earn anywhere from $70,000-$170,000.

With the IT field becoming so competitive, employers will seek higher-trained and advanced workers to complete evolving tasks. These five degrees can provide a great education that leads to a solid position within such a demanding field.


Lizzie Weakley is a freelance writer from Columbus, Ohio. She went to college at The Ohio State University where she studied communications. In her free time, she enjoys the outdoors and long walks in the park with her 3-year-old husky Snowball. Connect with her on Google+and (@LizzieWeakley).


All views and opinions of guest authors are theirs alone and are not representative of the views of Petersons.com or its parent company Nelnet.

4 Popular Health Programs & Careers for 2018 Reply

Healthcare is a vital industry that affects the lives of every one at some point throughout their lives. Because of this, there is a wide variety of interesting career paths within or related to the healthcare field that tend to pay very well and can be very fulfilling and satisfying.

Of course, roles in the healthcare field are always changing, with new trends emerging every year. If you’ve been considering pursuing a career in healthcare, here are 4 popular health careers that are expected to grow in 2018.

1. Nurse – Average salary: $66,640

Although nursing has been a popular career choice for people interested in the healthcare industry, as of late there has been an increased need for nurses. While becoming a nurse does involve rigorous training, it’s less grueling than becoming a doctor and is a great choice for compassionate individuals who love helping others.

Nurses manage and monitor patients in different settings and are often responsible for dispensing medications, providing wound care, taking vitals, and ensuring patients get the customized care they need. Nurses must communicate with many different healthcare professionals to coordinate each patient’s individual care plan and make important decisions under pressure.

In order to practice, nurses must go through training and become certified. Most people pursue an associate’s degree or bachelor’s degree in Nursing, and some even go on to earn a master’s degree. Prospective nurses must complete their training before taking the certification exam.

2. Assisted Living Director – Average salary: $78,737

The number of elderly people globally is growing quickly, resulting in a growing need for assisted living facilities and elder care. People are living longer thanks to improved healthcare, and the percentage of people worldwide over age 65 is expected to grow from 8.5% in 2016 to around 17% by 2050.

In 2018 and beyond, assisted living directors will play a crucial role in caring for the aging population, yet that won’t be their only duty. Directors will also help in educating family members on signs that their loved one could benefit from assisted living. Peggy Flannigan, Associate Professor of Nursing at Bradley University, highlights a number of factors to look out for including confusion with medication, frequent falls and unexplained purchases (read more to find out additional signs).

Becoming an assisted living director may or may not require licensure, depending on the state. The CALA exam is a blueprint that can be used to help ensure that individuals are ready to become assisted living directors. There is no federal oversight for this career, but candidates should take the time to scrupulously learn best practices and preferably learn under an experienced director in an assisted living facility.

3. Psychiatrist – Average salary: $196,342

Mental health is becoming a big issue worldwide as more people each year are seeking help for depression and other mental illnesses. Awareness of how common mental illness is has created a need for more psychiatrists to help patients find relief and live happier, safer lives.

Psychiatrists are doctors who diagnose, treat, and help prevent emotional and behavioral disorders. They often combine physical and psychological medicine in order to treat their patients, since mental illness is often related to physical symptoms. Psychotherapy and medication are often used to help patients control their disorders and live their lives normally.

Because psychiatrists are physicians, rigorous educational requirement apply. Candidates must complete a bachelor’s degree before moving on to medical school and completing standard residency requirements. After this, candidates need to become licensed in their state in order to practice legally.

4. Healthcare Manager – Average salary: $86,459

Not all medical careers involve medicine directly, of course. Healthcare managers are an important part of every healthcare organization, responsible for overseeing the business side of the industry. As more healthcare organizations are founded, more openings for healthcare managers will emerge in the next few years.

Healthcare managers are responsible for ensuring that the finances and operations of their organization runs smoothly. They must coordinate with staff to manage the quality of patient care and resolve personnel issues, perform or delegate budgeting and accounting tasks, and carry out strategic planning. Roles differ in their responsibilities, and healthcare managers need to be adaptable, organized, and have strong leadership qualities.

Different states have different requirements for healthcare managers, and not all require certification. However, most healthcare managers have a master’s degree in a business-related field such as healthcare management, patient services, nursing administration, or human resources.

If you’re looking to enter the healthcare industry in the coming years, consider these 4 careers that are projected to be trending in the coming years. That said, there are a ton of other career options within the health field, so don’t be afraid to do some additional exploring yourself.


Ryan Ayers has been a consultant for over five years within multiple industries including information technology, medical devices and logistics. Many clients call him the BizTech Guru. He is a freelance writer on the side and lover of all things related to business, technology, innovation and the LA Clippers. Read more from Ryan: @TheBizTechGuru


All views and opinions of guest authors are theirs alone and are not representative of the views of Petersons.com or its parent company Nelnet.

Learning about Learning: Using Your Schooling Experience to Succeed in an Education Career Reply

There are few careers more honorable and rewarding than a job in education. Being a teacher, school administrator, or other position takes a special sort of personality, as your actions and methods will directly impact how young minds eager to learn will develop. If you treated your college education with seriousness and dedication, then you are well equipped with the tools needed to succeed in an education career.

Embrace Technology

While physically attending classes on campus used to be the norm, many modern students opt to take classes within the comfort of their own homes. Whether you’re earning an online master’s in education policy or a degree in early childhood development, these programs make it clear that technology has a powerful part to play in education. For school administrators and policymakers, technology provides the perfect tool for both internal communication and maintaining a dialogue with parents. Everything from notices regarding events or closings due to weather down to issuing report cards can be completed through a web portal, similar to how such issues were handled during your own schooling experience.

The only limit to technology’s place in the classroom is your own ingenuity. Take advantage of tech to provide your students with a multimedia learning experience. Digital whiteboards, educational games, and similar enhancements to the curriculum will not only more deeply engage students, but they’ll also give students the computer experience they need to succeed in their own higher education experience later in life.

Continue to Learn

The most successful educators are those who remain lifelong students. Succeeding in an education career requires you keep the same open minded perspective you had during your own schooling experience. Whether it’s advice from more established coworkers, new teaching methodologies and ways to develop lesson plans, or simply staying sensitive to the needs of each individual students, putting yourself mentally in the position of a student again will keep your mind open to new perspectives.

Stay Adaptable

Many education professionals choose to specialize in a single area, be it an administrative role, teaching a specific subject, or other well defined career track. However, during the course of your own education experience, you were doubtless required to take general education requirements that didn’t relate to your career path. That said, this experience teaches a valuable lesson: adaptability. No school system, student, or faculty is alike, and you’re likely to encounter countless variables each academic year. Therefore, staying adaptable to the temperaments of your students or fellow teachers, changes to academic standards, new testing paradigms, and other mutable aspects of your education career can go a long way towards ensuring your success.

A Rewarding Experience

Working in education is about more than earning a paycheck. It’s an opportunity for you to improve the lives of the next generation, whether as a teacher or school administrator. Always remember that you too were once a student and continue to apply the lessons of your own schooling experience, as it’s a tried and tested path to career fulfillment and success.


Dixie Somers is a freelance writer and blogger for business, home, and family niches. Dixie lives in Phoenix, Arizona, and is the proud mother of three beautiful girls and wife to a wonderful husband. She can be found on Facebook and Twitter.


All views and opinions of guest authors are theirs alone and are not representative of the views of Petersons.com or its parent company Nelnet.

Top 10 Best Sites for Free Online Education Reply

Are you a person who cannot stop studying? Do you enjoy the process of getting new information but do not want to pay for it lots of money? We get it – no one does. Consider online education – it is extremely popular nowadays because all you have to do is wake up, make some tea, open your laptop, and be ready to obtain the knowledge. Nevertheless, not all the online education is free. However, we found ten best sites for free online education – if you want to find them out, then keep on reading!

1.   Oyc.yale.edu/

Open Yale Courses are an online education platform that allows anyone who wants to study a wide range of topics. First, you have to visit the section “Courses,” then – choose the needed department. Here, you do not know where to look first: American studies, Chemistry, Italian Language and Literature, etc. You then choose the course title. The website offers video, audio, and reading materials as well as exams and problem sets.

2.   Free-ed.net

This website is not that rich with materials, however, it does contain some. The website immediately offers the learning topics – after pressing the one you like, you get the subtopic. We tried Arts and Humanities -> Humanities -> Literature -> Poetry. However, some materials were from Wikipedia (which is free as well), we found some amazing videos on the famous poets. Free-ed.net would be a good choice if you are looking for the free online courses.

3.   oeconsortium.org

This website could be called one of the best online learning platforms if the navigation were easier to understand. Unfortunately, after you press “Courses,” everything becomes blurred for the user. We tried to find the materials for the course “Reading Poetry,” and we managed to do that only after a while. The videos offered were super informative, however, the website is absolutely not user-friendly.

4.   http://www.edx.org

This website is one of those free online courses with certificates: you visit the website, register quickly, press “Courses”, choose the subtopic, and watch the educational videos. However, to receive the certificate with your name on it, you have to pay $50. If you are not fussed about the certificate, this website is perfect for you.

5.   alison.com

This is one of the educational websites that does not give you an opportunity to choose the subtopic from the topic – you have a huge variety of themes like “Basic English for Business and Tourism” on the huge amount of pages. You have to scroll until you find something worthy. The good thing: the topics are indeed varied; the bad thing is there are too many ads.

6.   khanacademy.org

This platform is super easy to use – no registration, no additional fees, no nothing. We could found what we needed quickly. However, the minuses are still present: the variety of topics is not the best, and the materials seem short. If you open a video file, it will last not more than 6 minutes; if you open the document file, its length will be not more than five paragraphs.

7.   learner.org

This website was easy to use, and it offers a variety of disciplines to learn. You do not have to register to get access to the materials. All you have to do is choose the discipline that you like, define the subtopic, and plunge into the world of education. The website offers a huge amount of videos as a material – they are much more interesting to watch, rather than read.

8.   openculture.com

This website has a massive base of materials on the different topics: from Roman Architecture to Financial Theory. The majority of courses provide video materials which is a good thing: the videos seem up-to-date and pretty long. Some of materials are audio and when you are choosing one, you might be redirected to iTunes.

9.   gcflearnfree.org

This website has amazed us with the quality of its content. We chose Free Excel 2016 Course and were super surprised how the materials are organized: you have both the video and the reading materials. The reading part contains a huge number of pictures so that you understand better what you learn. Amazing!

10.                ocw.mit.edu

This website would amaze people who are interested in technology – you will never find any arts or languages here. It does not have the most amazing navigation, but we still managed to find the video materials for the Introduction to Algorithms and stayed satisfied.


Sandra Larson has been working as a freelance writer for http://britishessays.net for more than two years, but she has already become one of the clients’ favorite. She enjoys traveling, painting, and writing. Her motto is “A writer is simply a photographer of thoughts,” and she does take pictures of her beautiful thoughts.


All views and opinions of guest authors are theirs alone and are not representative of the views of Petersons.com or its parent company Nelnet.

Learning to Teach: 4 Tips for Students in an Education Degree Reply

Being a teacher can be rewarding. You will have the opportunity to make a difference in the lives of the students that you teach. Without teachers, there would not be any other profession. There are several things that you will need to do in order to prepare for a career in education.

Talk to Your Professors

Professors have been in the education field for a long time. That is why they can offer you valuable advice. They can give you tips that will help you connect with your future students. Your professor can also give you ideas that will help be creative in the classroom.

Volunteer

There is a lot that you can learn from being in the classroom. However, there are some things that you will not be able to learn until you get experience in the classroom. You can get experience by volunteering at different schools in your area. You will learn how to interact with students. This also looks good on your resume.

Employers are not just looking for someone with good grades. They are looking for someone who already has experience in the education field. It is a good idea to work with students of different ages.

Prepare for the Praxis Tests

You will have to take Praxis tests before, during and after your education training. That is why it is never too early for you to start preparing for these tests. You can take practice tests. There are also courses that will prepare you for the Praxis tests.

The tests are daunting. They are one of the main things that will determine whether you can teach. However, the more you prepare, the easier it will be for you to ace the tests. If you’re planning on an advanced degree, it’s not a bad idea to double up. Taking an online MAT course while you study for the Praxis Test can help you learn practical applications for everything you’re studying.

Accept Feedback

You will receive a lot of feedback once you began student teaching. Regardless of whether the feedback is good or bad, you should use it to improve your teaching experience. Any advice that you get can be used to improve your teaching experience. You can integrate the advice that you get into your daily activities and lesson plans.

Starting a career in education can be challenging and exciting. You talk to your professors and volunteer at a school in your area. You will also need to start preparing for the Praxis as soon as possible. Furthermore, it is important for you to accept feedback that you get and use it to adjust your teaching style.


Kara Masterson is a freelance writer from West Jordan, Utah. She graduated from the University of Utah and enjoys writing and spending time with her dog, Max.


All views and opinions of guest authors are theirs alone and are not representative of the views of Petersons.com or its parent company Nelnet.

3 Educational Careers To Consider If You Love Sports Reply

It has been said that if you work at something you love, you will never work a day in your life. If you love sports there are a lot of career options beyond being an athlete. Many sports take place in an educational setting. In fact, school is the place that many people credit with inspiring their love of athletics. If you think that you would like to help instill the same love of the game in impressionable young people, here are three careers you might consider.

Gym Teacher

A gym teacher is the one who has the base level opportunity for introducing young people to sports and getting them excited about sports. A gym teacher can teach kids about sports, exercise and different activities they can use to get moving. Becoming a gym teacher requires, not just a love of sports, but a love for kids as well. You need a bachelor’s degree in education– it is still teaching after all– with a concentration in physical education.

Coach

As sports are generally extra-curricular activities, coaches are usually teachers as well. They might be history or gym teachers. They may teach health or science. Being associated with the school gives you a foot in the door. You could start out by volunteering as an assistant coach. You will need a teaching degree, an intense knowledge of the sport you would like to coach and a criminal background check. Coaches must be tough but fair. They must choose their players based on their skills and qualifications and be careful not to discriminate. If you are not sure whether your practices are discriminatory, it is best to check with a knowledgeable source. A title IX lawyer, like the kind you would find at Duffy Law, would be a good choice to give you guidance.

Scout

A sports scout travels around for universities and major and minor league sports teams, seeking out the best players. They often attend sporting events and watch a lot of video of athletic events. In order to become a scout, it is important to have a passion for and knowledge of the sport you are serving. Many also get degrees in things like marketing or business. They make recommendations to the organizations they work for and later handle the negotiations with the players their organizations want them to approach.

If you love sports, there are many career opportunities for you. Education is a great field for the sports enthusiast. It allows them to help young people develop an interest in sports and helps young athletes to develop and achieve their passion.


Emma is a freelance writer currently living in Boston, MA. She writes most often on education and business. To see more from Emma, say hi on Twitter @EmmaSturgis2 or Facebook.


All views and opinions of guest authors are theirs alone and are not representative of the views of Petersons.com or its parent company Nelnet.

5 greatest rules to make a high-quality research paper 1

As you well know, writing a research paper teaches you all the skills that a university wants to instill in you. It teaches you to think critically, how to research your position and how to keep one idea central in your head while you work out all the quirks and problems associated with working it out. Of course, that doesn’t make writing an essay easy. Quite the opposite. Doing all those things is difficult – especially when you’re just starting out.

Difficult – but not impossible. Particularly not if you use these tricks to get yourself ahead and make the best of your paper.

Research

Writing a research paper means doing research. There are no two ways about it. But where do you start? Despite what all your professors and your university will say, Wikipedia is a great place to start (I think it’s because they’re elitist and they think Wikipedia is too common to be useful – but they’re wrong. On most points it’s surprisingly accurate).

The reason Wikipedia is a good place to start is because it covers most points broadly and clearly (unlike most academic texts). Of course, you can’t claim the Wikipedia page as one of your references, but fortunately they often provide plenty of those at the end. Check those out and see what papers they reference. If they’re all papers then put them into Google scholar and see what other papers reference these in turn. And there you suddenly have a huge number of papers you can read!

The outline

Maybe one day you can write your research paper from start to finish without working out all the details first. But that won’t be how things start. There are just far too many moving parts for you to keep it all in your head. It’s like driving a car in the beginning. There are just too many things you’re supposed to do for you to remember them all. That takes time.

That’s why you’ve got to write an outline. This is where you start out writing out what thesis you’re trying to defend and how you’re going to defend it.

For the best results, start with a really rough outline that consists of introduction, body and conclusion with a few points filled in. Then, as you do your research and learn more, fill in more of the points such as the arguments you will use to defend your position and the sub-arguments you’ll need to build those on.

Keep making adjustments as your ideas grow and then when you get to the writing part you just have to fill in the blanks as the hard work will already be done. And that’s how you’ll write a research paper that impresses.

Use citation software

There are tons of free citation software out there, so use them! Even better, from day one put every paper you read into it. It will only take you a few minutes per paper and then you can reference each of these in future essays you write. Even better, they citation software will serve as a library that you can use to recall papers you read a while ago.

Then, when you’re writing a paper, all you do is select the paper you want to use and the software will use the rest. You’ll be left with a perfectly formatted bibliography in the blink of an eye. And that’s vitally important if you want to write a high-quality paper.

Broaden your audience

Don’t write only to your professor. The reason? You’ll write an incredibly stuffy and boring article that will make even your professor yawn. That’s because we think of our professors as authority figure and therefore will often freeze up when we write to them. We’ll use sentences that are way too long and complicated – because that’s what you think will impress them.

It won’t. Professors are tired of essays they can barely understand. What they want is a well written essay where it isn’t the language but the ideas that are complicated and complex. The best essays make you feel smart, while the worst ones make you feel stupid.

For that reason, learn to write for a broader audience. Write to your friends and your family. Write as if you’re writing for a magazine. Because if you keep those people in the back of your mind, you’ll write something that’s exciting and fun to read. And if your professor enjoys reading what you wrote, then they’re far more likely to give you a good grade.

Final thoughts

The truth is that most people only think about the writing of their essays. They don’t think about all the stuff that goes on around it – even though all that other stuff, like the research, the outline, the editing and the target audience, are just as important.

The result is a mediocre essay that wanders, is flabby and doesn’t really do whatever you’re trying to do justice.

“But if I focus on all that other stuff,” you say, “Writing that essay will take me forever!” Far from it. You see, when you’ve correctly done all those things I’ve listed, the writing will become far easier to do. It will be like coloring in one of those children’s drawings (as you’ve already drawn all those lines).

And then you can focus on what is really important when you’re writing. And that is finding the right words to make your point, instead of everything else that you were supposed to have done before. In that way, you’ll be able to write a really high-quality research essay.


By Amanda Sparks


All views and opinions of guest authors are theirs alone and are not representative of the views of Petersons.com or its parent company Nelnet.

Degrees in Demand: Demystifying 4 Popular College Programs Reply

If you’re serious about attending college and pursuing a personally and professionally rewarding career, it’s important to think about what type of degree program you should pursue. Luckily, there are several popular college degree programs that will make you an incredibly marketable job candidate when you begin to apply for positions with a specific company.

Below you’ll find a short outline regarding four of the most popular college programs available today.

Business Degrees

One popular college program that might benefit you is a business degree. This program provides you with a wide range of skills that will prove helpful to employers from multiple industries.

For example, business degree programs typically provide students with coursework that increases their understanding of key company optimization strategies like conflict resolution, public speaking, and time management.”

Note that there are multiple fields under the umbrella of business that an individual can specialize in. As noted in ThoughtCo., some of them include:

  • Consultancy
  • Financial Services
  • Accounting
  • Marketing
  • Insurance
  • Operations Management
  • Human Resource Management

Note that there are now many educational institutions that will provide you with the opportunity to earn your business degree online. An online MBA degree program can provide a bit more flexibility than a traditional degree.

Nursing Degree

Another popular college program that you may want to consider as you prepare to further your education is nursing. Nursing degrees are valuable for multiple reasons, one of which is that the job outlook is excellent. As noted in the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the growth rate within the field is faster than average (16%).

Another great benefit of this degree program is that pay is competitive. Specifically, the average annual salary for nurses is $68,450. Higher educational facilities are pleased to provide aspiring students with the degree programs necessary to become a licensed nurse.

Finance Degree

If the fields of business and nursing don’t catch and keep your attention, consider the value of obtaining a finance degree. As noted in Forbes, finance is one of the top three degrees that employers are looking for these days.

Note that there are a wide range of positions that you can obtain with this degree. An example would be a financial analyst. Some of your other options would be an accounting executive, budget analyst, and economist.

Computer Science Degree

As with finance, computer science degrees are in high demand. This makes sense given that more and more businesses make use of technology to complete the daily tasks that keep their companies running. Some of the basic courses you might take while obtaining this degree include computer architecture, logic and computation, data structures, algorithms, programming paradigms, and computer programming.

Pursue Your College Career Immediately!

If you’re serious about making prudent educational decisions that will lead to a rewarding career, now is the time to think about which degree program would be most appropriate and advantageous for you. Review the information found in this quick reference guide to determine which of the most popular college programs would be right up your alley.


About the author: Anica is a professional content and copywriter from San Francisco, California. She loves dogs, the ocean, and anything outdoor-related. She was raised in a big family, so she’s used to putting things to a vote. Also, cartwheels are her specialty. You can connect with Anica here.


All views and opinions of guest authors are theirs alone and are not representative of the views of Petersons.com or its parent company Nelnet.

Digital Degrees: How to Thrive in an Online College Program Reply

Online education has opened up many opportunities for people who need a flexible and affordable way to study. There are now digital degrees in every conceivable subject. As with any type of education, however, it’s important to do your research and choose the degree program and institution that’s right for you.

Here are some tips to help you get the most out of an online college program.

Pursue Online Studies in an Organized Manner

Although online studies are extremely flexible and convenient, in some ways they requires more discipline than a traditional degree program. You have the freedom to create your own schedule. However, this also means you have to find the right place to study and avoid distractions.

Be careful that you don’t approach your studies in a manner that’s too casual. Create a consistent time and place for studying and stick to it. While you’re attending online classes or completing assignments, stay away from social media, your phone and other distractions.

Consider Healthcare Degrees

The healthcare industry is booming. There is actually a shortage of people to fill many positions in this field. There are ample opportunities for nurse practitioners, physical therapists, pharmacists, laboratory assistants and others in the fast-growing medical field.

One of the most convenient ways to pursue a healthcare degree is online. You can find lots of quality digital degrees that will prepare you for a lucrative healthcare career.

Research Online Degree Programs in Unexpected Subjects

While you can certainly get an online degree in healthcare, business administration, computer science and other popular fields, there are also dozens of other possibilities. You can prepare for a career as a casino worker, forest ranger, sports agent and many other less typical jobs.

There may be online degree programs you’ve never considered. For example, an online bachelor’s degree in safety prepares you for a job that helps keep employees safe at work. The possibilities are endless.

Take Advantage of All Available Resources

When you enroll in an online degree program, you have many helpful resources at your disposal. Many of these can help you succeed in your coursework and avoid feeling isolated. For example, you should not hesitate to contact instructors with questions and comments.

Most online courses provide ways for students to connect as well. When you have study partners and ask each other questions, your online course is more like a traditional class. Every digital degree program has its own features and benefits. Make sure you familiarize yourself with these so you get the most out of your studies.

Online education has come a long way over the last decade. You can now study almost anything online that you could study in a traditional classroom. By identifying the degree program that matches your goals, you can earn a degree at your own pace and study wherever and whenever it’s convenient for you.


About the author: Anica is a professional content and copywriter from San Francisco, California. She loves dogs, the ocean, and anything outdoor-related. She was raised in a big family, so she’s used to putting things to a vote. Also, cartwheels are her specialty. You can connect with Anica here.


All views and opinions of guest authors are theirs alone and are not representative of the views of Petersons.com or its parent company Nelnet.

For the Educator: How to Improve Your Teaching Career Reply

Teaching is essentially learning in disguise. As we teach–as we learn–often our ambition magnifies. We find ourselves reaching for the stars, just as we encourage our students to do. If you’ve found yourself with a burst of ambitious energy, chances are you’re thinking about ways to advance your teaching career. Like many things in life, improving your teaching career will involve a lot of personal reflexivity, and a bit of hard work. The evolution of your career is a lifelong pursuit. It is important to think in terms of the long game, to carefully envision what you’d like to see for yourself, and to be open as that vision may transform in time.

Charting a Course

In order to effectively advance your teaching career, you need to determine what your ideal job looks like. This will require a bit of soul-searching. What is it about your job that you enjoy? Do you thrive in administrative roles? Would you be happy conducting and publishing original research? Are you happiest at the front of the classroom? Once you can imagine the ultimate job you’d like to have, seek a mentor who already has this type of work. You might connect with someone you already know personally, or you might contact someone via email who you’ve never met (LinkedIn can be a good source for this). You might even just follow someone’s career from afar. The point is to find a model, and to use that model to help determine what your possible next steps could be. Pick your mentor’s brain, learn from their mistakes, and benefit from their successes.

Getting Better at the Job You Have

If you want to move forward to better job opportunities, one of the tricks is to excel where you are right now. Exemplary teaching performance can lead to awards and honors, positive student evaluations for your portfolio, and internal advancement opportunities. Do some deep reflection on the areas where your teaching practice can improve. Evaluate your classroom, your lesson plans, your office: what are the emotional reactions you have to these elements of your work? These reactions will help you figure out how you can improve. If you can identify your shortcomings, you can make a plan to grow.

Improving Your Resume

It’s no secret that adding more lines to your curriculum vitae can have positive effects on your career. If you are interested in pursuing further formal education and/or specific teaching certifications, this can only help. However, you can also think outside the box in terms of brightening your resume. As the world goes more and more digital, for instance, technical skills are in high demand. If you’d like to improve in this arena, you might take online courses to become a certified Google educator, enroll in a Tech JumpStart course for educators, or attend a conference for online curriculum development. There are all sorts of skills that could aid you on your journey, and make your resume pop to potential employers. Think about what tools for educators that are available to you. The trick to keep learning, and to be creative with the process. Building your resume is crucial, but you shouldn’t feel like pursuing a doctorate is the only way to do so.

If you’ve done the personal and difficult work of determining the job you want, finding a mentor, figuring out how you can improve, and building your resume in creative ways, you are off to a great start. Now you’ll have to dig in and do the long and arduous work of improvement and change. Fortunately, you’re a teacher. You are no stranger to hard work.


Lizzie Weakley is a freelance writer from Columbus, Ohio. She went to college at The Ohio State University where she studied communications. In her free time, she enjoys the outdoors and long walks in the park with her 3-year-old husky Snowball. Connect with her on Google+and (@LizzieWeakley).


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