Should You Get Your MBA? 5 Things to Consider

By Jim Raychrudhury

If you speak with a lot of business professionals, many of them will tell you the same thing: they have their MBA. “MBA” stands for Master of Business Administration and it’s a valuable degree to pursue if you’re in the professional world. Not only does an MBA make your resume stand out, but it also shows how determined you are to succeed.

The MBA will prepare you to take a leadership role in a business setting. (Click here to find out even more about getting the most from your MBA.) Here are just five reasons why you should seriously consider getting an MBA.

pensive businessman

Considering a career in business? (Photo by SalFalko via Flickr)

  1. Salary

Your MBA will give you important insight into your career, which means that you’re more valuable to employers. According to Masters Portal, the Association of MBAs has found that graduates who showcase their MBA on their resume earn upwards of 80,000 GBP, or over $100,000, per year. Overall, people with an MBA tend to earn more than people who hold only undergraduate degrees, according to the Kazian School of Management

  1. Career Opportunities

Employers love to hire graduates who have an MBA. This automatically increases the job opportunities that are waiting for you once you’re finished with school. If you have high-reaching business goals, an MBA will help you get there. In addition to landing a great job fresh out of school, you’ll also have more promotion opportunities. Employers feel that their employees who have MBAs are extremely valuable to the company. Masters Portal states that employers like hiring recent MBA graduates because they have new, up-to-date business acumen. Additionally, having employees who hold MBAs raises the prestige of a company. When it’s time to fill a higher position, they’ll look within the company – this is when your MBA will shine.

  1. Networking

Throughout your MBA program, there will be numerous opportunities to network and make connections. You should take as many of those opportunities as possible. You’ll be able to interact with other students and business professionals both online and in person. Plus, once you graduate, you’ll be able to stay connected to the alumni network for years to come. Never underestimate the importance of new contacts. Even if you don’t feel they’d benefit you today, you never know when a contact will be able to help you in the future.

  1. Skills and Knowledge

While an MBA will help you land a job with a high salary, there are even more perks to pursing this type of education. You’ll gain a host of new, transferable skills to take with you after you graduate. As stated in this Forbes article, MBA students learn about public speaking and presenting in front of groups; how to manage teams of people; and about the global economy. Not only will those skills help you out in your career, but they’ll even be beneficial to you in your daily life. Everything that you learn about critical thinking, effective communication and leadership can be used in both business and life.

  1. New Perspective

When you spend time getting your MBA instead of working in the field, you may feel that you’re not getting important first-hand experience. However, reflecting on business issues in an educational setting will give you a unique perspective on the business industry. Not only will you have the time and guidance to think through major business issues with your professors, but you’ll also learn from experienced executives who speak at your school. You’ll be able to bounce ideas off of other people who have the same interests as you. When your two years of school is over, you’ll have so much more knowledge and insight to take back with you to the office.

Once you dive head first into the business world, you’ll learn numerous valuable lessons. However, many of those lessons can be learned ahead of time in business school. An MBA will make you the most prepared you can be to head into the professional world, either for the first time or in an effort to advance your career. Also keep in mind that if you’re not in a position to completely forgo your full-time job, there are ways to fit in an MBA education while continuing to work.

About the author: Jim Raychrudhury is a freelance writer and passionate blogger who likes writing articles that cover career, education and business related topics. He has written numerous articles and contributed to several other blogs. When he is not writing, he enjoys spending time outdoors with his family.

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How to Get Started on a Career While Still in College

By Alison

Many college students are so focused on their academics that they may decide to put their career aspirations on hold until after graduation. This is understandable; while attending classes, studying for tests and doing homework, beefing up a resume may seem like a Herculean task.

Fortunately, using some creativity and taking advantage of your inherent interests and spare time, you can start working on your career goals while still in college — all while keeping up with your studies. For example, check out the following outside-the-box ideas:

girl typing

Experiment with contract work

Traditionally, one of the best ways to gain real-world experience in college is through an internship. If you are not having any luck finding a paid or unpaid position, or if the companies that need interns require a larger time commitment than you can afford, consider contractual or freelance work. This is an especially good approach for entrepreneurial-minded students to test out their interests and gain needed experience for their resume.

For example, Forbes notes that Amway, the 26th largest private company in the United States, offers plenty of flexible career-development opportunities that can easily fit into an already busy schedule. Other websites that offer freelance work include Handy, Upwork (which offers both short and long-term projects), Elance and Fivrr.

Make extracurriculars count

There are typically plenty of extracurricular activities in college. As Career Builder suggests, join some organizations and clubs and take on leadership roles that you can highlight on your resume. Showing your long-term commitment to a team or club will impress potential employers with your sense of responsibility. If the extracurricular fits into your career goal in any way, all the better — for example, if you hope to go to law school, joining the speech and debate team is a nice way to show you have experience in public speaking.

Work on your technology skills

Once you graduate from college and are getting into the real world of work, chances are good you’ll use at least one type of technology. In addition to becoming familiar with Word, PowerPoint, Excel and other programs, consider creating a website or app. This is especially important if you are hoping to get into IT or a related field. When you interview, you might not have a part-time job in technology on your resume, but if you can show a snazzy and eye-catching website that you created or talk about an innovative app you invented, it will be sure to impress your future boss. As a bonus, these are projects that you can fit in and around your college work.

Never underestimate the power of networking

Another great way to start on your career path while in college is to network with anyone and everyone. Tell your folks about your work dreams and see if they know anyone who works in that industry who might be willing to talk to you over a cup of coffee. If you are working a part-time job as a barista, tell your regular customers what you hope to do — one of them may surprise you and say she does that type of work and will keep you in mind for future openings. You can also use social media to your advantage, posting about your after-school plans. Getting the word out may lead to internship and job offers.

About the author: Alison has been a freelance writer for the past 15 years. She enjoys writing about a wide variety of topics, and always looks for opportunities to learn about new subjects.


Pssst!  Check out The Secrets of Top Students.

 

How To Cope With The Transition From College To The Working World

By Thomas Maurer

Coping With Uncertainty

graduation student  open arms to welcome the worldwide jobFor some graduating students there is a rush to get out of the confines of academia and into the working world. For others there is an element of uncertainty and apprehension.

College was a place where you were your own boss and the thought of being forced into the rat race is abhorrent.

While the world has always been an uncertain place, there is a strong argument that it is more uncertain than it has been in recent decades, especially for college graduates. It is no longer as simple as getting into a good college, getting good grades, graduating, getting a good job and settling down, even if that was what you wanted in the first place.

The economy is uncertain, good jobs are harder to come by and the competition is fierce. We all want meaningful and rewarding work but at the same time you need to make sure you first have the ability to make a living. It may be that you have to take a menial job while you wait for your dream career.

Unfortunately the uncertainty doesn’t end there. Once you are making some money you have to be able to protect it, as inflation, taxes and student loan repayments eat into your earnings. There is a very real fear that once you actually get a job you will feel like you can’t leave, chained to the paycheck that you need to pay your student loan and ever increasing living costs.

By comparison the college lifestyle seems like a dream. You were essentially your own boss and while you had some hoops to jump through and requirements that you had to meet, how you went about doing all those things was up to you. The loss of freedom in moving to a 9 to 5 job, with a boss, can be a hard adjustment to make.

While those fears are very natural and well-justified, the direction of your life is in our own hands. You can make decisions that will lead you down the path to a deadening soul, or you can make decisions that lead to freedom, flexibility and the rewarding career that you want.

Life is what you make it, so while you should acknowledge the challenges and uncertainty, don’t let it weigh you down. Focus on the upside and you will benefit from the all the wonderful opportunities in the world.

Embrace New Opportunities

The world and the economy changing is only bad news in you are inflexible and unwilling to adapt. The last two or three decades have seen people abandon the notion that you should have one career for your whole working life. It is now perfectly normal to have three, four, five or more career changes throughout your working life.

This is now changing again, where the idea of even having a traditional career in the first place is optional.

Flexible work arrangements, digital nomads and freelancers with clients all over the world are going to become the new norm. Thanks to the Internet it is possible to avoid getting a “regular” job at all. It takes a lot of hard work and a bit of luck, but commuting online or starting an internet business is not a pipe dream, it is a legitimate and perfectly reasonable goal.

The global economy is still adjusting to the emergence of half the world from communism. People in those countries are willing to work for very low wages compared to the West and this has resulted in a lot of business moving East and a shifting of wealth and power to Asia.

What this means for you, the new or soon to be new graduate, is that traditional opportunities may be limited to you in North America and Europe. But opportunities abound in China, Vietnam, India, Singapore, Malaysia and other countries. Developed Western economies located in the Asia Pacific region such as New Zealand and Australia are also well placed to benefit from this transition.

If you are flexible, adaptable and willing to think outside the box then you can take advantage of these possibilities.

There is also the opportunity of geo-arbitrage. This means earning money in more valuable Western currencies by working online, while living in an emerging economy, such as Thailand or Chile, where prices are cheap, your purchasing power is greater and therefore standard of living is higher. $1000 a month goes a long way in a place like that.

Get Out There And Do Something

While the college classroom is familiar and comforting you aren’t actually productive. You learn but you don’t create or do. The chance to actually be productive and do something in the world is very exciting and beats the monotonous drudgery of the classroom.

Learning is important but human beings are designed to make, create and do. The thing that scares people is being stuck doing something you don’t like, working in a job you hate, for a boss that you don’t respect. This can happen for a period but eventually you will find something satisfying if you hustle hard enough.

While it may be daunting and uncertain moving from college into the working world it can actually be very liberating.

Doing something useful and contributing to a business or an organization is very satisfying and you can take pride in your paycheck, which is the reward for the value you have provided.

Embrace The Freedom From Structure

The lack of structure in life can be challenging at first. When all your friends graduate and go off in different directions and move ahead in life at different speeds, it can be disconcerting. But the trade-off is that the freedom and possibilities and endless. Going to college ties you to a specific location for a number of years and limits the possibilities for income – this will no longer be your reality.

It grated on me when people told me that the world was now my oyster, but looking back on it they were right all along. There have been some periods of employment where I have felt boxed in and enslaved, but they have always been temporary and voluntary. It has been easy to walk away and fly half way around the world for a new adventure.

At the end of the day the only constant thing in life is change. You went through a big change moving from high school to college and you will go through a big change again moving from college to the working world. But it won’t be the 40 years chained to a desk that you fear. The world is an exciting place full of opportunities.

Life inevitably goes on, so you might as well make the most of it.

Author Bio: Thomas is interested in helping students get through college maximizing their potential with the minimum of stress. He writes about study skills and stress relief at www.mellowstudy.com

Should You Choose a Vocational School Over College? 4 Things to Consider

By Ray Holder

The popularity of vocational schools is on the rise. In the past, once you were done with high school, you had two options.

1 – Get into college
2 – Get a job

In most cases the ones who went to college were the lucky ones who could afford to do so either by means of scholarships or their own financial reserves. The few who weren’t so fortunate were forced to get minimum wage jobs as a way of earning a small income. Today, things are much different.

Over the past decade there has been a significant rise in vocational training institutes. People are slowly realizing that they have a lot to offer. In fact, students are now leaning more towards vocational schools than colleges even though they seem to have the money to be able to pay for a college education. And here’s why:

Time to be Safe

1. Vocational schools save time

If you decide to take the traditional route and get a college degree, you would have to spend 4 years on learning the basics of your area of interest. After 4 years, you are free to study further if you wish to specialize. Depending on what you choose to study, you will end up spending 6 odd years on just getting educated.

On the other hand, should you choose to go with a vocational school you would have quite the opposite experience. Vocational courses last for anywhere between 4 and 18 months, depending on what you wish to study. By the end of the course you are more than ready to land a job. There is never any need for further specialization because vocational courses by design are specialized courses.

2. Vocational schools save money

Since vocational schools don’t go on and on for 4 years they don’t cost as much as college. On an average a vocational course from an accredited vocational training institute would probably cost between $14,000 and $20,000. Don’t be daunted by this figure. This is an estimate of total educational costs taking into account all additional costs. Besides, if you enroll in an online vocational school, you will not have to worry about additional costs like cost of living and accommodation.

College tuitions are through the roof nowadays. In addition to tuition you have to consider living costs and accommodation as well. So all in all, it is cheaper and a lot more convenient to attend a vocational school.

Saving-Money

3. Get hands-on experience and be job-ready

Vocational courses are highly specialized courses. They are designed to do one thing and one thing only—prepare you for your vocation. There are no additional irrelevant classes that you are mandated to take. The entire duration of a vocational course is spent in training and preparing students to ensure that they are job ready by the time the course is complete.

You are given a whole lot of training along with practice time and plenty of opportunities for hands-on experience. You needn’t worry about gaining experience in order to land a decent paying job. Vocational courses will give you all the experience you need.
GetHired

4. Land a job easily

Because vocational courses are so specialized and produce highly skilled and well trained individuals, there is a high demand for vocational school graduates in the job market. Also, a lot of vocational schools have placement programs that set their students up with interviews which always result in employment. Some schools also have ties with companies so a certain percentage of students are hired by those companies after every course. Porter and Chester Institute, a vocational training school that is accredited by the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges (ACCSC) is one such institute that has a placement program for all students who are interested.

With college, there is never a guarantee that you will land a well paying job or any job at all for that matter. Students struggle to gain experience and this puts them at a disadvantage when it comes to finding employment.

So there you have it, the 4 reasons why you should pick a vocational school over a college education. If you are interested in saving time and money and landing a job in as little as 18 months, you know just what to do!

Resources:

http://lifehacker.com/trade-school-might-be-a-better-choice-than-college-her-1484086007

http://www.porterchester.com/

http://www.educationcompass.com/advice-central/top-5-reasons-to-choose-a-vocational-education/

http://www.school-directory.net/career-options/trade-school-vs-traditional-college.html

 

5 Careers for Introverts (Guest Post)

By Jep Barroga.  Jep is a freelance writer for a Malaysian personal finance portal, writing blog posts like the perks of working from home. If he’s not busy writing, you can find him reading articles from Cracked.com and listening to alternative music.

It’s not easy landing your dream job, especially if you’re the timid, shy type—or an introvert, so to speak. Unlike extroverts who have no problems mingling with other people and networking with fellow professionals, introverts are often not so adept at the social skills required to build bigger networks of their own, since most of them have reserved personalities.

Sometimes it can be hard to be a solitary thinker.

Sometimes it can be hard to be a solitary thinker.

I’m an introvert myself and I’ve found my calling as a freelance writer and social media specialist, which allows me to work remotely for clients from anywhere around the world. There are lots of jobs that are best suited for your personality; jobs that can give you the stimulation you crave and allow you to hone your creativity. The following are some ideal careers for introverts:

If you love numbers

Financial Analyst
This job requires you to evaluate a wide scope of data related to business trends, stocks, bonds, and financial statements. Creating financial reports is also important in this type of work.

Accountant
Accountancy is perfect for introverts who have a passion for numbers. Accountants are mostly left alone in their own cubicles, at their computers, where they must evaluate and decode piles of documents. This type of job requires you to spend most of your time dealing with data and calculations. Most days, accountants do what they need to do with few distractions. Interaction with other people is minimal, although you’ll occasionally have to meet with clients or supervisors.

If you have a passion for the written word

Writer
This is one of the most popular types of job for introverts nowadays—particularly those who love to read and write. For people who have a passion for writing, being a website content or technical writer is ideal. This job may sometimes require you to be skilled at marketing. Some companies even offer telecommuting benefits as long as you’re able to meet deadlines.

If you love science

Medical Technician
This job is ideal for introverts who want to go into the medical field. It requires you to collect lab samples, analyze the records, and work behind the scenes to deal with laboratory processes, x-rays, and other test results. You may have to report to doctors, nurses and other professionals about the patient’s lab results, but you will spend most of your time in the laboratory.

If you love art

Graphic Designer
This is a skill-based career. This type of work requires you to spend hours at your desk and computer and formulate a cool image or infographics for clients. You can specialize in areas such as web design or web architecture, which will help you express your ideas digitally, if not on paper or canvas. The great thing about this job is that you only meet with clients and supervisors to have your submissions reviewed or to get feedback on your work.

“Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life,” as the great Confucius said. The jobs mentioned are some ideal careers for introverts. However, if your passions lie elsewhere, you may try to improve your communication skills and minimize your timid traits so that it will be easier for you to get hired in the profession you want.


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The Top 4 Ways To Work On Your Career While Still In School (Guest Post)

By Alex Pejak.
Alex is an economist currently working on a few projects in Australia. She is passionate about market research and career development. She is also interested in topics related to project management and business IT.

As you study it’s always an excellent idea to keep the next step in mind. What will you do once you graduate? If you’re like most students, you’re planning to find a job and start a career. Yet we live in a very competitive economy and many students are finding that careers do not simply appear out of thin air upon graduation. The best jobs go to those who began preparing long before it came time to find one. To make sure you land the kind of position you’re hoping to get, it’s a good idea to start working on your career now, while you’re still in school.

In general, the most important and most effective ways of setting yourself up for post-graduation success involve building up your skills and experience in the field you’d like to work in. This gives you confidence in your choice of career, and shows employers that you’re ready. Also, the experience you gain during your studies will ensure you know the industry’s leaders, language, and trends, which will help you choose the best employer for you rather than finding yourself looking for the one with the largest career-fair booth.

1. Do The Best Job You Can  

The simplest method of setting yourself up for a smooth transition to the working world is simply putting in the effort during school. By being diligent, getting good grades, and participating both on and off campus, you start attracting fans and building up a network… people who will be eager to help you succeed later.

Sometimes, you may even find the organizations you volunteered at will want to hire you right out of school. Compared with sending out hundreds of CVs and sitting through dozens of interviews, this can be a highly appealing proposition.

In other cases, you’ll find your experiences mean that club leaders, peers, and professors will give you glowing references, and will help to mentor you as part of their own legacy. The resulting experiences will make for wonderful stories in job interviews, and your accomplishments will look excellent on your CV and in cover letters.

2. Intern or Volunteer In Your Time Off         

Often, the classic “student jobs” like bartending or retail have no connection to the career you want to pursue later. There are few better ways to explore an interesting-sounding career, on the other hand, than interning or volunteering in a related position. Make a point of spending your summers and breaks in positions, even if they’re unpaid, which have a connection to the career you want to pursue.

Since applying to internships is nearly identical to applying for a regular job — you’ll require a good quality CV and cover letter, and you may need to show language or computer certificates — the process will also provide valuable practice for the working world later.

3. Go Abroad    

Interning or volunteering abroad is a little more complicated, to be sure. However, expanding your horizons and learning to work in a different culture is always a valuable personal development experience and highly attractive to employers. Showing experience abroad on your CV will convey to potential employers that you can work well in nearly any situation, that you’re more well-rounded and balanced than most other candidates. This marks you as a candidate for leadership and management from day one.

Better still, going abroad is not as difficult as it sounds. While you will likely require translated copies of your CV, cover letter, references, certificates, and such, online translation makes this fast and easy. Additionally, once you’ve found a position in a foreign country, the firm will likely have resources to help you arrange a visa, accommodation, and the like.

4. Pick Your Classes Wisely   

Last but not least, though it may seem obvious to some, your choice of classes is an excellent way to work on your career as you study. You can use your classes as a way of learning about the current trends, major players, and language of the fields that interest you. Look at which classes have a practical application to your field of choice, and focus on those. Particularly in business classes, the materials you read may be the same things that shaped the management ideals of the companies you will go work for.

Conclusion

In many respects, the best ways of preparing yourself for a future career as you study are the simplest: put in as much work as you can, take every chance you get to gain hands-on experience in the field. The exception, studying or working abroad, is a little more involved but also one of the most rewarding. In fact, there’s a good argument to be made that going abroad is so beneficial because there are hurdles involved — most candidates you’ll be competing against won’t bother. Keep this principle in mind as you study, too. By looking for opportunities that most people can’t be bothered to take, it’s easy to give yourself a big advantage.

The first step to getting a good career is getting good grades in school.  The Secrets of Top Students can show you how!

Deciding to Become a Teacher (Guest Post)

By Fiona Mayberry.  Fiona loves teaching others, and loves that the internet allows her to reach different people every week. She currently writes about education policies and degree certification processes.

If you’re in high school or college right now, you’re probably putting a lot of thought into what you want to do with your life. It’s possible that the most influential people in your life have been teachers, which might inspire you to become a teacher yourself. Before you commit to that career path though, there are a few things to consider:

Source of Motivation

If you want to become a teacher to change people’s lives, that’s wonderful. Just know that you won’t feel like you’re making an impact every day. If you’re inspired by seeing small improvements in a student’s work, or knowing you made someone’s day better, then you’ll be fine. If, however, you expect to see large results quickly, you might go through long periods of time where you feel frustrated. It’s important to know yourself and have realistic expectations.

Hours

Some people are attracted to the teaching profession because they like the idea of working the same schedule every day. 7-3 Monday through Friday seems pretty cushy, and the idea of summer breaks is appealing as well. But teachers often have to take their work home to grade papers and create lesson plans. They also have after-school events such as staff meetings, parent conferences, and continual learning opportunities. You’ll work a lot more than just classroom hours. Also, depending on your financial situation, you might have to teach summer courses or find an additional source of income for vacation times. Keep all this in mind and know that class times are not going to be your only work times.

Do you have what it takes to be a teacher?

Do you have what it takes to be a teacher?

State Requirements

Every state has its own requirements for teaching certifications.  If you’re planning on moving, make sure you know the requirements for the state you’re considering. Certain areas require different tests and even prerequisite degrees and courses in order to take the certification tests. Classroom experience is also a qualification that varies state-to-state.

Likewise, states all have different laws when it comes to what is taught in the classroom. Look into how much input teachers in your target area have over what they teach. Look at the current proposed bills affecting education so that you know not only the current classroom atmosphere, but what it’s likely to be like in the future.

Once you take all these things into consideration, you will be more prepared to make an informed decision. Will a classroom environment allow you to thrive? Is teaching the way for you to fulfill your life goals? If so, start looking at online teacher communities, and talk with those in the field. The more you see of what teaching is actually like, the more prepared you will be to have a positive impact on student lives.


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