Archive | Education Options

Student Debt and the Millennial Entrepreneurship Paradox

entre-millenial-paradoxBy E.J. Reedy and Arnobio Morelix

The millennial generation is living in what one could call a paradox as it relates to entrepreneurship. On one hand, the millennials could be the new great generation. They are the most educated cohort in the history of the United States, they have broad exposure to entrepreneurship in higher education, and popular culture is filled with stories of their entrepreneurial successes, from the kids just getting started to millennial uber-entrepreneurs like Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg. On the other hand, millennials could be the new lost generation. They are heavily saddled with student debt, weak career prospects, and for all this expanded entrepreneurship exposure, most measures of entrepreneurship among younger workers are stagnant to falling.

Thus emerges the millennial entrepreneurship paradox – is this the generation whose entrepreneurship propensities will unleash the next wave of economic growth, or will this generation’s entrepreneurship potential fizzle?

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Posted in Business, Education Options

Astronomy as a Gateway to Critical Thinking Skills

astronomy-critical-thinking-skillsBy Katie Berryhill
Assistant Professor of Space Studies at American Public University

Astronomy is one of the most popular classes that students take to satisfy a general education science requirement. Perhaps this is because of the beautiful images from the Hubble Space Telescope and having been exposed to television shows such as Cosmos (both Carl Sagan’s original and Neil deGrasse Tyson’s remake). So the challenge for astronomy faculty (whether online or face-to-face) is to ensure that class material builds on students’ interest, hopefully to a lifetime of learning about our universe. Students’ initial curiosity also makes astronomy an excellent vehicle to teach critical thinking skills, and help students to navigate the information they encounter in the world (whether about science of anything else). This helps them to become better citizens, able to think for themselves when presented with the deluge of information at their fingertips.

Laboratory activities that use authentic astronomical data are an excellent way for astronomy to ignite curiosity and teach critical thinking skills simultaneously. Two examples that my colleagues and I have used are Planet Hunters and MicroObservatory.

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Posted in Education Options, Scholar's Desk

The Education Appeal of Internships in IT

internships-ITBy Dr. Jeff Wang
Faculty Member, Information Technology at American Public University

In the IT war for talent, an internship can sway the final outcome and provide excellent opportunities for hiring managers and employees alike to find the right fit. As an employer—you can freely observe the working performance and long-term potential of a candidate. A robust internship program may also enable you to:

  • Compete for talent with less cost
  • Better manage and develop new graduates
  • Increase your companies visibility to better attract other talent
  • Help the long-term development of your enterprises by retaining top talent

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Posted in Education Options, Email Newsletter, Online Learning, Scholar's Desk

Calling IT Majors: Do You Have a Career Direction After Graduation?

ITBy Robert Marlett
Faculty Member, IT at American Public University            

While opportunities for employment continue to increase in the information technology sector there are a few fields that should continue to offer the most promise in terms of availability and salary. Computer forensics, computer security, Web design and data retrieval (also known as data mining) will continue to be hot careers in the near future.

The question is no longer does a business require an online presence, but when should they go online. All businesses large and small continue to spend a great deal of time and effort to reach new customers. However, to be effective, a company that is currently on the Internet or is planning to be requires three essential components. They need to be able to find or increase their target audience, protect their network infrastructure and be able to minimize damage when it occurs.

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Posted in Education Options, Online Learning, Scholar's Desk

Asking Before the Leap: Open House Guidance for Your Educational Journey

APUS-OpenHouse_2014Starting school is so much more than buying school supplies. For adult learners it means getting a second chance, starting over, or trying something new. Choosing that school takes some sound thought, and shouldn’t easily be influenced by the first commercial or ad that you see. Education teaches us to not take things at face value, but to scratch below the surface and make our own conclusions. How can you do this with an online education? Attending an open house is a good place to start.

Most of us have learned to embrace mobile technology as if it were an adopted member of the family. It’s convenient, you can access your information from anywhere, and it’s instantaneous. What about your education? The traditional model of college is that great setting of being around other collegiate scholars where you learn at your own pace and in person. Online education is a stark contrast to this scenario, but it’s as adaptive as that mobile technology we all love so much.

Are you curious about what being a part of an online school entails? One of the easiest ways to get a glimpse into the online education realm is by attending a virtual open house. Imagine visiting a college and talking with representatives from the major university departments from your home computer in real time. On August 27, 2014 you can do just that at the American Public University and American Military University Open House.

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Posted in Education Options, Online Learning

3 Tips for Researching Degrees like Cybersecurity

By J. Thompson
Contributor, Online Learning Tips

CybersecurityAccording to a Cybersecurity Awareness webinar sponsored by U.S. Department of Defense’s Center for Development of Security Excellence, “Each year, network intrusions aimed at our government and defense industries increase and become more sophisticated.” The magnitude of the threat is growing so fast that, “The global information grid—or ‘gig’—is probed millions of time a day.” From phishing expeditions conducted by criminals attempting to access our personal data to the recent enterprise cyber-attack that nabbed more than a billion usernames and passwords—our global economic systems and the stability of our daily lives are directly affected by the resiliency of our data systems and professionals setting the strategy. Naturally, cybersecurity is trending, but here are three tips to consider whether you’re studying a cybersecurity program now or considering an advanced degree in the field.

1. Ask yourself: Is it a growth discipline?

There’s no better emotional tail wind in your sails to get you through your studies than knowing you’ve made a sound choice by enrolling in a discipline that prepares you for a growth industry. For example, the U.S. Department of Labor projects 37 percent growth for information security analyst jobs by 2022 (Occupational Outlook Handbook: Job Outlook for Information Security Analysts, 2012–22). A degree never guarantees employment, but focusing your studies on specific industry skillsets can help your resume stand out in a competitive field.

2. Ask yourself: Does it relate to my current career?

It’s interesting to note that although cybersecurity is often IT-related—technology isn’t the only method for assuring security. More attention is placed on the management of technology rather than just on technical aptitude. That means policymakers, strategic planners, business leaders, learning and development trainers, law enforcement officials, and many others in a variety of industries require additional management skills as we increase our reliance on information systems. This includes health care, retail, education, business and many other sectors. So although you may not be an IT guru—cybersecurity entails multidisciplinary roles.

3. Ask yourself: Is cybersecurity training or education available?

Cyber threats and deterrent strategies to combat them are ever-evolving. In order to safeguard high-value systems—it requires forward-thinkers that can adapt quickly to changes in the industry. Some institutions of higher education are meeting the demand by offering programs specifically designed for cybersecurity professionals. A great way to give yourself a mental boost as you work through your studies is to pick a curriculum (including your electives) that ties specifically to your job duties. There’s nothing more academically invigorating than researching and tackling real-world problems, which you can later take and apply your research to your actual job.

Posted in Advance Your Career, Business, Education Options, Online Learning

College as a Long-Term Investment

college-investmentOne of the pitfalls that some college students face is that they start to treat their refund check as a second (or only) source of income. It is extremely important to be financially literate and understand that the misuse of a refund check can put you in a dangerous situation. To combat the tempting impulse of spending your refund check on non-college related items, think of your refund checks as a means to a greater end. The ultimate prize is not a check every semester; rather, it is a degree from the university you are attending. Continue Reading

Posted in Education Options, Email Newsletter, Financial Aid Tips, Online Learning

Overcoming the Shock of Being a New College Student

shock-online-student-survivalNew students often arrive with the idea that earning a bachelor’s degree will be relatively easy because they have already earned a high school diploma. Some new students view earning a college degree to be much the same as their high school experience. However, once in a college program, the student realizes the commitment needed for an online course and the student goes through a series of shocks about undergraduate education. The first shock is about how much work must be done; the second shock is about the quality required of the work.

The first shock is about the amount of work required. College work is more than just attendance. Professors are going to expect work on time, week after week for four long years. After the initial shock, of the quantity of reading and work, they realize that college needs to be a priority in their life.  A standard week for an online university student would be to read multiple articles or chapters in the book, respond to one discussion question, complete one assignment, and to make two to four substantial participation posts in the forums.

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Posted in Education Options, Online Learning