Online Education Effectiveness: How to Educate Yourself Online

May 21st, 2018

BY LINDA ANDERSON

“Education is what remains after one has forgotten what one has learned in school,” said Albert Einstein once. Truer words haven’t been spoken. Because after all, it is the act of constantly learning new things and encouraging flexibility and innovation of brain that brings the ultimate joy. And gone are the days when education was only confined to four walls of the houses. Today, the education of real world happens at our fingertips, i.e. on the internet. Promoting self-education as a concept, if you are always up for learning something new, then this read is meant for you!

  1. Coursera – Literally take classes from world-renowned universities, such as Stanford, Yale, Penn and Duke. And that too without paying the heavy price tag. Coursera is popular for delivering 1,500 courses from over 150+ university partners. Not just online videos, it also provides quizzes and one-on-one lectures that can availed based on your topic or university. From positive psychology to becoming a more effective manager to securing digital democracy and learning about the Making of the U.S. President: A short history in five elections; all courses on Coursera shed light on uplifting your education goals and adding new skills to your career assets from time to time.
  2. Open Courseware – Available for absolutely free, Open Courseware does an excellent job of making college and university level courses available worldwide. Available in more than 20 global languages, Open Courseware Consortium has more than 5,000 classes in English alone. Some of its courses that deserve a special shout-out are statistical thermodynamics (Middle East Technical University), Creole Language and Culture (University of Notre Dame), and Epidemics in South African History (University of Cape Town).
  3. Alison – If you are an entrepreneur with a global mindset, then this UK-based learning hub should you go-to choose for online education. The best part about the course is that after every course you get a British degree, Right from having classes in German, French and English, it has a range of courses, such as Creating Business Start-ups the Kawasaki Way(where Guy Kawasaki teaches the audience himself) and Introduction to Venture Capital, Understanding Currency Exchange, and Understanding the American Financial Credit Crisis. Apart from this, they also have a range of courses of non-profit fundraising and American copyright laws.
  4. Khan Academy – If by looking at videos and working on courses in snippets because of the paucity of time is how you would like to roll, then Khan Academy is your place to learn. Every course here is made into snippet videos so that everything fits into your schedule and pace. You can use this application to study handy courses on SAT prep, calculus, cosmology and art history. Another star quality of the course app is that you can always leave your doubts and queries below every video if something isn’t clear and course heads will get back to you on them.
  5. 99U – Resonating strong with its tagline – “Empowering the Creative Community,” 99U more like a TED Talk exclusively for entrepreneurs. Yes, it is that good! It resides heavily on business development, inspiration, creativity and uniqueness of your job. Here are some of its most loved sample of lectures:
  • Why Unrest Is Gold for Creatives: “In an era of upheaval and crisis, creative expression takes on new urgency…. For those creatives feeling discontent in these fractious times, it’s a reminder that the simmering feeling of anger can be best used to issue a call to action and serve as a tool for change.”
  • How to Beat the Imposter Syndrome Feeling: “Approximately 70 percent of us will experience a period of self-doubt at least once in our lives. Rebuild your confidence using these five strategies.”
  • Paola Antonelli: Rejection Is a Sign You’re onto Something New: “Your creative work can make the world a better place. But only if you allow yourself to shock, disgust, and–yes–even fail.”

There you have it some of the most well-recognised online education platforms you can go and visit. In the end, we would like to say that gone are the days when internet was only used to watch movies, Netflix your heart out or eagerly watch Pinoy Channel TV Ako –  HD quality channel where you can watch latest Filipino Tv series. Today, with the advancement of technology, a deep quest for learning and just with some spare time in hand, one can learn new skills or add to their education arsenal by selecting an online course.

Bio:- Linda is a writer and musician residing in Boise, Idaho in the United States. She graduated from the College of Idaho with a bachelor’s Degree in Business and a focus in marketing in 2014. My work has been featured and mentioned in a wide range of publication, including Elite Daily, Your Tango, Pucker Mob, CEO World, Energy Central, The Next Web, Movie Pilot and more.

 

Guide to Budgeting for College Real Cost of Living

May 18th, 2018

BY ELAINE THOMPSON

As a college student, you have a lot of freedom—and a lot of responsibility, especially when it comes to finances. Living paycheck to paycheck can be stressful, but by creating a financial plan and a monthly budget, you can reduce your financial stress and develop valuable skills for the future.

However, a budget is not nearly as useful if you only consider tuition costs, school expenses, and rent. You also have to account for the true cost of living so that you don’t become a “starving student,” accumulate credit card debt, or end up not being able to pay for gas. Read on for a list of tips to avoid the “living gap” in your college budget.

 

  1. Plan for Apartment Fees and Furnishings

You probably included rent in your initial college budget, but you may not have thought to include apartment fees, such as application fees, garbage fees, and parking passes. These fees may vary between apartment complexes, so plan a nice buffer for these items.

In addition to apartment fees, remember that you may need to buy or rent furnishings (tables, couches, mattresses, etc.) if they are not included in your apartment. Although these are not regular monthly expenses, you should still take them into consideration for your start-of-year budget.

 

  1. Be Smart about Groceries

You may end up spending more on groceries than you do on rent, so this is one item you definitely want to prioritize in your budget. Keep in mind that you will also need to buy garbage bags, toilet paper, and other household items at the grocery store in addition to food. Stocking a pantry with food staples and buying kitchenware for the first time can also be expensive, so be sure to budget for those items as well when you begin college.

Because grocery costs will regularly be a major part of your personal budget, here are some ways to save money on groceries:

 

  • Make a thorough shopping list using an app like Wunderlist.
  • Plan meals for the week, add any needed ingredients for those meals to your shopping list, and steer clear of impulse buys that aren’t on that list.
  • Buy generic label items—they’re usually just as good as the name brand products and can save you a significant amount of money.
  • Keep track of your running total as you shop; if you need to put some items back when you are over budget, you can do so before you get to the checkout line.

 

  1. Review Your Subscriptions

 We live in a world of countless subscription-based products and services, such as Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime, and Apple Music, just to name a few. Ten dollars may seem like a small price to pay for a single service, but the costs of your subscriptions can easily add up if you don’t have an established budget for all of them. If you’re on a tight budget, examine which of your subscriptions are needs and which are wants, then cancel or put certain ones on hold if they’re less important.

As a college student, you can also save money with access to numerous student discounts for subscription services. Many of these student discounts can save you up to 50% off the normal subscription price, so be sure to look for those discounts when you sign up for subscriptions.

 

  1. Evaluate Utility Costs

Remember to take the cost of utilities into account when estimating living expenses. Utility costs include bills for water, electricity, gas, and garbage services.

In order to accurately budget for the cost of utilities, you will need to know what factors influence your monthly utility bills. The average cost of electricity alone in the US is $114.03 per month, so plan around that (factoring in whether you’ll split those costs with your roommates). Plus, utility usage may vary throughout the year, so keep that in mind as you figure out how much to set aside.

 

  1. Get Practical about Internet and TV

Because nearly all classwork will require internet, you will likely need to have internet in your apartment. Internet costs can vary widely, so make sure to choose an internet plan that balances your budget with the internet speed that you will need for streaming and homework.

If you want to pay for TV, consider up-and-coming streaming services like Sling TV, YouTube TV, and DIRECTV NOW. These services provide a cheaper alternative to cable, and most of these services provide greater flexibility for where and how you watch TV.

 

  1. Pay Attention to Car and Transportation Costs

If you own a car or need to take public transportation to school or work, you will also need to plan for the associated costs of transportation. For a car, include everything from auto insurance to oil changes to parking fees in your budget; for public transit, look into costs for monthly city transit passes, as they may be cheaper than paying a daily fare.

 

  1. Set Money Aside for Healthcare Costs

While you may be able to stay on your parents’ insurance plan—assuming you’re under 26—it’s still wise to set aside money for unforeseen medical expenses. Doctor visit copays, medication, dental cleanings, and other healthcare costs can add up quickly, and you don’t want to be caught unprepared. Keeping a buffer of a few hundred dollars will ensure you can take care of yourself should the need arise.

 

  1. Allow for Discretionary Spending

College and work can be stressful, so make sure you set aside time (and money) to relax, unwind, and have some fun. Depending on your income, your budget for discretionary spending may not be very large, but that’s okay. Whether you use this money for going on dates, shopping, or buying video games, just enjoy what you are doing and be content knowing that you budgeted for it in advance.

 

  1. Keep Expenses Together

A budget won’t work well if you can’t keep it logged consistently. Consider using a tool like the Mint app to track your discretionary spending. Mint easily synchronizes with your bank, credit, and loan accounts so that you can track all of your spending in one place. Using budgeting tools like Mint will help you to identify patterns in your spending that will allow you to create a more accurate budget.

 Budgeting is a valuable skill. Including the above items in your budget will help you to be well prepared financially for college and your future. ‘

Elaine Thompson is a graduate of Westminster College in Salt Lake City where she got her BA in Communication. Alongside a fulltime job, Elaine enjoys the hustle and writes for multiple online publications.

10 Basic Scientific Report Writing Tips for Students

May 17th, 2018

BY TIM MONSON

 For many university students, few written assignments are more dreaded than the scientific report. These writing tasks require careful thought, deep planning, and the mastery of a specific tone and approach which can really take a lot of time and effort to perfect. So what is actually a scientific report and what makes is different from the other assignments?

Scientific Report is a type of academic papers that describe the process, progress, and or results of technical or scientific research or the state of a technical or scientific research problem. It might also include recommendations and conclusion of the research.

The structure of scientific report writing listed below:

  1. Title Page
  2. Table of Contents
  3. Abstract
  4. Introduction
  5. Materials and Methods (Experimental)
  6. Results
  7. Discussion
  8. Conclusion
  9. References

 

If you’ve ever struggled with scientific report writing, or have a report coming up which is playing on your mind, fear not – we’ve got some top tips to help you get through this task, and ensure it’s capable of getting you the grades you deserve. Read on to find out more!

 

  1. Choose Your Topic Wisely

 A scientific report is your chance to show off your professionalism, expertise, and depth of knowledge. As such, you should make sure you’re always writing about a topic which is capable of presenting your skills in the best possible light.

Take some time to brainstorm your report topic, and make sure you’re bringing a fresh, original, or unique angle to your subject (if possible). Originality is key when it comes to scientific report success, and if you can bring something new to the table, that’s half the battle won.

 

  1. Be Selective with your Sources

 All too many scientific report papers fall at the first hurdle as a result of poorly collected sources, or because the student didn’t bother researching deeply enough. In order to get those top marks, you have to demonstrate that you really know where to look and how to select your information… so get down to the library, seek out the best possible sources on the subject, and reference a wide array of authors into your paper.

 

  1. Hit The Right Note With Your Title

 First impressions count for more than you might imagine when it comes to any sort of academic writing, and the best way to instantly captivate your professors is with a snappy title. You want your scientific report to have a title which immediately grabs the attention of the reader – nothing too long, nor too short – and which draws the reader in from the very first moment.

 

  1. Never hesitate to ask for an advice

 For many students, there simply aren’t enough hours in the day to work through scientific report papers. University life is busy, and social obligations, extra-curricular activities, and all kinds of other essays, reports, coursework projects and dissertations quickly pile up and can become overwhelming. In such cases try to find a teacher or professional writer who can just help you to get all those things in order: it can be a great decision because a person with experience in scientific writing deeply understands the way all scientific reports must be arranged.

 

  1. Perfect the Introduction

 It’s probably fair to say that the introduction of your scientific report is the most important paragraph in the whole paper. Why? Because it sets up the premise for the report as a whole and lays out your style, your approach, and all that can be expected from the paper and its contents.

The ideal introduction will start off with a wide perspective, and narrow down to the finer points as it continues. The idea is to provide a contextual background to your paper, and to lay out your initial ideas, your motivation for the study, how you’ve approached your thesis or problem, and the findings you expect from its execution.

 

  1. Present Your Methods

 Your methodology should be touched upon (along with your reasons for choosing said methodology) in your introduction. Your professors will be interested in the way you’re approaching your particular area of expertise or the problem you’re attempting to solve, and they’ll want to see that you understand the academic background of the methodology you’ve chosen. It’s also never a bad idea to anchor your introduction to a particular time and place and to make reference to relevant studies which have gone before. Get this part of your introduction right, and the rest of the paper will follow!

 

  1. Laying Out the Results

 Scientific papers require results – there’s no getting around this fact. Your results section is going to be one of the most important parts of the whole paper, so you’ll need to make sure it’s clear, concise, and presents your findings, rather than explaining them. Analysis and explanations can come later. Make this part of your paper logical, chronological, and as easy to follow as possible, as some professors may wish to see this section outside of the context of the rest of your report.

 

  1. Perfecting the Discussion

 The discussion chapter or section of your scientific report is your chance to justify your methodology and to analyze and explain the results which you reached. The whole point of this section is to bring your research and findings into the wider context of your discipline and to explain their usefulness in the further understanding of the field in which you are studying. As such, the language you use in this section should be as clear and concise as possible, and it should interpret and explain everything you’ve achieved thus far. Provide your explanations and conclusions in a chronological, step-by-step order, so it can be easily understood, and highlight your core findings or most significant results to prove the worth of the report as a whole.

 

  1. Write a Top Abstract

 Your abstract comes at the very beginning of your report – just before your introduction – but it’s impossible to write an accurate, useful, and academically sound abstract without first completing the rest of the report. Keep your abstract within 200 words, and make sure it highlights the key sections and findings of your report – it’s a bite-sized introduction regarding what to expect, and will let the reader know whether your report is relevant to their own studies or research.

 

  1. References!

 As with any type of academic writing, getting your references in order is important and will make up part of your marking criteria. Make sure you know what referencing format your professors expect, and highlight or make notes of the references you use during your research – this will save you time in hunting them all down once your report is typed up and ready to go

Tim Monson is a freelance writer, PhD, student and an active adherent of implementing digital technologies in education.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Student Loan Myths

May 16th, 2018

From Inside Higher Education
You Probably Believe At Least One of These 5 Student Loan Myths — Here’s the Truth
A recent survey from Student Loan Hero showed most borrowers harbor a lot of misconceptions about how to handle the debt, from believing you’re automatically off the hook of paying off your loans if you can’t find a job after graduation, to thinking that student loans don’t impact your credit score. (Business Insider, May 14)

3 Ways College Students Can Improve The Environment With Their Diet

May 16th, 2018

By Kari Oakley

More and more these days, college students are looking for ways to reduce their carbon footprints. Some of these students even choose their university based on its commitment to all things green.

If you count yourself among the college students who want to do something tangible to improve the environment, your diet is a good place to start. It’s also impactful, if you think about it. After all, most people eat at least three meals a day. A change in diet represents one of the most direct ways that you can give the environment a boost.

Here are three ways that a change in diet or a change in your approach to food growth and consumption can improve the environment.

 

1. Learn From Experts

College students can embark on their quest for environmental improvement by learning about the work of experts like Jordan Rubin. Rubin has created a plan that will help heal the food system over a seven-year period.

His ideas include farming using the concept of permaculture. That is to say, his farming techniques utilize the rotation of plants so that the soils have an chance to replenish themselves.

This expert also suggests that more food forests be grown each year. The forests capitalize on a layered approach to food growth, with plants like cherry trees covering the highest levels, hazelnut shrubs covering the mid-level, and blackberry shrubs covering the lower levels. Medicinal mushrooms and edible fungi make up the forests’ floors.

Students interested in learning more about Rubin’s efforts can study his work and implement some of his programs in order to grow their own food or to shop at places that employ his ideas.

 

2. Shop Locally for Food

Shopping locally has a big impact on the environment. Doing so saves 1.1 billion gallons of fossil fuels each year, because it reduces the need for long-distance food transport.

Currently, the U.S. ships and transports more than two trillion dollars in products to over 150 countries annually. College students who concentrate their food shopping efforts locally find delicious foods at local farmer’s markets and small farms. This reduces the amount of time that the food has to be transported, which saves fuel.

 

3. Eat Vegan and Vegetarian

The greenhouse gas emissions caused by livestock is greater than the emissions that come from those cars, trucks, and other vehicles. Lamb and beef production creates emissions that run 250 times higher than say, the production of legumes. Pork and poultry run 40 times higher.

College students interested in curbing this trend can do something very simple to stop it. They can adopt a vegan diet, or at least one that predominantly features plants over everything else. For example, a diet that combines pescetarian, Mediterranean, or vegetarian diet principles, including veganism, could help decrease the projected 80% increase in greenhouse gases that are expected by the year 2050. And of all the diets, the vegetarian and vegan diets offer the most significant help to the environment.

Those wanting to transition to a vegetarian or vegan diet can do so by educating themselves about the various diets that are out there. They can slowly add all plant-based meals into their diet, starting with maybe one or two meatless meals a week.

Final Thoughts on Improving the Environment With Diet

A change in diet can have a profound impact on a person’s health as well as on the environment, and many college students today are leading that charge. For those who haven’t yet implemented dietary changes to help the planet, there are a few things that can be done right away.

First, these environmentally conscious students can learn from experts. These people are on the cutting edge of food production: Many times, their specialties lie in creating environmentally-friendly farms and food plans.

Second, college students can make sure that they eat from local sources. This practice alone would stop the use of billions of gallons of fossil fuels each year.

Finally, adopting a vegetarian or vegan diet not only improves a person’s lifespan, but is better for the environment than almost any other sustainability plan. Even adding just a few meatless meals a week can greatly reduce a person’s carbon footprint over the course of a lifetime.

Kari Oakley is a fitness trainer from Kenosha Wisconsin. She now lives in downtown Chicago, and loves to get out. She is a big fan of anything adventure, and loves getting a workout in the outdoors.

 

 

3 Techniques You Can Use to Have a Successful Internship This Summer

May 15th, 2018

BY JAMIE TURNER

If you’re like many college students, you have plans for an internship this summer. That’s terrific — internships are a great way for you to get practical experience and to build up business connections that will pay off when you graduate. And even if your “internship” is working at Starbucks or being a lifeguard for the summer, there are plenty of things you’ll learn along the way that will help you in the years to come.

You’re probably interested in learning a few techniques to ensure your internship is a success this summer. With that in mind, here are a few tips to get you going.

 Begin with the end in mind

You might have heard a professor or one of your parents say begin with the end in mind. It’s a concept that was popularized in Steven Covey’s classic The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. Here’s how it works – research indicates that when people have a specific outcome in mind, they’re more likely to achieve that outcome. In other words, if they visualize a positive result before they start doing the work, the odds that the endeavor will be a good for everyone improve. And even if the desired outcome changes along the way, people find that having an end goal in mind when they start makes the journey more enjoyable and fruitful.

What are some outcomes that you might consider for your internship? Here are several thought starters:

 

  • At the end of my internship, I would like to have a better understanding of how the theories I’m taught in school are applied in the real world.
  • At the end of my internship, I would like my employer to consider me as a candidate for a full-time job.
  • At the end of my internship, I would like to have a better sense of whether this industry is one I would enjoy.

No matter what outcome you’re looking for, the key is to have an end goal in mind when you start the internship. It’s okay if the goal evolves or changes along the way – that’s pretty common – but don’t walk through the doors on your first day without having thought through what it is you want to accomplish over the summer.

Be a self-starter

Don’t be surprised if on the first day or your internship you feel a little lost or out of place. That’s normal and to be expected. By day two or three, you should have a pretty good comfort level of what they want from you and what you can expect from the internship. Once you get comfortable in your new role, here’s a tip to help you stand out from the run-of-the-mill interns – be a self-starter. In other words, don’t sit on your hands waiting for instructions or permission from your boss. A lot of times, they’ve got pressures of their own that are making them a little pre-occupied, so they won’t always be around to tell you what to do next.

If your boss is pre-occupied, that’s actually an opportunity for you to shine. For example, you might have noticed that your boss is trying to get up-to-speed on a new client’s business. If that’s the case, do some homework on Google and write a short, one-page backgrounder on the new client’s industry. Your boss will appreciate it. Or, your boss might have asked you to run a Facebook campaign to help drive more prospects to their business. If that’s the case, you might run the Facebook campaign, and also show your boss how they can also run a campaign on LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest.

The key idea is to take the assignment that you’ve been given and do 10% or 15% more than they asked. Don’t wait for permission. Instead, just do it. They’ll be grateful for your extra work.

Don’t be afraid to ask for feedback

Feedback is your friend. Don’t be afraid of it. Once your boss has had the opportunity to work with you for about a week, find a moment when they don’t look busy and say something along the lines of, “I’m really enjoying myself this summer and appreciate the opportunity. Do you any input or feedback on things I can improve and things I’m doing well at?”

By opening the door to constructive criticism, you’re letting your employer know that you’re 1) mature, 2) ambitious, and 3) eager to make a good impression. Just be sure you ask for feedback at the right moment. If your boss looks busy or stressed, then it’s best to wait until they’re more relaxed and ready to spend a few minutes providing feedback.

 In conclusion

Keep in mind that you can learn something from every job you have, whether it’s working on Wall Street or working in an ice cream parlor. Every job has value and every job can teach you about the world of business. So no matter where you land this summer, make the best of it. And if you are working at an ice cream parlor this summer, make sure you’re the best, friendliest, hardest-working ice cream scooper there ever was.

About the Author: Jamie Turner is an author, speaker, and the CEO of 60SecondMarketer.com. He is also an adjunct instructor at the University of Texas and Emory University.

 

 

International Students in the USA: Things to Avoid

May 14th, 2018

BY MELISSA BURNS

Going to study abroad is an incredible experience that can significantly broaden your horizons and greatly influence your future life. However, being an international student in the USA is not all fun and games – there are many problems ranging from culture shock and language barrier to quite real risks and dangers. If you want your stay in the USA to be fun and instructive, better learn about potential don’ts beforehand.

1.    Neglecting to Research the University’s Location before Choosing It

If you don’t check where exactly you are going, you may find yourself facing challenges you are not ready for. Potential problems include difficulties adapting to life on a large campus, not being able to handle the cost of living in the city you go to, having to live in a small town not used to foreigners, not having enough work opportunities and so on. Before you make a choice decide what you need and find out everything you can about your variants.

2.    Not Keeping Your Documents in Order or Leaving Them at Home

The United States is very particular about who they want and don’t want to enter the country, hence an enormous amount of forms, documents, permits and other papers that have to be in order if you want to cross the border effortlessly. Long before your departure, you should check your Visa status, ESTA, make sure your passport is valid and that you have a copy of I-109 SEVIS Fee receipt and any other documents that you may need.

3.    Keeping to Yourself or Other Students from Your Country

One of the main purposes of living and studying in another country is mingling with people from different cultures. It is especially important if you intend your stay in the USA to help you master English better – if you only talk to people sharing your native language you will never get better at English.

4.    Failing to Understand the Nature of Plagiarism and Academic Rules

The concept of plagiarism and rules associated with it can be wildly different in different countries, so make sure you understand what your college’s stance on it is. Talk to your professors on the subject, study the guidelines and don’t be ashamed of asking too many questions – it is much better than getting kicked out of university for breaking rules you didn’t realize were here.

5.    Failing to Learn Your Surroundings

One of the first things to do once you arrive and settle down should be exploring the local area – both by going around and through asking the locals. You should find out where everything is situated if there are any dangerous areas to be avoided if there are places where you shouldn’t be after certain hours and so on. Thus you will both know where to go if you need something specific and decrease the likelihood of getting into trouble through your ignorance.

6.    Neglecting Your Classes and Orientation

The first few weeks you spend in the new country you are probably going to have a lot of fun meeting new people, making friends and going places, but it doesn’t mean that you should forget that what you’ve come here for is studying. Looking at the locals you may get an impression that they do nothing but socialize and party, but don’t let this impression fool you – Americans believe in getting things done, and even if you don’t see it, they actually work, and professors expect work from you as well. So make sure you go to classes and student orientations religiously and do all the assignments you are given.

Perhaps these tips won’t automatically guarantee you a successful stay in the USA, but following them will certainly help.

Melissa Burns graduated from the faculty of Journalism of Iowa State University. Nowadays she is an entrepreneur and independent journalist. Follow her @melissaaburns or contact at burns.melissaa@gmail.com

 

 

 

Jobs After College: Look At Company Culture, Overall Pay, and Benefits

May 11th, 2018

BY MIKKI MILLS

When college finishes and you are ready to enter the real world, it can seem intimidating. There are many factors that go into a great job when searching, and oftentimes pay is not the most important one. When interviewing for positions it is important to look at company culture, overall pay, and benefits. Benefits are often overlooked when looking at job offers because it’s hard to look past the salary you will soon be receiving. Here are some benefits that you should be asking potential employers about to get a better idea of the advantages of working for that company.

Health Insurance

If you’re among the millions of uninsured Americans, talk to your employer about getting health insurance. According to PeopleKeep, employers with at least 50 full-time employees are required by law to offer health insurance to their employees. Failure to comply with this law results in a tax penalty.

Some companies go above and beyond to provide exceptional health insurance to their employees. The online domain registrar GoDaddy pays 100 percent of employees’ premiums as well as 50 percent of their family members’ premiums. The social media network Twitter also offers top-notch health insurance. According to Glassdoor, Twitter covers 100 percent of employees’ premiums while also paying for vision and dental coverage. Regardless of the company for which you work, you should inquire about health insurance. It’s one of the many benefits of working as an employee.

Wellness Program

In addition to health insurance, some employers offer wellness programs for their employees. This voluntary program encourages employees to exercise and make smarter dieting choices, typically in exchange for rewards. Participating in a wellness program can help employees combat chronic disease, maintain a healthy weight, stop smoking and more.

Overtime Compensation

Consider clocking extra hours at work. Under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), your employer may be legally required to pay you more for these long weeks. As explained by the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL), most workers classified as employees can receive overtime compensation of 150 percent or more of their regular wages for every additional hour they work in a 40-hour week. If you normally earn $20 per hour and work 50 hours in a week, for example, you’ll earn at least $30 per hour for the last 10 hours. Employees who earn more than $455 per week, however, are considered exempt unless otherwise stated by state laws, thus making them ineligible for overtime compensation.

Paid Vacation

While there’s no federal or state law requiring employers to provide employees with paid vacation, many employers offer this incentive. The BLS says that nearly one-quarter of employees are eligible for paid vacations. Unfortunately, many of these employees aren’t aware of this benefit, resulting in a missed opportunity for a free vacation. Whether you want to take a trip to the beach or simply lounge around the house for a lazy weekend, you should take advantage of paid vacation if it’s offered by your employer.

Providing employees with paid vacation is often a challenge for employers. They must keep track of employees’ vacation days, adding or removing them when necessary. Vacation tracking software, however, can simplify this task. It provides a simple, easy-to-use interface in which employers can track their employees’ paid vacation days.

Relocation Assistance

You might be surprised to learn that many employers offer relocation assistance for their employees. Also known as a relocation package, it may include moving, housing, storage, transportation and other related expenses. If your job requires you to move, check to see if your employer offers relocation assistance. This is an easy way to offset the otherwise high cost of moving.

These are just a few benefits of working as an employee. After talking to your employer or human resources (HR) manager, you’ll probably discover other benefits.

Mikkie is a freelance writer from Chicago. She has a passion for advanced learning, reading, and health and fitness. She is also a mother of two who loves sharing her ideas on education, learning, health, fitness and yoga. When she’s not writing, she’s chasing the little ones around or can be found at the local climbing gym or doing yoga.

 

 

Strategic Thinking: Develop It In College For Future Success

May 10th, 2018

BY SYLVIA KOHL

Strategic thinking is among the highest-valued skills on any employer’s list, yet there is far less unanimity as to what this term means. How does one achieve it is even less obvious – and these two questions are exactly what we will tackle here.

In its most general definition, having strategic thinking means being able to analyze a situation, separate important from unimportant, properly prioritize your actions and make the most reasonable decisions possible in a current situation based on known info.

Despite it being such important skills, colleges rarely make conscious efforts toward developing it in students – which means that you should take matters into your own hands.

1.    Broaden Your Horizons

The mental outlook of people capable of strategic thinking is often described as T-shaped. T’s vertical bar represents deep and constantly deepening knowledge and professionalism in their primary area of expertise. The horizontal bar represents the breadth of their knowledge, often seemingly unrelated to their core competencies. Knowing things outside your central area of expertise will give you a broader outlook on life and the ability to make decisions based on a bigger picture.

2.    Try Social Trading

In short, social trading means copying financial transactions made by professional investors on the scale available to you. This way, even if you have no experience whatsoever in finance, economy and the stock market, you will be able to follow the success of those who know what they are doing. The idea has been around for quite some time, but it is the development of the Internet that made it possible for almost anybody (a step-by-step guide by InvestinGoal explains it in more detail).

It is beneficial for strategic thinking for two reasons. Firstly, it puts you in a position where you can follow the actions of those more financially capable than you are. Secondly, it teaches you to see patterns that, in the course of time, will help you make better long-term decisions.

3.    Volunteer to Lead a Project

By taking a leading role in a project done by several students, each with his own special strengths and weaknesses, you will be forced to learn how to work in a team, take these individual features into account, solve inevitable problems on the fly, take responsibility and think out of the box. If you are hesitant to challenge yourself this way, it means that you should do it all the more.

4.    Always Look for New Training Opportunities

One of the primary characteristics of a strategic thinker is being a life-long learner rather than one satisfied with status quo. The education you are getting in college is going to be barely enough to get you anywhere in the professional world – and, at the same time, while you are in college, you have a treasure-trove of opportunities to learn. Seminars, lectures by visiting professors and well-known specialists in their fields, additional courses – if you see anything offered by your college that can come in handy in your career, grab it.

5.    See World through the Eyes of Other People

Discuss your ideas with other people. What is even more important, try to talk to people who think differently from you, who had different life experiences and came from different backgrounds. The greater the differences between you, the more valuable will be the insights brought by them – and the more often you communicate with people who are wildly different from you, the more capable you will be of breaking free from your ingrained and often subjective thought processes.

Of course, developing strategic thinking isn’t limited to any several techniques – but these approaches will give you a good start.

Sylvia Kohl is an IT teacher with more than 8 years of professional experience. Her main spheres of interest are e-education and she convinced that learning process doesn’t stop after years in school and university.

 

Outside the classroom: finding college life balance

May 9th, 2018

BY ANTON LUCANUS

When you’re going in university, you’re more scared than excited. Just like any first day at school, you don’t really know what to expect. In addition, there’s a lot more riding on you then when you went to elementary school. Universities aren’t grading you with gold stars and a snack-size bag of animal crackers, instead, they’re grading you with intense essays, class participation, and exams. But, this isn’t the moment where you need to freak out. In fact, your university experience, for the most part, is going to be a great one. However, there are some helpful advice you should take with you before university. That way, you don’t make rookie mistakes.

Know your downfalls

Before going to university, you want to mentally prepare yourself. This doesn’t mean you need to meditate on a daily basis, but walking into university being self-aware will put you ahead of the rest. Knowing where your personal downfalls are will help you become more aware both your studies and social life. For example, if you’ve known for some years that you struggle with math, then going to a facility such as Kids Academy Talented & Gifted, which is a learning support facility will help you identify your strengths and weaknesses. By doing so, you’re able to work on the areas which need improvement.

Don’t be scared to try new things

When you’re in high school, there’s an unwritten code you abide by. You wear what’s trendy and popular, you eat certain foods which your friends approve of, and you follow what the influential people are you do. We’ve all done this, so, it’s nothing new. However, when you enter university, you’re unshackled from that mindset. Your friends all went to different schools and most likely you don’t know anyone in your classes. Which is a great advantage to you as you’re now able to think freely about your hobbies and interests. University is that place where you can try different activities out, experiences different cultures, and meet a diverse group of people.

Take time off

You may be feeling immense pressure to enter university and complete your degree, however, this shouldn’t be something you’re forced to do. For many people, they feel that they’re simply not ready to take post-secondary education seriously, so, instead, they opt for travelling or working. Taking time off between high school and university can help you bring more self-awareness to your future goals and dreams. Most of us don’t know what we want to do with our lives, so there’s no need to rush.

Focus on your relationships

Of course, you have to study and there will be plenty of time to do that in the next four years. But, don’t forget to build relationships. You need to meet new people and make friendships. You’ll need to find the balance between socializing and studying, however, it’s completely possible. You will rarely have the opportunity to be surrounded by people that are like-minded. This is the time to build relationships with people you actually want to spend time with. Remember, this isn’t high school anymore.

 

Keep your finances in check

When you’re a student, money isn’t pouring in. Instead, you may be working a part-time job or have your parents send you a small allowance every month, so you want to maximize your finances as much as possible. Well, schools and financial institutions are all aware of this. Many institutions offer support services and discounts for students. In addition, use the other supports available to you. Record your budget via a mobile app and ensure that all your banking is accessible on your phone.

Talk to the profs

You may be thinking that officer hours is for teacher’s pet, but those hours is where you’re getting one-on-one attention with your professor. Build a rapport with your professors and communicate effectively with them. Professors aren’t there just to regurgitate information to you, they’re there to help you understand the material that’s given to you. Spend the time in speaking to your profs, going to their office hours, and, building a rapport. When you’re applying for a grant or a job, having them as a reference will certainly do you justice.

Communicate

You may be living with a roommate and depending on how it goes, you may not be having that roommate for too long. Here’s the thing though, most of our problems can be solved with communication. In high school, this tool is rarely used, however, now it’s the time to start working on this skill. If you’re able to walk out of university with the ability to communicate effectively and conflict resolve, well, then you left with a valuable skill in your hands.

You’re not the only one

You’re going to feel a spectrum of emotions ranging from happiness to sadness, however, this is completely normal. Of course, you’re going to experience ups and downs, you’re entering into a new environment without your usual support team. Yes, your parents are still by your side, but they’re not literally by your side at school. So, when you’re feeling down, just know that everyone else in university has felt the same way as you at one point.

Byline – Anton Lucanus is the Director of Neliti. During his college years, he maintained a perfect GPA, was published in a top cancer journal, and received many of his country’s most prestigious undergraduate scholarships. Anton writes for The College Puzzle as a means to share the lessons learnt throughout his degree and to guide current students to achieve personal and educational fulfilment during college life.