Posts published in April, 2015

The Changing Ecology Of Higher Education

By Carol Christ, UC Berkeley

Michael Kirst and Mitchell Stevens’ recent book, Remaking College: The changing ecology of higher education, asks nothing less than that we reconceive the character of American higher education.

They believe that our attention to elite colleges has led us to ignore the schools doing the lion’s share of undergraduate instruction – community colleges, comprehensive public universities and for-profit institutions.

Such attention has also blinded us to changes in patterns of early adulthood. Many students move in and out of college, integrating their education into complex personal and work lives. They are older, and they often attend school part-time.

By imagining the traditional college student as the norm – the student who goes to a residential college, away from home, immediately after graduating from high school, and who completes his or her degree in four full-time years – we distort the picture of American higher education and fail to attend adequately to the needs of the invisible majority of students.

The subtitle of Kirst and Stevens’ book – “the changing ecology of higher education” – is methodologically significant. They insist that higher education is an ecology – “as comprising myriad service providers, instructional and administrative labour, funders and regulators interacting in a messy system of educational production”.

They feel we must attend to this ecology if we are to make adequate sense of the enormous changes unsettling higher education. They are critical of the methodologies that social scientists have used to study higher education – cohort analysis, assuming linear models of students moving through college, models that fit well with an interest in social mobility and with linear regression analysis.

Even the traditional classification of colleges and universities, developed by the Carnegie Foundation and now reified in ranking systems such as US News & World Report, has a distorting impact, the book argues, as schools may have membership in a number of different categories.

Although there may be homogeneity among elite research universities, lower-tier broad access institutions have much more heterogeneity. Our classification system obscures these differences and even exerts a normative force.

Imagining the future

Remaking College is a collection of essays by a group of writers on higher education whom Kirst and Stevens assembled, with the support of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, to engage in a series of discussions on “the fate and future of US higher education at this moment in history”.

They chose the most provocative writers they could identify, regardless of field, and asked them to reimagine “how the study of college might be pursued in light of the seismic changes taking place in US higher education”.

Although attention to digital technologies is not absent from the book – indeed, one of its most provocative essays, by Anya Kamenetz, is entitled “DIY U”, about a future world in which students may be able to create their own degrees from online resources – this is not primarily a book about college in the cloud. Rather, it seeks to shift our attention to broad access institutions and the students who attend them.

Our attention to making the student bodies of elite colleges and universities more diverse, Regina Deil-Amen argues in her essay, excludes and makes invisible the realities of most non-traditional students with non-traditional pathways, thus narrowing the diversity agenda.

Invisible students

Kirst and Stevens address their book principally to scholars in the field of higher education. They call for a different research agenda, one that attends to the complexity and messiness of the higher education “system” in the United States, that seeks to understand how it is changing, and that focuses attention on the invisible majority of students and strategies to help them succeed. However, anyone interested in US higher education can learn much from this book.

Indeed, Kirst and Stevens raise the question of whether the greater public scrutiny devoted to higher education may lead to a kind of governmental intervention that has been more characteristically exercised in K-12 (primary and secondary education).

Kirst’s essay in this volume analyses the conditions that led to policy changes in K-12 and speculates about those that might lead to governmentally initiated changes in higher education.

Accreditation, Kirst and Stevens believe, is a weak coercive instrument; they wonder whether what they term a “policy window” may open for governmentally mandated policy changes in higher education.

For the prospective student coming from outside the United States, Remaking College gives a richer, fuller and more complex sense of the landscape of American higher education – the ecology as Kirst and Stevens term it. It thus may lead to a broader sense of choices, although this is not a book about college choice.

It also provides a fuller understanding of the space college occupies in adult lives, as one factor in a web of interdependencies.

“Lives today have irregular rhythms,” Richard Settersten Jr argues in his essay “The New Landscape of Early Adulthood”. Four-year institutions, in his view, are not the only route to a successful adulthood.

Perhaps international students, like domestic students, may take more advantage of “the most varied and flexible academic ecology the world has ever known”.

Carol Christ is director of the Center for Studies in Higher Education, or CSHE, University of California, Berkeley, USA.

Job Searching:Where Should Graduates Start From?

By Julie Petersen


Over the years, the job market has become more and more challenging to the freshly graduate students. Graduates are finding a hard time when it comes to getting their first time employment. According to the infographic about popular professions among grades, in addition to giving information about the most popular jobs, it also gives the stats about the challenge faced by graduate students in relation to their job search. Out of a possible 100%, only 50% managed to become employed on a full time basis.

How to get started   

A strategy is required when it comes to searching for a job whether you are looking for your first or the tenth job. You need to know where to start, acquaint yourself with the industries that are hiring and make the most of the different social media channels. The fact that the world’s economy is not currently at its best, jobs are becoming hard to find with time and it will only take those with the will power to succeed and the enthusiasm to push through to land on a lucrative job opportunity. Even with that said, the job market is not all desolate. If you come up with a good strategy to approach the job market, you’ll not only land a stimulating job but get one that is in line with your passion and interest. Preparations should start early enough; probably while on your last semester of college. This will get you psychologically prepared for the real world.    

a)    Focus on getting a job that will help you land a your dream job

If your attention is to entirely land your dream job, chances are that you might get frustrated along the way if in case it takes you longer than you hard anticipated. You need to start somewhere. While still having your dream job in mind, as a freshly graduate, you may want to consider lowering your expectations and land a job that will in turn springboard you to your dream job. This will not make or break your career but most certainly it will help you in the meantime. What you need to know is that choosing your first job is not an automatic indication of your future. Use that opportunity to explore the different fields and possibly build your network.

b)    Make arrangements to meet up with career services  

As a job seeker, you need to make this your top priority because these career services are a wealth of experience. These services can provide you with information regarding to internal job boards and self-assessment tests among others. Perhaps one of their most lucrative service which they offer is to link you with career experts who will you a lot when it comes to reviewing your CV, help you with your 90 second pitch, conduct mock interviews and help you to link up with your alumni.

c)     Establish your network

Anyone doing an active job search needs to consider everyone they interact with as a potential network source because you just never know where your conversation with them will take you. Whenever you get a chance, mention what you are thinking about to your peers, professors and even you fellow students. Failing to do so is a critical mistake that might cost you. To increase your chances of landing your first job after college, you need to establish your connections as early as possible. Use social media to find new contacts concerning your job search, where Linkedin is considered to be one of the most effective networks to establish connections.

d)    Pick a career

You need to know what you really want to pursue as your career so that it becomes easier for you to lay your foundation. If you feel sort of stuck over your career path, you might want to consider doing research on the companies and the roles you feel you are best suited for. After identifying this, you can then start building it. You need to build on your experience if you want to be successful with all your career goals.

These are basic but a few of the tips that can help a graduate student with their first job search. Besides the above, you also need to know how to write a captivating graduate CV, know how to draft a cover letter and know how to approach interviews.

Author’s Bio

Julie Petersen is a young blogger and writer, who features the latest educational and career trends in her writings. At present time she works at as a writing consultant and a blog editor.

Why Colleges Should Care About Common Core

BY Harold Levine and Michael Kirst For Education Week

Now that the Common Core State Standards in English/language arts and mathematics have been adopted in much of the country, states are busy with their implementation. We have no doubt that, over time, these new K-12 standards will produce larger numbers of college-ready (and career-ready) students—as promised. College-bound freshmen can expect to head off to their colleges of choice ready for the deeply engaging learning experiences that await them.

Or can they? We are concerned that the common-core learning experiences of these students can be a bridge to a more enriching educational experience only if the colleges and universities they are entering are ready for them. For the most part, we have doubts that they are.

Our observations and conversations with colleagues nationally indicate that, in general, higher education has only recently begun to appreciate the breadth of the potential impacts of the common core on their own practices, from admissions to instruction to student outcomes. In a recent letter to California’s state board of education, the leaders of all four public and private higher education segments wrote to affirm their support for the implementation of the common core: “We believe California’s implementation of the common-core standards and aligned assessments has the potential to dramatically improve college readiness and help close the preparation gap that exists for California students.”

Such across-the-board, state-level higher education support for a set of K-12 standards makes history, certainly in California and quite likely in the nation. Even so, California is not alone in higher education in making a public commitment to the common core; the Association of American Colleges and Universities, the Association of Public and Land-Grant Universities, and a new organization named Higher Ed for Higher Standards, among others, have signed on. The support seems to be growing, despite state and local politics around state standards and high-stakes assessments tied to accountability.

In fact, higher education is increasingly coming to focus on what many of the proponents of the common core had hoped would be the positive outcomes of its adoption for colleges and universities: the reduction of remediation and associated costs, the alignment of standards of the two systems, a way to benchmark the high school common-core assessments for admissions and placement purposes, and the opportunity to rethink the curricula used in teacher education programs.

“The common-core learning experiences of college-bound students can be a bridge to a more enriching educational experience only if the institutions they are entering are ready for them.”

It is also true that some faculty members are familiar with the common core because they had a role in shaping the standards. Others have a voice in their states in defining what “college readiness” means in the new assessments. And the research of many academicians was used both to identify college-ready knowledge and skills that would be central to the common core and to help construct new testing regimens consistent with the new standards. Finally, in some states—including California’s two- and four-year systems—faculty members are having a role in setting the criteria for course and subject-matter admissions requirements in English and mathematics that align with the common core.

So far, so good. But we have a different concern, one that stems from the historical disjuncture and lack of alignment between K-12 and higher education. As common-core implementation continues to expand and evolve in the K-12 system, how are the thousands of higher education faculty members who teach freshman and sophomore courses in English and mathematics (and the sciences, of course) preparing for their newly admitted students (roughly 3.3 million first-time freshmen projected for 2016), who will almost certainly have different expectations of what and how they learn and are taught? It is worrisome that we do not yet see the broad-based discussions, let alone planning initiatives, among either higher education leaders (including deans and department chairs) or, especially, their faculties and academic senates, to alter the curriculum or the pedagogy for all those introductory courses to take advantage of the new style of learning and teaching engendered by the common core.

An informed and engaged faculty is crucial to the success of common-core implementation. That’s why California was awarded a grant by the National Governors Association to focus on the role of higher education in this transition. The project has brought together representatives of the governor’s office, legislature, department of education, commission on teacher credentialing, and the four higher education systems to convene as a state team. The team identified a need for better communication with faculty members about the expectations for more rigor and instructional complexity within the standards, and assessment-system goals and expectations before institutions can begin to think seriously about the implications for placement; curricular alignment; and other complex, related matters.

What will be characteristic of common-core students entering college are learning experiences featuring more inquiry-based learning and collaborative problem-solving, sequenced skills by grade level and learning across the curriculum, and more hands-on work. In addition to the essential skills in math, students will focus on “conceptual” math, that is, understanding the reasoning behind the correct problem solution rather than the algorithm. They will also have experienced applying mathematical concepts to real-world problems, and will have been focused on fewer subject areas. Finally, students will be used to testing on computers and, in states with testing developed by the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium, testing that is adaptive.

These are not likely to be the skill sets or course-taking experiences called for in the majority of today’s college-level freshman and sophomore courses. Rather, these tend to be large-enrollment, minimally interactive, and textbook-based. For the sciences, there is likely to be a lab section, but as an adjunct to the lectures and where the experiments have known outcomes. Memorization of materials in the arts and sciences at the college level is critical to performing well on tests, as is performing procedures.


Visit Opinion.

The shortcomings of undergraduate instruction, particularly in the sciences, have been known and debated for some time. Such peerless professional organizations as the American Physical Society, the American Chemical Society, and the American Institute of Biological Sciences have all raised important questions about undergraduate teaching in their fields. The Howard Hughes Medical Institute has for a number of years sponsored a grant competition to try to change the trajectory of life sciences curricula and pedagogy. In a similar vein, the Mathematical Association of America and the American Mathematical Society have demonstrated interests in changing undergraduate teaching to make mathematics more accessible to students; both have formally supported the common core for mathematics. Finally, for the last several years, the annual conference of the Modern Language Association has had sessions that discuss how the common core will affect introductory college courses.

The support of all of these professional organizations, as well as foundations and government agencies such as the National Science Foundation, is critical to any changes in how undergraduate education is delivered. If leaders in the disciplines decry current teaching and curricular practices, there is a real likelihood for change and much-needed alignment with the common core’s principles.

We believe that with the support at the classroom level by university faculty and departments, and more concerted efforts toward the alignment of K-12 standards with higher education admission and “knowledge and skill” requirements, the common core that is implemented in our public K-12 schools will lead to a far more meaningful college learning experience for generations to come. It’s now time to ensure that when the common core creates more “college ready” students, the colleges they enter are ready for them—and what they know and don’t know, and how they have been taught to learn.

Harold G. Levine is the dean of the school of education at the University of California, Davis. Michael W. Kirst is the president of the California state board of education and a professor emeritus of education at Stanford University.

Discover the Reality of a Computer Science Major

By Melissa Burns


Are you deciding whether it’s a good idea to study Computer Science in college in order to become a software developer? Are you thinking about majoring in this field? You will be surprises how different the particular area is from how it is described throughout the media. So, here’s a short guide on the reality of computer science major.

The Bruce Almighty Effect

One of the first issues that students are attracted to within the industry is that they can create something that will stay there for good. Second goes an understanding that a lot of people will be able to get access to. And finally, the feeling of being a teacher of a really stupid makes them feel god-like. The whole point is that computers are absolutely stupid. At the same time, they are exceptionally good at following the instructions. Moreover, they do everything from A to Z. If you know how to ‘communicate’ with the PC in its special language and you can make the machine do whatever you want, that’s truly precious.

You Decompose Everything. Here and Now.

Once you’re a computer science major, your skills of problem solving are getting better. No matter what is the nature of the task you receive or the issue you have to deal with, you make sure to break in down: what part of the job will take the most of your time? How can one effectively choose priorities in order to avoid wasting time? Actually, you should be ready to be the one that your parents will approach when they need the phones of TV to be fixed. And you, in turn, will deal with it as a software problem. You will define the main symptoms of the problem, understand how the whole system works and then find the right solution.

Software Development Is Nothing without Experiments.

The point is that experimentation is a key within the industry. You have to really get into the process, mess around with it. Sometimes it can lead to breaking something that worked perfectly before. However, the great thing about software development field is that in return, you will definitely master new skills. Of course, there are moments, when you feel like leaving everything and working in accordance with good old rules, but…don’t you think that it’s a lot better to try something new and then play around with it?

Doubts Here, Doubts There…

Being a major in the software development is pretty challenging and that is one of the reasons why so many people refuse to dive into it. You will most likely face with the everyday doubts regarding the accuracy of your decision. And when you see your little nephew doing the same, you will definitely be ready to give it up. But the truth is that no one likes to talk about all the difficulties for the reason that they do not want to even think about it. But that’s totally OK to cast doubts on your career choice, but remember – you will never get anywhere unless you try!

So, if you’re someone, who is pondering over the future in that or this software development company, make sure to just do it! Don’t mind everyone who tells you can’t cope with it! Haters gonna hate. But that is not going to stop you, is it? And you will 100% feel the thrill of getting something to work just because of your efforts, proficient knowledge and belief in yourself!

Author’s bio:

Melissa Burns graduated from the faculty of Journalism of Iowa State University in 2008. Nowadays she is an entrepreneur and independent journalist. Her sphere of interests includes startups, information technologies and how these ones may be implemented in the sphere of education. You may contact Melissa via e-mail:

4 New Studies To Enhance College Success From MDRC

New Publication

In Search of a Match

A Guide for Helping Students Make Informed College Choices

This guide for counselors and advisers offers strategies for helping low-income high school students choose selective colleges that match their academic profiles, financial considerations, and personal needs. It tracks the many steps in the college search, application, and selection process, suggesting ways to incorporate a “match” focus at each stage.

Overview »    |    Full PDF »

New Issue Focus

College Match Advising for the Moderate- and High-Achieving Student

Promoting Knowledge, Sharing Advice, and Giving Support

In this two-page issue focus, five advisers from MDRC’s College Match project reflect on the range of issues facing the students they advised, and describe their efforts to provide informed advice and encouragement to students who may unknowingly underestimate their college options.

Overview »    |    Full PDF »

New Working Paper

Four-Year Effects on Degree Receipt and Employment Outcomes from a Performance-Based Scholarship Program in Ohio

This random assignment study examines the long-term impacts of a community college program offering financial aid that is contingent on academic performance. Focusing on low-income parents, mostly mothers, it finds that the program decreased the time it took students to earn a degree but did not increase employment or earnings.

Overview »    |    Full PDF »

New Issue Focus

Frequently Asked Questions About CUNY’s Accelerated Study in Associate Programs (ASAP)

MDRC’s evaluation of CUNY’s ASAP, which showed that the program is doubling the graduation rate of students who start with developmental needs, has gained a lot of attention. Here are some of the most frequently asked questions we’ve received about ASAP and the study — as well as their answers.

Overview »    |    Full PDF »

How To Write A Quality College Essay

By Steve Aedy

Essay writing is an essential part of college life. Some students will be lucky enough to have professors who will give them guidance on what makes a good essay. Others will be left to their own devices to figure it out as they fumble along. Learning to write good essays means learning how to research a subject and craft an argument. These are skills that will serve you well after college is over.

But quality essay writing has other elements too, such as making sure your essay “flows”, is free of grammar and spelling errors and has a tightly woven argument. Here are some tips on how you can improve your essay writing:

Read a lot of essays. Reading essays other people have written is a great way to study essay writing. Don’t just read for fun, read critically. Look at the author’s writing style: how do they introduce their topic, what tools do they use to formulate their argument? Is it effective? Could it be done better? If so, how? Did they leave anything important out? What would you include that they didn’t? The more you read essays, the more familiar you’ll become with different writing styles and the better your essays will become.

Do a lot of research. While you may have a strong opinion about a topic, it’s best to look to the experts in the subject to find out what they have to say. That’s basically the definition of research. Different scholars may have opposing views on the subject. You can explore these arguments in your essay to present the reader with a more complete view of the topic. An example is this article in which various experts express their arguments on whether or not Shakespeare was a Catholic. You may notice that the author does not express his personal opinion, but rather presents the arguments of both sides of the issue using quotes from authorities on the subject.

Use a thesaurus. Oftentimes, students get caught using the same word over and over again. This can become boring for the reader and sets a monotonous tone for your essay. In the above section on research, I used three different terms for the same idea: experts, scholars and authorities. A thesaurus is a great tool for helping you find new ways to express the same idea. Merriam-Webster has a combined dictionary-thesaurus resource and has the largest word bank on the web.

Use transition words. Transition words help your essay flow. The cadence and rhythm of transition words are what make your essay enjoyable to read. While the quality of your research and your information are important, it’s also important how you present them. Transition words add finesse to your essay and help guide the reader through your argument, allowing them to follow along. Here’s a great list of 100 transition words to use in your essays.

Leave time to edit. Editing takes time. Literally. It’s like baking a cake. You mix all the ingredients and put it in the oven, you let it rise, then you let it cool. Then, you eat it. You need to leave some time for your thoughts to cool so you can have some perspective on what you wrote. This is essential to the editing process. Leave at least a few hours between when you wrote your last sentence to when you go over it for an edit. During that time, your brain will have a chance to refresh itself, making it easier to spot holes in your logic, spelling and punctuation errors and other issues. You can also use these tips for editing.

Proofread. Make sure your essay contains correct spelling, punctuation and grammar. If you’re not confident in your own proofreading skills, have a friend look it over for you. One thing that helps you spot errors is reading your essay out loud. The eye often autocorrects when you’re reading to yourself, but reading out loud is a way to turn off the autocorrect and allow you to see what’s actually on the page. It’s a good practice to cultivate. Want to brush up on your grammar skills? Check out this list of common grammar mistakes.

Good luck crafting A+ essays and happy writing!

Steve Aedy is a professional writer, editor and passionate blogger. He provides essay writing assistance at Fresh Essays and covers academic writing and education in his articles. Feel free to circle him on Google+.

Why A New College Ranking System Matters

By Joe Deal

Over the past decade, a few major players have come to dominate the college rankings landscape. Most families are now aware of annual reports issued by publications such as U.S. News & World Report, Forbes, and the Daily Beast.

Unfortunately, when it comes to affordability, these rankings tell us less than the whole story. By ignoring important factors that contribute to the real-world cost of college (e.g. loan default rates), popular sites are skewing the picture for low-income students.

 In response, our team at College Affordability Guide (CAG) decided to create a new rankings formula for affordability – one that would include previously hidden factors. Can students earn credits outside of class? Do they graduate? Can they pay back their loans? These “opportunity” costs, we realized, may be just as important as financial payments.

 Eligibility Metrics

 We began our project by narrowing the field. Schools had to meet 4 key criteria to be considered for inclusion in a state or degree subject area:


  1. Average Net Price: An average net price, per year, of $15,000 (or less) for students receiving financial aid and whose annual family income is no more than $48,000.
  2. Credit Flexibility: The level of flexibility offered for earning credits (e.g. credit for prior learning, weekends/evenings, MOOCs, etc.).
  3. Loan Default Rate: A Cohort Default Rate of 13.7% or less.
  4. Success Rates: A combined graduation rate + transfer-out rate of 50% or more.


We reasoned these factors were critical in determining whether a college should be classified as affordable. By capping the annual family income for the average net price, we also avoided schools that use a significant portion of their financial aid to win over higher income students applying to competing institutions.


Data Analysis


Initially, we analyzed 10,000,000+ data points from 5,000+ degree-granting U.S. colleges and universities. Data were drawn from:


  • Sources operated by the federal government (e.g. IPEDS database, the Office of Postsecondary Education, etc.)
  • Competency-based education sources such as the College Board and – i.e. sources that told us which means of earning college credits outside of class, such as CLEP and DSST, schools accepted
  • Information on university and college websites, as well as conversations over the phone


Less than 10% of the 5000+ schools we inspected made it into our final rankings.


Ranking Calculations


Once we had determined which group of schools to consider for a state or degree subject area, each individual college or university was scored and ranked:


  • First, we calculated which percentile a school fell into, out of all the Title IV-eligible colleges and universities in the country, for each of our metrics (e.g. average net price).
  • Then we combined those percentile scores and translated them into two grades, “Getting In” and “Getting Out”, plus an overall net score.
  • Finally, we trimmed our lists to only show U.S. schools that our algorithm placed in the top 25% of all schools for affordability.

On the site, we display our rankings by both state and subject area (e.g. Engineering, Nursing, etc.)

 “So what?” we’ve heard some people ask. “Will a new ranking algorithm really make that much of a difference?” For those with a comfortable income, the answer is no. But if you’re returning to school or a student in a family that’s just scraping by, the answer is most definitely yes.

Conventional rankings hide the true costs of attending university. As college becomes more and more expensive, we owe it to low-income students to ensure they get into an affordable school and get out with a quality degree. The College Affordability Guide is intended to do just that.

Joe Deal, Founder, Degree Prospects /

Remaking Senior Year Of High School To Enhance College Prep

Goodbye to the wasted senior year
Forty-seven states are using college and career readiness assessments to overcome two challenges – the “wasted” senior year and high postsecondary remediation rates. This ECS Education Policy Analysis delves into how states identify 12th-graders in need of remediation and put interventions in place so  they can use their senior year to prepare for placement into credit bearing coursework. Additionally, 11th-graders demonstrating college readiness can do advanced coursework, earning college credit while still in high school.

ONE SYSTEM: Reforming Education to Serve All Students

Michael Kirst, Professor Emeritus of Stanford Graduate School of Education and President of the California State Board Of Education, comments on “ONE SYSTEM: Reforming Education to Serve All Students” report from the California’s Statewide Task Force on Special Education

4 Reasons Why Students Should Study Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

By Melissa Burns

We live in the world dominated by the Internet – whether you like it or not. And the predominant means of navigating through it are search engines – again, whether you like it or not. Which means that even if your future job has little to do with the Internet you will still do yourself a world of good by picking up at least the basic knowledge of how search engines work and how to make them work for you. Here are some reasons why.

1.     Internet Is Your Best Opportunity to Make Yourself Seen

Whether you start your own business, work as an independent specialist or look for employment in the company of your dreams, the Internet is your best shot at getting people to know you. Reaching out to potential customers or employers via traditional means of advertising is both prohibitively expensive and ridiculously inefficient. Internet allows you to do it at little to no cost and get to as many people as you want or need – but without the knowledge of SEO you will not be able to do so.

2.     Protection from Low Quality SEO Service Providers

Even if you are not going to work in this industry, you are more than likely to need SEO at one or another point of your life – for the aforementioned reasons. You may need it urgently – to set up a website that would attract customers to your shop, to organize your Internet presence to let potential employers about you, or something else entirely – and you will have no other way but to contact a SEO service provider. Now, if you have no idea how these things work, you will have to trust them blindly to do what is best for you – and in this case there is no guarantee that you won’t bump into a cheap, spammy SEO company who will ruin your online reputation. Knowing at least the basics will save you from it.

3.     Ability to Help Your SEO Provider

Ask any SEO provider, and he will tell you that working for a person who doesn’t know jack about how SEO works is pure hell. Such an employer doesn’t understand what is attainable and what isn’t, doesn’t provide the necessary information, makes unreasonable demands – and all this doesn’t simply makes the job of SEO specialist harder, it also makes it less effective. By having some knowledge of SEO you will become a valuable asset for your SEO provider capable to build up better professional relationships with them and organize your cooperation in a more efficient manner.

4.     Improvement of Your Career Prospects

When all is said and done, learning the intricacies of search engine optimization may really help you along in building up your career. Whether you end up actually using these skills on a professional basis doesn’t even matter all that much – the important thing is that it is yet another skill that looks great in your CV, that may come in handy now and then, that will help you create an image of yourself as a versatile specialist eager to learn new things. What’s more, you don’t have to spend four years in college to get real knowledge of the subject – signing up for a short course or even reading online manuals will be more than enough.

It would probably be an exaggeration to say that search engine optimization accompanies us in every aspect of our life, but not a very big one. As Internet achieves greater and greater dominance over traditional media, the ability to understand how information is found in it becomes more and more vital – and just as programming, it is one of the indispensable skills of tomorrow.

Author’s bio:

Melissa Burns  graduated from the faculty of Journalism of Iowa State University in 2008. Nowadays she is an entrepreneur and independent journalist. Her sphere of interests includes startups, information technologies and how these ones may be implemented in the sphere of education. You may contact Melissa via e-mail: