Archive for February, 2018

Tips To Write An Effective Persuasive Essay

February 28th, 2018

BY MELISSA BURNS

Writing a persuasive essay isn’t particularly difficult – as long as you clearly understand the purposes of this assignment type. A persuasive essay is supposed to present a point of view and provide a logical argument in its favor supported by facts, verifiable references to other sources and relevant statistics. Understand this, and you are already secure from half the mistakes people usually do when writing these essays. Most of the rest can be covered in these 5 points:

1.    Think about potential opposition

Every topic worth writing a persuasive essay about will have many viewpoints on it that are just as valid for those who share them as yours is for you. When researching the topic and gathering up arguments in your favor try to put yourself in the shoes of potential opposition. What would you say against this or that argument? Is it easy to refute? Is there evidence to the contrary? Then address these points in your paper.

2.    Deeper is better than broader

An essay is by definition very limited in terms of scope – usually, you will have no more than a few hundred of words to prove your point. Therefore, you should choose one fairly small point and cover it in as many details as such word count allows for – don’t try to deal with the entirety of the topic, it is what dissertations are for. This point is covered really well in Grad Coach blog if you want extra info.

3.    Imagine your audience

Your paper doesn’t exist in isolation – you write it to be read (or listened to) by a certain audience. Who are they? What viewpoint is the majority of them are likely to share? Are they likely to share your opinion or will they be opposed to it? How hard will it be to persuade them? What kind of arguments are they likely to listen to? Only after you take into account all these factors you will be able to tailor the paper to the audience and make sure you don’t use argumentation that will probably alienate or annoy your listeners.

4.    Keep to the point

If there is a lot of evidence in favor of your viewpoint, ask yourself if you will be able to present it all within the allotted word count. Is it realistic? Will you be able to give every piece of evidence the attention it deserves? If there isn’t enough space, try to sift through the available facts and ask yourself which part of the evidence is the most effective, efficient and impressive and which pales in comparison to the point that it will be a better decision to omit it altogether to give more attention to points that can really hammer your idea home. A couple of strong and well-covered arguments are much better than a mixed bowl of half a dozen proofs you can only spare a couple dozen words each.

5.    Ask for feedback

Get some feedback. Ideally, find somebody who doesn’t share your point of view on the subject matter and have them read your essay or read it to them yourself. Are they swayed in their opinion? Did your essay make them question their previous ideas? If they find your paper to be unconvincing, it may be a good reason to look for better arguments.

There is no surefire technique to make any persuasive essay a splendid one – some topics are just too divisive to effectively persuade anybody changes their point of view, and some audiences are just too unresponsive. But if you follow these suggestions, you will at least make sure you did everything in your power.

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

 

What can be done to help students better manage their health?

February 27th, 2018

For college students leaving the nest for the first time, there are a number of challenges that they will have to endure on their own. For most, that means learning to live with other people, managing their own schedules, and balancing work with school and other social activities.

It’s also a time when many students will be solely in charge of their medical appointments, prescriptions, and decisions about their diet and overall health. Unfortunately, for many students, managing their health is a challenge.

“Health is an area being neglected, yet all the available research show that healthy habits and healthy [students] can lead to better academic success. We are doing a disservice to our kids by not teaching them these essential life skills,” writes Brad Cardinal, a co-author of a health study at Oregon State University.

What can be done to help students better manage their health?

Get to Know the Resources Readily Available on Campus

First, students need to be aware of the resources that are already available to them on campus.

“Students hear 300 different things during a six-hour orientation,” Dr. Megan Moreno, associate professor of pediatrics at the University of Wisconsin tells NPR. “Many don’t remember or have a vague sense of what’s available, but can’t recall how to get help.”

These resources will, of course, vary from school to school. While larger state schools may have full-service facilities on their campuses, smaller schools may rely on community-based resources to provide care for their students. The advent of telehealth resources also makes it easier for students to connect with doctors and nurses at their university and beyond.

Understanding When to Seek Care

Many students also lack an understanding of when to seek medical care, what might constitute a medical emergency, and how to find a primary care physician. While infections should be treated right away, for example, ailments like a sprained ankle can typically wait a few days to be treated.

If they do seek treatment, it’s important that they have at minimum a basic understanding of how to handle their insurance, determine what is covered by their insurance carrier, and how to seek help in an emergency situation.

Take Charge of Their Health Through Preventative Care

Regular checkups, immunizations and screenings are an important part of staying healthy. But many students may be less inclined to regularly check in with their doctor if they’re feeling healthy. This is why promoting preventive healthcare treatment is so important.

“New evidence from a variety of surveys indicates that millennials, those between the ages of 18 and 34, differ from other generations in how they visit doctors and obtain medical care,” writes Matt Wotus, a healthcare reporter at Generation Progress. “The overall trend shows that Millennials are more likely skip doctor’s visits in favor of other priorities, in doing so using sources such as Google and WebMD before calling a primary care physician (PCP). Such behaviors have the possibility of endangering Millennials’ health and increasing the cost of health care down the road.”

Students ought to be encouraged to take charge of their health in order to live long, healthy lives.

Understanding Their Chronic Conditions

For students with chronic conditions that are managed by long-term medications, it’s even more important that they head to college fully informed on how their healthcare is managed. Specifically, they need to understand how to get medication refills, seek specialty care, or schedule further appointments.

Equally important is the need for students to be fully educated on why they are taking particular medications.

“Often, no one will have discussed indications and side effects, especially if a medication was started young. The early education went to parents, not the kids,” Dr. Laura Richardson, chief of adolescent medicine at the University of Washington tells NPR.

This advice goes twofold for students who may have conditions such as diabetes or asthma, who will likely have to juggle going to different doctors to have all of their needs met.

Prioritizing and Maintaining Mental Health

According to recent studies, colleges across the country are failing to keep up with a spike in demand for mental health services, leaving many students without the resources necessary to properly manage their mental health.

This is not only troubling for students who have preexisting mental health conditions, such as depression or anxiety, but also for the estimated 10 to 20 percent of U.S. college students that have an undiagnosed condition.

Should this be an issue on campus, students need to understand not only how to manage their mental health, but also how to go about finding an off campus provider, while also understanding the impact of alcohol, drugs, and lack of sleep on their overall mental well-being.

Overall health is one of the most important factors to student success in college and ought to be prioritized as students begin to head off to college. In doing so, students will not only be setting themselves up for a healthy future but will be putting themselves in the best place for their education.

Danika McClure is a writer and musician from the Northwest who sometimes takes a 30 minute break from feminism to enjoy a tv show. You can follow her on Twitter @sadwhitegrrl

How Working While Going to College Boosts Careers

February 26th, 2018

BY EMMA BONNEY

Ever since the 1990s, the U.S. have reported constant figures when it comes to the number of students who work while doing to college. Recent statistics show that more than 70% of students ages 25-34 balance school and a quarter of these have full time jobs. The most common reason for this decision is the need to support themselves financially. Because the U.S. educational system is not free, students who don’t benefit from a scholarship or parental support have a choice between getting a job or relying on student loans and, since the latter doesn’t exactly offer peace of mind, working while going to college becomes the wisest solution. However, this course of action does more than just help you avoid student debt. Spending your free time at work instead of hanging out with college mates might feel like punishment, but even if you don’t realize it now, you are helping your career in the long run. Here’s how:

 

Working through college teaches you a lot about time management

It’s not easy to balance college classes, exams, a job, hobbies, social life and sleep. Some only learn how to do this in their late 20s, after they get a master’s degree, but if you start early, you will adapt to a life with responsibilities faster and you will learn a lot about time management. Having less free time teaches you to prioritize what truly matters, so not only will you understand what things are important to you, but also deal with deadlines easier. You’ll find yourself procrastinating less, planning and allocating resources effectively and participating in less redundant activities.

You will gain valuable work experience

It is a sad fact of the current economic climate that employers are looking for people with unreasonable amount of experience even for entry level jobs, so a fresh graduate with zero work experience starts at a disadvantage. Working while in college gives you a head start, so that you won’t be completely inexperienced. Whether you want to get a promotion and continue working for your first employer or look for a different job, the chances of getting hired will be higher. Plus, you will also have some basic business knowledge and this might motivate you to learn how to start a business and become an entrepreneur yourself.

You will learn a lot about what you want to do in life

Graduating from college can be stressful as much as it is liberating. You’re finally free from grades and exams, but what happens next? Finding a job is the natural step, but that’s not so easy if you don’t know what you want to do yet. However, having even as little as a few months of work experience before graduating will help you understand yourself better: what field you want to work in, what your ideal schedule is, whether you’re an individual worker or a team player and so on. Knowing what you want from your career is the first step towards becoming an accomplished employee and you won’t waste precious time figuring out your ideal career profile.

A bit about myself:

Emma Bonney is a successful blogger whose articles aim to help readers with self-development, Women’s Empowerment, Education, entrepreneurship and content management.

How To Make Your Spring Break Trip Inexpensive Yet Comfortable

February 23rd, 2018

BY DAVID GUTIERREZ

Student years will most likely be your last opportunity to travel without worrying where you are going to have enough time off to do so. Unfortunately, what you will have to think about is how much the trip is going to cost – which is why any idea of keeping prices reasonable is welcome. So what can you do to keep within budget while staying comfortable?

 

1.    Take advantage of off-peak seasons

Each travel destination has its own peak seasons which may be quite different from place to place. If you visit them at off-peak periods you probably won’t experience all the attractions they boast during peaks, but much lower prices will offset this flaw. In addition to that, there are other advantages: a less popular period means fewer people, which is nice when you want to escape hustle and bustle. Some places get so deserted at off-peak seasons that you feel they belong to you in their entirety. And don’t forget about a rare opportunity to experience locations in their natural state, without touristy glazing-over.

2.    Travel light…

If you want to get the most out of your trip you shouldn’t be weighed down by a lot of luggage, especially if you don’t spend most of the time in one place but visit multiple locations. This way you will be able to simply keep all your possessions by yourself and go around exploring without having to worry about anything else.

3.    …but pack wisely

Remember that things (especially tourist-oriented stuff like sunscreen and beach towels at a tropical resort) can cost much more at your destination than it would have at home. Thus, it is often wiser to overpack than to spend your entire budget on things that you suddenly find out you need.

To keep your hands and mind free, find a luggage storage at your destination beforehand – it will allow you to have all the comforts of home without the need to lug them along with you all the time. Simply drop your bags at a convenient place, go off exploring and pick it up again when you need it.

4.    Book early

This has a twofold advantage: firstly, things like airfares are cheaper when bought long in advance, which will allow you to save money directly. Secondly, if you book everything you are going to need (airfares, hotels, car rentals…) months before going, you will be secure from finding out at the last moment that everything in your preferred price segment is filled and you have to either drastically change your itinerary or settle for a costlier and less convenient alternative.

5.    Look for student-oriented travel agencies

There are plenty of companies tailoring their services to student crowd – both in terms of destinations and prices. Stick to them, and you will enjoy some of the cheapest airfares you can find anywhere on the Internet.

6.    Get an ISIC card

ISIC (International Student Identity Card) is recognized in over 130 countries and can be used to get better prices on airfares, accommodations, museums, food, transportation and much more. Wherever you go, whatever you do, make sure you find out prices for students before you pay a standard fare – it may turn out to be one of your main methods of economy.

Travelling is one of the most traditional ways of expanding your horizons, and it is only natural to engage in it during your student years – and following these tips will help you conserve resources to see more, travel further and get better experiences at lower costs!

David Gutierrez has worked in the field of web design since 2005. Right now he started learning Java in order to get second occupation. His professional interests defined major topics of his articles. David writes about new web design software, recently discovered professional tricks and also monitors the latest updates of the web development.

College Courses Based on TV Shows Are Relevant for Majors

February 22nd, 2018

BY SYLVIA KOHL

For better or worse, but TV shows today occupy quite a different part of our lives than they used to, let’s say, twenty or thirty years ago. From an easy way to spend half an hour every now and then without paying too much attention to what you are watching, they’ve turned into an integral part of our culture. Shows like Twin Peaks, A Game of Thrones, Fargo and dozens of others require a considerable investment of time and attention to be enjoyed; they boast impressive budgets, plotlines that take years to unravel and complicated imagery. It is no wonder, then, that TV shows have found their way from living rooms into classrooms, becoming a subject matter of university courses. What is even more interesting is that they are not limited to film and media studies departments. One may wonder if it is justified – so let us find out if courses based on TV shows matter across the education system.

1.    They make for a powerful emotional supplement

It is no news that people perceive information better if this process is combined with some powerful emotions – which is rather hard to achieve when you deal with spreadsheets, graphs, and statistics. That is why, e.g., sociology makes use of shows like Wire to supplement factual data with vivid imagery of what it all boils down to on personal level. Although this show isn’t a documentary, it depicts its subject matter with enough accuracy and in a much more compelling manner than any study.

2.    They offer an immediately recognizable language

Absolute majority of people, especially those of college age, watch TV shows, and a number of more well-known ones, like A Game of Thrones, have almost universal appeal and can be freely used as supportive imagery for projects that have no immediate connection to them – yet they will be recognized at once, creating a foundation almost everybody can relate to. Therefore, if a course chooses a show as a medium by means of which it transfers information, it immediately acquires a powerful means of finding common ground with students.

3.    They provide a memorable illustration of their subject matter

Although TV shows we are talking about here are no documentaries and often stray far away from their foundations in real life, they still can provide valuable insights into things they describe. A Game of Thrones has been used as a basis for a course aimed at the study of modern interpretation of medieval history and culture. South Park helps study political correctness, one thing its creators hate most of all. In other words, almost every show that takes a strong stance or demonstrates a lot of groundwork can serve as a basis for studying what it portrays.

4.    They serve as a reflection of broader culture and social trends of the time

TV shows can be interesting not only because of what they depict directly but due to unintended reflections of the society in which they are created. For example, studying shows coming from earlier periods can provide an insight into prevalent ideas at the time, societal norms and so on.

As you may see, there are many very good reasons to use TV shows in education, and not just to teach people to make more of them. Valuable lessons can be learned by students of many other disciplines, including sociology, history, philosophy, anthropology and so on.

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.

 

Jobs of the Future: Most Employable Programming Skills

February 20th, 2018

BY ANTON LUCAS

Experts widely believe that the demand for programmers is set to witness a dramatic increase over the following decade. While that may sound encouraging to tech professionals, non-technical employees must face the reality of being rendered redundant. This has broad implications for students and recent graduates. It is now more important than ever to develop a basic understanding of programming skills.

Consequently, it is imperative for employees to stay abreast with the latest practices and programming languages in their respective industries.  If you work as a data scientist or software engineer, the tools and languages that you use indefinitely change every few years. So, no matter what your age or profession, you must keep updating your skillset to stay relevant in your industry.

The good news is that the advent of internet has made it possible for us to access cutting-edge training in programming languages for close to zero cost. Many prominent universities and educators conduct online classes that are both well-arranged and affordable. In this article, we present a list of top programming languages that tech companies look for in their potential employees.

Java

Released in 1995, Java is a simple programming language used by millions of developers worldwide. Even though Oracle owns it, Java is an open-source language and can run on any device. All native Android apps like Candy Crush Saga, Angry Birds and Temple Run are built in Java and many major corporations use Java for backend development.

PHP

PHP is a server-side programming language used as a base for Content Management System (CMS) for most websites, including Facebook, WordPress, Wikipedia and Tumblr. It is the preferred language to develop web applications and many PHP develops often manage to establish a successful freelance career.

SQL

Structural Query Language (SQL) is used to manage databases by inserting and manipulating data. Although it has been around for nearly four decades, SQL still remains  at the heart of relational databases. Despite implementational differences, SQL continues to act as a means for exchange as well as integration of data from different sources.

Data Science (with Python)

Data Science is the most sought-after skill by tech start-ups and corporations. Python is the most popular language for data mining, due to its simplicity and high-flexibility. Hence, it’s advisable for any tech professional to take a course in data science with python training. Even a basic understanding of the language can help you to analyse data, create visualizations, and employ machine learning algorithms to produce meaningful statistics. Reddit and Instagram already use Python for data science purposes.

C++
Developed in the early 1980s, C++ still figures in the list of the most popular programming languages globally. Its enduring popularity can be put down to the fact that it offers the dual advantage of ease of coding and high speed hardware control. Over the years, it has been used in several projects, including Google Chrome and MS Office. Nearly forty years after it was developed, C++ remain the bedrock of the software world.

 

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.

 

 

4 Worst Career Tips You Should Ignore

February 20th, 2018

By Sylest Christopher

Career planning is one of the most crucial parts of our lives. It is the foundation that we build on our professional life. So it is important to give it a serious thought as your entire professional ambitions and career success is contingent upon it. A misstep in your career planning can have serious repercussions on your professional life.

It is a commonplace to see people getting career advice from the seniors. The intent of such counseling session is to pursue guidance about a career move or seek validation for a thought. But it is equally important that you do a reality check of the advice before applying them in your professional life.

Here are 4 of the worst career advice you should never give a thought:

  1. “Do A Job If The Salary Is Lucrative”

Well, it is tempting to get a highly-paid job. But if your job is meaningless, the money becomes only a vanity and your interest in the job gradually fizzles out. A satisfying job has to be meaningful and it should add value to your professional portfolio. As an ambitious professional, you should be willing to do a job because of the learning opportunities it offers to you and not the financial perks.

Remember that if you follow excellence in your profession, the financial part of the job will follow you. So if someone asks you to grab a job just because of the high salary, don’t pay attention to his advice.

  1. “Follow Your Passion”

There is a difference between passion and profession. Your favorite hobby cannot necessarily become your best career choice. Loving something and making a career out of it are two different things. You need real talent and skills to excel in something you feel passionate about.

Let’s say you are a die-hard fan of soccer. But if you lack the temperament and endurance to undergo the strenuous fitness training sessions, you will not be able to make it to the top. So when someone tells you to follow your passion, don’t just jump into that profession. Rather you need to do a reality check about whether or not you have the talent and skills to make it a career.

  1. “Say Yes To Every Request Of Your Boss Even If It Means Sitting Late”

This is one of the most common advices people get from seniors. The majority of the people consider it the best strategy to be in good books of your boss. Remember that when you are in the professional world, you are paid only for the task you do and not for the favors you do to your boss.

Therefore, you should not entertain the self-serving demands of your boss, especially the personal requests such as write my assignment online.

While, it is okay to sit late once in a blue moon but if your boss keeps asking you for late sitting, then it is time to ask him for overtime compensation. As a professional, you have to do justice to your salary and there is no qualm to ask for the payment.

  1. “Find A Comfortable Job”

This is perhaps the worst advice anyone can give you. Remember that career success never comes so easily. You have to slog hours to learn the “ins” and “outs” of your job and go the extra mile to take it to the next level. You need to challenge yourself at every level and learn your way out to achieve professional excellence. So unless you get yourself out of the comfort zone, you cannot achieve the zenith in your profession.

Author Bio

Sylest Christopher is a Career Counselor, Educator, and a Blogger. She is a veteran career counselor and an educator. As a blogger, she likes to shed light on the different areas of education and career. She is a sports enthusiast and spends his weekend playing the baseball.

How to Avoid Distractions And Focus on Your Studies

February 19th, 2018

By KATE LARSON

Let’s start with a game. Nod your head if the following scenario rings any bells.

You have an essay that’s due to be handed in next week that you haven’t started (*starts nodding*). You probably should have started this essay earlier but other things have got in the way. As a result, you decide to head to the library in an attempt to avoid any unwanted distractions from your housemates.

So far, so good.

Here’s where that well thought-through plan starts to unravel. You sit down, place your laptop on a desk and take out your study notes.

Buzz. Your phone starts to vibrate. It’s a message on Whatsapp from your best friend. Of course, you reply instantly. So do they. You’re now in a back and forth conversation. Ten minutes later, you say your goodbyes and put your phone to one side.

Buzz. Your phones starts to vibrate. It’s a notification that someone has commented on one of your pictures on Instagram. Of course, you reply instantly. You’re now scrolling through that person’s pictures. After five minutes, you finally snap out of your trance and put your phone to one side. This time, you leave it on silent.

After reading your revision notes for ten minutes solid, you start to build up an insatiable desire to check your Facebook news feed. You only intend to spend a few seconds catching up on the latest goings-on in your social circle. Three videos, five comments and ten likes later, you finally manage to log out.

As it turns out, you’ve been sat in the library for over half an hour and have yet to jot down one word towards your essay.

Is your head nodding? The point of the scenario wasn’t to make you develop whiplash (apologies if you have) but to point out the ease in which we can become distracted in a world reliant on technology.

The good news is that there are several simple ways you can start to fight back against distractions. We’ve got three of the best tips, below:

Leave Your Phone at Home

A cell phone and writing an essay never mix well. In fact, they’re a recipe for disaster.

So, what can you do? Some say switching your phone to silent and leaving it at the other end of the room does the trick.

For over a half of American teenagers that say they feel addicted to their smartphone, however, the only solution that will actually work is to go cold turkey and leave their phone at home.

Sleep More

Students are notorious for burning the candle at both ends, with the average young adult sleeping for just six hours a night.

That doesn’t go unnoticed by your body, and your concentration levels are one of the first areas to be affected, according to several studies.

The solution is to try and treat your bedroom as a sanctuary rather than a place to hang out. That means moving your television, games console, and video games into the lounge.

If your mind can start to view your bedroom as a place to sleep, rather than an entertainment room, you’ll find it easier to get the necessary amount of shut-eye.

Turn Your Internet Off

As much as the internet is a major distraction, we often use it as a resource for our work. That means turning it off altogether is rarely an option.

There are, however, several workarounds. First, try opening all of the pages you think you might need before you start writing. Once you turn your internet off, you’ll still have access to these pages to help you complete your essay.

If that doesn’t work, you could try downloading an extension for your web browser that lets you stop access to certain websites for a set amount of time.

The last resort, of course, is to delete your social media accounts. Good luck with that one.

Kate Larson is a college student and aspiring blogger, who has a strong interest in the environment and personal well-being. She enjoys travelling and reading, as well as writing novels.

 

 

Student Team Projects: Tips to Complete a Successful Remote Project

February 16th, 2018

BY MELISSA BURNS

The world is changing rapidly. Technology is advancing at an astonishing pace. And companies are keeping up with progress. Nowadays, more and more companies are incorporating flexible time, giving digital nomads a chance to work on their projects from remote locations. For example, Mozilla and GitLab are allowing most of their workers to work from home; and this home can be located anywhere in the world.

The problem is that there are also several challenges when it comes to managing a project on which people work from various locations. Project management can become a bit difficult when teammates work remotely. However, as it was proven by various companies time and time again, completing projects using teams that work from home or remote locations is very possible. Let’s take a look at some of the best ways to complete the project and prevent several problems.

5 Tips for Successful Remote Collaborations

Teammates should bond on a personal level and be able to socialize with each other. It can be quite difficult to bond the team together, as people are located in different parts of the world – and also have different cultures and religions in many cases. To overcome this issue, use instant messaging applications that allow meetings and video calling. Skype comes to mind instantly. Being able to see and hear your teammates is very important if you want the team to bond.

Resolve time zone differences and be firm. In many cases, teammates are located in different time zones. Some may work from Europe, while others probably work from the United States. To solve this problem, you need to clearly define specific time slots when online meetings and calls must take place. Team members must understand that joining the meeting is not optional.

Use adequate Document Management software. Most projects require teammates to collaborate on various documents online. This is why a comprehensive Document Management solution with integrated online editing tools, like Zoho Docs, is highly recommended for remote projects. Using such a tool, people can easily collaborate online, as well as make edits, approve changes, and create new documents as necessary.

Use Time Tracking software to make sure that everyone is doing their part. Although it rarely happens, there are times when certain team members are a tad lazy. To make sure everyone works on the project equally as hard, use a time tracking solution. For example, Time Doctor is just one of the better tools for the task.

Use a project management system, especially for larger projects. It may sound like a good idea to use email to handle everything, but it is absolutely not. Managing a virtual team needs more than email. Communications, files, documents, schematics, videos, screenshots, etc. – everything must be easy to organize and find later on. This is why a project management system like Zoho Projects or Wrike is highly recommended.

Remote Projects Work

For many organizations – and their number is on the rise – remote project management works just fine. In fact, many companies find that remote project management works better than traditional project management. Remote teams help companies save money due to lower project costs, greatly decrease travel time for team members, and improve a company’s ability to attract highly skilled and experienced workers. If done right, remote projects can be very successful, and both the company and the virtual team have a lot to gain.

However, digital project managers must be able to manage their virtual teams and the workflow correctly. This is why an adequate set of tools, as well as various techniques like the tips listed above, are very important for a remote project. In other words, the success of the project depends in large part on the tools and strategies you use.

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

 

 

Keeping Business Degrees Relevant in a Digital World

February 15th, 2018

BY ANNABEL MONAGHAN

Business degrees come in all shapes and sizes, with dozens of degree type varieties (such as entrepreneurship, administration, and management) and dozens of more certificate/minor programs. A business degree is designed to be a generalist degree while simultaneously fostering a high level of career options. There have been historical commonalities amongst these different paths to a business degree, such as a broad understanding of organizations, strategy and policy, and finance fundamentals. The most competitive business schools keep a great pulse on the economy and modify their curriculum to reflect recent innovation and best practice, in order to provide output of the most relevant and highly-qualified graduates.

Since business schools clearly see an importance in maintaining relevance in their curriculum, it leaves one wondering why there is not always an inclusion of digital marketing skills within every business degree program. The overwhelming majority of business degree programs entail at least an introduction to marketing. Even for those that do not specialize within marketing, such as those pursuing a management career track, it is essential that those whom manage marketing personnel have a rudimentary understanding of marketing. If the desired outcome of a business degree is a business professional that can do a little bit of everything, and has the foundational knowledge to work with all corporate job functions, business degree programs are falling alarmingly behind in setting students up for success in regards to working with modern marketing teams. The recent graduate with a business degree is expected to have not just highly relevant, but highly varied business skills that transcend several corporate job functions.

Digital marketing is the new gold standard of marketing. A recent graduate with a business degree, as well as anyone that has been in business for even a few weeks, understands the importance of lead generation and the full sales cycle. Marketing, and in modern times, most importantly, digital marketing, is the cornerstone of success in these aspects of business. Digital marketing constitutes a substantially higher percentile of marketing expense than traditional marketing, with forecasted digital marketing spend increasing and traditional marketing spend decreasing. The need to have a foundational understanding of such a large budgetary allocation is a critical skill set to fulfill for anyone in business.

Anyone in business knows that what matters to shareholders and the big executives, or even your manager as an entry-level worker, are the deliverables. Put simply, what talks in business are numbers and money- not guesswork. What separates digital marketing from traditional marketing is the increased ability to gather these hard numbers, providing the ability for marketing professionals to report KPIs and analytics to business decision-makers. If a business decision-maker is unable to comprehend what these numbers mean, they’re likely out of a job. The level of irony in a lack of digital marketing knowledge will not be lost on prospective employers, and a failure to implement digital marketing knowledge in business degree programs will devalue business degrees.

A core foundation in digital marketing fundamentals such as social media platforms, digital advertising budgets, social media calendars, and content automation needs to be implemented alongside historically taught (and still equally important, as well as leveraged in digital marketing) topics such as market and demographic research. A business could have the most experienced and talented marketing professional or team, but without the management and leadership to properly assess their performance, feedback, and metrics, the growth of that business is stunted. This has been a fatal mistake made by many late-adopters of digital marketing and technology, becoming rapidly overtaken by competitors that made the choice to stay relevant.

 

Decisions that a business graduate might make include decisions that stem beyond proposed and ongoing digital marketing campaigns. Selecting your digital marketing employee, team, or outsourcing is one of the most important decisions one will make in business. Lacking the fundamental knowledge of digital marketing will result only in a complete inability to make the right choice in digital marketing strategists, which can have devastating results for your business. Selecting the wrong PPC management services not only provides a nonexistent ROI for your business investment, but renders a sunk cost, hurts your business’ branding, and leaves a permanent stain on your individual reputation.

Every business degree should create a fundamental understanding of core digital marketing concepts such as SEO, data-driven marketing, content strategy, social media management, platform selection, and customer experience. Many of the topics mentioned previously directly tie in to existing marketing topics instructed in major business degree programs. For example, most business degree programs include lectures on demographic research, which leads directly into platform selection: how many of your potential customers use a cell phone relative to a laptop, how often, and when? The core understanding of these topics is derived from business finesse regardless, so if your digital marketing experts are already knowledgeable about business fundamentals (and if they are competent digital marketing experts, they are certainly knowledgeable of business fundamentals,) bringing this full circle requires business specialists with a core foundation in digital marketing fundamentals.

Annabel Monaghan is a writer with a passion for education and edtech. She writes education and career articles for The College Puzzle with the aim of providing useful information for students and young professionals. If you have any questions, please feel free to email her at annabelmonaghanwriter@gmail.com