Tagged: distance education

Online Degree Options for Military Spouses

Posted by Debi Teter
You’ve sacrificed for your country, traveled to places beyond your imagination and dedicated your life to your job. And now you’ve decided that it’s time to make a change. Perhaps education is part of your plan, but you know that you will need to work, care for your growing family and go to school in order to make it happen. It’s a scheduling challenge, to be sure, but it’s not impossible. Exactly how is this supposed to work, you may be wondering? Two words: Online. Education. An online degree program gives you the structure of a degree program, deadlines to work against, and support from professors, advisors, and students – but puts you in the driver’s seat.  They’re a smart choice for many working adults because they offer the prestige of an accredited university along with the flexibility that online services provide plus they acquaint you with technology like video conferencing and shared workspaces that you will encounter in many workplaces. If this sounds like an option for you, consider these popular online degree programs.   Business Administration Looking for an entrance to the business world? Look no further than a bachelor’s degree in business administration. The Appeal: It’s the closest to a “jack-of-all-trades” degree you can find. The business administration degree provides a solid foundation in the basic building blocks of industry: finance, accounting, marketing and communication. These skills are what most employers seek, regardless of how the economy is performing. The Degree: The College Board, an academic group that administers exams like the SAT, says that a degree in business administration teaches students how to “plan, organize, direct, and control an organization’s activities.” The Career Potential: Anything from a personal financial advisor to a marketing research analyst can begin with a bachelor in business administration.   Accounting If numbers are your thing, check out a degree program in accounting to jump-start a successful career. The Appeal: When all is said and done, companies need someone who knows how to balance the books and pay the bills. This makes the tools of the accounting trade desirable now and for years to come. The Degree: Most accounting students learn about financial measurements and methodology, plus specialized areas like business law, government accounting, auditing and nonprofit financial performance. The Career Potential: The possibilities are extensive with an accounting degree. From tax examiner or auditor to analyst or accountant, this degree can prepare you for a number of careers with staying power.   Health Care Administration Thanks to the nearly indestructible baby boomers, a health care administration degree is a highly desirable asset. The Appeal: Health care service providers are gearing up to serve their communities, and with the numerous changes taking place in the medical insurance industry, there will likely continue to be a need for savvy administrators for the foreseeable future. The Degree: Health care administration majors learn all fathomable aspects of overseeing health care facilities.  According to the College Board, coursework can include health care law, ethics, aging, and long-term care. The Career Potential: This degree is a must-have if you want to be an executive administrator in the medical field, according to the U. S. Department of Labor.   Communications With the click of a mouse, any message can be delivered in virtually any media anywhere within seconds. If this fact fascinates you, you are not alone. This is why communications degrees are in demand. The Appeal: Organizations need people who know how to craft, distribute, and monitor messaging in order to both protect their brand and help grow it successfully. Degree Details: In addition to learning how to read, write and speak publicly, communication majors learn to deconstruct a media message and debate issues. The Career Potential: A bachelor’s degree in communications is one option to help you prep to pursue a public relations management position, according to the U. S. Department of Labor. You can also take a communications degree to get a job in marketing, advertising and marketing communications.   Computer Science To paraphrase Madonna, we live in a technological world.  If you’re tech-savvy and want to continue to adapt with the ever-changing times, a degree in computer science might give you the staying power you seek. The Appeal: Application and software development are going to continue to be needed as long as we continue to work and play on mobile devices. The Degree: Courses in computer science degree programs usually include programming in various “languages” as well as software design and user interaction. The Career Potential: Application and software developers, system administrators and technicians usually have a bachelor’s degree in computer science or in a related field.   Education Molding the next generation of thinkers and do-ers is a noble – and much needed – pursuit.   If this appeals to you, a bachelor’s degree in education could be the way to go. The Appeal: Baby boomers are beginning to exit the workforce, and their absence is not going to go unnoticed.  The need for strong teachers is perhaps more urgent than it has been in several years. The Degree: Education majors study curriculum theory, teaching strategies, special education needs, educational psychology, and practical issues like lesson plan design, school health, and safety issues. The Career Potential: To teach in a public school, you must have a license from the state plus a bachelor’s degree in education.

The Online Student’s Spring Break Dilemma

Posted by Christine A. Shelly
Spring-Break-online-students-militaryauthorityA group of college students meet for coffee one March morning to discuss their Spring Break plans. Student A is a sophomore at the local state college; he plans to pick up some extra hours at his part time job. Student B is in her second year at a nearby community college; she and some friends are driving to the beach for the week. Student C works full time at a small startup business, serves in the Army Reserves and is in an online bachelor of business administration degree program. Pop quiz:  Does Student C get a spring break? Depending on the school, the answer is probably no, there’s no ‘official’ spring break for most online programs. But here’s the thing: You don’t need to be a traditional student to have a spring break. There are plenty of ways to take a breather without getting behind in classwork. Online classwork = flexibility. If you can swing it, spend a little time getting ahead in your reading, projects or assignments so you can relax. If you don’t live near a beach and/or can’t afford the airfare (who can?) Here’s a few ideas for some springtime fun:
  1. Put on your sunglasses and be a tourist in your own city. Most people avoid their local landmarks – and they miss out on some fascinating history and entertainment. Pack yourself a picnic, grab a few coins for the parking meters and spend a day (or two) basking in the glory of your own hometown.
  2. Give back. If there’s a cause that’s near and dear to your heart, spend time volunteering for them when you’d usually study. During a time of year when most people bug out, a lot of organizations would probably be happy to have an extra pair of hands.
  3. Road trip it. If you absolutely, positively, must get out of Dodge, pick someplace you can drive in an hour or two and soak up all the local flavor. Speaking of flavor, you could make a game of eating only at local diners or drive-ins along the way to wherever you’re going (and back).
Some students – I was always one of these – use spring break to get ahead caught up on projects and reading. If you’re one of these souls, don’t forget that it’s good study hygiene to take a break now and then. Find ways to unplug for a little while – even if you only take an hour away here or there, recharging time is important. Here are a couple of ideas for mini-getaways:
  • Foodie fieldtrip. This is also known as Dinner (or Lunch) Out. Go to a restaurant, sit down and relax. If you really want to live it up, shower beforehand and put on a clean shirt. You’ll feel like a new person.
  • Get some Vitamin S – Sunshine. Okay, so it’s actually Vitamin D that sunlight delivers, but that’s not as catchy. At any rate, taking a brisk walk outside for twenty minutes can do wonders for you and your brain. Put the laptop aside for a little while and get moving in the great outdoors.
  • Read for fun. Give your brain a rest and read something else that interests you. Spend a few minutes on something that you want to read, whether that’s a classic novel, a comic book, or a trashy magazine.
  If you’re an online student, you still need a breather so you can finish the semester strong. Give yourself a much-needed break and don’t miss out on the fun. Even if you have to create your own. Tell us your spring break tales in the comments below…keep it clean, this is a family blog!  😉   By Christine A. Shelly #springbreak #onlinestudents #roadtrip #vitamind #readinglists

No Big Macs ® Allowed! Eat to Fuel Your Mind and Body

Posted by Christine A. Shelly

eat well for healthy body mind militaryauthority.comDuring your time in the military, you eat balanced meals in the chow hall. When you’re in the field, you get MREs. You don’t have to think about what you eat because you burn through every calorie through PT (and adrenalin). 

But once you return to civilian life, it can be hard to keep a few extra pounds off even if you’ve kept up with a good PT regimen. Whether you’ve taken a desk job or you’ve decided to go back to school to help advance your career, you probably eat more and burn fewer calories than when you were on active duty. Why does that happen?

If you’ve become accustomed to having your meals prepared by someone else or ripping open an MRE, the freedome of eating out or starting to cook for yourself can be amazing. You can make the gravy exactly how you like it! You can tackle buffets! Just thinking about the food possibilities is enough to get your salavating and hungry. 

The temptation to snack can be even greater if you’re going to school online and you’re within walking distance of the fridge and microwave in your own home while you study. Still, you wonder “What can I eat that’s healthy and not a Big Mac?” We have some tips!

Read the full details of the tips here. Even if you’ve spent 15 years in the service, the “freshman 15” can still catch up with you now. Send them packing while you take care of business.

If you have any other tips or healthy snack and meal ideas, please tell us in the comments.

 

REFERENCES:

https://plus.google.com/103506099307455368777/posts/5wPAUWKGNZp 

http://i.guim.co.uk/item-620/sys-images/Business/Pix/pictures/2008/08/06/mac4.jpg

http://blog.usfoodsafety.com/2011/10/27/educated-eating/

 

#food #healthyeating #onlineeducation

What is a MOOC? A funny name for a challenge for learners

Posted by Christine A. Shelly

grantham.edu_MOOC-alternativeThere are plenty of reasons to get your degree, but higher costs and a staggering lack of time have driven many students to seek alternatives. One of those alternatives, an unfortunately-acronym-ed category of online instruction called MOOCs, has received a lot of attention lately, and for good reason. 

MOOC stands for Massive Open Online Courses – and though many claim they are revolutionary, they raise some challenging questions for students who are actively seeking a way to advance themselves in today’s often dicey job marketplace.

The premise behind MOOCs is straightforward: Who wants to spend tens of thousands of dollars to sit on your backside listening to a lecture when you could take coursework from some of the biggest names in academia online for free? In this case, the old adage is proving true: You get what you pay for. 

The MOOC model was a proposition that was intended to turn traditional education on its end. Classes are usually comprised of video lectures, assignments and discussions (interactive) – very much along the lines of what you’d get in a more conventional college, only free. And, in most cases, without the benefit of earning an actual, bona-fide degree for your effort.

Students – all of us, really – need to have something meaningful to work toward – whether it’s a sought-after degree in a competitive field, leveraging military training toward a second career, or gaining professional certification. Personal growth and lifelong learning arguments aside, students need to be able to earn something that employers recognize and assign worth to.

While the MOOCs continue to sort out their business model, there are, in fact, numerous accredited, high-quality, affordable degree programs that are recognized and valued by employers. Grantham University is one of them. 

Have you considered taking or have you taken a MOOC class?  What was your experience?  Tell us in the comments.

Read the rest of the MOOC story here.

 

REFERENCES:

https://plus.google.com/103506099307455368777/posts/JKu8V5DPiz4

https://plus.google.com/103506099307455368777/posts

http://chronicle.com/article/Ga-Tech-to-Offer-a-MOOC-Like/139245/

http://www.educause.edu/ero/article/mooc-model-challenging-traditional-education 

 

INFOGRAPHIC CREDIT:

http://www.hastac.org/blogs/cathy-davidson/2013/08/21/mooc-spoc-docc-massive-online-face2face-open-uh-oh-age-acronym

 

#GranthamUniversity #mooc #highered


Weapons Of Mass Distraction: How to Focus on School

Posted by Christine A. Shelly

MilitaryAuthority.com Distraction Free School FocusMost of us think of multi-tasking as having a super-human like ability to complete multiple tasks simultaneously. We all do it, right? We complete that research paper while checking the sports scores, we text our friends about upcoming plans while we make dinner, and we update our social networking status while we’re waiting for an email back from our boss at work. Multitasking, and all the challenges that come with it, is a way of life for many of us.

But as it turns out, our brains truly work best when they work on one thing at a time.

In an interview with the Chronicle of Higher Education, the author of the Stanford study, Ulrich Mayr, uses the example of watching television while doing homework from a textbook. While you’re following the television story, your brain won’t track with the homework. While you’re doing your homework, your brain won’t comprehend what’s going on with the story on TV.

So what happens when Captain Tangent strikes and your mind starts to wander? How do you answer your brain when it asks, “How can I concentrate better in school?”

Read three ways to take charge of distractions here.

 

REFERENCES:

https://plus.google.com/100867380494694926632/posts/BHjvTUGLBdf

http://www.nytimes.com/2007/03/25/business/25multi.html?pagewanted=print

Multitasking May Not Mean Higher Productivity. (2009). Talk of the Nation, National Public Radio. Found online at http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=112334449

 

Read more from Christine A. Shelly. 

#onlinelearning #onlinedistractions #militarystudents


“Weapons Of Mass Distraction” graphic by birgerking http://www.wylio.com/credits/flickr/6875893248 http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

Tips to Avoid Online Education Scams

Posted by Christine A. Shelly

Read more by Christine A. Shelly at Google+


militaryauthority.com online education scamsNobody wants to be called a fake or handed a phony product. Especially when your future is at stake. Phony diplomas can cost you your job, your reputation, and your future earning power. You’ve decided to pursue an online degree – but how can you tell which schools are legitimate and which could cost you more than you bargained for?  Service members, veterans and their families can protect themselves while looking for a degree program by checking for these signs:

 #1- You’ve checked the U.S. Department of Education accredited schools database and your school isn’t listed.

Military education benefits and federal student aid packages require the student to be enrolled at an accredited institution. Bogus schools are more concerned with collecting your money than they are with complying with accreditation standards or delivering quality education.

#2 – The school website, brochure, ad (or all three) make the promise of a degree in exchange for very little work, very little interaction, and a flat rate fee.

If their slogan is “Nobody turned down!” you want to turn the other direction. A degree that’s worth anything will require hard work. It’s not just handed out to anyone and everyone. Gaining knowledge, insight and experience is far more than a simple point and click consumer transaction. Few legitimate institutions charge by the degree.

#3 – They ask you for your bank account information.

A few years back, there were some schools whose “financial aid” departments contacted students and offered them scholarships or grants to attend. All they required in exchange, they said, was the student’s bank account information in order to process an administrative fee. Other schools will invite students to a mandatory financial aid “seminar,” that wind up being high-pressure sales pitches with promises of big scholarship checks for a small fee.

These schools should not only be avoided, they should be reported to the Federal Trade Commission.

#4 – The school has a name that is strikingly similar to a Big Name school.

Disreputable schools often rely on name recognition to lure students into their unaccredited programs. But where a degree from Columbia University in Missouri carries weight, a degree from Columbia State University in Louisiana does not. In fact, Columbia State University in Louisiana was closed due to court order.

When in doubt, contact your state (or the state where the school is located) attorney general’s office and confirm that it is 1) a legitimate business in good standing and 2) accredited by an accreditation body recognized by the U.S. Department of Education.

You’ve worked hard for your reputation. Protect it by selecting a reputable school. Do your research, ask questions, rely on people you know you can trust — and trust your gut. When in doubt, check out the school finder at militaryauthority.com — that’s a good place to start.

Find a School Now!

 

References:

http://www2.ed.gov/students/prep/college/diplomamills/diploma-mills.html

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Diploma_mill

http://www.cimea.it/files/fileusers/Diploma_mills_Luca_Lantero_EN.pdf

 

Ms. Shelly has spent more than a decade working in higher education. She currently serves as executive vice president for Grantham Education Corporation. Ms. Shelly is passionate about changing lives – about making college education accessible and affordable to more people and preparing students and graduates for success.


The Online Study Group Survival Guide

Posted by Christine A. Shelly

militaryauthority.com online study group survivalMost people don’t do their jobs completely alone – even if they office alone. Real life requires interaction with people, whether electronically or face-to-face. An important part of online education is learning to connect and work with others via Internet technology.

In case you were wondering, that’s why your high school teachers assigned those group projects. And that’s why you’ll often find group work as part of your post-high-school education. Because learning to get along with people is one of those life skills that takes lots of practice. When you can work with people to achieve goals, you’ll be able to work your way up that career ladder.

If you’ve been assigned to a group that you think may be made up of one part normal, two parts devil spawn, keep reading. In this post, we’ll take a look at some common personality types that make study group dynamics interesting. We’ll offer some tips for surviving and succeeding – and none of our tips involve exorcism of any kind.

The Ringleader.

There’s always one in any group: a natural leader who oozes charisma and quickly takes control. This person usually has a great “big picture” view but can often miss the details. The Ringleader thrives on being the group’s spokesperson because they may enjoy hearing themselves talk. They like to “help” the rest of the group by delegating tasks.

The key to working with this person is to make the most of his or her natural abilities and love of the limelight – but don’t let them overlook key details and don’t let them shrug off their share of the work. Sure, they can read the details of the project out loud for the rest of the group. But make sure, along with the rest of your team, to spell out specific roles and responsibilities, due dates, and any other important details up front to keep things fair for everyone.

The Introvert.

Don’t let this person’s quiet, well-mannered demeanor fool you: this is somebody who knows how to get things done, who usually has a very well-informed opinion and tends to be a major asset to any group.

Make your group an inclusive, safe place to participate by setting “no wet blanket” ground rules up front. When introverts feel welcome to share their thoughts and opinions, they’ll often shine. This personality type can be  a significant asset to any group – independent, hardworking, often with brilliant ideas. They’re just not particularly forthcoming with them. Don’t pressure or bully them to share – just be inclusive and they will usually surprise you.

The Cantankerous.

Speaking of wet blankets – if there’s a blanket of any kind to be thrown, there’s usually one person who will pitch one at everyone with both hands. This person may not have learned many social graces, or, they just plain don’t care whether they make anyone uncomfortable. They have a negative attitude and are often disrespectful to the point of distraction from the group’s purpose. At the extreme, they spew hateful, offensive commentary and bully others in the group.

Often times, when someone is pushing boundaries in a group, it only takes one or two people to publicly call them on it in order for them to back off, buckle down and participate appropriately. Sometimes, though, you will have to power through in spite of this person’s toxic behavior. Don’t let it affect you or sour your group – stay positive and productive. Plus, it’s always a good idea to make sure you are aware of your institution’s policies on bullying. If you have the option to remove unproductive bullies from your group, remove them. If not, make sure to have backup coverage for the assignment your wet blanket is responsible for so you don’t get left high and dry.

The Free Spirit.

This person is usually very passionate, well-intended, and possibly easily distracted. What they lack in structure and discipline, they make up for with enthusiasm. But unfortunately, enthusiasm doesn’t drive results.

The key to getting something accomplished when working with the free spirit is to provide structure where there isn’t any. This means someone – say, the ringleader – will need to provide reminder emails when tasks are due or break down an assignment into small to-do lists. Most importantly – the free spirit should be held as accountable as the rest of the team for getting the job done.

Learning to achieve goals as a group is a major part of learning how to win at life. And it’s something that you will practice for the rest of your days. Every group or project team is different, but there are always some archetypal personalities that come into play whenever there’s a group of people involved. These are just some ideas for dealing with the various types of personalities you may encounter.

Have you had any opportunities handling any of these types of people? What’s worked for you? Share your experiences here.

 

Ms. Shelly has spent more than a decade working in higher education. She currently serves as executive vice president for Grantham Education Corporation. Ms. Shelly is passionate about changing lives – about making college education accessible and affordable to more people and preparing students and graduates for success.


Great Online Degree Options for Transitioning Service Members or Military Spouses

Posted by Kelli McKinney

online degree programs for militaryYou’ve sacrificed for your country, traveled to places beyond your imagination and dedicated your life to your job. And now you’ve decided that it’s time to make a change. Perhaps education is part of your plan, but you know that you will need to work, care for your growing family and go to school in order to make it happen. It’s a scheduling challenge, to be sure, but it’s not impossible.

Exactly how is this supposed to work, you may be wondering?  Two words: Online. Education.

An online degree program gives you the structure of a degree program, deadlines to work against, and support from professors, advisors, and students – but puts you in the driver’s seat. They’re a smart choice for many working adults because they offer the prestige of an accredited university along with the flexibility that online services provide plus they acquaint you with technology like video conferencing and shared workspaces that you will encounter in many workplaces.

If this sounds like an option for you, consider these popular online degree programs.

 

Business Administration

Looking for an entrance to the business world? Look no further than a bachelor’s degree in business administration.

The Appeal: It’s the closest to a “jack-of-all-trades” degree you can find. The business administration degree provides a solid foundation in the basic building blocks of industry: finance, accounting, marketing and communication. These skills are what most employers seek, regardless of how the economy is performing.

The Degree: The College Board, an academic group that administers exams like the SAT, says that a degree in business administration teaches students how to “plan, organize, direct, and control an organization’s activities. “

The Career Potential: Anything from a personal financial advisor to a marketing research analyst can begin with a bachelor in business administration. 

 

Accounting

If numbers are your thing, check out a degree program in accounting to jump-start a successful career.

The Appeal: When all is said and done, companies need someone who knows how to balance the books and pay the bills.  This makes the tools of the accounting trade desirable now and for years to come.

The Degree: Most accounting students learn about financial measurements and methodology, plus specialized areas like business law, government accounting, auditing and nonprofit financial performance.

The Career Potential: The possibilities are extensive with an accounting degree. From tax examiner or auditor to analyst or accountant, this degree can prepare you for a number of careers with staying power.

 

Health Care Administration

Thanks to the nearly indestructible baby boomers, a health care administration degree is a highly desirable asset.

The Appeal: Health care service providers are gearing up to serve their communities, and with the numerous changes taking place in the medical insurance industry, there will likely continue to be a need for savvy administrators for the foreseeable future.

The Degree: Health care administration majors learn all fathomable aspects of overseeing health care facilities.  According to the College Board, coursework can include health care law, ethics, aging, and long-term care.

The Career Potential: This degree is a must-have if you want to be an executive administrator in the medical field, according to the U. S. Department of Labor.

 

Communications

With the click of a mouse, any message can be delivered in virtually any media anywhere within seconds. If this fact fascinates you, you are not alone. This is why communications degrees are in demand.

The Appeal: Organizations need people who know how to craft, distribute, and monitor messaging in order to both protect their brand and help grow it successfully.

Degree Details: In addition to learning how to read, write and speak publicly, communication majors learn to deconstruct a media message and debate issues.

The Career Potential: A bachelor’s degree in communications is one option to help you prep to pursue a public relations management position, according to the U. S. Department of Labor. You can also take a communications degree to get a job in marketing, advertising and marketing communications.

 

Computer Science

To paraphrase Madonna, we live in a technological world.  If you’re tech-savvy and want to continue to adapt with the ever-changing times, a degree in computer science might give you the staying power you seek.

The Appeal: Application and software development are going to continue to be needed as long as we continue to work and play on mobile devices. 

The Degree: Courses in computer science degree programs usually include programming in various “languages” as well as software design and user interaction.

The Career Potential: Application and software developers, system administrators and technicians usually have a bachelor’s degree in computer science or in a related field.

 

Education

Molding the next generation of thinkers and do-ers is a noble – and much needed – pursuit. If this appeals to you, a bachelor’s degree in education could be the way to go.

The Appeal: Baby boomers are beginning to exit the workforce, and their absence is not going to go unnoticed.  The need for strong teachers is perhaps more urgent than it has been in several years.

The Degree: Education majors study curriculum theory, teaching strategies, special education needs, educational psychology, and practical issues like lesson plan design, school health, and safety issues. 

The Career Potential: To teach in a public school, you must have a license from the state plus a bachelor’s degree in education.  

 

To find a school that offers a program matching your interests, use the Military Authority School Finder. 

Using Social Media Wisely, part 3: How Social Media can Help You Find a Job

Posted by Christine A. Shelly

Using social media wiselyOver the past few weeks, I have shared some ideas about how social media can enhance your education and how an online misstep can unravel your reputation. Now, let’s examine ways you can go from using social media as a way to keep up with friends and family, to using it to help you find a rewarding job opportunity.

Last year, more than 80 percent of companies were expected to use social media as a workforce recruitment tool (source: www.mediabistro.com). Recruiters use social media to help them reach candidates, not just because it saves them money, but also because they can target a specific job level and reach candidates who might not otherwise apply. And a bonus for transitioning military who would like to find a job far from where they are stationed, or for the military spouse who wants to secure a job while packing up the house for the next PCS move, social media allows job hunters to connect with recruiters around the world.

Nearly all recruiters – 98 percent – use social media like LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook to find candidates. Almost 95% of recruiters have made a successful hire from  LinkedIn. Not only are recruiters actively looking for potential candidates using social media, they are proactively engaging qualified candidates online. So if you’re not using social media as part of your job search, now’s the time to start.

The best place to start preparing for your social media job hunt is with your profile or background pages on sites like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. Eye-tracking studies have demonstrated that the average person spends a little less than six seconds looking at a person’s profile. If you want to make a good impression on potential new employers, you’d be wise to make those six seconds count. Post pleasant, professional profile pictures, use keywords relevant to your job search in your bio, and keep usernames simple and free of profanity or otherwise unprofessional language.

Most people use Twitter as an outlet for expressing their opinions on news, politics, or causes that are near and dear to them. Why not use it to get yourself a job? The Twitter search function can help you find recruiters in your industry. Many companies encourage HR recruiters to tweet about job openings in addition to posting them to the usual job boards and advertisements. As an example, Grantham University job postings are strategically placed — and tweeted — to recruit top faculty and staff for the 100% online university. Start by finding a few recruiters in your field — or better yet, identify recruiters that specialize in placing veterans in jobs — and follow them. You’ll likely see opportunities as a result.

Ten years ago, if you were interested in working for a particular company, you had to rely on cold calling for informational interviews if you didn’t know (or couldn’t remember) someone at a particular organization. Now, you can ask people in your social networks to introduce you or even refer you for open positions. Sites like www.InTheDoor.com  or www.BranchOut.com search your Facebook network for hiring companies.

You can also build your influence and your network by writing thoughtful posts about current industry issues and posting them to your LinkedIn page or other networks. Demonstrate your knowledge, skills and expertise so that when someone in your network thinks about your industry, your name is top of mind.

Gone are the days when job hunting meant sifting through the Sunday classifieds with a cup of coffee and a number two pencil. Companies rely on social media to help them find the top candidates – so you have to engage in social media and put your best foot forward if you want to compete.

 

Have you found a job through social media? Tell us your experience in the comments.

 

Ms. Shelly has spent more than a decade working in higher education. She currently serves as executive vice president for Grantham Education Corporation. Ms. Shelly is passionate about changing lives – about making college education accessible and affordable to more people and preparing students and graduates for success.

Using Social Media Wisely, part 2: How to Make Social Media Work for You

Posted by Christine A. Shelly

using social media wiselyLast week, I wrote about some of the ways that missteps in social media can damage your professional – and maybe even your personal reputation. Next, we want to take a look at how you can use social media in a way that makes it work in your favor in two very important ways: Your education and your job search. This week, let’s take a look at how social media plays an important role in your education.

According to a recent study by Pew Research, more than 80 percent of all secondary educators use social media or mobile tools as part of their day-to-day classroom assignments. It’s not uncommon for a teacher to have a delicious.com account to house class-appropriate reference materials, or to use tools like Blackboard as a repository for syllabi and assignments.

When educators do this, not only do they leverage relevant technology, they also help students develop important skills and prepare them for future undergraduate work or career paths. Incorporating social media into daily classroom activities – using channels like Twitter, slide share, flickr, and YouTube® – teaches students the value of sharing, collaboration, and support.

As a 100% online university, Grantham University faculty and students work together via a wide range of social media platforms and technology services. Students are not required to be software developers, but the goal is to make sure that they have a reliable Internet connection and a current operating system. Faculty conduct classes in both synchronous and asynchronous formats. In an asynchronous system, students communicate independently with the instructor and classmates, complete reading and assignments and turn them in at a predetermined deadline. In a synchronous system, students meet via teleconference or chat directly with the professor and classmates.

Community chats, Facebook, and Twitter offer students a way to connect, compare notes on professors or coursework, and provide valuable insight into life as a Grantham student. If I were a prospective student looking at online programs, I would highly recommend taking a close look at these channels. You can learn a lot about a school based on how people talk about it in social media: Are the students respectful of each other and the faculty? Does it support the needs of military students, spouses or veterans? What kind of support is available to students with disabilities?

One of the best pieces of advice I’ve seen is “Be social. Don’t ‘do’ social.” This means that you should take an active role in the development of your own online persona. Ask questions, listen to the answers, and thank people for their feedback. Know your school’s social media usage policies. If you plan to enter a particular professional field, you need to start observing relevant social media usage policies and standards now rather than later. For example, if you’re planning to go into social work, you’ll want to know what professional social workers can and cannot say or do in social media.

Social media is a way of life for most people, and it’s become so ingrained in life that we forget sometimes what a truly game-changing tool it can be. It’s a phenomenal way to work with people all over the globe, letting people not only communicate, but share resources, tools, and ideas. When you use it carefully and deliberately, it can help you prepare for the educational and professional world.

 

Ms. Shelly has spent more than a decade working in higher education. She currently serves as executive vice president for Grantham Education Corporation. Ms. Shelly is passionate about changing lives – about making college education accessible and affordable to more people and preparing students and graduates for success.