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Whether you’re unhappy with your current career path or are comfortable with where you’re at but know it’s not the same place you want to be in five years, the thought of changing careers during your 30s, 40s or even 50s can provide you with a rush of excitement. Unfortunately, it also drives fear into the hearts of many people who even consider this possibility.
Although changing careers later in life does take work, that doesn’t mean it’s impossible. And because the payoff can mean doing something every day that’s a perfect fit with your values, lifestyle and goals, it’s definitely worth putting in the time necessary to get on a different career track.
Anyone who says that you will never second-guess your decision isn’t being completely honest with you. However, as long as you have a plan to follow, even during those trying times, you’ll know that you’re ultimately making the right decision. To help make this transition as painless as possible, here are the key parts of the path you should follow:
Identify Exactly What You Want
Since changing careers is a big transition, it’s not something you should rush. On the contrary, it’s definitely worth taking your time to ensure that whatever has been on your mind is truly what you want. By writing down exactly what you think you want to do and then letting that information sit for awhile, you’ll be able to come back and see if it still sounds as appealing as it did during your initial burst of enthusiasm.
Determine What Credentials and Experience You Need
After figuring out exactly where you want to take yourself professionally, the next step is to figure out what you need on your resume to get there. You can use several different sources to get this information. For very basic details, the Occupational Outlook Handbook is a good place to start.
From there, you can use sites like LinkedIn to find people who are already in the industry you want to enter and talk to them about exactly what you need to get your own start. In addition to sending an online message or email, don’t be afraid to pick up the phone and call them. As long as you’re honest and genuine, you’ll find that most people are more than happy to help.
Test It Out
Before you start going after any credentials and experience you need to get started with your new career, it’s a very good idea to actually see what day-to-day life is like in the new career you’re thinking about. If you already have firsthand experience with the career you’re planning on moving to, you can skip to the next step. But if all your plans are based on information you’ve read and heard from others, you need to see for yourself what it’s really like in the trenches.
This step is crucial for two reasons. First, if you try out your new career of choice and find that you truly love it, that confidence is going to give you even more motivation to get exactly where you want. Second, if you give this new career option a shot but realize it’s not actually what you were expecting, you won’t waste lots of valuable energy and time going down a path that’s simply not the right fit for you.
Once you’ve decided what you want to do, figured out what’s needed to get there, and then tested your new career out to confirm that it really is what you want to be doing, it’s time to dive in so you can start checking items off your to-do list.
Keep in mind that even if things like education seem like major obstacles, there is almost always a solution. For example, if you need a degree but can’t drop everything to attend a traditional university setting, options like a great online security management degree from Norwich provide a flexible route that will still open all the doors you need,
Tell Other People
Don’t wait until you feel like you’re completely “ready” to start telling people about what you’re doing. Platforms like blogs are a great way to show off your passion and make others aware of where you want to go with your career. Even if you need to keep your own name out of the discussion until you’re ready to leave your current job, you can still share what you’re learning and doing by writing under a pseudonym.
Now that you know exactly how you can change careers without feeling like you’re jumping off a cliff, all that’s left for you to do is start with Step One from the above list!
About the Author
James Smith is an educator and career counseler that assist students pursue online degree program, career changes and the pursuit of higher education. He can also assist students with getting college grants and aid with tuition.
Despite having most of the world’s money, missiles, weapons, celebrities and body fat, the USA consistently trails woefully behind other developed countries when it comes to school quality, reading level and mathematics. So what is the USA doing so wrong? Are they appointing bald eagles as principals? Have they devoted most of the school day to duck hunting and rodeo? Are all the good teachers immediately assigned to teach ballroom dancing and chess in run-down, inner-city schools? Or perhaps their problems are more mundane (and worrying) things like:
An obsession with standardized tests
George W. Bush declared that no child should be left behind, and as a result, all students get to fall behind together, held back by massive standardized tests. A child’s ability to correctly choose between four possible answers and fill in the accompanying bubble is, shockingly, a poor indication of a child’s actual worth as a human being, and education is suffering as a result.
Instead of devoting class time to broadening horizons and captivating young minds, teachers are forced to cram useless dates and facts into their students’ heads, so that they can be successfully regurgitated at exam time and promptly forgotten forever. No one is learning anything, and universities and employers are basing decisions off of test scores that don’t really reflect anything, instead of more accurate and personal indicators of worth, like lion taming ability.
A poor model for training teachers
Smart people become doctors, lawyers and engineers; it doesn’t even take a particularly bright person to know that. Teaching degrees are something you get when your Bachelor of Arts doesn’t turn out to be the key to fame and riches that you thought it would be. In South Korea – a country whose students you might remember to be superior to the USA’s in every way – the situation is reversed.
Teaching is a prestigious, exclusive profession that only the very best and brightest can even hope to aspire to. If American classrooms were fronted entirely by the skilled and passionate teachers who make a difference in children’s lives, instead of bored, bitter human beings who are only there to show videos in class until their teen vampire romance novel makes it big, everyone would be a lot better off.
An adamant refusal to teach anything useful
On the very long list of countries with better school systems than the USA, Finland comes out on top. High school dropouts are virtually unheard of, employability at places that aren’t Wal-Mart is high, and almost nobody ends up unemployed and homeless in an alley with only a feral cat and a crack pipe for company. Instead of forcing aspiring bankers and mechanics to suffer through four years of geography, creative writing, world history, microbiology, film studies, German, necromancy, tap dancing, Swahili, macramé, base jumping and livestock castration, students are allowed to specialize in their desired field early on.
Students take only classes that are directly relevant to their future careers, and most participate in paid internships in their field before they even receive their high school diploma. As a country with a shortage of skilled labor and a lot of talented twenty-somethings sobbing through unpaid internships, the USA could stand to learn a lot from the Finnish.
About the Author
Edward Dennis works for Chambers Insitute; an English language centre in Melbourne; as their marketing strategist.
Many ambitious people would like to obtain a law degree from a prestigious college since this opens many doors for them. However, this is possible only when their LSAT scores are high. The LSAT is designed to ensure that only those that demonstrate the best comprehension and logical reasoning ability score well and are identified as potential law students. With the larger number of applicants and the changes in the LSAT paper such as the introduction of logic games, it is vital that potential candidates prepare themselves adequately. One effective way of doing so is using online LSAT preparation.
Picking a Great Online LSAT Preparation Provider
When it comes to selecting a provider for LSAT prep students should ensure that the faculty and people preparing the course material are competent. Ideally, they should have taken the LSAT and scored well. Additionally, they should have analyzed the previous years’ questions and understood how to explain the tricks and techniques for solving them. This means that the credentials of not just the founder but every faculty member are important.
Scheduling Online LSAT Preparation
Once the student has selected an ideal online LSAT prep course, they need to schedule their online LSAT preparation. This is important as the student has to cover numerous topics within a fixed time in order to score well in the LSAT. For this the student needs to understand the extent of the course and the time required for each module or section. An online course provider that provides this information will be of outstanding help to the student in scheduling their preparation.
Modular Approach to Online LSAT Preparation
When using an online LSAT preparation method the student needs to spend time deciding on an effective schedule and stick to it. This is because an online system expects self-study and self-discipline. When drawing up a schedule, the student should utilize a modular approach rather than a time-bound approach. This means that the student decides that they will complete say, one module a week, rather than deciding that they will spend five hours a day in preparing for the LSAT. This will ensure that the entire course material has been studied before the LSAT tests.
Supplementing Online LSAT Preparation with Tutors
While a salient online LSAT preparation course will cover all the topics needed in depth, most students find that they still need one-on-one tutorials to help clarify doubts and understand certain concepts. This can vary from student to student. The best way to overcome this hurdle is for the student to supplement the online material with telephonic tutorials.
This will be both cost and time effective if the student schedules the tutorials after going through the online material and making a list of questions for the tutor. This will enable the student and tutor to cover a larger area within an hour and yet ensure that the student is better prepared for the LSAT. Having a game plan for the preparations needed to take the LSAT will ensure a higher score.
About the Author
This content was contributed by Crystal Lamposokis.
Bonjour. Ça va?
Ça va, bien merci. Et toi?
It is a drill that many of us will remember from our own school days but, for many, modern foreign languages (MFL) weren’t first introduced until we reached Year 7 or beyond. But from September 2014 if the sounds of children conversing in a foreign language aren’t already echoing around your Key Stage 2 classrooms, then they will be.
As part of Michael Gove’s much flaunted (and in some quarters, castigated) National Curriculum to be introduced at the start of the 2014/15 academic year, teaching pupils a modern foreign language will become compulsory from Year 3. The aim is to reverse the falling numbers of students opting to learn a language at GCSE and also to prepare the next generation of adults for work in the global economy.
Raising the Bar
At present 10% of primary schools offer no language teaching despite the fact that the previous Government changed the status of MFL in primary schools to “highly recommended”. A report published in 2012 revealed that countries with high-performing education systems introduce the teaching of foreign languages at an earlier stage than in England. Ministers are keen for pupils to learn the basics in sentence structure and pronunciation before transferring to secondary schools so that they have already acquired the foundations of the language before tackling more challenging work.
The requirement for primary teachers, who tend to be non-specialists, to teach MFL may cause some concerns particularly among staff who haven’t received any foreign language teaching themselves since they left secondary school, which in some cases might have been decades ago. With the proliferation of English on the continent and the rising popularity of apps such as Word Lens, most travellers can cope quite well on foreign holidays with only a minimal knowledge of a foreign language.
Some may be reassured that the Government is encouraging schools to select from a wide range of languages including French, Spanish, German, Mandarin, Greek or Latin (yes, Latin); the only requirement will be for schools to teach one language only in order to promote continuity across Key Stage 2. Currently in secondary schools French, German and Spanish are the predominant languages taught, while others include Italian, Russian, Japanese and Bengali.
Undoubtedly some schools will attempt to recruit specialist language teachers to lead the teaching of the chosen language to children between the ages of 7 and 11 but for non-specialist staffs who take on this responsibility, creativity is the key to engaging the pupils’ enthusiasm. High-quality primary teaching resources are essential in order to provide teachers with the tools to deliver the curriculum effectively, such as word and picture flashcards to promote vocabulary, CDs of songs and rhymes to sing together or games to encourage conversations.
Armed with primary teaching resources, teachers will gain in self-confidence by modelling the language to pupils (that’ll make the children sit up and listen!) and, as with other subjects, planning to engage the pupils by accommodating a variety of learning styles. For example, children who are strong auditory learners will be supported with songs, rhymes and listening activities. Role play combined with oral work is a great way to engage those who lean towards kinaesthetic learning while the visual learners will benefit from reading key vocabulary and linking it to pictures. Therefore a practical approach to the teaching of MFL that combines reading, writing, speaking and listening will provide pupils with an all-round introduction to the new language.
Of course if your school opts to introduce a completely new language that even the teaching staff do not know, then let the children know that it’s a shared journey of discovery. Children’s relationships with adults are often strengthened by knowing that their teachers are not all-knowing, invincible superheroes – at least, not all the time.
About the Author
Paul Harper is a former school head-teacher who blogs about education, teaching and school curriculum.
Whether it’s Christmas, Easter, summer or another extended break from your studies, many international students will be keen to return to their home countries during their university holidays so they can see their family, change their seasonal wardrobe and to relax in their own home. This is a fantastic idea, as it helps you recharge and gives you something to look forward to through the long terms. So, what should you do to prepare?
It seems obvious, but make sure you’ve booked your ticket well in advance, as prices creep up the closer to your departure date you get as the seats fill up and plane tickets are harder to come by. This is especially true if you’re flying at the end of the Christmas term; a notoriously popular time to travel, and usually relatively expensive too, so booking during a flight sale can save you hundreds.
As any international student will know, packing up to go home is the biggest hassle. How on Earth do you fit all the extra things you’ve bought during your time in the country into your suitcases? Well, maybe you don’t have to. Choosing the right courier company can mean you avoid spending a fortune on sending heavy parcels internationally, and it means you have one less suitcase to wrestle through the airport on your own.
If you have made any friends from your home country, find out if they would like to take the same route as you. It can be a relief to have a travel companion, especially if it’s a long journey, and if there are delays it can be nice to have someone to talk to. It can really help to pass the time, and can make you feel safer if you’re not a confident traveller.
Make sure you have all your travel details printed out in a hard copy before you go, along with any tickets you need for coaches etc. This is because even if it says you can show the ticket on your phone, phones are notorious for running out of battery at exactly the wrong time, so to cover yourself make sure you always have proof of purchase for each leg of the journey.
The main thing to do is to stay organised and to stay on top of your travel plans. Make sure someone from home knows when to expect you, and stay connected using free Wi-Fi at the airport or internet cafes if you’re struggling with your phone to ensure the journey goes as smoothly as possible.
About the Author
Esther Donado has been studying in the UK for 2 years but still makes regular trips back hope to POrtugal
Working as a nurse has its ups and downs, as with every job, but one thing is for certain, this is no position for the faint hearted. It often requires working three shifts in a week, working on holidays and feeling exhausted for most part. However, this all comes wrapped up with a big bow of feeling as if you have done something good, you have helped someone in need, and ultimately you have made a massive impact on someone else’s life. So how does my day go? Let us see.
I work as a registered nurse in the post-operative unit being in charge of 10 patients at least a day. The first thing I do is check the charts of each patient, studying patients’ medication that they’ll need to take, their possible allergies, as well as any other monitoring that needs to be done. Prior to my round, I make sure that all medications are in place from the pharmacy. In the case that there are not enough medicines, or the ones that I need, I call the pharmacy to order an additional supply.
I make a round, checking patients one by one, ensuring that they have taken their medications as well as measuring their blood pressure, blood sugar, heart rate, respiratory rate and removing patients’ drainage tubes, stitches, and much more. Furthermore, as this is the post-operative unit, you always have to be on the lookout for any excess bleeding, discharge, swelling, redness or haematoma. A simple sign of redness can have serious consequences. More often than not there will be a code blue, where I need to help doctors resuscitate patients whose condition has become life threatening. The feeling that you have after a successful resuscitation is beyond any words that I can use.
With patients that are ready to be discharged, I go over all the follow-up procedures, new prescriptions and the warning signs of problems that they should pay attention to.
In addition to all of these duties, I am also mentoring two student nurses. I am responsible for their work, hence why I often spend time checking what they have done. At the end of a day, there is usually a meeting with them, discussing their patients’ progress and what they had learnt from that day.
As you can see, the work is quite demanding. It requires someone who is highly responsible, as the patients’ lives depend on you, and who loves it. The crucial thing in working as a nurse is to know how to balance and appreciate the positive things with the negative ones. Sure, there are times when I had that extra uncooperative patient that looked at me as if I were the one guilty for him being there, and there were times that I did everything that I could have and yet the outcomes were not what I had expected them to be. However, if I have helped at least one person to ease their recovery then it is still worth it. After all, being a nurse is my calling, not a job.
About the Author
Kate Aldridge is a nurse and blogger from England, her interests include skiing and reading. Kate recommends Nursing 2000 as a quality provider of health care assistant training.
Earlier this year the United States Congress failed to pass a proposal to effectively keep college loan interest rates at a low and affordable rates. Though a fixed rate of 6.8% was set in 2006, rates have gradually been reduced to 3.4% in recent years. With no new legislation on the books the interest rates popped back up to their ’06 standards which sent many students into a frenzy. Nonetheless the nation did little to help struggling students.
Senator Dick Durbin (Dem, IL) mediated talks between congressional Republicans and Democrats to come to an agreeable resolution. “We understand that it’s more than the interest rate that’s causing a problem,” he said. “Let’s give the students and families the help they need today, but let’s not stop on the issue.” Officials on both sides of the aisle worked to both lower the overall cost of higher education while at the same time lowering interest rates and minimizing the profits made by the government on student loans. The Dallas News has the full report.
All of this political bickering has left students feeling unrepresented, stressed and uncertain about their futures. In New York City a long time free college (that’s right, F-R-E-E) had to finally begin charging tuition to overcome dire financial circumstances. The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art has been free to students since its founding in 1859. College President Jamshed Bharucha was forced by circumstance to appeal to the Board of Trustees who voted to begin charging tuition in the Fall 2014 semester. This led students to organize a sit-in with the goal of forcing Bharucha to step down as president. After 65 days of protesting the student organizers and board members reached an agreement which includes adding a student representative to the Board of Trustees.
Moving from the East coast to the West coast, the state legislation in Oregon passed a bill in July to research a “Pay It Forward, Pay It Back” (PIF) plan. This type of financial arrangement would allow students attending public universities in Oregon to go to college for free, but they must agree to pay up to three percent of their salaries back to the state for the next 20 years. Will this radical plan work? Only time will tell. However with tuition across the nation increasing 1120% since 1978 its obvious something needs to be done.
Students across America are taking matters into their own hands. In lieu of traditional colleges and universities, many are choosing to gain specific education from trade and vocational schools. The Stenotype Institute in Florida, for example, trains students who wish to become court stenographers or work in closed captioned television. Like many schools of their kind they offer both in-class and online training programs. The flexibility of the schedule, shorter education time and lower cost is a strong appeal to students looking at high interest rates on loans.
So what will the outcome be? Only time can tell. On the one hand the government should make a decent return on their investment. On the other hand this return can be seen in the economic output and stability of its citizens versus a high interest pay-out. If nations like the United Kingdom can afford free public higher education to its citizens (and at the same time provide free national healthcare) the United States can buy a few billion less bullets and invest back into its youth whose shoulders the economy of tomorrow rests upon.
About the Author
This article was written in collaboration with The Stenotype Institute. Learn more about us on YouTube and Facebook.
Different students have different mixed feelings towards maths. Others find it to be extremely easy; whereas, hordes of them have a hard time in understanding the subject. Furthermore, all those that excel in math have a strong liking for the subject. Vast majority of those that fail, don’t understand that excelling in math is not dependent on the level of your natural intelligence; but your commitment and love for the subject. This concept forms the core of what is emphasized in maths tuition, and it may just be an eye opener to deluded students.
To support the logic, you may have to look at some of the brightest students that score high in other subjects, and fail terribly in math. The converse of this is also true, as seen with a limited number of students who score high in mathematics and register low grades in other subject. Math teachers in schools, regardless of how good they are in the subject, cannot give a student all the necessary resources that are vital in passing maths. Consequently, effective O level elementary maths tuition should always come handy; if you intend to become better in the subject.
Maths tuition can effectively compliment what is taught in any form of learning curriculum. It goes beyond maths, and since maths forms the basis of understanding many of the subjects in schools, adequate math tuition will automatically lead to an overall rise in a student’s general grade. Parents are obliged to find a tutor that can assess their children’s ability to perform in maths, and formulate a strategy that can help the students to overcome their difficulties in understanding the subject.
Recent study has shown that there exist 8 different types of natural intelligence. Only one out of the eight forms of intelligence is linked to the ability to perform logical-maths calculations. Not all students are well endowed with logical mathematics intelligence; which still doesn’t limit a student’s ability to understand the subject. Such students only require a different approach to understand maths. Look at it from a practical point of view, instead of letting a student multiply a complex number or derive a byzantine equation, you can instead choose to frame the question in terms of money and use this approach to teach a student.
The cultivation of the right attitude and mindset to a student is a gradual process that is very important in the overall understanding of the subject, especially at the O level. A single teacher, who handles a class of over 60 students, may not be resourceful enough when it comes to nurturing a proper mindset to a child. All students that fail in maths believe that the subject is extremely difficult, and it should only be tackled with geniuses. A math tutor is expected to break this barrier, and gradually inject the right attitude to a student regarding the subject.
Even the brightest students find it hard to understand some particular maths concepts. A tutor can help you to understand a concept that you failed to grasp in class. To add on, if you missed the basics of any particular complex concept, the services of a math tutor can always come to your rescue. Time management is also a factor to reckon when it comes to excelling in your academics. Some tutors are specialized in teaching students about effective time management and study skills, which is important in understanding maths or any other subject.
To conclude, excelling in maths will always call for more practice and commitment. A maths tutor is only there to help you understand the subject, but not make you pass. A math tutor can, however, prove to be more useful if you choose to combine your effort with his or her help.
About the Author
James Liao a.k.a The Educationist of Singapore, a MASTERS scholar from NTU, has been on the forefront of Singapore’s education fabric for more than a decade. Through this period he has helped many students improve from F9 to A1 in Chemistry, Physics, A.Maths and E.Maths. As a result, these same students managed to qualify for Junior Colleges and most of them have already graduated from NTU, NUS and SMU.
If you’re a professor at a university, you will be well aware that for the first time in a student’s educational career, there are no formal, centrally-governed exams to be sat each term. No more GCSEs, no more A-levels, just those assessments set by the university itself. That places the power in your hands. How will you choose to assess your students? Which methods could you use to see if they understand what you’ve taught them?
One of the most common ways to assess students is using a formal exam, much like the ones they are used to at school. While these can be a useful way to assess students, there are lots of problems with them which are widely recognised. Some say that it is unfair to make students revise for so long to test them on so few aspects of the course. Others say the high-pressure situation leads to poor performance despite knowing the material.
Another way to find out how much your students know is through some form of oral examination, involving giving answers to topics out loud with no writing involved, or creating a presentation. This means the students get to learn presentation skills along with engaging with the material, and you can use a Q&A session to probe them further. Some shy students may struggle with this, though, so bear this in mind when you are marking.
A hi-tech way to conduct an exam uses a multiple choice model and the rental of an audience response system. Here, each student is given a handheld voting device, and the number of this device is recorded for each student so you can correlate everyone’s results. A series of multiple choice questions appear on the screen and the students vote for what they believe to be the right answer. This is a quick method of assessment, it runs at the rate the students choose, and it means the results are collected automatically so you don’t need to do any marking.
Other methods include more creative projects. For example, creating a video, a poster or a creative writing piece can work for some subjects to indicate what they have learnt, so think about whether this could be an option for a more interesting type of marking.
Ideally steer clear of group work for important assessments. It is usually the case that one person will end up doing more work than the others, and slackers may be able to get away with it as hard-working group members will guarantee them a good mark. Checking how each student is doing individually is a much better, fairer idea.
About the Author
Phillip Ash is a consulting lecturer at several UK academic institutions and believes passionately in modernising teaching methods to involve new technology
Graduating from university is a huge achievement and a brand new adventure, so if you know anyone celebrating their degree this summer you’ll probably want to pick up a little something to help them commemorate the occasion.
Whatever their interests, there’s a fantastic range of graduation gifts out there to suit just about any budget. Join in the celebrations with our pick of the best graduation gifts for anyone leaving their university days behind.
The university experience really is the best of your life, so why not give recent graduates something to remember it by? Photo albums are the perfect cheap and unique gift and you can fill it with all their favourite photographs from their university days. You’ll be able to find plenty of photos on social networking sites, but it might be best to leave some of those drunken Freshers’ Week photos out!
It’s hard to make the transition from university life to the real world and getting out there can feel really daunting for recent graduates. A diary is a great way to help them stay organised and you can even get it personalised for that extra special touch. There are plenty of colours and styles out there to suit every budget, and it will help them keep track of important dates for job interviews and meetings.
Money is tight for most graduates and if they’re not moving back in with mum and dad they’ll really appreciate you picking up bits and bobs for them to use in their new house or flat. Duvets, pillows and cookware are all safe ideas if you’re not sure what sort of things they like, or you could always pick up a gift card so they can choose their own.
Necklaces, earrings and bracelets all make great gifts for any female graduates while you can treat the boys to a stylish set of cufflinks. Jewellery is a great alternative to novelty gifts and is something they can treasure for a lifetime.
Champagne is THE drink for commemorating a special occasion, so help them celebrate in style with a bottle of the fizzy stuff. If your budget stretches far enough, you could even present it with a pair of accompanying champagne flutes.
A Personal Touch
Graduating is a once-in-a-lifetime experience and cheap personalised gifts are a great way to remember the occasion. There are gifts to suit every personality from cups and pens to teddies and watches, and even personalise beer glasses for anyone who just can’t leave their student days behind. Get them emblazoned or engraved with their name and the date of their graduation and give a really thoughtful gift.
Restaurant Gift Vouchers
University is the place where friendships of a lifetime are made, so help them enjoy one last evening together with a restaurant gift voucher. A slap-up meal is the perfect end to the university experience before they go their separate ways.
If you didn’t find anything inspiring in this selection, why not just stick with an old favourite: money? Cash will be appreciated by just about any graduate, so you really can’t go wrong with this one!
About the Author
Former student David enjoys writing about higher education as well as other subjects
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