Monthly Archives: August 2016

Grad Schools in the UK and Australia

We often rave over the many reasons to study abroad. And they’re all true: From learning a second language to enriching your global perspective, the list of benefits of international studies is long. However, if you’re thinking of pursuing a graduate degree, you may also be wondering whether there are any key differences between grad studies abroad and in your home country. Here’s a closer look at five ways US grad school programs and UK and Australia grad school programs differ.

1. Duration of Study

While the typical master’s degree in the US takes two years, master’s degrees in the UK and Australia can be completed in a much shorter amount of time — many in as little as a year. A PhD, meanwhile, takes around three years in the UK and Australia — compared to five in the US. Not only can trimming time off your degree amp up your earning potential by getting you into the workforce sooner, but you’ll also save money on tuition and living expenses due to the shorter duration.

2. Flexibility

Because US degrees graduate degrees are spread over two years, they are often broader in nature — at least in the beginning. This can be an advantage for students looking for the freedom to explore different specializations and areas of research. In the UK, meanwhile, degrees are more specialized and self-directed. Students who already know what they want to focus on can immediately begin directing their efforts into this area and finish up sooner.

3. Cost

Not only will you pay less due to the shorter degree duration, but tuition fees in the UK and Australia are usually lower than those in the US, too. According to Investopedia, the average cost of tuition for a UK Master’s degree is $20,700 for American students. While tuition for a public US master’s degree is much less at an average of $14,537, the cost of an elite, private school graduate program skyrockets to more than $40,000 a year. One caveat? Funding is plentiful in the US so students may find it easier to offset the high cost.

When every penny adds up, even small savings add up to big ones: Many schools in the UK and Australia don’t require students to take standardized tests like the GRE and GMAT so you’ll also save on test and test prep costs. (A handful of UK universities do have GRE and GMAT requirements, so be sure to check into the admissions requirements for each prospective school.)

Study What You Love

The voices of Pragmatism and Passion sit opposite each other, one on each of your shoulders, telling you what you should—or shouldn’t—do.  We’re here to tell you that you should study what you love.  If what you love happens to be practical for your career, so much the better.  If it’s not, you’ll figure out a way to make it lucrative.  Want to paint? Paint.  Want to act? Act.  Want to manage money? Manage money.  Want to teach?  Do it.  Want to sing? Sing your heart out.  Here’s why:

1. Money ≠ Happiness

A 2010 study by Tim Judge shows what we’ve heard all along: money doesn’t buy happiness.  If you study something that you don’t enjoy in the hopes of getting a job that you don’t enjoy, but that pays well, there’s a good chance, you won’t be happy.  You’ll just have lots of money.  The results of that study show that the correlation between salary and job satisfaction is weak.  Corollary: if you want to engage with your job, money isn’t the answer—it doesn’t buy engagement (see #2).

2. Engagement

You can go through the motions of a job or course of study for which you don’t care and do just fine.  But why would you want to?  You can pursue something you love and have a job you like less—but the ideal?  Pursue something you love, engage in it, and let it drive your job search and your life.  Studies show that to be engaged in your work, you need to find something that gives you meaning and that you enjoy doing.  The desire to do what you want will allow you to engage in your work and feel inspired (see #3).

3. Inspiration

Not only will you feel inspired by engaging in meaningful work that you’re passionate about—you’ll inspire others, too.  When you’re excited about what you’re doing, your co-workers will benefit from your positive energy.  People who see you doing something you love for work will feel inspired to do the same.

Consider Nikki Lee, of Sydney Australia, who quit her corporate job to follow her dream of becoming a baker—and succeeding.  She says it’s “one of the most satisfying things” she’s ever done.  Feel inspired?

 

Know About Making a Career in Comedy

While Donald Trump may not be tuning in, Saturday Night Live is basking in its highest ratings in more than 20 years. From Melissa McCarthy as White House Press Secretary Sean “Spicey” Spicer to Kate McKinnon as Jeff Sessions as Forrest Gump, the show is on a roll and shows no signs of stopping anytime soon — or at least for the next four years, anyway.

So even if Alec Baldwin just revealed that he may soon be stepping down from portraying the lampooned president, the future — at least when it comes to comedy careers — looks bright. If you’re thinking of trying to break into this notoriously competitive field, here are four things you need to know.

1. You don’t need a degree in the field.

Degrees in comedy are few and far between. And while the value of programs like the University of Kent’s MA in Stand Up Comedy is undeniable (any working comedian will tell you that practice makes perfect), there are also plenty of ways to get the experience you need on and around campus. In fact, taking different coursework — for example, political science studies — can give you upper-level insights….and plenty of fresh material.

But even if you don’t do any of these things in college, you can still pursue a career in comedy.  Rodney Dangerfield, Ricky Gervais, Phyllis Diller, Larry David and Lisa Lampanelli are just a few examples of famous comedians who started late.

2. Extracurriculars can pave the path.

Joining a college sketch group, taking an improv class, and attending comedy performances can all help you start creating and honing your craft. If your college doesn’t have a sketch or improv group, consider starting your own. In addition to building your skills amidst like-minded comedy lovers, you’ll also score extra points for leadership.

An added bonus? As Matt Lappin, segment producer on Comedy Central’s “The Colbert Report” and “Strangers with Candy” writer, told Writer’s Digest, “Getting noticed is a bit of a crapshoot. A lot of it is being in the right place at the right time.”  The takeaway? Because there is an element of luck when it comes to getting discovered, the more you put yourself out there, the more your work will be seen, heard and eventually noticed.

Top Emerging Fields

In the dynamic evolution of working and choosing a career, there’s one constant: learning new skills that support emerging markets is critical to your success.  You can bet that all of them will involve—and inspire—new technologies and new uses of existing technologies to support healthy, safe spaces all over the world for humans to coexist with each other and the natural world, peacefully and with curiosity.

1. Biostatistics

A master’s in biostatistics will earn you a median salary of about $113,400, according to Fortune, with at least a 20 percent projected job growth by 2022.

If those statistics aren’t enough to motivate you, how about this: biostatisticians help save the world.  Your ability to make lasting, positive changes in public health, clinical medicine, genomics, health economics—and the raw field of mathematics is essentially limitless.  So: if you have the science and math savvy, want to save the world, and live a pretty comfortable life on top of that, consider biostatistics.

2. Human-Computer Interaction and Artificial Intelligence

Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) and Artificial Intelligence (AI) is the study of how people interface with computers.  From algorithm science to information science, psychology to anthropology, you could work on anything from projects related to design guidelines for all types of software to academic research to figuring out the best interface for human-robot interaction.  With humans interacting with mobile and touch devices, you can also delve into the intricacies of human-computer interface.

3. Homeland Security and Cyber Criminality

If current world events don’t have your head spinning, imagine how experts in homeland security and cyber criminality feel.  Cybercrime is relatively new specialty—and one that will continue to see nearly exponential growth in the coming years.  Cybercrimes involve computers, networks, and the intent to harm individuals, systems, national security, and financial markets.  These crimes cover the spectrum of identity theft to election hacking.  Sounds relevant, doesn’t it?

If you opt to study Homeland Security, you can bet that cyber warfare will be an intrinsic part of your training.  The graduate program in Homeland Security at San Diego State University, for example, focuses on prevention, deterrence, and response to instances of terror and espionage on national and international levels.  A cornerstone of their program?  Cyber security.