Category Archives: Education

Develops Your Digital Skills

You’ve spent your entire life immersed in the digital world. So you’re pretty much already an expert, right? Not so fast. As it turns out, there’s plenty more to learn in today’s fast-moving digital space — particularly if you’re interested in becoming a change agent in your chosen field. Read on for a roundup of three reasons to pursue a master’s degree with a focus on the digital, along with one program that gets it right when it comes to helping students acquire the skills they need — not just to survive, but to truly thrive in the ever-changing digital landscape.

1. Digital skills open diverse doors.

Do a quick internet search of the words “digital skills,” and you’ll turn up countless articles on “essential,” “must-have” and “top” digital skills employers are looking for today. At the same time, US staffing and solutions company the Adecco Group reveals that 92 percent of employees aren’t prepared to navigate the contemporary business world. Claiming top four spots on the list of skills executives think workers lack? Technical and software skills.

But that’s not all, insists The Guardian, “It’s not just the scale and pace of the digital revolution that makes it exciting; it’s also the fact that it’s being democratized. No longer reserved for IT departments and tech companies, digital is becoming a critical part of every industry and is opening up opportunities across sectors, whether it’s top surgeons video linking into operating theatres from abroad or targeted mobile advertising based on clothes you’re trying on in real time.”

So whether you want to be a teacher, doctor, businessperson, lawyer, journalist, or one of a million other possible career paths, skills like SEO, coding, video editing, imaging editing, blogging and others are quickly moving from the category of nicety to necessity. The takeaway? Digital skills aren’t just highly sought-after in technology-related sectors; they’re also universally prized.

2. Digitalization is essential to corporate development.

According to a recent article in The Telegraph, ‘Why Digital Skills Matter for Your Company,” “businesses that improve the digital skills of all their employees will become more productive, innovative, profitable and secure.” For bottom-line-minded organizations, these are hard words to ignore. Just how much do businesses stand to gain by embracing all things digital? As reported by The Telegraph based on research by Oxford Economics for Virgin Media Business, the UK economy could see a boost of £92bn and more than one million jobs in the next two years alone.

Said Peter Winebloom, skills director a manufacturers’ organizations EEF, “Britain is on the cusp of a global, technology-driven fourth industrial revolution, but the challenge comes from ensuring that we have access to the right skills in the right numbers.”  In other words, if the UK — and other countries, too — is to reach its potential, it will take workers with the right digital skills make it happen.

Europes Digital Innovators

Dr. Till Wahnbaeck, CEO of Germany’s hunger-fighting NGO Welthungerhilfe, recently penned a piece for The Guardian in which she reiterated the critical need for innovation. But what, exactly, is innovation? Her explanation is a surprisingly simple one, “Innovation is the answer to a simple question: Is there a better way?”

Apply this concept to the digital world and its meaning is exponentially amplified. Because we are just dipping a toe into the digital pool, there’s no question that there is a better way. In other words, the answers are limitless. The bigger issue? Finding the people with the ken and capacity to drive these answers. Here’s a closer look at why digital innovation matters, along with three strategies for positioning yourself to become a digital innovator in this brave new world.

Why Digital Innovation Matters

Contemporary business success largely hinges on an organization’s ability to adapt to the rapidly evolving digital space. Take companies like Amazon and Netflix, for example.  Their business models inherently rely on continuously expanding and enhancing their digital products and services to remain competitive. But this evolution doesn’t happen on its own.

Says global management consulting firm North Highland Worldwide Consulting’s Alex Bombeck, “Everyone recognizes the importance of digital in today’s business environment, but the landscape is littered by companies that have been left behind the digital curve. Leaders must figure out how to meet the high expectations of customers and deliver a unique human experience, or risk becoming obsolete.”

In addition to the usual suspects of leadership like vision and managerial skills, the next generation of business leaders will also need to understand the fundamentals of digital innovation, including the economic and technological factors powering it; the intersection of former, current and future business models; differences between digital models and how they interact with each other; best practices for organizing and leading digital product and service innovation efforts;  the role of crowdsourcing; and other topics.

Echoes North Highland Global CIO Ben Grinnell of what it takes to thrive in the new digital world, “To enable digital transformation, old legacy systems are not going to cut it. Silos must be broken down and an agile mindset needs to take hold. This means building cross-functional teams that can be nimble, move fast and quickly produce results.”

Three Steps to Becoming a Digital Innovator

Now that we’ve covered how important digital innovation is, along with why having the right skill set is critical for people looking to innovate in the digital space, a final question remains: How do you prepare yourself to become one of them? These three steps are a great starting point:

1. Be international.

Digital innovation has no physical borders. And with companies like Turner increasingly prioritizing international digital innovation, it makes sense for those looking for an inside edge to cultivate a global perspective — preferably through first-hand experience.

In fact, according to a recent Erasmus Impact Study which looks into the effects of international study on the skills and employability of students, 65 percent of employers consider international experience important in job applicants, while a full 92 percent are looking for transversal skills developed through international experiences, including “openness to and curiosity about new challenges, problem-solving and decision-making skills, confidence, tolerance toward other personal values and behaviors.”

2. Know the best course of study.

We’ve already established that international experience is a major plus. What else should you be looking for in terms of degrees and certifications? Not only will you need training in key digital technology areas, but you’ll also need to develop innovation and entrepreneurship skills.

Another plus? Real-world experience, which will allow you to practice applying your newfound skills while simultaneously building a network of professional relationships.

3. Choose the right program.

All of this may sound like a tall order, but EIT Digital Academy’s Digital Master School program delivers. This two-year program at two different universities from nine countries not only sends graduates out into the world with master’s degrees from two of Europe’s leading universities, but also a certificate from the European Institute of Technology.

What else separates EIT Digital from the rest? Students have their choice of 20 top European universities; gain a high-level technical education combined with an Innovation and Entrepreneurship minor; and build a strong professional network through internship opportunities with industrial partners and innovative startups.

The chance to specialize in the second year, meanwhile, offers in-depth studies in technical areas including cloud computing services, data science, digital media technology, embedded systems, human interaction and design, technology and architecture, security and privacy, and service design and engineering.

Says Head of the EIT Digital Master School Dr. Patrick Hartigan, “There is a heavy and increasing need for premium IT masters in Europe. This programme seeks out the best students from across the EU and beyond. It then equips them with cutting-edge technical knowledge and business skills so that they can go on to help assure Europe’s role in the global digital economy. This is a unique opportunity where learning to think as an entrepreneur is a key criterion.”

Think it all sounds perfect, but have concerns about paying for it? EIT Digital’s generous financial assistance including tuition waivers, scholarships, travel and installation support put the programs prestigious double degrees and an Innovation and Entrepreneurship EIT Certificate within your reach.

Digital innovation is all about blazing new territory in an uncharted world. Will you be following behind or at the forefront? EIT Digital Academy’s Digital Master School program can prepare you not just to be a player in the digital innovation space, but to be a game-changer.

Consider a Degree in Indigenous Studies

A December 2016 THE article highlighted the rise in both the US and Canada of indigenous language coursework. That same month, CBC News ran a story on Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s prioritization of indigenous languages through the imminent proposal of the Canadian Indigenous Languages Act, while The Globe and Mail reported on Trudeau’s pledge to work toward reconciliation with the indigenous First Nations, Inuit and Métis groups through annual meetings with their leaders.

Given the media buzz over indigenous studies combined with the initiatives fueling this buzz, the question follows: Why is this field so important, and are studies in this area right for you? Read on for five reasons to consider a degree in indigenous studies.

 

1. Indigenous studies offer a more comprehensive and honest representation of history.

Indigenous people have been marginalized in countries across the globe for many years. In most cases, they’re still being marginalized today.

According to Danielle Lorenz, a PhD candidate in educational policy studies, the best way to remedy ongoing ignorance and stereotypes about indigenous people is through indigenous studies. In addition to fascinating coursework in diverse areas ranging from literature to traditional ecological knowledge, Lorenz points out that there are more general takeaways for students in this field: “They can learn about the accomplishments and contributions Indigenous peoples have made to global society, they can learn that Indigenous peoples in North America survived the world’s worst holocaust, they can learn about the true history of Canada – not as peaceful (or dull) as commonly thought, and they can learn that, today, while challenges exist – Indigenous peoples are more than just their ‘issues.’”

 

2. Indigenous studies are interdisciplinary.

Indigenous studies comprise a breadth and depth of academic fields the humanities, social sciences and beyond. Not only do students learn how to integrate this information in order to broaden their worldviews, but in doing so they also hone and refine their critical thinking skills.

These skills aren’t just applicable to directly related work in areas like indigenous governance, indigenous literature, and indigenous social work, they’re also transferrable — and highly valued by employers.

 

3. They are a necessary part of achieving reconciliation.

Many national history curricula overlook the stories of indigenous people. In Australia, for example, while Aboriginal people created a unique and impactful civilization, it is largely disregarded today. Why? Because according to an article in The Conversation, “It does not easily fit with the colonial mythologies around which popular histories of Australia have traditionally been constructed. Indeed the very use of the term ‘civilisation’ in relation to Aboriginal Australia will no doubt confound some readers. Perhaps the most insidious myth perpetuated about Aboriginal society is the idea it was ‘primitive’, ‘stone age’, ‘nomadic’, or ‘unevolved’. This type of thinking feeds racist stereotypes and discriminatory attitudes which continue to marginalize and disassociate Aboriginal Australians from the national identity. The archaeology of our continent directly refutes this type of thinking, but until recently the monuments and achievements of ancient Australia have remained largely invisible to the mainstream public.”

Top Fields to Study in the UK

For many aspiring international students, Brexit is a giant and unknowable elephant in the room: What will the UK’s vote to leave the EU mean for the country’s higher education system and opportunities for foreign students there? While it’s true that some things are bound to change, it’s also true that it would take a lot more than Brexit to wipe away the UK’s esteemed history and ongoing reputation as a world leader in higher education. The overall takeaway? Whether or not Brexit went the way you hoped it would go, there are still many reasons to choose the UK as your international study destination — especially in one of these nine top areas.

1. Marine Biology

Home to diverse marine life and some of the world’s best marine facilities, the UK is a terrific destination for students aiming to enrich their knowledge of the biology of marine organisms. Boasting five of the top 20 best universities for earth and marine sciences, according to QS World Universities, the UK also lays claims to plenty of other world-class marine biology programs, universities and institutions.

Popular UK marine biology degrees include the Master of Marine Biology at the University of Aberdeen, the MRES in Marine Biology at Plymouth University, and the MSC in Freshwater and Marine Ecology at Queen Mary University of London.

2. Medicine

The UK has been a leader in the field of medicine for hundreds of years, and many of the world’s major medical discoveries happened here. Whether you’re looking for a breadth and depth of coursework, clinical contact, the development of a global network, or access to the some of the planet’s most brilliant professors and researchers, you’ll find it here.

Degree options in medicine are also diverse, including the MA Science, Medicine, Environment & Technology at the University of Kent, the Master in Medicine and Therapeutics at the University of Aberdeen, and the Master in Cancer Medicine at the University of Aberdeen.

Women That Changed Science

Did you know that February 11th is International Day of Women and Girls in Science? Whether you’re a woman working in this vital area or you have a sister/mother/daughter/aunt/friend/colleague who is, this annual observation is the perfect day to give yourself (or someone else) a pat on the back. It’s also an ideal opportunity to honor the many women whose contributions to science continue to improve our lives today.

We’re all familiar with the names Marie Curie and Maria Montessori, but they’re far from alone. Here’s a closer look at eight other pioneering women in science, along with why the contributions of women are more necessary than ever moving forward.

1. Virginia Apgar: Medicine

Determined to be a surgeon despite her gender and financial problems, Dr. Virginia Apgar persevered to become the first woman at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons to earn the distinction of full professor. In her work at Columbia, she designed and introduced the APGAR Score which is still used all over the world as a standardized method for evaluating newborn health. Apgar later earned a master’s degree in public health, and received many awards and honors for her work toward the prevention of birth defects.

2. Bertha Parker Pallan: Archeology

While Pallan followed in the footsteps of her archaeologist father, the inaugural president of the Society for American Archaeology, she earned recognition in her own right. According to Adafruit, “Bertha Parker Pallan Thurston Cody is notable in the field of archaeology for her role as a groundbreaker: she was one of the first (if not the first) Native American female archaeologists. She was certainly first in her ability to conduct this work at a high level of skill, yet without a university education, making discoveries and gaining insights that impressed the trained archaeologists around her.”

3. Annie Jump Cannon: Astronomy

For generations, the mnemonic phrase, “Oh, Be a Fine Girl — Kiss Me!” has been used by astronomers to remember the spectral classifications of stars. Its inventor? Annie Jump Cannon. Cannon was part of a group of “Pickering’s Women,” who worked with data and astronomical calculations at the Harvard College Observatory. She received many honors over the course of her 40-year career, including being the first recipient of an honorary degree from Oxford and the first woman officer of the American Astronomical Society.

How to Build on Your Bachelor

There’s no magic to a master’s degree—but the right one at the right time and in the right place can make a significant difference in your overall happiness, salary, and career opportunities.  What can sweeten the pot? How about an international master’s degree?  Graduate studies abroad can give your undergraduate degree a big boost, but adding more years to your education is a big decision. So, what in it for you?

You Can Improve Your Career Opportunities

Do your research.  If your prospective master’s degree is tied to a specific type of job that you want, then you’ll definitely have a broader reach of opportunity.  Consider occupational therapy, in which a master’s degree is the key to success, or business management, where that MBA will certainly give you a competitive edge.  Public school teachers will experience almost immediate benefits with a master’s.  In some fields, where a master’s is a terminal degree, such as an M.F.A., you’ll be able to teach at the university level.  Clinical psychology is another great example of pursuing a master’s in a specific field so that you can do the job you want.

You Can Earn a Better Salary

A graduate degree doesn’t always mean extra money, but in some fields, it’s the only way to make more of it.  If you choose to study medicine or law, of course, you’ll need an advanced degree, but those of you who have your bachelor’s and are contemplating the endeavor?  You can plan on making at least $400,000 more over your working lifetime with a graduate degree.  Teaching is one profession for which you’ll automatically get paid more. Graphic design, marketing, finance, and therapy are other fields in which you’ll definitely see a better salary—and more professional marketability – with a master’s degree.

It’s a Chance to Do Your Research at a Respected University

When considering an international master’s degree, it is important to choose the right university. When it comes to research and graduate studies, location isn’t everything but it can help. After all, you can’t spend all your time in a lab or behind a book. Consider Helsinki, Finland, where you’ll find a safe, green city surrounded by stunning natural beauty and a vibrant student scene alongside one of the world’s top research universities: the University of Helsinki.  You’ll earn a world-class education at one of Europe’s leading research institutions, and a major international reputation.  With over half a million friendly faces, a vibrant urban atmosphere, and 60,000 students from around the globe, Helsinki is a perfect place to pursue that master’s degree and immerse yourself in a culture of motivated, inspirational, and brilliant people.  Did we mention the saunas and omenalörtsy?

 

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.