Healthcare Trends: The Case for Nurses

Nursing is the backbone of the healthcare industry. With employers offering many perks to attract new nurses, there may never be a better time to get a nursing degree. Nursing: The Largest Healthcare Career
Already 2.4 million workers strong, America’s nursing workforce can expect rapid growth over the next ten years, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). The BLS expects employment in nursing to grow by 23% during the next decade. The Perks: RN Stands for Register Now!
Besides the satisfaction of providing individualized patient care in a booming industry, nursing offers competitive salaries. According to the BLS, as of 2006, registered nurses earned a median annual income of $57,000. Additionally, because employers are facing difficulties finding registered nurses, many are offering perks:

  • Signing bonuses
  • Family-friendly work schedules
  • Subsidized continuing education

With so many opportunities available, now is the perfect time to pursue a nursing degree through either campus-based or online degree programs.
Paths to Nursing: Nursing Schools and Online Degree Programs
Plenty of accredited nursing degrees are available through both campus-based and online degree programs. Nursing degree programs typically include coursework in the biological sciences, healthcare, and a hands-on practice component. There are 846 accredited nursing programs offering Associate Degrees in Nursing, as well as 674 accredited programs offering Bachelor’s of Science in Nursing. The numbers speak for themselves. Whether you choose a campus-based or online nursing degree program, there has never been a greater need–or better timing–for you to go to nursing school. About the Author
Elizabeth Buckner is a freelance writer and current Fulbright grantee to Morocco, where she is conducting research on language education and the growth of English. She holds a B.A. in Sociology/Anthropology and Education from Swarthmore College.

Where Can a Computer Science Degree Take You?

Earning your computer science and technology degree through online schools just makes sense. Why? Online degree programs require a student to be proficient with the use of a computer and Internet connection, and that’s the basis of moving into the computer science field.
Online Degree Programs Open the Door to Booming Industries
There has never been a better time to dive into a computer science degree. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the job growth outlook for overall employment of computer network, systems, and database administrators is expected to grow by 30 percent from 2008 to 2018, which is much faster than the average for all occupations.
However, the stunning growth lies in network systems and data communications analysts, where jobs are expected to grow at 53 percent from 2008 to 2018. That kind of growth puts technology occupations among the fastest growing in the nation, and that means computer science majors can expect a sweet job outlook in the coming years.
Required Online Degree Programs for Computer Science Jobs
Though some jobs require an associate’s degree to get in the door, many potential employers now require a bachelor’s degree, and give special consideration to applicants who have a master’s degree. Relevant experience matters just as much as the degree does, especially for those who want to advance quickly up the information technology ranks.
Online bachelor’s degree programs are a good place to begin when planning your computer science and technology career. Some students will choose to pursue a Master of Business Administration with an emphasis on technology, computer science, or e-commerce, thus positioning themselves for more advancement opportunities.
Online degree programs that lead to certificates can be a perfect way to enhance certain areas of expertise and show a commitment to continuing education after you have obtained the bachelor’s or master’s degree. The world of technology moves quickly, so dive into your online education now to make the most of the opportunity.

The Future of IT: Combining Business and Information Systems

The IT world of tomorrow will be different from that of today. Merging information systems and technology with business, management and marketing skills will be the norm, not the exception. Now is the time to increase your qualifications with an online degree.

Tomorrow’s IT World

A 2006 ComputerWorld article predicted “By 2010, six out of 10 people affiliated with IT will assume business-facing roles.” Technology is becoming increasingly integrated with business, making business information systems, management, and marketing skills important for those in IT. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the IT industry is expected to grow 16% during the next decade. Furthermore, those IT workers with “management skills and an understanding of business practices and principles will have excellent opportunities.” This means that if you want to be a part of IT tomorrow, today is the day to get the business and management skills you need by enrolling in one of many online schools with specialized degree programs.

Hot IT Skills: The Need for Business and Management Skills

So what are the hot skills that you need to stay on top of the market? Besides business acumen, various skills include:

  • Enterprise architecture
  • Project leadership
  • Business process re-engineering
  • Project planning, budgeting and scheduling

Get the Training You Need: Online College Courses in Business Information Systems and Management

Elevating and sharpening your skills in business information systems, management or marketing is crucial for maintaining job security in the IT world. Online college courses in business or management today could help you become a leader in the IT world of tomorrow! Sources:

  • ComputerWorld
  • U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

About the Author
Elizabeth Buckner is a freelance writer and current Fulbright grantee to Morocco, where she is conducting research on language education and the growth of English. She holds a B.A. in Sociology/Anthropology and Education from Swarthmore College.

Finding The Right Art Education Degree Course Or Program

An art education degree course or art education program will provide any student with a certificate that will greatly increase his or her earnings potential. The student who successfully obtains an art education degree will be qualified to teach art in public schools.

What Skills Do You Need to Earn an Art Degree?

Competence as an artist is of course required. Competence in teaching is also required. Anyone seeking to pursue a career in art education should acknowledge that these two disciplines working together are essential to their overall success.
Art education is about teaching children the value of self-expression and communication, whether through visual, tactile or emotional means. There is a language in art. Visual images can convey a wide variety of messages and can fulfill a need in the viewer. Art can also convey values about individuals or society. Art education encompasses all these things.

Earning Your Online Art Degree

The student who seeks to gain an art education degree may find that online colleges or universities have more to offer in terms of flexibility than their traditional counterparts. Online art degree programs are in fact becoming increasingly popular and are often a first choice for the new student.

There are so many colleges and universities all offering art education degree courses or programs online; this wide variety of choices may leave the potential art student feeling overwhelmed by the sheer number of choices he or she has. Added to that is the fact that there are a great many colleges and universities which are non-accredited.

The unsuspecting student may waste his or her time and money pursuing an arts education degree course or program that no one will recognize once they have acquired it. For this reason, it is vitally important that only properly accredited colleges and universities are researched before making a final choice.

What Can Offer Potential Art Students

At, we offer a list of every accredited college and university in the US; note that no non-accredited colleges are listed on this site. Because of this you can conduct your research with confidence, knowing that you will not waste your valuable time on organizations that will at best deliver a worthless degree at the end of the day.

You will also be able to find all the most affordable colleges and universities offering an art education degree course or program at But with so many art degree programs to choose from, you may find the choice of the best one for you a difficult choice to make.

Most students persevere and eventually opt for the one that seems best. Often there is a residual doubt, but they go ahead anyway. A better way is to find 15 to 20 art degree programs  that meet all your criteria; then, apply to all of these schools. The reason why you should do this is because they will all send you a free information pack.

Using alone will not allow you to compare the information packs. But when you apply to as many colleges and universities that you can find who seem suitable, you will subsequently receive additional information (the free information packs) that will enable you to make a more in depth analysis of each college and university.  After using to help you conduct thorough research, you will eventually be able to make a confident decision on an online art degree program that meets your specific needs.

Types of Educational Grants

The US Department of Education Funding Opportunities has a billion-budget each year to provide financial aid to states and school districts.  This financial aid is intended to improve both elementary and secondary education through formula-based grant programs.

What are Educational Grants?

Educational grants are meant to meet special needs of students in America; however, educational grants also provide financial support for strengthening teaching and learning in post-secondary institutions.  Educational grants are different from other student financial aids, including formula grants, which are non-competitive awards based on various programs. These institutions including colleges, as well and about $4 billion to support research, rehabilitation, and adult education. 

Who Pays for Educational Grants?

The federal government distributes education grant money to individuals, schools and businesses, and only wealthy companies are required to contribute 5% of their assets to a tax-exempt status, the same of individual with wealthy finances.  In the case of educational grants, students can apply for as many grants as they want, but it is mandatory to use the money for the purpose of the grant: pay for education, although private foundations may allow using part of the money for other purposes.  Money from educational grants never has to be paid back, but this benefit only applies for America citizens. Even then, it is advisable to visit the U.S. Department of Education, where further information on types of grants and programs can be obtained, whether online, or via phone or regular mail.

Who Can Receive Educational Grants?

Any U.S. citizen who pays taxes is eligible for a government grant. When it comes to educational grants, there are two different types:

  • Discretionary Grants:  are set up only by a competitive. Money obtained through this type of grant is not taxable and does not need to be paid back
  • Cooperative Agreements: similar to discretionary, but involve collaboration between the recipient and the department from which the cooperative agreement is awarded

How to Inquire about Educational Grants

After getting the pertaining information, the next step is to contact the program office sponsoring the grant, and fill out an application. The application must include a brief description of whatever educational program or project in which the student will be enrolled, the estimated budget and the date range in which the money will be used.  Not being an ordinary application form, it is more likely that the sponsoring office will provide an application package, including an overview, directions, program regulations, application notice, as well as requirements such as assurances, certifications, etc.  Although applications are sent to the control center, under the Department of Education, the final destination of the form is the Department of Discretion, generally divided into grant teams for better focusing on each applicant’s educational needs.

How Long Does it Take to Apply for an Educational Grant?

After rank application by number, those with the highest scores are awarded with an educational grant, after a process that might take from 4 to 6 months. Institutions offering educational grants are required to notify Congress the name of every applicant that is being funded and what state he or she resides.

There are educational directories where students can find the different institutions funding studies, including educational technology grants, educational research grants, cultural affairs grants, K-12 educational grants, grants to earn a traditional or online high school diploma, and many others in the fields of communication, media, dance, literacy, music, post-secondary education, professional development, theater, performing arts, etc.

Online Degree Facts

The Evolution of Distance Learning

Distance learning in whatever medium is not a new idea; it has actually been practiced since the turn of the last century. The old correspondence school has gained new life with the advent of the Internet, but with greatly extended “richness” and “reach” (Weigel, 2000). These online degree programs are not an alternative for those who simply cannot make it in class, but rather are designed for adults who have specific goals and limited available time.

Modern Online Degree Programs

Many online degree programs lacked uniformity of quality in past years, but today’s online programs are much more focused and purposeful. Advancement in the quality and scope of learning management systems (LMS) can be credited with much of that shift. A few of the other reasons include greater availability of online courses, an increased need, whether real or perceived, for additional training or degrees for professional advancement and easier access to the Internet.

There is a variety of opinion surrounding the effectiveness of online learning, of course. Clark (1991) writes that he came to regard his 1983 position that “media does not influence students’ learning and motivation” (p. 34) as no longer being true and by 1991 altered his position to acknowledging that “media are now taken along with student perception to be factors in student motivation” (Clark, 1991; p. 34).

This is consistent with Salomon’s (1997) statement that “Media’s symbolic forms shape the way people form meanings, use their mental capacities and view the world” (p. 375). Though mind “and media are allegedly two very different entities” (Salomon, 1997; p. 375), there appears to be a convergence recognized today that often was not recognized in the past, as Clark (1991) notes. That is that mind generally “is taken to encompass the very essence of humanity – intelligence, emotion, compassion, will, and creativity” (Salomon, 1997; p. 375), while technology typically is viewed as being “cold, impersonal, dehumanizing, dull technology of the mass production of information for mass distribution” (Salomon, 1997; p. 375). Despite these broad differences in mind and technology, “history, research, and experience tell us that the two are intertwined in a number of ways” (Salomon, 1997; p. 375).

Media Presence in Daily Life

The current focus on media and media types certainly is justifiable, given the environments in which many children grow up in today’s society. Video games exist as the modern siren call; their effects often can be traced to the types of games children are allowed to play. If children are so drawn to video games, then it follows that the same medium would be beneficial in teaching children knowledge they need and that adults want them to assimilate. Moreno and Duran (2004) investigated the value of this position to find that multimedia games did indeed enhance some children’s learning but cautioned that “multimedia games may not be equally effective for all learners” (p. 492). Even so, Moreno and Mayer (2005) found that multimedia games can be quite effective among those learners who respond well to them.

The Evolution of Learning in America

Learning more often than not was by wrote in most subjects well into the 20th century. Early in the century, progressives believed that public schools also should teach children to be citizens and wives, or to emerge with a viable trade if they were not destined to attend college, which remained an elitist concept in many respects. By mid-century there was little attention given to math and science in public schools. Then the Soviets shocked all of America when they launched Sputnik in 1957. Sputnik’s existence highlighted the need for education reform in America.

It seems that American education tried everything except what would work for all students. We were liberal; we were restrictive; we encouraged high performers and then sought to minimize their accomplishments so not to discourage others. We came to the 21st century spending more than ever, but achieving poor educational results. The No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 is the in-progress solution to underperforming schools. Public schools are required to show meaningful and measurable gains in educational achievement, regardless of demographic characteristics, economic conditions or any other external feature of the local area.

How the No Child Left Behind Act Affects Education

The No Child Left Behind (NCLB) act “aims to bring all students up to the proficient level on state tests by the 2013-14 school year, and to hold states and schools more accountable for results” (No Child Left Behind, n.d.). It establishes a variety of remedies for the children attending public schools that fail to demonstrate improvement for two to six or more consecutive years, and also receive Title I federal funds.

NCLB is the short-form result of revamping and redesigning the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA). Title 1 of the act addresses the school performance, student achievement and teacher accountability that gain so much attention.  The act also requires that technology use be enhanced in schools, in addition to teachers being trained in technology through professional development initiatives.

Title II is “Preparing, Training and Recruiting High Quality Teachers and Principals;” Part D specifically addresses enhancing education with the use of technology. Among other things, Title II Part D calls for:

  • “Development of an effective educational technology infrastructure;
  • “Professional development that promotes integration of technology into the curriculum and alignment with state standards;
  • “Use of electronic means for teaching and student learning;
  • “Use of technology to promote family involvement and school-family communication;
  • “Training on emerging technologies;
  • “Professional development to retrieve Internet-based learning resources; [and]
  • “Preparing teachers to be building-based technology leaders” (Graber, 2002; p. 8).

Graber (2002) notes that virtually every program requires “extensive professional development for teachers, principals and support staff, including the dissemination of best-practice models” (p. 8). These requirements span the entire range of public education, including in professional development those who staff early childhood programs.

Professional Development

Specific requirements for professional development are contained in Title IX of the ESEA. Recognizing that many public school systems lack great depth in the area of technology, Title IX states that in those areas where educational service agencies exist, state-level education departments “shall consider providing professional development and technical assistance through such agencies” (Graber, 2002; p. 5).

This section of the law is careful to define what does and does not qualify as professional development. It does “not include 1-day or short-term workshops and conferences” (ESEA quoted in Graber, 2002; p. 5). Addressable topics in this section include methods for teaching reading; methods for assessing English language proficiency; and training in effective instructional strategies based on research-derived best practices for math and science education (Graber, 2002).

Business-Based Training

For their part, businesses have cut costs, laid off employees, looked for internal efficiencies to build on and have taken a host of other steps to increase their opportunities to prosper in the face of ever-increasing competition. The value, development and retention of human capital has become the next aspect of business that organizations seek to define and manage to their benefit. It also links education and business as never before.

Human capital refers to the value residing within the individuals of the organization. Production workers know their jobs well and call attention to problems that arise rather than turning out products of inferior quality. Operational managers treat well those reporting to them and regard their own roles as providing workers with all they need to accomplish the tasks assigned to them. Senior management seeks to enhance the value resident within the human capital of the organization, and training provides a means of achieving this enhancement.

Training existing employees is straightforward. Certainly the organization needs to ensure that its training activities are relevant and transportable to individuals’ specific jobs, but it can regularly assess the value of its training programs and alter those programs where and when necessary.

Contributing to continuing education likely is the easiest approach to building human capital. If the organization helps with tuition costs and ensures that the employee has sufficient free time to make the most of continuing education opportunities, then the organization benefits from the individual’s choice of how to spend hours away from work. Alternatively, organizations developing and conducting their own training programs have greater control over content and can tailor training activities to precisely fit their own needs.

Business organizations must ensure that they become and remain employers of choice. Being an organization where “everyone” wants to work not only helps to retain developing human capital, it also helps the organization to attract valuable sources of human capital in the future. Training has long been recognized as a benefit (Clark, 1992).

Career Trends: Women in Architecture

According to the American Institute of Architects, women account for 20% of registered architects. However, the number of female architecture students has steadily increased during the past decade. As challenging positions, architecture jobs demand precision and hard work from any aspiring architect–male or female. The Nation’s Capital Celebrates Women in Architecture
As a sign of changing times, in 2007, the National Building Museum hosted an exhibition celebrating women in architecture. Focusing on histories, her-stories, and 100 years of contributions from women, this recent exhibition should inspire any perspective architect, regardless of gender. However, inspiration is not enough for this challenging field. Architecture jobs require extensive architecture training, certification, and relentless dedication. More than Inspiration: Master Certification for Architecture Jobs
Although a bachelor’s degree can be sufficient for many architecture jobs, it’s strongly recommended that you complete a master’s degree or higher in the field. A master’s degree or higher in architecture can increase your employability as well as serve as a stepping stone to a possible advancement or towards the path of starting your own architecture firm. To really add strength to your resume, sufficient coursework in computer aided design (CAD) software and related programs can be beneficial. Having extra certification under your belt certainly doesn’t hurt and can increase your attractiveness to potential employers. The relationship between computer science and architecture grows closer with new advancements in technology. The more competent you are in these areas, the further you can expect to go, regardless of your gender. About the Author
A freelance writer, Stanley Rubenti currently lives in Bangkok where he writes columns for a variety of publications. Stanley holds a B.A. in history.

Types of Student Loans

When it comes to college, it is important to learn more about the different student loans available on the market.

The Two Types of Student Loans

There are two major types of student loans: private loans and federal loans, both of which rare available below regular interest rates. In the United States, the federal government assigns $50 billion  to the student loan program.  Parents can get up to $2500 federal tax credit on interest paid over any period of time.

Loans and Tax Deductions

Best of all, tax deduction applies equally, whether parents or students are the loan takers. In overall terms, student loans are available from private lenders, state governments, but more commonly directly through colleges and high schools. The most popular student loans are Direct Loans, FFEL Stafford loans, and Federal Perkins Loans, offering diverse advantages according to which one you are considering. The following loans are similar in that they are all available to both undergraduate and graduate students; however, they differ in the following ways:  

  • Federal Perkins Loan: A low-interest loan, which means rates remain at 5% for the loan term
  • Direct and Stafford Loan: Has a non-fixed interest rate, and can be either subsidized or unsubsidized.  You must be a regular student enrolled in an eligible education program for at least half the time, although other eligibility requirements apply.
  • Federal Perkins loan: The application is evaluated, since this type of loan is intended for students with financial need.  This loan is made up of funds provided by the government–and a share contributed by the college, which becomes the lender–meaning the students must repay the loan to the college.

For FFEL Stafford loans, it is the government who guarantees their funds, so parents or students do not need collateral when applying for these loans. Students’ household income is what rules the assignment of a subsidized or unsubsidized loan in this case. When a student is eligible for a subsidized loan, the government covers the interest for the starting and grace period before repayment begins.

There is however, another loan that is not directly intended for students, but for helping parents to pay their children’s college fees.  

  • Parent Loan for Undergraduate Students (PLUS): Best known as a Federal PLUS Loan: intended for parents of undergraduates in order to enable them to pay for tuition, serving as a tax relief as well. With a Federal PLUS loan, parents can borrow up to the total cost of their children’s education.

Similar to the Perkins Loans, the college must approve the parents who want to benefit from this loan with flexible repayments, and no payment of the debt for up to 4 years. Although parents with bad credit or poor credit can apply, the drawback is that any grant or financial aid awarded is subtracted from the total amount of money borrowed. It is important to know that you have many options to finance your education, so be sure to investigate the many types of loans available for you!

Mind Medicine: The Field of Psychiatry

Psychiatrists play a critical role in the mental rehabilitation of patients who have suffered loss, battled abuse, or simply need someone to talk to.

A Different Kind of Doctor?

A psychiatrist is a medical doctor (MD) who treats different types of mental challenges or illnesses. They have earned a bachelor’s degree and attended medical school, earning a psychiatry degree. With an understanding of the causes of emotional and mental patterns, they administer treatment through the forms of conversation, mental exercises, medication, and more.

The Working Life of a Psychiatrist

After earning your psychiatry degree from medical school, a variety of psychiatry jobs will be available to you. Some psychiatry jobs are offered at a hospital site, where you join the hospital faculty and see patients at a hospital office. Another common psychiatry job exists in private practice, where psychiatrists see patients at a private office or residence.  Psychiatry jobs involve typical working hours of a physician or surgeon. Two years ago, the average psychiatry job paid an average salary of $173,922, although this varies depending on location, experience, and patient population. The road to a career in psychiatry starts with one thing: education. Research your psychiatry degree and start on your way to a rewarding career healing the minds of patients. Begin by taking coruses at campus or online schools to gauge your level of interest in the subject matter.

  • What is a Psychiatrist? From the America Psychiatric Association
  • Physicians and Surgeons, from the Bureau of Labor Statistics

About the Author
Author and business coach, Joe Taylor Jr. helps professionals change careers. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Communications from Ithaca College.

Virtual Classroom

There is no doubt that the virtual classroom is the wave of the future. Not only does it remove the aspect of travel from the educational equation – with the possible exception of having to retrieve books from the local public library – but it also saves considerable time for both the student and the instructor. By utilizing online college degree resources and a variety of telecommunications technologies, students are now able to pursue multiple interests while having enough time and attention for each one.

The Power of Telecommunications in Online Education

In this technological age, applying computer-based knowledge as a way to enhance education is essential if students of the future are going to receive their education while working full time and living their lives. There is no doubt that telecommunications on college campuses will expand at an exponential rate, offering substantial opportunities to enhance one’s educational base. In light of this growing reality, it would behoove employeres  to gain a better understanding of the entire online degree experience.  They would soon realize that this non traditional approach actually provides a much better opportunity for learning.

“New technology continues to revolutionize business, education, health care, government operations and social service delivery. Access to technology can determine whether individuals and communities can participate in and fully benefit from the promise of American society in the next century” (Anonymous, 1997).

Telecommunications technologies are powerful educational tools, indeed. Their mere existence within an online curriculum can bring about significant changes, even if the particular components of that technology do not have any curricular composition themselves. The concept that must be fully understood, with respect to the overall educational strategies, is the fact that these strategies can greatly inspire or modify the direction of a student’s course of study. This is especially pertinent when one is discussing the merits of telecommunications technology, as “the cumulative effect can be significant and yet still remain invisible” (Ehrman, 1995, p. 20).

Earning Your Online Degree

The millions of people who seek to earn online degrees clearly illustrate how the entire aspect of education has changed – and will continue to do so – with the inclusion of telecommunications in the virtual academic setting. It has come to the point where students no longer even have to set foot onto a campus in order to reach their educational goals.  You can even earn your online high school diploma to get started, and continue on as high as you would like to go. Some employers consider this a positive move toward acquiring the necessary knowledge to further one’s career; others look upon online education as wholly inferior to traditional educational methods.

Technological Advances Encourage the Convenience of Online Education

The convenience of such technology not only enables students to schedule school around their lives – which is just the opposite with traditional methods – but technology also allows more time for the student to digest the information.  The student can take more classes than time typically allows when having to attend brick-and-mortar schools. No longer are they forced to abide by the instructor’s schedule; rather, they now have the freedom to attend class by video conferencing or via the Internet, when they are fully prepared to pay attention and receive the lesson (Holzberg, 1997).

Without question, the student of today has a far greater arsenal of learning tools than the student twenty years ago. The primary benefit from these technological applications is how they remove stagnating boundaries that have always existed with higher education opportunities. It will not be long until each and every person will have access to “multipoint technology” (Anonymous, 1997) that will provide a full scope of educational benefits to both the student and employers alike.

Telecommunications technologies are assisting education in a number of positive ways; not only do they “promote career advancement [and] continued education” (Anonymous, 1997, p. D-1), but the various components – including distance learning, video conferencing, Internet access, interactive multimedia and knowledge-based systems – have all come to play an integral role in the educational advancement of students throughout the world. As students continue to reap the multiple benefits of obtaining their degrees online, so too does the rest of the world by having access to a better trained and significantly more astute workforce.