5 Ways to Make College Worth the Effort

A recent post, 5 Ways to Make College a Success by the Gallup Organization, is right on target.

Here is what they said are the 5 specific ways to make your continuing education worth the effort:

  1. A postsecondary degree is a net positive only if it is well focused to the individual
  2. Don’t get a Bachelor’s degree by default
  3. Keep Student Loan debt to a very minimum
  4. Question of the value of “prestigious” schools, and 5) When you learn pay close attention to what you are actually learning.

Here is the quote from them is below.

The thing I would add to their point #5 on maximizing your college effort is, you need to figure out your “Core Competencies” as soon as you can.  You need to have a plan to feed your Core Competencies.  You need to take classes that feed your competencies and you need to take classes from Teachers in your Core Competencies.  I have an iBook on this topic.  http://itunes.apple.com/us/book/id1069685032.



What follows is the best advice from our research — some of it counterintuitive — for making the most of college.

  1. Get a postsecondary credential or degree. But don’t feel like you need to do this until you have a clear — or somewhat clear — idea of your goals. People who graduated from college at a later age were less likely to regret their education paths. In fact, think about career and life goals first. Then think about where you want to go and the majors and fields of study that align with those. Thendecide how much you are willing to spend — or take out in loans — on your education. Many Americans do all of this backward today.
  2. Don’t pursue a bachelor’s degree by default. There are many paths to a great career and fulfilling life, including earning technical and career certificates, associate degrees, etc. And you can always stack credentials and degrees over time. Associate degree holders, for example, are more likely than bachelor’s degree holders to strongly agree that they have the ideal job for them and that they are deeply interested in their work.
  3. Don’t take on more than $25,000 in total student loan debt.Graduates with student loan debt over $25,000 have lower overall well-being and are more likely to regret their education decisions.
  4. Question the value of attending prestigious, highly selective and high-priced colleges and universities. They actually provide little (at best) to no (at worst) advantage in being engaged in your job and in your life outcomes (thriving in your well-being). Nor do they reduce the chances of feeling education regret. College is much more about what you make of it — how you take advantage of your education — than the type of institution you attend.
  5. When you actually attend college, make sure you do the things listed below. Grads who hit the marks on these double their odds of being engaged at work and having thriving well-being later in life:
  • As best you can, pick professors, not courses. Seek professors who have reputations for being amazing teachers and mentors.
  • Invest in a mentor. This goes both ways — someone who agrees to or offers to mentor you, as well as someone you feel is worth the investment of your time.
  • Find a job or internship where you can apply what you’re learning, or work to connect what you’re learning to your current job.
  • Take at least a couple of courses that involve long-term projects requiring a semester or more of work to complete.
  • Don’t try to “pad your resume” with a long list of extracurricular activities; get deeply, lastingly engaged in at least one.

Postsecondary education is a powerful pathway to a great job and a great life — but only if you make the most of it. Spread this advice to everyone you know. After all, it comes from the wisdom of hundreds of thousands of students and alumni.


Wisconsin bill that would expel or suspend students who disrupt speakers moves forward

This feeds the narrative that we are moving more to the “Alt-Right.”

MADISON, Wis. (AP) – Assembly Republicans moved closer to creating tougher penalties for University of Wisconsin student protesters Tuesday, advancing a bill that would suspend or expel students who disrupt speakers. The Assembly Committee on Colleges and Universities approved the bill on an 8-6 vote. This sends the bill […]

7 Ways A Learning Community Helps You Manage Change

Our hyper-connected digital world has accelerated change.    And, let’s face it, it isn’t always easy to deal with the twists and turns. To thrive in the 21st Century we must be flexible, innovative, and versatile. In this post, I’ll share 7 ways a Learning Community can help you be more adaptable to all this change.The first thing to consider is that change comes in a variety of different forms and with different impacts.  Some changes may work in our favor, while others make us second guess our goals and rethink our decisions. Being adaptable is the key to getting through it in one piece.A Learning Community can help you stay focused, productive, and determined in order to thrive.Here are the 7 ways a Learning Community helps you manage to better adapt to change:

  1. Helps You Embrace Learning.
    Believing you don’t know everything and believing there are always things you can learn are the first steps to successfully manage change.  Learning Communities give you the tools to create an online learning culture that empowers your efforts to build on the changes around you in a positive way. Learning Communities provide extra support to get the learning you need when you need it.  Learning Communities offer you the tools and resources you need to achieve your potential.
  1. Helps You Question Your Assumptions And Beliefs.
    In order to be adaptable you must learn how to break down the barriers that are holding you in place. We all have habits, belief systems, and assumptions that may be preventing us from adapting to the situation. Sometimes all it takes is asking a thought provoking question to set the gears in motion and encourage us to analyze and reflect on our current cognitions. Questioning our underlying beliefs or why we react in a certain way prompts us to explore our motives, which brings us one step closer to increasing our flexibility.
  1. Helps You Seek Out Differing Viewpoints.
    Everyone has their own opinions, ideas, and perspectives. Unfortunately, we may lose sight of this fact and get stuck in our own mental processes. Learning Communities offer a chance to share insights, provide feedback, and look at concepts and ideas from a different viewpoints. Learning Communities ask each group to develop online training materials, such as an online presentation that pertains to a specific task or topic. Learning Communities give us a list of online resources, like video conferencing platforms and Project Management sites we can use to collaborate online. The goal is to respect and value the beliefs of others, which allows us to see that there is always more than one way to approach a problem.
  1. Helps you Develop Creative Thinking Skills.
    Creativity is one of the most important elements of adaptability. It gives us the ability to look at ideas, concepts, and challenges from all angles, then come up with innovative solutions to the problem. Learning Communities help you develop creative thinking skills by integrating visual brainstorming online activities, such as mind maps, sketches, and charts. Learning Communities offer case studies that foster creativity by creating an emotional connection with others by helping us reflect upon how we would handle the situation or what we would do differently.
  1. Helps You Learn from Mistakes.
    Being adaptable is all about learning from mistakes and overcoming failures. When changes occur you must be able to turn every bump in the road into an opportunity to grow and discover their strengths. Mistake-driven learning can help you gain valuable experience and knowledge you can use in the future, especially when life throws you a proverbial curve ball. One of the most effective ways to emphasize the importance of failure is to create real life simulations. Learning Communities give you the chance to see the repercussions of your choices and actions in a supportive online training environment, instead of having to deal with a steep learning curve on-the-job.
  1. Helps you Explore All Of The Outcomes.
    Learning Communities help you explore all of the possible outcomes and improve your adaptability. This is primarily due to the fact learning communities deal in real world situations and challenges. Learning Communities allow you to test out new approaches, identify areas of improvement, and determine which skills need to be developed. In essence, Learning Communities help you build a tool kit to handle any situation that comes your way. When disaster strikes you can call upon the information and experience gained through the Learning Community
  1. Help you Focus On Performance Gaps.
    Learning Communities provide self-assessments to help you track your progress, identify strengths and weaknesses, and develop a personalized learning strategy based on your specific needs at a specific time. If an online self-assessment reveals you need to focus on a specific skill set or task, you can find the online resources you require to fill the gap. The more knowledge and self-awareness you have, the more adaptable you will become.  My experience suggests that if you are kept in the dark about your proficiency and have no means of testing your skills, you will probably stick with your unproductive habits

Learning Communities allow you take on challenges that come your way and stay calm and collected when uncertainty strikes.

Use these 7 tips to enhance their flexibility and get them ready for the changes you’ll face as you strive to thrive in the 21st Century

6 Key Factors to Improve Education

The key factors that are most likely to improve learning outcomes.

  • Learners taking ownership and having a choice in what they learn and how.
  • Differentiated and individualized learning
  • Formative, constructive, personalized, and focused assessment
  • Small-group learning experiences
  • Opportunities for students to reflect on their own learning and to develop other noncognitive skills that help them learn how to learn.
  • Flexible, collaborative tools to help teachers and learners incorporate these key factors and improve learning outcomes.


Top Ten IT Jobs! And How to Learn the Skills to do them!

  • No. 10: Software Architect (Senior Software Engineer) – Median Base Salary: $130,000
    • Skills
      • Communication
        • Interpersonal
        • Writing
          • Write Design Specifications and Technical Requirements
        • Team
          • Provide Code Reviews to the Team and Management
        • Presentation
      • Telecommunication
        • Network
      • Design and Programming Skills
        • Java and Java EE EJB 3/Spring, JSPs, Servlets, HTML, CSS, JQUERY, JavaScript, JDBC, C++ in a UNIX, XML, SQL
        • Agile Processes
        • Develop test cases, test plans, and expected results.
      • Marketing
      • Economics
      • Physics
      • Project Management
  • No. 9: UX Designer (User Interface) – Median Base Salary: $91,800
    • Skills
      • CommunicationWorking with business teams (across multiple partners) to determine UX needs and creating designs that meet them. As a UX Design Manager, you’ll be assessing the programs, business needs and market landscape, and owning the creative oversight required to distill these into design requirements
        Translating concepts and ideas into wireframes, workflow diagrams, customer journey maps and visual designs
        Effectively communicating, championing and defending user experience and design directions to business teams & executives using prototypes, visual communications, and narrative vision
        Leading user research, testing, and focus groups for strategic programs
        Championing user experience and design best practices to stakeholders throughout the Verizon Wireless organization. Bring design thinking to projects and act as a voice of UX innovation throughout the product development process.
        Being passionate about digital & mobile products and technology. The right person for this job lives and breathes digital & mobile experiences and has an amazing grasp on market trends and a vision for how these new products and technology designs will transform Big Data solutions 2-5 years into the future.
        Bachelor’s degree or eqivalent in Human-Computer Interaction, Interaction Design, Information Design, Visual Design or related field; accelerated degree preferred
        Experience as a UI Designer, Interaction Designer, Creative Director, Lead UX Strategist or similar
        A portfolio that demonstrates superior creative thinking and problem solving skills
        Understanding of the agency process, design process, and project management for design engagements
        Experience working across cross-functional teams (including UX and technical development/engineering, product management, marketing, executive management), with working knowledge of software development, product design, usability engineering, and quality assurance
        Attention to detail and craftsmanship
        Proven success driving programs in a matrixed environment
        Exceptional communication & presentation skills, including involvement with executive-level communications
        Excellent organization skills with proven ability to manage multiple concurrent projects and to adjust to frequent changes and project priorities.
        Ability to make a strong first impression, active listening skills, the ability to win respect and influence others, politically savvy
        Desired Skills/Experience:
        Experience in a product design or creative/strategy role within a large corporate environment
        Experience designing next-generation software/hardware platforms (TV, tablets, touch-screen, wearables and other consumer electronics.)
        Experience managing and/or collaborating with creative talent and creative agencies
        Experience with rapid prototyping in an Agile/Scrum environment.
        Prior Big Data Platform or Advertising Platform interaction or design experience preferred.
  • No. 8: QA Manager
    • Median Base Salary: $85,000
    • monitor the overall software testing process and make sure new products work before being released to the public.
  • No. 7: Software Development Manager
    • Median Base Salary: $135,000
    • This is a managerial position, which garners a higher pay grade.
    • the job requires a high degree of education, deep technical skills and several years of software experience.
  • No. 6: Analytics Manager
    • Median Base Salary: $105,000
    • Similar to the demand for data scientists, analytic managers are crucial to companies that require someone to analyze and make conclusions (about the) data.
  • No. 5: Software Engineer
    • Median Base Salary: $95,000
    • Write Code
  • No. 4: Project Manager
    • Median Base Salary: $106,680
    • this job title has cracked the top 10 both years demonstrates it continues to be one of the hottest jobs on the market.
  • No. 3: Mobile Developer
    • Median Base Salary: $90,000
    • Companies across all industries all have mobile apps — or plans to create one — and they are hiring plenty of mobile developers to create and support them, Dobroski said. Despite this trend, he added it is not surprising that the number of job openings for mobile developers is not higher. Mobile developer ranked in the top three for tech jobs on Glassdoor’s list, but overall it was No. 5 for best jobs.
  • No. 2: Solutions Architect
    • Median Base Salary: $119,500
    • The job title may be a mystery to some job seekers, but a solutions architect is an integral position in a company that handles business decisions related to software creation and performance, Dobroski said, adding, a solutions architect is a problem solver, and has a mix of both business and technical skills. Solutions architects often work closely with clients to hear feedback on their company’s product, and then provide any solutions needed based on the feedback.
    • Solutions architects also ranked No. 3 among the best jobs in all categories, as well, on the overall Glassdoor list. “It’s a top job because of the high number of job openings, the hefty average salary and plenty of career opportunities,” said Dobroski.
  • No. 1: Data Scientist
    • Median Base Salary: $116,840
    • Data scientist has ruled as one of the hottest jobs for years, coming in at No. 9 on Glassdoor’s 25 Best Jobs in America list last year, Dobroski said. He pointed to the high demand for these types of jobs, as well as high salaries and great career opportunities, as contributing to the top rating on Glassdoor’s list.
    • Not only did data scientists capture the No. 1 slot among tech jobs, but it also held the same rank for all jobs. “It isn’t a big surprise to see data scientist at No. 1 this year because it’s one of the hottest and fastest growing jobs we’re seeing right now,” said Andrew Chamberlain, Glassdoor chief economist. “Since all companies have an online presence these days, they all need people who know how to manage and store data that helps them make better business decisions, compared to years ago when businesses didn’t have data management at their fingertips to review and analyze to help them drive business forward. I expect this to continue to be a hot job for several years to come, too.”