Category Archives: Education

Care of Your Mental Health

Mental health issues are increasingly prevalent among contemporary college students. How much so? Three-quarters of all chronic illnesses start by the age of 24, according to figures from the US’s National Alliance of Mental Illness (NAMI). Not only that, but 95 percent of college counseling center directors agree that psychological problems are on the rise on campus.

In response to these and other troubling statistics, a number of organizations — both campus-run and student-led — are emerging to help students gain access to the information they need to cope with mental health difficulties. While taking advantage of these resources can be a vital part of the journey to better mental health, these five tips can also help college students manage stress and overcome challenges to mental health.

1. Recognize the Signs
According to NAMI, 80 percent of students feel overwhelmed by their responsibilities and 50 percent have experienced anxiety so significant that it caused them to struggle in school. If you are experiencing increased worrying, difficulty concentrating, increased agitation, changes in eating and sleeping habits, tension, tight muscles or headaches, you may be suffering from stress.

While experiencing stress is to some degree part of learning to cope with the high academic expectations of college life, it can have far-reaching consequences when it starts to interfere with your ability to attend class, complete assignments on time, and other performance-related factors. In fact, in many cases particularly stressful times act as a “trigger” for mental health episodes, which is why recognizing the signs of stress can help mitigate their impact.

In addition to being aware of your own mental health, be aware of others’, as well. There are many ways to support a friend who is dealing with mental health problems. Even something as simple as expressing your concerns can go a long way.

2. Take Care of Your Body
While all-nighters and junk food binges may seem like they’re part of the typical college experience, they can also contribute to poor mental health. Factors like lack of exercise, poor diet, and insufficient sleep can exacerbate the impact of stress. In fact, researchers have linked all three with depression! The takeaway? Healthy lifestyle habits are an essentiall part of both physical and mental self-care.

3. Reach Out to Others
Feeling connected to others is an invaluable part of good mental health. Unfortunately, college students often feel isolated from friends and family members back home — particularly when adjusting to new environments.

Luckily, there are many ways to meet friends with similar interests — both on and around college campuses. From student organizations to club sports to spiritual groups, participating isn’t just fun, it can also contribute to your emotional wellbeing. Additionally, social media makes it easier to stay in contact with far-off loved ones, as well.

But remember: quality trumps quantity when it comes to cultivating meaningful friendships. Having a healthy social life is not about having a large network of friends, but rather about having a handful of close friends.

Stem on Museum World

1. Deutsches Museum in Munich, Germany

The Deutsches Museum is one of the oldest science and technology museums in the world. It was founded in 1903 and now houses 66,000m2 of exhibits dedicated to scientific endeavors. The museum is enormous, and its extensive collections require more than a single visit to appreciate. In fact, the museum recommends concentrating on specific attractions and offers expert-guided tours to help visitors access the information exhibits. But that doesn’t mean you need to be a scientist to enjoy a visit to the Deutsches Museum. There are resources, tours, and seminars geared towards children, adults, professionals, and students, and the museum’s DNA Visitors’ Laboratory gives guests the chance to do their own experiments.

2. National Air and Space Museum in Washington D.C., USA

In 1946, American President Harry Truman established the Smithsonian’s National Air Museum to celebrate aviationtechnology and innovators. In 1976, the museum was reimagined as the Air and Space Museum, and now houses aircraft, spacecraft, and more than 60,000 items associated with aeronautics. Exhibits include the Wright Flyer, the Apollo 11 Command Module Columbia, and other notable pieces of aviation history. But the museum isn’t just retrospective. The National Air and Space Museum is also home to on-going research in aeronautics, earth and planetary science, and space history, which means that visitors have the opportunity to see and interact with science in the making.

3. Science and Technology Museum in Shanghai, China

The Shanghai Science and Technology Museum may not be very old, but it’s impressive collections and inspiring vision belie wisdom beyond years. The museum opened in 2001 and now welcomes between 2-3 million visitors per year. Guests can wander through more than a dozen exhibition halls that house collections ranging from animal life to robotics. In addition to general science and technology features, the museum has three galleries devoted to Chinese science and technology. But that doesn’t mean the museum focuses on China or even Asia. Recent special exhibits included a film exploration of the North American Great Lakes, an African wildlife display, and a special forum on global climate change.

4. Ontario Science Centre in Toronto, Canada

The Ontario Science Centre aims to inspire “a lifelong journey of curiosity, discovery and action to create a better future for the plant.” The museum works to engage visitors with exhibits and challenges them to question and explore. Exhibits include the interactive Science Arcade, The Living Earth where visitors can explore a rainforest and other natural wonders, and the introspective ‘A Question of Truth’ gallery which asks guests to reassess their assumptions. The Centre also features an impressive planetarium and an IMAX theater. And if that wasn’t enough, students can spend a semester at the Centre’s school where they can earn secondary school science credits!

5. National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation in Tokyo, Japan

This iconic Tokyo museum, known simply as Miraikan, opened in 2001 to “fulfill Japan’s aim of becoming a scientifically and technologically creative nation.” The museum serves to stimulate research and interest into science and technology and is divided into three permanent exhibits – Explore the Frontiers, Create your Future, and Discover your Earth. The combine the expertise of science and engineers and give visitors a chance both to explore and question the role of science and technology in society. There’s even an Opinion Bank where guests can contribute to the scientific conversation. And it shouldn’t be too surprising to find that recent special exhibits included an in-depth exploration of the past, present, and future of video games, and a special exhibition analyzing ninja skills from a scientific perspective.

6. Heureka Finnish Science Centre in Helsinki, Finland

At the Heureka Finnish Science Centre visitors can practice winter sports, watch rats play basketball, explore risk and probability in the electric roulette, interact with a digestive tract, and mint their own coin. In fact, the Centre has something for everyone – including a frank discussion of the human aging process. Heureka boasts Europe’s most modern digital planetarium. Visitors can hear the shows in Finnish, Swedish, English, and Russian. Current offerings include films about dark matter, moths, and trees. And if visitors exhaust the Centre’s extensive indoor exhibits, there’s always the Science Park Galilei, which features a bedrock exhibition and a garden based on Linnaean plant classifications.

Career in Your Future

Last year Inc. declared it to be one of “the most promising industries ” but have you even heard of it? We’re talking about fintech, and it’s revolutionizing how banks do business. In fact, the field is experiencing such rapid growth that US banking regulators are calling for new regulatory measures aimed at promoting “responsible innovation.” Is a career in fintech in your future? Let’s take a closer look at this game-changer in the financial industry, along with why a career in fintech may be right for you.

The 411 on Fintech

A portmanteau of the words “financial” and “technology,” fintech has been defined as “a line of business based on using software to provide financial services.”

Typically the domain of startups, fintech largely focuses on disruptive innovation.  (Although some argue that fintech is more augmentative than disruptive in nature.) Fintech sub-industries span everything from algorithmic asset management to peer-to-peer lending. Additional fintech sub-industries? Thematic investing, payments, digital currency, credit scoring, education lending, cyber security, working capital management, and others — all sharing a common theme: the imperative to improve the efficiency of financial markets and systems through technology.

But is fintech truly worthy of all the buzz it’s been generating? The numbers speak for themselves: According to a report from Accenture, global investment in this sector spiked to $12.2 billion in 2014 — tripling the prior year’s $4.05 billion. And while the US tops the list in terms of fintech investment, it’s on the rise everywhere from Asia to Africa with Europe exhibiting the fastest rates of growth.

In short, fintech is transforming the traditional business model. And with that transformation come near-endless opportunities for entrepreneurs looking to start businesses as well as for existing companies looking to expand.

Why Fintech Matters

For many years the financial industry rested easy. While new technology might have penetrated its operations, banks ultimately retained control over how and when new digital financial products and services were introduced to the market. The combination of fallout from the 2007-2008 financial crisis and increasingly sophisticated technology has dispersed the power beyond banks thereby restoring balance and reshaping the industry.

In other words, fintech is changing the finance world for the better. From lower costs to more options, the potential of data-driven lending is not only huge, but uniquely profound in that it serves a previously underserved constituency: consumers.

Is Fintech Right For You?

We’ve already established how fintech is making a difference, which might leave you wondering whether you should add your talents to the effort.

If you are thinking about a career as a financial technologist, there’s good news: there’s a major fintech job boom underway. Consider London, for example, where experts are predicting that the sector will add more than 46,000 jobs in the decade between 2014 and 2024. The takeaway? If you’re looking for a job that combines security and financial payoffs, fintech is well positioned to offer both.

Fintech is also uniquely suited to Millennials — not just in terms of the fact that the products and services offered by fintech speak to their particular sensibilities, but also in terms of their role in driving the market. After all, Millennials are not only the first truly digital generation, but they also witnessed their parents bear the brunt of the financial collapse. It follows that, according to Fintech Week, “Many of the younger generation have completely lost faith in the banking world – and who are we to blame them? They need an alternative solution, and what they understand is technology and relentless innovation – a gap in the market which Fintech has now filled.”

For some younger people, meanwhile, the allure of fintech is also a very personal one: With student debt crippling the futures of many of today’s grads, fintech’s potential impact on the student loan refinancing market — both in terms of the creation of new products and serves as well as in prompting the banking industry to raise its own game in response– is particularly compelling. Imagine a future in which student loans are inherently affordable. Fintech may hold the key.

The best part? Not only is the fintech industry alive, well, and ripe with opportunities, but there are many ways to get in on the action. From formal business and finance studies to a foundation in engineering and technology, a multitude of avenues lead into this red-hot field — all with the potential to change your life, and maybe even the world, too.

 

A Chance on Sweden for Study

Sweden’s university system is among the top performers in the world, and the Scandinavian country aims to be one of the “most research-intensive countries in the world.” But that’s not the only reason Sweden is the perfect choice for global graduate students. We asked two international students in Sweden to tell us why earning your master’s degree in Sweden isn’t just about picking a place – it’s about picking a future.

1. Study in English and Learn Swedish

Last year Sweden ranked first out of seventy countries for English Proficiency, and most universities offer programs and degrees in English. Of course, international students are still encouraged to learn Swedish, but they don’t need to be proficient to earn a degree. Marina, a grad student from Brazil studying Digital Media and Society in Uppsala, feels that this bilingualism “gives students a chance to learn a new language” while creating “a friendly and open environment since everyone can communicate.” This open environment isn’t just reflected in language. Sweden is committed to student mobility and offers more than 1000 degree programs in English.

2. Support for Creative, Innovative Research

Sweden ranks among the top five countries in the world for commitment to higher education and research, but the country also emphasizes autonomy and freedom within its universities and master’s students have a lot of time and support for independent learning and collaboration with other students. Satu, a computer science student from Indonesia studying at KTH Royal Institute of Technology, found “a lot of things [to] learn” in Sweden and was impressed with the country’s “support [for] start-up and innovation minded” students. For digital media student, Marina, Sweden offered infinite opportunities. “You can work with a Professor, do internships in amazing companies and do different courses.” Master’s students like Marina find that Sweden offers the freedom to think creatively and experiment with new ideas. With so much support and so many chances for hands-on experience, it’s no surprise that Sweden is one of the top nations in the world for innovation.

3. Soak up Swedish Culture

If your only experience with Swedish culture is Abba and Ikea meatballs, you’ve got a lot to learn. From the daily fika(coffee breaks that include tasty Swedish treats) to gender equality, Sweden exudes an individuality that is both subtle and distinct. In fact, Swedish culture could, perhaps, be summed up in one word – lagom – which means, ‘just enough’ and applies to everything from behavior and social responsibility, to sustainability and shopping. For Satu, the biggest advantage of studying at KTH is “Swedish culture itself.” Satu believes that Sweden’s culture has “many good things we can follow…[and] by living among this value, [he] believes [he] can get used to it, and bring it home and spread it to people in Indonesia.” International students in Sweden will find that the informal, inclusive university environment encourages the spread of ideas and an open dialog, and Swedish university student unions and nationer make campuses open and inviting.

4. Something for Everyone

Sweden is an obvious choice for winter sports enthusiasts, but this Nordic country is more than just a winter wonderland, and Brazilian student, Marina loves that “Sweden has so many different experiences to offer.” If you love soaking up sunshine by the sea, summer days in Sweden are almost never-ending and the country’s long coastline offers a variety of maritime activities. Sweden’s cities are full of art and culture, with music festivals, cafes, and a vibrant international feel. For the more forest-minded individuals, nearly 70 percent of the country is covered in forests and their pristine natural beauty should be a major draw. And there’s huge bonus if you’re the adventurous type – Sweden has codified the Right of Public Access into its constitution, which means that you can strap on your boots and pack, and explore Sweden’s wilderness without any obstructions. Plus, easy access isn’t limited to trails and camping – according to, Marina, it’s easy to “go around without any trouble and having public transportation with good quality around you is amazing.” So whether you want to spend, your days trekking the rugged tundra of Lapland, your nights dancing in Stockholm, or watch the sunset from a kayak along the rocky coasts of Götaland, you’ll find something to suit your taste and shape your future in Sweden.

Balancing Your Master Thesis

You’ve got one camp telling you that an excellent thesis will help you make a name for yourself in your field. Another waxes on about the value of having an internship for landing a job. Given these dual imperatives, it hardly comes as a shock that many driven master’s students find themselves performing a daily juggling act. No one said graduate school was going to be easy, but it doesn’t have to feel like you’re always one dropped ball away from disaster. Let’s count down four ways to successfully balance your master’s thesis and internship.

1. Schedule Daily Time to Write
The fact that your boss expects you to be at your internship everyday provides meaningful motivation to show up. Unfortunately, the same element of external accountability is missing from the thesis scenario. The unhappy result? It often ends up getting moved aside and pushed back — ultimately leaving you in a bind when the deadline is suddenly bearing down and you’re weeks behind where you’d hoped to be by now.

The best way to avoid the last minute rush? Rather than letting your thesis become the thing you do when don’t have anything else to do, make it your priority by establishing a regular writing routine. Not only will this help keep you on track, but it can also get your brain in the habit of writing. Like any other form of “exercise,” the more you write, the easier it becomes. In fact, in committing to write every day, you’re likely to experience all new levels of productivity.

2. Prioritize Your Productivite
Do you work best in the earlier hours of the morning while it’s still dark outside? Or perhaps you thrive in the wee hours after everyone else has gone to bed? Do you find working in a coffee shop surrounded by hordes of other people invigorating, or do you need a more solitary environment in order to concentrate?

Not everyone finds inspiration in the same environment. Understanding where you find yours is extremely beneficial when it comes to promoting peak productivity. After all, making time to write is only part of the “big picture.” Also critical? Maximizing that time.

3. Keep Your Employer In the Loop
One of the good things about internships is that they’re often designed to accommodate student schedules. In most cases, your employer will be more than happy to work with you to come up with a mutually agreeable work schedule which allows ample time for thesis writing, as well. If you end up in a position where you need to cut back on your internship hours to devote extra time to work on your thesis, open lines of communication are key. Just be upfront in expressing your needs from the start in order to avoid confusion and/or bad feelings in the future.

One additional thing to keep in mind? If you’re planning on continuing to work for your current employer after you graduate, the completion of your thesis — particularly if it’s germane to the work you’re doing — can add to your marketability.

4. Accept Multitasking as a Myth
While much has been made of the benefits of multitasking, a growing body of research not only suggests that doing multiple things at once may not only be all it’s cracked up to be, but may actually lead to decreased productivity.

A recent study from McGill University indicates that in constantly shifting from one task to the next, the body uses up its oxygenated glucose stores — the very same fuel which would otherwise be used to focus. Concludes researcher and professor of behavioral neuroscience Daniel Levitin, “That switching comes with a biological cost that ends up making us feel tired much more quickly than if we sustain attention on one thing.”

While multitasking may no longer be of use to you, something else can be: Scheduling regular 15-minute breaks. Stepping away from your work — whether during your internship or while writing your thesis — can actually help you be more productive, but only if you let your mind truly wander. Just don’t let it wander over to the internet, however, as research also shows that online distractions can be particularly destructive. The takeaway? In order to make the very best of your time, stop checking your social media and shut off all of your automatic notifications.

While it’s easy to think of your internship and master’s thesis as warring entities, the fact is the two can be surprisingly symbiotic. Rather than focusing on how they’re working against each other, shift your mindset to acknowledge what they can help you accomplish together.

Collage Voting

The countdown to this year’s presidential election is on with just over a month to go before Election Day. And while exercising your right to vote is always important, most would agree that the stakes are particularly high this year in the U.S. But being a busy student, away from home, or even out of the country is no excuse for failing to follow through on your civic duty.  We know it may seem like a hassle, but the truth is that not only is voting easier than ever, it’s also well worth the effort.

Voting in Your State of Residence?

Just because you’re voting in your state of residence doesn’t mean you can automatically expect to walk into your local polling place, grab a ballot, flip a few levers, and call it a day.

For starters, most states don’t even allow walk-in registration. Not only that, but registration deadlines vary from state to state. For example, voters in Alaska must be registered by October 9th regardless of whether they’re doing so online, via mail or in person, while voters in Vermont have nearly a full month longer to register. Furthermore, how you plan to register is also a factor with some state deadlines for registration methods varying by as much as a month.

Looking for information on your specific state? Lucky for you, the New York Times has assembled a comprehensive guide of state-by-state deadlines, which also includes handy information about supporting materials you’ll need to register. (Usually, a driver’s license or other state-issued form of identification will suffice.)

Additionally, the U.S. government’s website Vote.gov is a terrific starting point for determining how to register in your state, while Vote.org is also a useful portal for streamlining the registration process.

Not sure if you’re registered? Check here to find out.

Voting Outside Your State of Residence?

If you’re planning on being out of your state of residence on voting day, you can utilize Absentee Voting (also known as “mail-in voting” and “by-mail voting”) to cast your ballot.

Depending on the requirements of your state, you can register to receive an absentee ballot to fill out and return. Some even allow early voting and in-person absentee voting. While 21 states require that voters provide an excuse before being permitted to vote by absentee ballot, others — including Washington, D.C. — offer no-excuse absentee voting. (You can check out which category your state falls into here.)

In addition to students who are out of state, other valid excuses for being absent from polling sites on Election Day may include illness, physical disability, religious constraints, public service or membership in the military, age, and even vacation.

Again, the rules regarding absentee voting and early voting depend on the state. Taking time to educate yourself about Absentee Voting and Voting by Mail and Early Voting and In-Person Absentee Voting can help ensure your ability to make good on your constitutional right.

What Your Vote Could Mean For Your Education

1. Loans and Debt

Hillary Clinton has plans to make debt-free college available to all Americans and has a vision for taking on student loan debt.  On her website, she outlines a plan for students of families who make less than $125,000 per year.  She says that by 2021, those families will pay no tuition at in-state four-year schools.  She also says that every student from a family making $85,000 or less will be able to go to an in-state four-year public university without paying tuition.  In Clinton’s New College Compact, she argues for free tuition at all community colleges.  Clinton will also start a $25 billion fund to support historically black colleges and universities, in addition to largely Hispanic-serving institutions and other minority-serving institutions.

Clinton also plans to offer a 3-month moratorium on student loan payments to all federal loan borrowers so that students can consolidate their loans, sign up for repayment programs, and figure out how to pay their monthly interest and fees.  She says that borrowers will be able to refinance loans at current rates and make it impossible for the federal government to profit from college student debt.  She claims that she will “crack down” on predatory schools, lenders, and bill collectors.

Donald Trump states that he’s “a tremendous believer in higher education” and wants to prioritize higher education opportunities for Americans. On his website, he says that he wants to “ensure that the opportunity to attend a two or four-year college, or to pursue a trade or a skill set through vocational and technical education, will be easier to access, pay for, and finish.”  He also says that he would fight proposals for debt-free and tuition-free public higher education.  He claims that he wants to move the government out of lending and restore that role to private banks. Trump argues that “local banks” should support “local students.”

Trump would also “consider” cutting the US Department of Education—and all of the services it provides.  While this affects many PreK-12 initiatives, it would also presumably affect the $29 billion in federal Pell Grants that help low-income students pay for college.  Trump’s party outlines its stance on higher education on pages 35-36 in its Republican Platform 2016 document.

2. STEM

Clinton’s technology plan will make an impact on both American and international students. Clinton’s College Compact will dedicate $10 billion in federal funding to allow students to participate in computer science and STEM programs, nanodegrees, computer coding, online learning, and other 21st century initiatives.  She will establish incentives for colleges and universities that will accept alternative learning programs as credits towards a degree.

Clinton will allow potential entrepreneurs in the tech sector to defer their student loan debt for up to three years while they start their own businesses.  She also proposes to offer loan forgiveness of up to $17,500 in student loan debt after five years for entrepreneurs working in distressed areas for the social good.

Trump also supports STEM initiatives for American graduates. On his website, he specifically states that a strong space program could encourage American children to pursue STEM in higher education, which would bring millions of jobs and trillions of dollars in investment to the country.

International Students

1. Visas

Clinton supports start-up visas, which would encourage international entrepreneurs to build their companies here—of course with some financial commitment from US investors.  She has specific incentives for attracting and retaining “top talent” from around the world who want to work in science and technology research and development.

Trump also has a stance on visas.  He wants to replace the J-1 visa with a program for inner city youth.  The J-1 visa currently­­ allows international students to work, study, and live in the US for a set amount of time.  If there’s no J-1 visa option for international students, American companies will not be able to hire international students.  Options for studying in an exchange program at a US school, working for a summer camp, au pairing, and interning would either be impossible or severely limited.

He also wants to impose restrictions on the H-1B visa, which is a permit that allows US employers to hire international professionals, so if you’re an international student who wants to stay in the US, or you recently graduated and want to work in the US, your chances of finding a job might be more difficult.

2. Immigration

Clinton’s policies support international students coming to the US to study and contribute to the global economy.  She says, in her campaign’s words, that she would “staple a green card to STEM masters and Ph.D. [students] from accredited institutions.”  This would allow international students who complete degrees in these fields to earn green cards.

Trump has a different view.  According to his website, he will “select immigrants based on their likelihood of success in the U.S. and their ability to be self-sufficient.”  He also wants to participate in “extreme vetting” and proposes to “temporarily suspend immigration from regions that export terrorism and where safe vetting cannot presently be ensured.”

Your decision

You have the opportunity to learn more about the candidates, their views, and their policies by learning more about them. You also have the opportunity to make a decision that will affect higher education in the US and abroad. Making decisions that affect the domestic and global landscapes are up to you.  Use the information available to you to make the best decision possible.  To quote a famous fictitious diplomat from Suzanne Collins’s The Hunger Games “May the odds be ever in your favor.”

Great Future

1.    Consider your situation

Not all online degrees are created equal, so consider your life, responsibilities, and career goals when selecting a course. Some online degrees still include on-campus requirements, which may not be ideal for all students. And, according to Professor Geoff Smith, Senior Deputy Vice-Chancellor at Falmouth University, “the quality of technology available to today [means] there’s no reason why anyone should be excluded from accessing the best education on offer at the times and in the places that suit them.” Look for programs that offer options for flexibility and personalization. Ensure that you will have easy access to resources and adequate study support throughout the process.Visit Obat Pembesar Penis for information

2.    Compare value

Online degrees are more reputable than ever, but that doesn’t mean that every program or institution carries the same respect. When choosing an online graduate program, especially in the creative industries, consider the reputation and ranking of the university. Where your degree comes from will definitely matter to future employers. An online degree from a number one ranked creative university like Falmouth University will carry value that’s equivalent to that of an on-campus program. So make sure to choose a University with excellent credentials and a strong student support system.

3.    Check employability rates

Before enrolling, establish what type of degree will best improve your job prospects or enhance your career. Perhaps you’re looking to move up the career ladder within your field or are looking to move from marketing to advertising or vice versa? Look at industry requirements and talk with your mentors about the best study plan for developing your skills. It can be useful for professionals in marketing and advertising to gain more experience in both areas, so look for programs like the MA Advertising & Marketing at Falmouth University that allow students to build on existing experience and add to their knowledge in other areas. Then, consider the curriculum and employability of graduates from your favorite programs. You can approach universities’ alumni associations and confirm that they have a good reputation for graduate employment. Choose an institution like Falmouth University that customizes its curriculum and teaching to the market and has a 96.5 percent graduate employment rate, according to the Destination of Leavers from Higher Education Survey. read more Pembesar Penis for your information

One Example of a high-level online degree: Falmouth University’s MA Advertising & Marketing

If you’re looking for a top ranked program that will give you more insight into both the marketing or advertising industries but need the flexibility of an online degree, consider the MA Advertising & Marketing from Falmouth University. Falmouth is the UK’s No. 1 Arts University on the Sunday Times League Table 2015 & 2016 and has the sixth highest graduate employment rate in the UK, with Falmouth graduates working in a variety of industries and sectors, with global brands or running their own companies.

At Falmouth, there’s no distinction between on-campus and on-line students. The program looks for applications from accomplished professionals who want to enhance their careers, and all students have access to experienced staff who are industry practitioners, and the MA Advertising & Marketing is built around industry connections. According to Lotte Mahon, Module Leader and Lecturer, “the online course is a natural extension” of the university’s reputation as a leader in creative advertising. Students have a chance to learn from experts and brands from around the world and come away with “a solid understanding of the marketing and brand strategies” that are used in major corporations.

Big Data is Changing About Education

Six years ago, the UN General Assembly designated October 20th as “World Statistics Day.”  As the science of learning from data, statistics plays an important role in how we wrangle massive quantities of information into meaningful insights — both within the world at large, and within microcosms of that world, including the higher education sphere. As big data gets, well, bigger, its impact on higher education is expected to continue to grow. Wondering how that will play out in higher education? Let’s take a closer look.

Leveraging Data into Smarter Admissions

While some colleges are small enough to have human eyes looking over each and every application, others have historically been at the mercy of factors like grades and standardized test scores. But were these elements an accurate reflection of student success in college? Not necessarily, according to industry insiders.

This is why many colleges and universities are using new types of data collection when trying to determine which students will ultimately succeed and graduate. One, in particular, which might come as a surprise? Social media. According to one report from PBS NewsHour, some colleges are turning to social media data as an indicator of whether students were likely to enroll and graduate based on factors ranging from how many friends they made in online communities for applicants to whether or not they uploaded many profile photos.

The ultimate goal? To reap the largest yield with the lowest risk. Statistics also come into play here, with one university chief data officer telling NewsHour that each applicant is assigned a numerical probability of enrollment to help guide the school’s recruiting spending. The benefits, admissions counselors insist, are dual fold: schools get the largest ROI, while admitted students are more likely to be a good fit, stay on, graduate, and reap the lifelong benefits of a college or graduate degree.

Leveraging Data into Student Success

High turnover rates are costly to universities, but they’re also costly to students. As Higher Education Quality Council of Ontario Executive Director Harvey Weingarten told The Globe and Mail, “For students, leaving is a failure. There is a loss of confidence, there is a psychological cost of failure.” But the costs are far from just psychological. College dropouts also do worse than their peers across everything from lifetime earnings to health and wellness.

In refining the admissions process, predictive analytics based on demographic and behavioral data also supports increased graduation rates. This allows universities not just to admit more appropriate candidates, but to better support them once they’re enrolled. Said Weingarten, “You accepted a student into your institution because you believed they could succeed, they would grow, thrive and develop. When it doesn’t work, you have an obligation to figure out what went wrong here.”

In addition to allowing universities to more proactively help struggling students, it can also be used to help teachers do their jobs better. Because feedback happens more quickly, teachers can more immediately take teaching actions in order to ultimately provide richer learning experiences for students.

And these techniques are working. Take results seen at the U.S.’s largest public university, Arizona State. Two years after implementing a new adaptive learning platform designed to assess, remediate and re-assess student progress in math readiness, pass rates skyrocketed from 64 percent to 75 percent with 45 percent of students finishing early. Drop-out rates, meanwhile, decreased by 56 percent.

Keeping Big Data in Check

While the potential advantages of big data for universities and students alike are profound, experts are quick to warn of the potential dangers, too. And stolen data is just the beginning when it comes to safeguarding student interests — particularly in a world in which personal information — and the insights they lead to, thanks to big data — is just a few clicks away.

Posits Stanford News, “Consider, for example, what might happen if data show that students who fit a certain profile struggle in a core course. Could those students be prevented from taking the class or pushed down a different path just because the data say they should?”

Enter a coalition helmed by Stanford University and nonprofit education consulting firm Ithaka S+R aimed at protecting student through responsible use of big data and the implementation of a new standard of care. The group’s recommendation? That the opportunities represented by big data be accompanied by a code of ethics comprising four core responsibilities, including the recognition of the limitations of big data and data collection; transparency across the data’s collection and analysis process; the use of big data to improve teaching; and the harnessing of data-driven insights for the benefit of students.

Only with these measures in place, say the experts, can big data truly deliver on everything it promises to universities and their communities.

Common Interview Mistakes

Bad interviews are a sit-com staple – like the time on Friends when Rachel literally kissed the interviewer at Ralph Lauren. Rachel managed to land the job regardless, but in the real world, mistakes during an interview are more likely to see you back on the job market than in a corner office. Of course, everyone makes mistakes, but there’s no reason that you can’t perfect your interview skills and avoid some of the most common (and problematic) mistakes made by job-seekers. Let’s count down the six biggest offenders and find out how to make your interview go off without a hitch…or a kiss.

1. Bragging

If recent political events are any indication, egotistic displays of self-promotion may seem like a good idea. And yes, it’s a good idea to impress a potential employer with your skills and accomplishments. But there’s a big difference between giving relevant information about your abilities and self-aggrandizement. A good rule of thumb: answer honestly when asked about achievements but remain modest. You can also focus on areas in which you excel that also demonstrate your ability to work with or support others.

2. Answering but not asking

Think of the interview as more of a conversation than a Q&A session. Your future employer isn’t just interested in how you respond to questions – they want to see that you can interact with the information and think critically about both your answers and their questions. Most experts recommend coming prepared with questions about the position, the company, and other relevant issues, but don’t be afraid to ask a question if the interviewer presents new information that wasn’t available earlier. Actively engage with the interviewer, demonstrate your knowledge and interest, and show that you are willing to get the answers you need.

3. Not knowing the company

Asking questions is a good way to show that you’ve prepared for the interview. In fact, before arriving at the interview make sure to do thorough research on the company and its role in the relevant sector. A quick Google search is a good starting point – look for recent articles about the company, find out information about the company’s goals and potential, and if possible do some research on the person, or people, who will be conducting the interview. Make sure that you know as much as possible about the position – and if the role is new to you, or outside of your usual field of expertise, be prepared to give a clear explanation of how your current or past experiences make you a good choice.

4. Not paying attention

Interviews aren’t just about questions and answers, and as we’ve already established, you should approach the process like a conversation, or more accurately, a professional discussion. Think of the interview as a meeting, listen carefully to what the interviewer says, asks, and implies, and find ways to address their needs. Be an active listener, and use the tone of the interview to your advantage so that you can present information about yourself or your skills that will help the interviewer understand how you will contribute to the company.

5. Making a bad first impression

This should go without saying but always put your best foot forward at an interview. Show up on time by giving yourself an extra thirty minutes. Dress nicely and appropriately – research both the sector and company beforehand to get an idea of what’s typical attire, but if in doubt it’s better to be overdressed than underdressed. But impressions aren’t just about timeliness and clothing. Your handshake, demeanor, and etiquette will all help or hinder the interviewer’s perception of you. Be friendly but not overly familiar, avoid jokes and informal conversation, and don’t complain about or belittle your current employer or coworkers. Your potential employer wants to hire someone who takes the position seriously and will fit well with the existing team. And last, but definitely not least, be polite and respectful throughout the entire process. You never know who is observing you, and the woman standing behind you in the elevator could be the head of the department.