Archive for Education

4 Tips for Choosing Your Psychology Discipline

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Are you confused about picking a psychology discipline? With the myriad of choices facing you it is common for undergrad students to be lost in the maze of different psyche niches for their advanced degrees. Doing your homework and following a few simple tips can help you pick the right discipline for you.

Know Your Disciplines

Research specific disciplines to find a proper match for your interests. What types of work would you enjoy? How can you best use your innate talents in the psychology field? Getting your preference down pat makes your life incredibly easier when you need to make your decision. You can choose from either basic or applied sciences. Health, occupational and clinical niches makes up the applied science branch of psychology. Sub fields of psychology disciplines include social, emotional, perceptive and developmental disciplines. Traffic, ecological and mathematical psychology niches are strict niches some people choose to study.

Common disciplines include psychotherapy, cognitive psychology and behavioral medicine. Most psychologists focus on research or practice fields. Work environments range from forensic, sports or legal settings to research facilities, schools or clinics.

Read up on the different types of jobs in each field, the outlook and whether demand is increasing;. What types of changes are happening? For example, this article Forensic Investigation: Is It Time for Reform? discusses changing requirements for education, certification, licensing and the like for the various professions that fall under this arena, including forensic psychology.

Choose at the Right Time

Refrain from specializing in one psychology niche before graduate school. Treat your undergraduate psyche studies as an exploratory journey. Find out what aspects of this discipline excite you. Perhaps you might feel a pull toward research psychology. Or maybe you feel compelled to start your own practice after learning through your undergraduate experience.

Consider working in the field before pursuing your masters and or doctorate to gain valuable real world experience. After working for some time you might be exposed to new and exciting opportunities you were previously unaware of when studying in school. Be open to the possibilities around you before deciding to specialize in any one particular discipline.

You might even decide to move out of the field all together after getting your bachelor’s degree. Having a psychology undergrad degree can open many doors for you in different, respectable fields.

Find a Learning Institution which Suits Your Needs

Research online and offline to find the university which best meets your needs. If you are a busy mom tending to a growing family going the online degree route might suit you best. Younger students might gravitate toward commuting to a local school or perhaps going away to college. Research programs which meet your academic and financial needs.

Be picky. If you are going to spend years learning online or offline in a certain setting make sure you are picking the program which best fits your needs.

Do Not Chase Money

One of the easiest and most dangerous temptations is to chase money when deciding on your discipline. Being lured by promises of $200 or $300 per hour practice rates can be tempting but if you hate your job you will not be able to enjoy the money.

Even skilled professionals are not immune to the stresses suffered by someone who has to embrace people’s deep psychological issues on an almost daily basis. Do not chase dollars. Pick a discipline which seems the most enjoyable to you.

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January 31, 2014 |  by  |  Education  |  Comments Off

What You Need to Know about Getting a Cybersecurity Degree

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ID-100205830As the internet continues to ingratiate itself into every aspect of the human experience, cyber criminals are finding ever-new ways to steal sensitive information and damage systems. Protection from this problem is an ever-increasing concern for consumers and businesses alike, and there is a growing demand for professionals who can help accomplish this end. A degree in cybersecurity might be a good direction for anyone interested in working in the field of computers and technology, and here is an overview of this field of study.

A Career in Demand

Cyber crime is growing exponentially, with new threats emerging constantly. The web is full of articles such as this one: The Virtual Wild West Needs More Sheriffs, outlining the various assaults faced by individuals and businesses. Between 2011 and 2012, cybercrime reports have increased 34 percent. Federal agencies reported a 650 percent increase in cybersecurity incidents between 2006 and 2010, and that has likely increased since this most recent set of data. In the next several years, the demand for cybersecurity experts is expected to rise faster than average for other types of positions—22 percent by 2020. While both the private and public sector have a growing need for cybersecurity experts, the majority of these new jobs are expected to be in federal agencies.

Median Salary

What you can expect to earn will depend on the exact position you take upon completing your degree. Here are some median salary statistics for some of the most common jobs linked to this degree.

  • Information security analyst: 70,000
  • Information technology auditor: 71,800
  • Forensic computer analyst: 76,200
  • Security consultant 81,300
  • Information assurance engineer 89,700
  • Security director 118,300

 

Education Requirements

Most employers will require at least a bachelor’s degree for positions related to cybersecurity. They will also want people knowledgeable about the particulars of that job. For example, if you are looking to work for financial institutions, you should take classes in the finance arena; if you want to work in the healthcare sector, you may need some background in health management. Because technology is always evolving, continuing education will be necessary. If you want to advance to higher positions, such as a chief information officer, you will typically need a master’s degree, along with professional experience.

Course Work

Earning a cybersecurity degree will require you to take a range of classes. Examples include cybercrime investigations and forensics, computer organization and programming, system vulnerability assessments, software engineering principles, national cybersecurity policy and law, terrorism, antiterrorism and homeland security, ethics in information technology, security policy analysis, psychology of criminal behaviors, and advanced math courses such as discrete mathematics, calculus and statistics. These classes will help you strengthen your logic skills, critical thinking skills and problem-solving skills. Many people in this field work with other experts, so there will also be a focus on communication and teamwork.

While there is a heavy focus on protecting systems from cyberattacks, you must also learn about the criminals themselves so you can aid in tracking down perpetrators.

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January 31, 2014 |  by  |  Education  |  Comments Off

College Money Matters: How to Pay for that Degree

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ID-100231013While this topic has been of hot debate lately, the general consensus is having a college degree will bode well for your future. But, with rising costs, many parents and students are left wondering how they are going to pay for it all. Unless you are pretty well-off financially or have been hyper-diligent about that college fund, you are not in a position to just write a check and be done with it. How great would that be? There are lots of factors to consider when it comes to figuring out the financials, and here are some helpful tips to get you started.

Research Tuition Deals

As the cost of a bachelor’s degree continues to skyrocket, there has been a push by the government to get schools to control their costs. Many schools are implementing tuition freezes or reducing the typical increase in tuition that takes place from year to year. Keep these institutions on your radar.

Keep Your Grades Up

Awhile back, money awarded for financial need was given out twice as much as money based on academic performance. In many public universities now, the split is about even The most recent data, which tracked non-need-based aid, found that between 1996 and 2008, it doubled. So, the chances are greater now that a child with a strong academic performance will get some money towards paying tuition.

Consider Private Loans and Alternative Funding

Some changes to federal aid in 2014 may reduce the amount of money for which certain students qualify. Finding money elsewhere may be necessary, and you have some good options. By 2025, it is projected more people will be using private loans than federal to finance their college education. First and foremost, before turning to private loans, make sure you have exhausted all your options for government aid—interest rates are lower and you never have to start paying back until you graduate. Interest rates for private student loans are tied to one of three indexes, and it is recommended to go with a lender who sets rates based on LIBOR plus 2 percent or prime minus .5, which produces similar interest rates to federal loans. Make sure you have a full understanding of the total cost of the loan, any additional fees and the repayment plan.

Check out crowdsourced funding sites, like Upstart, allow you to collect funds for college, though you cannot bank on getting the full amount you have asked for.

Take Advantage of Income-Based Repayment Plans

If the thought of paying back the loans is already in the forefront of your mind, know that there are income-based repayment plans that can help your child once he graduates from school. Provided the borrower meets certain qualifications, his federal loan repayments can be capped to between 10 and 15 percent of discretionary income. Should he still be on this plan 20 to 25 years later, any remaining debt is forgiven, provided payments have been timely. Taxes, however, will have to be paid on that remainder.

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January 28, 2014 |  by  |  Education  |  Comments Off

LSAT Self-Study Tips

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When it comes to law school admissions, your LSAT score is the most important piece of the puzzle. How you perform on this test illustrates your degree of competence in key areas necessary to succeed in law school and, subsequently, as a practicing attorney. Your score will determine what schools you can apply to and the likelihood of getting accepted. Some sort of preparation is necessary; and if you are thinking about going the self-study route, rather than a prep class or private tutoring, here are some tips and considerations to guide the process.

Is Self-Study Right for You?

Chances are, if you are thinking about becoming a lawyer, you are pretty darn smart. But, this does not automatically mean that you will succeed with self-study. This route is best for people who are naturally good at taking standardized tests, and if you are not one of these people, you will probably benefit from a more structured preparation approach. If you are not the best self-motivator, suffer from poor time management and generally have a hard time disciplining yourself, it Is unlikely you will successfully navigate  two to three months of daily studying.

Do Not Rely Solely on Previously Released LSATs

While taking previously released exams can be a great tool in your self-study arsenal, relying solely on this method is probably not the best way to prepare for the most recent exam. Your prep work should include a comprehensive mix of tools, including materials that teach actual strategies and allow you to apply them in question sets divided by type. Do several full prep tests.

Choosing the Right Study Materials

There are many LSAT test prep series available, and each will have unique elements concerning the best way to prepare for the test. For the student of self-study, it is important to pick materials that are derived from proven test-taking strategies; another crucial element is thorough explanation behind the logic of the correct answers for the practice questions. When preparing for the test, you need to gain a thorough understanding of the differences between the question types –logical reasoning, analytical reasoning and reading comprehension; when choosing the best series of prep materials, it is important to go with the one that best does this to your satisfaction.

Scheduling

A study schedule is crucial when preparing for the LSATs on your own. You should map out a weekly and daily schedule for the entire prep time, usually between eight and 12 weeks. First, you want to take a diagnostic exam to identify strengths and weaknesses. Your prep books can offer some guidance in setting up your schedule. Most people recommend starting with the logical reasoning portion since it is usually the most difficult portion of the exam. You want to take at least two simulated tests weekly to gauge your progress in studying each of the main types of questions and see where you need some extra attention. During the week of the test, you can scale back your studying a bit, but still take those two simulated tests.

Know When to Switch Approaches

While some people do great with self-study, others may not fare as well. But, you cannot really know how you will do until you try. When utilizing this approach, it is important to set some measurable goals to know whether or not you should start looking at alternative preparation methods, such as a course or private tutoring. So, set some benchmarks, such as increasing your score by a certain amount of points by a specific date. If you are not meeting your goals on your own, think about switching gears.

Kelli Cooper is a freelance writer who enjoys blogging about various education topics; if you are currently researching law schools, she recommends you visit Vermont Law for information on their variety of programs, including their top-notch environmental law program.

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March 26, 2013 |  by  |  Education  |  Comments Off

Two Key Strategies for Succeeding with Online Courses

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Do you wish to become a successful online student? Developing a burning desire to achieve and succeed precedes any noteworthy accomplishment online of offline.

You need to really want to excel in an online setting. Distractions are many but if you remain focused on your goals it becomes easy to master your course load.

Figure out why you want to study online. Is it the ease of studying, working in a virtual environment? That’s all well and good but you need something strong, a more powerful reason why to remain on track and focused when you feel the tendency to veer off course.

How can you succeed with your online studies?

Minimize Distractions

The internet is full of tempting distractions. Researching your favorite hobbies is a simple click away. Checking out the news or the latest scores of your favorite sports team threatens to snare your attention at any moment.

You need to remain super focused on your academic goals by focusing on exactly whatever it is you wish to achieve and cancelling out online distractions entirely.

It’s easy to study online and it’s not easy to study online. You can log in and review your cyber classes on your own schedule, at your own leisure. If you lack motivation this will never happen. You will be swayed by online or offline distractions.

If needed, block any of your tempting sites with software which can achieve this task. Use these drastic measures if necessary. In most cases, simply reminding yourself that’s it for class or home work is enough to reduce the urge to hop on tempting websites.

Same deal with offline temptations. No, you can’t go to the park and play ball if it’s time to study. Nice weather or not, you need to study when it’s time to study if you intend to succeed with your course load.

Figure Out Why

You need to have a deep, pulsating “why” reason to succeed online. This is usually tied to some form of freedom. Maybe you seek financial freedom by obtaining a degree in your field of study which can help you acquire a prospering job.

Or maybe you can spend more time at home with your children while you study online, saving yourself commuting time.

Whatever the reason you need to write it down and hold it dear to your heart if you plan to excel. Resistance will arise. You will face many obstacles, like a poor internet connection, or any other series of offline roadblocks, which might appear to hold you back.

Having a strong “why” boosts your creativity, helping you solve these problems with greater ease. Figure out your reason why and you will simply never quit in reaching your academic goals.

Make a concerted effort to cancel out online and offline distractions, keeping focused on your goals and getting to work when you need to do so. Figure out why you want to earn an online degree.

Follow these tips to succeed with your online studies now.

Kelli Cooper is a freelance writer who enjoys sharing tips and advice for maximizing success personally, professionally and academically. Visit GetARealDegree for more information on a range of academic programs, such as the masters in social work.

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November 30, 2012 |  by  |  Education  |  Comments Off