Overcoming challenges of studying online

Most people decide to do an online programme because of the convenience and advantages online programmes offer. However, every coin has two faces and while the benefits of doing an online programme are many there are also a few challenges that students studying online will have to overcome in order to complete the programme with flying colours.

Here are some of the challenges our students face in online learning – holding that a better understanding of them will help you in your own ventures in online learning. 

Time management: Time management is one of the biggest challenges that a student faces. Being able to manage one’s personal and professional life while at the same time getting the space and time to complete all the requirements of the programme – assignments, readings, etc. – is a problem faced by most students. If you don’t manage time well – putting off assignments until the last minute, not completing the required readings, being unable to participate in classroom sessions – you will inevitably fall behind and struggle to complete the course. Balancing work-life-study is the key to successfully completing any programme. We have an entire post on how to overcome this challenge – have a read, but know that with a little discipline this is an easily surmountable challenge – be it for online studies, or your life in general, so well worth improving your time management skills.

Learning Methodology: Until choosing to do an online programme, almost all of us would have received our education in a physical classroom, having attended schools and colleges for almost two decades in our formative years. As a result, most of us would have developed skills and methodologies to best meet the challenges of an in-classroom learning environment. As a result, for some of us online education might come as a culture shock and might take some getting used to, while for others this adjustment might come quickly and naturally. This is another skill that we just have to accept we need to develop – and make the most out of the flexibility afforded by the online interaction.

Distractions at Home: In my personal opinion, for most professionals, the benefits of studying from home far out-number those of studying full time in an on-campus programme. For most of our students this would not even be possible, since they are working professionals. However, at home there are a lot of distractions that can derail your study plans as well. The best advice we can offer on this challenge (verified by many of our students) is to set aside dedicated time slots for your studies and to protect those at all costs. Do not let anyone  distract you during this time (which is why getting your family on board before starting is crucial). Set up a dedicated study space at your home, which will act like your own personal classroom, this will help keep distractions out and your focus in.  

Dependence on Technology: While it is true that technology has changed the face of education, online education is entirely dependent on technology. You will need to ensure that you have a reliable and fast internet connection, laptop/ home computer or other mobile devices that will help you create and deliver assignments and stay connected with the college. But once you are connected, technology can also help ensuring all your work is backed up and you never have to blame the dog for the missing assignment!   

Doing it Alone: Human beings are social animals. One of the biggest benefits in doing an on-campus programme is the social interaction you can have with your peers, whether it is building long lasting relationships, group studies or just hanging out to relieve stress. 

In our programmes we use online forums, live classroom sessions and residential week-long workshops to try to mitigate the impact of the missing face to face social interaction. The residencies are indeed some of the most appreciated parts of the programme, attesting to their value (but also to the fact that face-to-face interaction is indeed a challenge). 

Students of Robert Kennedy College attending the week-long residency at the University of Cumbria campus

We have more than 30 Master’s degree programmes and we have been helping more than 14,000 students from almost every county of the world develop their skill sets, improve their CVs and advance their careers – you are in good hands should you consider taking the plunge. Have a look at our programme catalogue and get in touch with our Admissions’ team if you have any questions about the programme most suitable for your background.

Things to consider before considering a career change

Let’s admit it! Many of us are not pursuing careers that we dreamt of. Some of us may never have dreamt of a career and ended up doing what was available or what we see others doing. I feel happy (and jealous) of people who figured out early in their lives their career paths. For a variety of reasons, we all have thought of changing careers at some point in life; including those who were once happy with their jobs.

You are not alone if you are considering a career change. It has been an increasingly popular trend in employment history. It is becoming more likely that people will go through at least one career change in their lifetime. 

Here are some stats..  BLS, the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, released results from the National Longitudinal Survey in August 2019 about the number of jobs, labor market experience and earnings growth of a sample of Americans tracked over 40 years. According to the survey, individuals held an average of 12.3 jobs from ages 18 to 52, with nearly half of these jobs held before age 25. In this news release, a job is defined as an uninterrupted period of work with a particular employer. On average, men held 12.5 jobs and women held 12.1 jobs from ages 18 to 52. Men held 5.9 jobs from ages 18 to 24, compared with 1.9 jobs from ages 45 to 52. The reduction in the average number of jobs held in successive age groups was similar for women. 

Though it’s not uncommon, a career change should be thought through. Here are a few things you should consider before a career change:

Self-Introspection 

It is critical to self analyze and find out why are you looking for a career change. What is the reason for your discontentment: is it the work or the work environment and co-workers? Are you financially insecure? (Experts advise not to base any decision solely on the basis of money). Are you stuck in the same position doing monotonous work for years, with limited scope for change if any? Are you losing the motivation? Have your priorities changed? Do you yearn for work-life balance? Are you not passionate about the job anymore? Do you simply want to search for a new ‘meaning’ to your life?

Being emotionally and financially strong

If you are still early on in your career, there may be fewer things to worry about before switching careers. However, if it is a mid-life or mature career change, make sure you sort the emotional and financial ties.

Get support

Communicate your thoughts and vision to your family, friends and colleagues. While some of them may discourage you and urge you to take sane decisions, it is important that you have a cushion of support around you at a time you would need it most.

Take small steps 

Do not quit your current job until you find a new one, even if you feel being on the fence and frustrated. Start intensive research in the industry you envision yourself to be in and look for the skills required for those jobs. Make sure to update and personalize your resume for different jobs you may apply to. Explore free resources online for resume and skill development. Now is the ideal time to invest in yourself.

Build and Dive into your Network

Networking is the key to job search. While making conversation and networking may seem out of your comfort zone, you will be amazed to find how valuable a resource people are. Reach out to your contacts or build a network on social media for informational interviews that will not only help you understand the jobs you are interested in but if you are impressive enough they may even consider you for any open or potential positions!  Consider volunteering for different organizations or events to build your network.

Consider further education

While some of your skills from the previous job are transferable, you may have to consider getting another degree. Some jobs may require you to have a certain professional qualification and association, or a Master’s degree. While in a job and considering a career change, you may not want an education debt and going back to school full time. Online education is the solution that will not only fit your busy schedule but also not burn a hole in your pocket. Robert Kennedy College offers Online Masters programmes in exclusive partnership with the University of Cumbria, University of Salford and York St John University. Download the catalogue to know more about the programmes.

I am sure the points above give some food for thought and changing careers does not seem to be as intimidating. If you approach the change radically, it looks more like an achievable dream. We would love to hear from you how you coped with career change. Share your story and advice in the comments below. 

Points to consider before starting your career in Marketing

Philip Kotler defines marketing as “Satisfying needs and wants through an exchange process”. The Chartered Institute of Marketing defines marketing as “the management process responsible for identifying, anticipating and satisfying customer requirements profitably”.

Philip Kotler

This is what you get when you Google for the definition of marketing. While these definitions leave me personally a little confused and strangely unsatisfied, I cannot argue with them as

  1. I understand they are academic definitions.
  2. One definition is by one of the recognised Gods of marketing and the other by an organisation that has the words Institute, Chartered and Marketing in its name. 

But these definitions really do not help you understand how big the field of marketing is, what one has to do to get into this field or whether this is even the right career for you.

The following are a few steps to follow that can help you make an informed decision.

  1. Marketing is a broad field with specialisations such as social media, SEO specialist, media manager, copywriter, just to name a few, and marketing being such a dynamic field this list is constantly evolving. 
  2. Due to the number of specialisations available in the marketing field, it is not possible for one person to have the adequate knowledge to perform all the jobs with any semblance of competence. Hence it is important to know which specialisation you wish to build your career in, and a better understanding of the specialisations is important in making an informed decision. Keep in mind, not all specialisations will pay the same, offer the same career growth, require the same qualifications that you currently have or even be able to keep your interest in the job over time.
  3. Once you have identified the specialisation you wish to build your career in, work towards building your knowledge base and competence in this specialisation. There is a lot of information that is available free of cost online, on sites like youtube.com and other e-learning platforms. There are also a lot of e-learning platforms offering paid but high value certifications and programmes that offer more specialised knowledge. 
  4. Marketing is also all about networking and another way to increase your knowledge in the field and help you make an informed decision, that could also be fun, is to attend marketing seminars and networking events. If this is what you want to do then spending time with like-minded people will be fun and will have the added benefit of creating opportunities. 
  5. If you have the time and motivation, may be look at doing an internship or short-term assignments in the specialisation of your interest. There is no substitute to doing to get a feel of the job.
  6. Once you have decided to become a marketeer, it is important to keep updated and motivated and the beauty about marketing, being such a dynamic field, is someone is always doing something interesting and new, and being a marketeer, will definitely be blowing his or her trumpet for all to see. Hence information on this new and innovative marketing methodology can be found online. Keep reading, learning, growing and innovating. 

Robert Kennedy College with 31 Master’s degree programmes (including MarketingMedia LeadershipDigital Business, etc.) and almost 14,000 students from almost every county offers one of the most diverse, accredited and globally recognised online master’s degree programmes in both Business Law and Management through exclusive partnerships with British universities. For more information download our programme catalogue.

Technology In Education

Technology has changed the way we live our lives, having an impact on almost every aspect of our daily activities. From the outside it might look like the education sectors missed out on the technological revolution and in some ways, this is true, the teacher is still surrounded by students as they educate and impart their knowledge. But in many other ways technology has changed education itself. 

For centuries, only the children of the very rich, noble or higher casts could afford or were permitted the privilege of education. For one, books in the past were very expensive and rare, hence access to them were restricted and protected. Most education centres were centralised and very few, hence most families who wished their children to be educated had to send them far away and with a healthy stipend to pay for the education they were about to receive.

With the advent of quicker modes of transportation, the world took its first step towards becoming a global village. Enabling both teachers and students to travel to the farthest corners of the Earth, spreading and absorbing new and diverse knowledge. However, it is Information Technology and the Internet that has and is continuing to revolutionise the education industry.  

RKC Graduation 2018 @YorkStJohn
RKC Graduation 2018 @YorkStJohn

Today people around the world, who do not have the time to attend or even do not have access to schools can gain a formal education from a globally recognised and respected university. And through the almost constant advancement of telecommunication technology, the online programmes that most colleges offer are at the same level as those which are being offered by traditional on-campus programmes in terms of the quality of education and knowledge delivery.

The internet offers massive amounts of information on almost every subject imaginable through ebooks, audio and podcasts, images and videos. These unprecedented learning opportunities are offered to everyone right at their fingertips and in most cases, at costs lower than ever before. 

One of the traditional advantages of a classroom education was the opportunity to collaborate and network with other students. However, with the advancement in communication technology the barriers that were perceived in online education have also begun to fall away. Students are able to collaborate at levels comparable to those offered in on-campus education using technologies like group video conferencing and chats, emails and cloud technology to collaborate with each other “virtually” live.

With the amount of information and knowledge available online the traditional role of a teacher is also changing from that of an imparter of knowledge to that of a guide, guiding students to the endless sources of information and helping them make sense of it all and in the process learning new things themselves.

Technology has transformed education in many ways, from giving access to multiple sources of information, to helping teachers create new and more interactive study materials, to helping students from all over the world come together and collaborate in projects seamlessly and most importantly, taking education to everyone. 

Robert Kennedy College with 31 Master’s degree programmes and almost 14,000 students from almost every county offers one of the most diverse, accredited and globally recognised online master’s degree programmes in both Business Law and Management through exclusive partnerships with British universities. For more information download our programme catalogue.

University of Salford Graduation 2019

Years of hard work and sacrifice culminates on successfully completing your masters degree programme and the reward is being awarded your degree!

Linda Karitanyi – Living her dream and fulfilling her aspirations!

We at Robert Kennedy College are pleased to share with our readers the joy and happiness of one of our students’ – Ms. Linda Karitanyi, who has successfully graduated from the University of Salford with a Master of Science degree in Procurement, Logistics and Supply Chain Management.

Linda choose to attend the graduation ceremony at the university to collect her certificate.

Linda Karitanyi – Sharing her joy with friends and family
Linda Karitanyi @ the University of Salford, UK

Robert Kennedy College with almost 14,000 students from almost every county in the world offers one of the most diverseaccredited and globally recognised online master’s degree programmes in both Business Law, Leadership and Management through exclusive partnerships with British universities. For more information download programme catalogue.

Student Testimonials – Johannes’s Truly Inspirational Story!

This week we bring you the truly inspirational story of Johannes from South Africa; a story which I personally found to be heart warming and one that motivates me to do something better in my life, everyday.

Johannes, a BA graduate and a Banker decided to pursue MA in Leading Innovation and Change (MALIC). One reason was that it is a well known Online Programme offered by the Robert Kennedy College in Switzerland. Another reason was that it was offered in partnership with York St John University in York, England, which he believes is one of the best countries for a special needs student.

Johannes graduated recently and it was a proud moment for him and his wife who commended his dedication throughout the course. He now intends to continue for a PhD.

As Johannes says, “At York, I was not just a number. The University was always eager to help”. Watch Johannes’s story and get motivated!

Success Story from South Africa

Download the catalogue to find out more about the programme, fees, start dates and eligibility criteria.

Student Testimonials – Part 1

Investing in an online education programme can be a big decision for any professional, with time and financial considerations being the main concerns.

We at Robert Kennedy College encourage all our applicants to do their research and find the best programmes that will meet their requirements and expected standard of education. Online education is fast becoming one of the key gateways through which people are able to realise their educational and professional aspirations.

Through this series of student testimonial videos we hope to answer some of your questions and doubts, by sharing with you the experiences of our students, both current and past. We show you their hopes, fears and challenges and how we at Robert Kennedy College worked with them and helped them in some small way in realising their dreams.

Below is the first video in the series – Christina from Germany – filmed at graduation in York last November.

York.mba – student’s story – Tina

Click here for more information on the online programmes offered by Robert Kennedy College through exclusive partnerships with British Universities.

Women in Higher Education – The 21st Century and The Future

Welcome Readers to the concluding part of the two-part blog on Women in Higher Education. It has been an intriguing first part; unveiling the history of education for women from medieval times, victorian era and revolutionising and challenging the political, cultural and intellectual state of affairs through the Women’s Liberation Movement. It’s even more interesting to see how far forward Women’s education has come to till date and what ensues in the future!

Equal Education, Equal Job Opportunities and Equal Pay: The Women’s Liberation Movement bought with it tremendous upheavals for women not only in the area of jobs and education; however it was instrumental in eradicating discrimination against women in walks of daily life like financing a mortgage or provision of goods and services. And when Sex Discrimination Act came into force in 1972, it led to ban of discrimination against women on the grounds of sex and marital status. Many universities that were single-sex only became co-educational institutions. Universities no longer could deny admission to women and prefer a male counterpart. Women got equal job opportunities and continued to work after marriages and becoming a mother as well.

21st Century – The Way Forward : Its been nearly five decades since the implementation of Sex Discrimination Act and the world now saw women’s education in entirely new light. The changing nature of work is swiftly making today’s education systems, labour policy and social contracts outdated. As a result, the path to a good life is increasingly difficult to identify and attain for many people. According to the World Economic Forum, there is a 32% gender gap, when you take into account health, education, economic participation and political attainment. Traditional tools, policies and structures are insufficient to address these challenges. Progress requires new data, new narratives, new dialogue, new tools, new behaviour and new collaboration.

Long standing advocates of women empowerment are endorsing equal respect and opportunities and also establishing the urgency of this task. This comes in the light of the realisation that women’s education is not only critical for women themselves, but has massive economic repercussions as well. The world economies are expanding and women are increasingly playing a crucial role in the development. For example, raising women’s labour force participation to that of men can boost GDP, for example, by as much as 9% in Japan and 27% in India. IMF research has uncovered myriad other macroeconomic benefits: reducing gender gaps in employment, as well as in education, can help economies diversify their exports; appointing more women onto banking supervision boards can challenge cozy group-thinking, thereby supporting greater bank stability and financial sector resilience; and tackling gender inequality can reduce income inequality, which, in turn, can drive more sustainable growth. Its hard to believe but even in the 21st century there are almost 90% countries that have one or more gender-based legal restrictions! These range from not being able to buying a property, to a husband having right to deny and restrict their wives from working. Helping women stay active in the workplace while raising a family is the key. In countries like Norway, for instance, affordable childcare and parental leave schemes have made it possible for both mothers and fathers to work. It is imperative that investing in women is investing in the future. As Prime Minister of Norway and Head of IMF rightly quote, “Time is up for discrimination and abuse against women. The time has come for women to thrive.”

Attitude or Aptitude?

In my last blog, I talked about Entrepreneurship in modern times. It encompassed the various factors that led to the rise of entrepreneurship and why being your own boss is rather beneficial than working for someone else. However that made me thinking, what really makes a good entrepreneur? Having being said that the economic, political and social environment are pro-entrepreneurship and new businesses, not everyone is doing it. And not everyone who tried it, tasted success. There could be many reasons for the failure – wrong product, not the right market, not enough marketing, competition etc. But if I narrow it down to the Entrepreneur themselves – would be right to say – success/failure really pivoted upon the entrepreneur’s Attitude. Failure is actually a learning curve for any individual or organization. As Thomas Edison rightly quote, “ I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work”. This is where ‘Attitude’ comes into play. An entrepreneur with the right attitude never gives up! Most successful entrepreneurs, including James Dyson, Walt Disney, Vera Wang and Steve Jobs, failed several times before winning big. Steve Jobs was even fired from Apple in 1985! Steve Jobs said, “ Don’t Let the noise of other’s opinion drown out your own inner voice”.

This holds true for the employees’ of the organization as well. Attitude Or Aptitude? Which is a more crucial trait in an individual; this has been a debate amongst employers, businessmen, financiers and entrepreneurs equally. However if recruiter or entrepreneur has to choose one, they would choose the person with the right attitude every time.

This approach is backed up by studies which have shown that our 80 percent of our success is based on our EQ, compared to 20 percent for our IQ. This means that aptitude only accounts for a paltry 20 percent of our success. It has become a famous recruitment phrase – “Hire for Attitude, Train for Skills” –  It is easier to train aptitude than attitude. While attitude is positive / negative / indifferent feeling towards a person, object, event or idea; aptitude is a competency to do certain kind of work. One can always develop, learn or harness their skills or ability to do things. It is really hard to change someone’s attitude, that one develops over years, with factors such as family, upbringing, peers, prejudices, media, social, educational, religious and physical factors, influencing attitude.

 

Also, it’s easier to overcome obstacles with the right attitude. Any business or organisation constantly faces new challenges and in such difficult times, its only people with right attitude, determination and resilience can envision and direct the company out of the corporate mess.

Always remember, Your Attitude not your Aptitude, will determine Your Altitude!

Are you a suitable Master’s applicant?

As a former education advisor, this is one of the most frequently asked questions, I heard from potential applicants: ‘what is the admission criteria of the University’; ‘do I qualify to apply for the programme?’; ‘what is required in the statement of purpose?’. So, here are answers to all your questions. I aim to write this blog as a two part series; the first part, unravelling the admission and qualification requirements. And the second part would focus on what an ‘ideal statement of purpose’ should include.

Reflection session

Reflection session

As a student, I am sure you all do your homework well in researching about the University you would like to apply for the Masters’. You would like to enrol with a University that is accredited, offers wide choice of courses of your interest, competitive fees, great student support, an excellent alumni network; in short the best university according to your requirements. Similarly, University also looks for the best talent; students that can academically outshine and cope the challenging pace of Online Masters; their potential contribution to the programme and the fellow students. While no one factor can be a sole deciding factor, however all the aspects put together constitutes a successful application. Therefore, you can impress the admission officers with one, all or a mix of these following aspects:

  1. Academic excellence: This is the basic, first and foremost factor that all the universities would look at. Your previous qualification forms a basis for your Master’s degree and to a great extent an admission criteria. Many universities consider this as an elimination factor, to select the qualifying applicants. For RKC Online Programmes, minimum qualification is an honours degree at 2:2 or above. **                                                            
  2. The chosen subject – Your interest and passion towards the course: You must demonstrate your background in line to the chose Masters subject and your passion towards it that goes above and beyond what is required in the classroom. Perseverance is the key quality that that will get the attention of the admission committee.
  3. Work Experience: The Online Masters’ with its flexibility has become increasingly accessible to the working professionals. The working professionals bring a lot of real life experience on the table and enrich the programme value with their contributions. Hence, the number of years of experience of your resume will have a positive impact on your application. RKC has a minimum requirement of 2 years of work experience.

    RKC Alumni and MeetVibe founders – Mircea Baldean and Carol Aebi, joined by co-founder Gabriel Paun (left) at Web Summit 2017

  4. Ability to think, work independently and time management: While the Online programme offers flexibility and ease to study from anywhere in the world; it can be quite challenging to manage the study, assignments, work life and personal life. It could be quite a juggle. The university expects you, as a Masters student, to be able to efficiently manage the requirements of the programme.
  5. References: References are an important part of your application process. A reference could be your academic or professional references. Though professional (most recent) are considered to be the most favourable. A reference can tell a lot about the applicant :  maturity, character, leadership, self-confidence, warmth of personality, concern for others, and grace under pressure.
  6. Ability to work in groups: Ability to teamwork is important as well. Most of the course through RKC is conducted online with independent assignments to be submitted online itself. Some part of the modules taught in residency week require group discussions and assignments to be submitted on the basis of such group work. This ability will be reflected in your previous qualification or work experience (as team player or manager) or extra curricular activities. 
  7. English Language Ability: Since the course is fully taught in English, you will be evaluated for your English language skills, through various aspects – how well your resume is penned; formulation of the statement of purpose; verbal communication skills evaluated by education advisor. For admission with RKC, minimum requirement is: English language at IELTS 6.5 (minimum of 5.5 in each component). (This requirement could be waived, depending your previous qualification or experience in English speaking work environment- reference required –speak to our education advisor today for more information).
  8. Statement of Purpose: SOPs have increasingly become one of the most important deciding factors when evaluating an admission application. Its the summary of your past achievements and an insight of how motivated are you going forward. (more details on the next blog.. watch this space :))

 

Now that you have the insiders view of the application requirements, do not delay any further! Apply for your online Masters’ MBA and LLM and Online MSc programmes today and get started for the next intake.

 

 

**Applications are considered from candidates who do not meet the formal entry requirements but can provide evidence of equivalence. Examples of equivalence are:

  • A wide range of professional qualifications and/or work experience.
  • Working or studying in English or an English-speaking environment.

Applications will be considered from candidates who do not meet the formal entry requirements but who can demonstrate by interview the commitment to complete the programme successfully.