What kind of master’s degree should
I do (distance or full time)?
These are just some of the many questions that flashed through my mind at that time. But once the dust settled and I picked the path I wished to travel, a new question popped up.
Should I do an MBA or an M.Sc. (in management/business)?
Back then I already had friends who were doing or had completed MBA and M.Sc. programmes in management from universities around the world. As I myself was looking only at full time on-campus programmes, I asked them about their courses to get a better understanding on which programme to enrol for. These differences carry to the online versions too.
There are some basic differences between an MBA and an M.Sc programme.
Student demography: MBA programmes are usually targeted at individuals who have a minimum of 5 years work experience and as a consequence are usually somewhat older, people who are perhaps already in middle management positions. Whereas the M.Sc degree programmes are targeted at younger graduates, individuals with little to no work experience, usually coming in straight from their bachelor studies.
Teaching methods: From the student demography we can deduce how the education will be structured in class. M.Sc. programmes are usually more theoretical and classroom centric, whereas MBA programmes are based on experiential learning, calling on the work experience of the students to analyse case studies, projects and submit dissertations, working in groups with other students, learning from their experience coupled with the theoretical aspects of learning.
Focused study: MBA programmes are usually focused on general management and not in a specialised field of study, in fact most of the modules taught in an MBA programme would be on general management. M.Sc. programmes on the other hand are usually more focused in a particular field of study (for example, Information Systems Management, Global Management,Accounting and Finance, etc.).
Duration: MBA programmes are usually 18 to 24 months long, with a project and dissertation. M.Sc. programmes can usually be completed in 12 months, although they too will typically require a dissertation.
Cost: In most universities MBA programmes are priced much higher than M.Sc. programmes (although you will find exceptions too).
So, which one is good for me?
In recent times more and more universities have started creating courses where the differences have been reduced, creating courses that are unique and catering to the student’s requirements. This is especially true for online master’s degree programmes where technology has had a big impact on communication and giving students from all over the world and from different professional backgrounds access to information like never before.
So, which one is right for you? Not a question I am able to answer via a blog post, I’m afraid, but if you want to find out, you can get in touch with our team of admission advisers who can have a look at your profile and give you some advice.
I have had a fair share of job interviews in my career so far. And thinking retrospectively, I realize most (if not all) of these interviews asked very similar questions. You can probably relate.
Tell us a little bit about yourself (a bit of a time-waster, unless they are trying to judge your verbal communication skills – otherwise that information is already present in your CV (or should).
Why are you looking for a change/career change?
Why do you want to work with us?
What value will you add to this company?
What are your strengths and weaknesses?
What criticism or advice did you get in your earlier job?
Where do you see yourself in 5-10 years? (another cliche´ and rather a useless question).
What motivates you the most in a job?
Explain the gap in your career.
How do you handle the pressure? Describe a situation when you did that and how.
What are your hobbies/passion?
Describe a situation when you went over and beyond the job requirements and expectations.
What are your salary expectations?
Some of these questions are “old school” and of little value, but more recent research in HR, and in particular recruitment and selection point to the value of behavioural interviews and there is a tendency towards this approach in recent years.
When interviewers conduct a behavioural interview, they are looking for past experience and evidence of existing behaviours; a clear advantage over hypothetical questions such as “how would you handle conflict with a co-worker” where most candidates will try to give the “right” answer. They are looking to find the right fit, not only for the job role but for their company as a whole. You will normally be asked to respond to questions during such an interview using the CAR (Context, Action, Result) or STAR (Situation, Task, Action and Result) structures. These interviews are highly focused, situation-based interviews that demand crisp, precise and structured responses and having the ability to answer in this way takes practice.
It may seem to be an intimidating experience, but as you go through job interviews throughout your career, you will probably come to realize it is merely a conversation between the interviewer and the interviewee. While you may be nervous about answering the questions right, the interviewer is equally concerned about asking the right questions and establishing a good rapport with you. Recruitment and selection are an expensive process for any company, and they would like to avoid a re-run of the process for the same position again. Organizations do realize the importance of a good employee and of the fact that even if the interview process does not end up in selection, the candidate is a potential customer of their product or service, and they would like to make a good impression.
Preparing the interview
Receiving an interview call in itself means that you knocked off other competitors and possess the competencies that the company is looking for in its potential employee. However, do not become complacent at this point. You have got to prove your worth and an interview is a perfect opportunity to make your case as to why the interviewer should hire you. Here are a few tips that will help you in preparation for a successful job interview.
Understand the job description
The humble job description yields much more than a naïve interviewee can decipher. The job description provides you with details such as the qualifications, qualities and competencies the company desires in a candidate (at least if the job description is done well). You could pick up hints on potential questions that an interviewer may ask in an interview. This is a good opportunity to align your presentation of your qualities to the given job description and make the case that you are the right candidate for the role.
Match your qualifications to the Job
You must have a good understanding of how you qualify for the job and why you are interviewing for the position. You must be able to explain to the recruiter your interest in the position and convince them how and why you are the best fit for the role. You have to be honest with yourself first – are you really a good fit?
Research the Company and the role thoroughly
This is probably one of the most common complaints, or, rather, disappointments for a recruiter: to see the candidate did not do their homework well and have little knowledge of the company and the position. Do thorough research to show that you have invested time in preparing for the job, and do care about the company, its values, and requirements of the job.
Identify the requirements of the company – empathize with their problem
When the recruiter asks questions like “why should we hire you?” Or “what can you offer that no one else can?”, they really are looking to understand if you “get” their requirements and whether hiring you would solve their problems. Be a problem solver to increase your chances of recruitment. Scrutinize all resources available such as company website, YouTube channel, LinkedIn profile, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram presence, etc.
You want to put your best foot forward in an interview. You would not want to be surprised at the interview. Some experts report that up to 85% of hiring managers “Google” a candidate before or after an interview, and so should you. See what the first page of results brings upon you, and be ready to answer any questions about those (whether flattering or non-flattering) results.
Rehearse and Role-play
The best way to score your performance at an interview is to practice mock interviews. Rehearse the answers you would want to give and watch out for non-behavioural communication that might confound the message. There are apps available now that use AI to score you (almost in real-time) on diction, intonation, filler words, and so on. Practice with a friend works well too.
Prepare in advance for STAR interviews
The mantra to be successful when appearing for the STAR/CAR interviews is to go prepared. Strategize and draw your responses from the key competencies for the position. Structure your responses with situations that highlight your knowledge and behaviour from previous experiences. This is a great opportunity to impress the interviewer with your skills and achievements.
Work on your body language and interview etiquettes
Recruiters are generally good readers of body language and can gauge your confidence level just by the way you shake hands with them (they do this for a job, after all). Other body languages such as posture, gaze, how and where you sit on the chair, can leak information about your state of mind and sincerity.
Plan your travel ahead and get directions
An employer appreciates punctuality and pro-activeness from its potential candidates. Being prepared and arriving prior to the scheduled time for the interview can always earn you some brownie points.
At the interview
Wear appropriate interview clothing and groom your hair
You do not have to dress to kill. However, put on formal clothing and take care of even how you groom your hair. A hippy hairstyle may speak volumes of your character and preferences that may not necessarily fit with the company’s vision and values. Then again, if that is who you are and enjoy being, showing your true colours can prevent landing a job in an environment you might not enjoy!
Know what to bring along for the interview
Always ask ahead of the interview if you need to bring any original documents, certificates, etc.
Hone your salary negotiation skills
One tricky question that most candidates are hesitant about responding to during an interview, and for good reason, is about compensation.
Interviewers ask this question to see how well you know your worth, or maybe as a way to get a “cheaper” deal. Is it fair to ask it? Debates are raging, but one thing is for sure – it is fair not to answer it!
Of course, you do not want to antagonize your interviewer, and there are different ways to handle remuneration related questions avoiding conflict. Try to deflect such questions towards the end of the interview, so that you have complete knowledge and understanding of job duties and expectations. Experts advise that instead of quoting a number, always provide a salary range. Show that you are open to negotiations. Include other remuneration forms like benefits and perks as an opportunity to negotiate.
Prepare follow-up questions
Most recruiters will normally allow the opportunity to ask questions at the end of the interview – be ready to do so. It shows your interest and how well you have researched the company.
These are some of the hacks that will come in handy to break through the toughest interviews. Sound knowledge of your field of work, grit and thinking off the feet can actually get you on the other side of the table.
Do share with us your job interview experiences in the comment section below. And I wish those who are going to appear for a job interview the best of luck. Even though our students are mostly employed while they study in the Masters programmes, most do end up interviewing for new/better jobs as a result of graduating.
It is 2020! First and foremost, on behalf of our entire team at Robert Kennedy College, I would like to wish you a very Happy New Year. We wish you good health and a positive mindset, and success will follow!
All of our University of Cumbria’s online MBA programmes have six-course modules – four core modules, one elective and one residential. The mandatory one-week residential module is held in the UK at either the Ambleside, Lancaster or Carlisle campus. The module title is “Tackling Global-Local Challenges in Ethics, Responsibility and Sustainability“. There are several dates during the year which you can choose from to attend the residency that fits your busy schedule.
Time flies and it is almost time for the first Residency in January 2020 for our University of Cumbria’s Master of Business Administration programme students. For those who are not our students yet and wondering what is a Residency, keep on reading to find out all about it. And those who are registered for this upcoming residency, pull up a diary and make notes of what to expect and how to prepare well for the residency, because here are some real insights, tips and advice from our current students about their own experience attending the residency last year.
The topic: Tackling Global-Local Challenges in Ethics, Responsibility and Sustainability
All our MBA programmes focus on real-life problems and issues that enable you to think critically about your company and your own career. Corporate social responsibility (CSR), according to Visser, involves what is called the four ‘DNA responsibility bases’ of good governance, value creation, environmental integrity and societal contribution. There is a demand for the more global marketplace and more ethical managerial conduct to deal with the global-local challenges, and responsible leadership is an answer to such demand.
Our students are leaders or aspiring leaders in the business world who face this challenge in their companies every day. This residential module allows the students to gain insight into how the dimensions of corporate governance, sustainable development and ethics are affecting and shaping today’s organizational policies and practices. Students are guided and invigorated to unique ideas and solutions to issues faced by their current organization or local community. This is an enriching one-week that promotes experiential learning through contemporary case studies and teamwork.
Where and When to plan for residency?
We surveyed about 120 of our current MBA students with some of the frequently asked questions about the residency. We got 50 answers back (a response rate you should be very happy with for your dissertations, even though you would, of course, aim for higher numbers!). Here’s what they have to say about their experience at the residency, sharing some immensely useful tips learned the hard experiential way.
There was 50:50 split on the choice of location of residency between the Ambleside and Lancaster campus.
A vast majority of students (80%) had completed at least four modules before attending the residency and a little less than half of all respondents (46%) thought the right time to attend the residency was when they were about half-way through the course. So the takeaway here is to try and take the residency somewhere after the third or fourth module.
On the other hand, 24% of students would have rather attended the residency as soon as possible after completing the first module.
Attending the residency right after the first module allows one to have human interaction in the otherwise online programme, establish relationships that develop and last throughout the programme and beyond, and allow you to better relate to your peers and colleagues
Some students found that it can help with the rest of the modules too. Peter said that he found taking the residency early on gave additional value in the structuring of academic writing and formulation of assignments as well as how to use OneSearch.
For those who voted for attending residency either halfway through or as late as possible attributed it to the fact that having finished other modules equipped them with a better foundation and management tools to interact and respond in the group.
Thus depending on whether you are more a human interaction person or self-starter, you can choose the right time to attend your residency.
What else do you learn at the residency?
Many of our students ask “why is the residency important in an online programme?” and what does one actually gain from it.
It was a great experiential learning experience with an interdisciplinary and diverse group from around the world.
Many students gained an interest and understanding of the future focus of sustainability and climate change, the value of cross-sector collaboration, how to tackle ethical dilemmas and apply ethical theories in real-life.
Others learned about the concepts of Triple bottom line, SDGs 2015 and ERS, and yet others learned how to structure their dissertation. Maurice B., who came to the residency with over 35 years of experience of working, studying and interacting with multi-cultural groups, was nevertheless impressed by the high degree of professionalism, dedication and above all the feelings of warmth, the receptiveness of the residency.
Congratulations to all on a splendid display of academics, stewardship of facilitation, operational and executive excellence – the absolute best I have ever seen!
A staggering 80% of the students surveyed agreed that the learning at residency was completely relevant and 92% said there was a definitive value-add in attending the residency.
The majority of the students found meeting the peers and professors a valuable experience and felt better prepared for the rest of the programme. So though the residency week can be pretty intensive and action-packed (as 44% of students agree), 62% of students admit it is a lot of fun as well!
It is the best experience of the MBA program, combining both theoretical and practical aspects of sustainability in business with a multicultural team. The group exercises are just great and the tour in nature is very inspiring. I’m convinced you will enjoy it!
Where to stay during the residency?
I must say it was a unanimous response from most of the students on the survey, that one must stay close to the university during the residency week. Make your travel plans in advance and book accommodation early to avoid any disappointments. Talk to our StudentCare team and they can provide a list of accommodation near campus for your stay during residency.
Book accommodations directly through university suggested facilities and arrive a day early to acclimate. Don’t forget to make daily summarizations of activities and sessions.
Many students also put a word of caution about the wet weather conditions in Cumbria, UK and recommend coming prepared for cold and rainy weather.
To summarize the residency, I would like to quote John’s advice in his own words:
1. Plan for your UK visa in advance – it takes up to 3 months depending on the holiday season and country you are located in. ([editor’s note] and this was before Brexit!)
2. Book the hotel in advance – depending on the season, it is difficult to find accommodation especially in and around the University of Cumbria specially during the March season.
3. Weather – when you want to play golf, it rains in the UK. Therefore, prepare yourself with winter-wear, umbrella (if possible), windcheater or raincoat and boots as there are outdoor activities and trekking involved.
4. Time management – spend about an hour to revise the day’s work so you are prepared for the next day’s activity. When in groups, participate and lead the team as some peers may be in a holiday mood. Get them to work with you and research for the final day activity – prepare and participate.
5. Cumbria – is the place of William Wordsworth – daffodils are everywhere, enjoy them and unwind in the midst of nature. This is the place to be if you are interested in Sustainability and Environment.
I hope reading through the blog you gained valuable insight into our residency module and how to best prepare yourself for it. And we could not agree more with this quote from Fatos:
It will be an experience you will have once in a lifetime. I assure you will not regret any day being in Ambleside!
Finally, a big thanks to all our students who helped us provide you with these tips and tricks about the residency – they generously offered their time and advice – a sharing spirit we witness every day in our OnlineCampus.
The popularity of online studies has been on the rise in recent years, and we have seen so much right here at Robert Kennedy College. With practically our whole student population being in full-time employment, we know the flexibility afforded by online delivery is amongst one of the highest-ranking reasons why people study online.
I understand how critical it is to have the possibility of being able to access, learn and review course content anytime, from anywhere in the world. Working professionals like yourself have a demanding job and may be required to travel frequently for work.
Now while it might look pretty simple and easy to study online on the surface, it is actually not quite so. I like to compare this to a duck’s swimming – when you see a duck advancing through water, you probably think calm and grace. Our eyes behold a view of effortless and smooth progression on water. However, under the surface, the duck is paddling frantically to propel itself forward.
I do not intend to scare you with this analogy. I want to focus on the duck’s efforts and skills that keep it advancing (keeping afloat is apparently the easy part, for biological reasons, ducks weighing less than the water they displace due to their uropygial gland and air-trapping feathers). Similarly, you can advance smoothly through your studies with the help of planning, foresight, prioritization skills and grit – especially when you are travelling.
So, here are some tips that will help you stay afloat while planning your studies on the go:
I personally can’t get enough of planning. I sometimes re-plan my plans (ha-ha) just to be sure of how my schedule and week/month looks like. Yes, planning is the key to be able to travel stress-free and balance the commitment of a university course module with the disruption caused by travelling. While you may not always be able to choose your travel times when travelling for work, do take your study calendar into account and redesign your plans accordingly.
Plan travel around assignments
Give yourself enough time at each step of your travel plan. To begin with, make sure you do not plan your 15-hour flight across continents a day before your assignment submission. Be wary and give yourself ample time to recover from jetlag. Reversely, if you have little control over your travel plans, advance your deadlines and submit earlier, or look into the administrative processes that may help you get an extension if done in time.
Arrange your meetings in a way that you have some relaxing peaceful time segments during that day. This will allow you enough time to catch up with your course material and focus on the assignments due. There might be some occasions when you will have to prioritize studies and must skip that social evening with work associates and miss a drink. Reward yourself later when your work is done.
Organize Internet access
Most of your study materials normally require the internet to access them. You want to avoid situations where you have time to spare but no internet access nor offline materials. Know when you would be in limited connectivity zones and download the necessary course materials ahead of travel. RKC’s iOS and Android apps can help with that.
As a student, you can also get internet access through the Eduroam network, something most Universities in the world are a part of. You use your home institution’s credentials to login to any “eduroam” WiFi you find (typically in and around University campuses, University and sometimes public libraries). Have a look at the eduroam map before travelling to know if you have this option.
Have reliable technology and back-ups
While you are travelling you are completely reliant on your laptop, tablet, or phone. Always have your chargers, spare power banks and hard drives to backup data so that you do not lose your work. With the pervasiveness and ease of use of cloud back-ups today, “I lost my laptop/my disk died/etc.” is the equivalent of the “dog ate my homework” of yesteryear.
Mind the zone
While our online course materials can be accessed at all times, you may have to be careful of the different time-zones you are travelling to and how it will affect your deadlines (they don’t – your deadlines are always Zürich time!). What a different time zone will affect is when you must submit – so work that out in advance and anticipate the deadline rather than miss it. Another impact of travelling to a different time zone is that last minute questions may receive delayed responses with respect to when you were back home.
Keep track of your progress
It is easy to lose track of time when you are travelling and have so many things to manage. In order to make sure you do not fall back on coursework, keep close checks on your schedules and deadlines. While travelling breaks away from the 9 to 5 schedule (or 7 to 7 for the unlucky few) and could offer more flexibility in terms of the time of day you can study, it is helpful to chalk it out.
Do not fret if you face any technical issues while travelling. Simply reach out to our student care team and they will be happy to help.
It may feel overwhelming at times to balance work, study and travel. But with adequate preparation ahead of time you can enjoy smooth sailing; gracefully swimming like a duck towards your goals (with more or less frantic paddling). With these simple yet vital study tips, you can certainly ace study and travel together. Please share with us any tips or tricks that you might have up your sleeve from your personal experience.
P.S: An easy way to connect with us on the go is to download our OnlineCampus Mobile App, which helps you prepare your “offline study packs”. Here are the links:
29th November: It’s Black Friday sales. I know exactly how (and where) I am going to spend my weekend. The holiday season is around the corner and I have one of the most important pieces of my holiday look to hunt for – the makeup. It takes a lot of research, time and effort to find the right makeup that’s good for my skin, is the right colour matching my skin tone and when applied makes me look great! Ladies here would agree with me hands down and men must have had this experience with their wife or girlfriend, how critical this matter is for us women folk.
Even before I hit the store I had scrutinized websites, reviews, makeup influencers on YouTube, Instagram and popular trends. I left no stone unturned. I could have ordered the makeup online, however, I wanted to try it before I invested in the product. Backed up by my research, I felt confident as I entered the store. I was still overwhelmed by the variety and options I had to choose from and I decided to test the products. The makeup artist there explained to me which product line would suit me and also gave me tips on how to apply makeup while she magically did my makeover! I couldn’t agree more with her. Once I saw it, I believed it. I found the makeup that works best for me!
You might wonder why I am sharing with you my weekend rendezvous at a beauty product store. For my requirement of makeup supplies (not a life-changing decision) – an expenditure worth say $100-$150, I went through intensive research to find the right product that will last me another 3-4 months. Worst case scenario I can replace it with another product.
This got me thinking that when you decide to upgrade your educational qualification taking a Masters’ to progress your career and decide to commit your time and hard-earned savings to that programme, it must not be an easy task. For a life-changing decision costing about 100 times more than my trivial makeup expense, you must do your homework and make an informed choice. You may be overwhelmed by the choices and options of online programmes offered by several universities and it would be great to be able to test or try the programme before investing in it. You would like to find the right fit for yourself.
If you are new to online learning, it’s natural to have questions about how the online learning system works. It is not always easy to adapt to a new environment. You might feel like an alien in the world of virtual classes. Some of us are used to the brick and mortar setup, physical presence in a classroom with face-to-face interaction with the lecturer and peers. Others are perfectly comfortable with being connected electronically from anywhere in the world.
After scanning through various university websites, reviews, rankings and course curriculum there will be some practical queries that still remain unanswered. How does online learning work? What does it look like? Can I access study material anytime? Are there online videos and lectures? What times am I required to be online? Is the study material available 24×7? How do I access readings, submit assignments and review assessments? How rigorous is the pace of online learning and how will it fit my busy work-life schedule?
As I said before, you gotta see it to believe it. I would therefore highly recommend anyone contemplating taking an online Masters with RKC and plagued by any or all of the above questions to register for a free trial account. The trial account gives you a preview of the ‘OnlineCampus’ platform and provides you with an opportunity to elucidate any concerns or inhibitions about the programme. I would like to highlight a few benefits that the trial account offers along with screenshots to give you a ‘real’ sneak peek and enable better understanding:
1. The Trial Account enables you to sit on a live module in real-time for 30 days.
2. Access real materials
You can listen to audio lectures, download the PDF files, read case studies and other materials, just like the ones you will be studying. Once downloaded onto your own computer or tablet, these can be accessed and studied in a time that fits your busy schedule: before breakfast, lunch hours, evenings, weekends or any time you choose.
3. Live “auditor” access to on-going class discussions
You can see the Class Forum and observe how students from different countries (and time zones) communicate with the course instructor and each other to create a dynamic “classroom” environment.
4. Full-access to a number of public discussion areas where you get unfiltered responses from real students as well as RKC staff
You are able to access a variety of other forums where you can ask questions to the Dean, other students, or our academic advisors.
5. The trial account costs you just your time
Last, but definitely not least, the Trial account is free! The only investment for you is the time spent to actually use the platform and make an idea about how we support students through their learning journey.
The trial method worked really well for me as I could witness and test the products before buying them. Similarly, I trust going through the trial account will prove to be beneficial in helping you make the right decision about enrolling in an online master’s programme.
Are you ready to sit down and have a look? Simply download the catalogue here and get a link to activate the trial account for an online MBA, MSc or LL.M programme. If you have any questions, feel free to post it in the comments below.
Sandra, Ilse, Doris, Asha, Melanie, Lilian, Matthew, Alaine, Marlini, Wilfried, Boguslaw, Ebru, Graham, Dag, Karen, Julie, Tony, Jialei and Sandra – these are the names of the 2019 RKC/YSJ MA in Leading Innovation and Change graduates who made it to York, to what I *know* was a great delight! We know quite a few of you could not make it physically to graduation this year – your achievement is no less impressive though – well done!
Wednesday the 20th of November 2019 was the day about 20 of our own MALIC students experienced the graduation of a lifetime, in one of the largest Gothic cathedrals in Europe – the York Minster. For all of you reading this at home and thinking that sounds awesome – know that it is, and I hope we’ll be able to hear from a few of them who were there to confirm this is not just my impression!
Graduation: I couldn’t recommend it more.
By the time graduation comes around, you will have attended the residency either in Zürich or York, so you know (or discover) that travel is not easy, nor cheap, but despite all that, I wholeheartedly recommend attending Graduation too. I haven’t heard a single whisper in the past 7 years of someone being disappointed with the graduation.
Here’s a short video of our graduates, so you can judge for yourself the emotions and excitement of the moment. See if you can count how many of them forget about the photo opportunity with the Archbishop of York, John Sentamu, in what was his last awards ceremony as York St John’s Chancellor. Next year’s graduates will be shaking hands with Reeta Chakrabarti.
A special shout out to Sandra Ahlers for the Dissertation prize, and to Ilse Baxter for the overall programme prize! Woohooo – amazing performance ladies – well done!
Finally, a huge CONGRATS! to all graduates alike, whether they’ve been able to walk the stage in York or had to stay at home (much like I did this year). Keep us in the loop with your professional exploits post graduation and help make this world a better place. Well done you all!
P.S. If you are wondering about the MA Leading Innovation and Change, know that it has smoothly transitioned into the MBA Leading Innovation and Change and next year we are likely to have the first batch of MBAs graduating in the Minster – are you one of them, or can you become one? Let us know in the comments!
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).
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.
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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
We are proud to announce the launch of the New Mobile App for York St John University. The launch follows the recent announcement by RKC of its another mobile app for the University of Cumbria.
The mobile app enables us to connect better and easier with prospective students. The Mobile App is a comprehensive tool developed to provide important information at your fingertips. This includes the programmes offered, module description, fees, duration and FAQs. And for an application submitted through the App, the application fee is waived! This user-friendly App is available to download on both Android and iOS devices.
Check out official York St John University website to find out more details about the mobile app.