Author Archives: Mark Shaftsbury

Mark Shaftsbury

About Mark Shaftsbury

Mark Shaftsbury has a background in economics and found a passion for writing after a long career abroad. He currently lives in the USA and works for a very well-known American company. He writes articles which involve his knowledge in the business industry as well as articles about education. He is a baseball enthusiast and may be found online blogging about his favorite baseball teams as well as his daughter's journey through life.

What a Career in Graphic Design Entails

Graphic design involves the process of creating images and products that are used to convey a specific message to a targeted audience. This process generally involves a designer and a client. These two parties work together to create symbols and images which visually represent an idea or message the client desires to get across to an audience. Graphic design involves both the process of creating and designing the image as well as generating the final product. These final products are generally used for logos, branding, advertisements, publications, and product packaging.

Graphic designers are educated and trained individuals who create these visual images which will communicate ideas that excite, inform, or engage consumers. Their responsibilities include interacting with clients to determine their objectives for a project; advising clients on different strategies of how to reach consumers; determining the message that will be conveyed; creating those images; selecting the right colors, text, layout, and style; and editing and incorporating changes upon receiving feedback from the client.

Those who would like to pursue a career as a graphic designer should encompass a number of skills and qualities essential in this field. Artistic ability and creativity are imperative. Graphic designers must be able to visualize images which would best convey the message the client wants to communicate to consumers. Since graphic design is a collaborative process, graphic designers must have exceptional communication skills. They must be able to suggest ideas which would work well in the project and listen to feedback given by clients. Graphic designers must speak to clients in a respectful, polite, and helpful manner. They generally work on multiple projects at once therefore graphic designers must have good time-management skills and be able to multi-task. Graphic designers use a number of different computer applications therefore computer and technical skills are a must.

To work professionally as a graphic designer, students receive some sort of formal education such as an associate’s or bachelor’s degree in arts and graphic design. Students take courses in areas such as product branding, visual marketing, website design, digital imaging, interactive media, art history, computer illustration, and business marketing and advertising. Upon completion of an associate’s or bachelor’s degree program in graphic design, students may gain on-the-job practice by working as an assistant to an experienced graphic designer.

Below are a few helpful links which are related to the graphic design profession.

http://www.educationchoices.com/

http://www.youthedesigner.com/2008/10/08/25-graphic-design-career-preparation-tips/

http://www.creativebloq.com/graphic-design/get-career-graphic-design-1012931

What you need for a career in firefighting

Being a firefighter is a very dangerous but extremely gratifying profession. Each day is different from the next and the opportunity to help others, perhaps even save their lives, is rewarding, to say the least. There are also numerous opportunities for expansion in this career field. Firefighters may be certified as a paramedic; be part of the water or urban search rescue teams; arson investigator; code enforcement; 911 dispatcher; or training instructor. Firefighters build a sort of brotherhood or camaraderie with fellow firefighters and know that in a life-threatening situation, another firefighter will risk their life to save their own as well. Because they serve the community, firefighters are highly respected by others and people are always welcoming and appreciative when interacting with a firefighter.

There are a number of skills and qualities individuals, who are interested in pursuing a career as a firefighter, must encompass. Firefighters must have a passion to help others since this is essentially what they do. From taking a person’s blood pressure to taking them out of a burning building, no matter how small or big the task is, firefighters want to help others in any way they can. Due to the physical demandingness of this occupation, firefighters must be healthy and in good shape. There may be times when firefighters must move heavy debris, equipment, or even people or times when they may have to run or stand for long periods. Therefore, they must have the stamina and strength to endure these physically strenuous tasks. Teamwork skills are also vital. They are always working with other professionals during emergency situations and it is essential that firefighters work efficiently and effectively with one another.

In order to become a firefighter, students must obtain an associate’s or bachelor’s degree in fire science. These programs educate students in areas such as fire codes and standards, incident management, fire scene operations, occupational safety, extinguishing technologies, and fire chemistry. Upon completion of either program, students must then obtain on-the-job training at a fire academy within the state they reside in. In addition, the National Fire Academy (NFA) offers training sessions to further educate and train students. When they’ve completed training, students are eligible to acquire professional employment as a firefighter.

Below are a few helpful links which are related to the firefighting profession.

http://www.educationchoices.com/

http://www.wikihow.com/Be-a-Fireman

http://www.firerescue1.com/fire-jobs-search/articles/755562-becoming-a-firefighter-10-must-do-things/

Becoming a Lawyer

Pursuing a career in law may seem overwhelming; experiencing the competitiveness of being accepted into a law school, enduring the rigorous three-year law program, competing with fellow classmates for articling positions, and long hours studying and working while limiting time with family and taking vacations may dissuade others from choosing this occupation. However, being a lawyer can be extremely rewarding (emotionally as well as financially).  Those with great work ethic, high regard for education, exceptional interpersonal skills, assertiveness, compassion, and empathy will be successful in a career in law. Along with these traits, prospective law students must complete educational requirements which are explained below.

Students must first have a high school diploma (or its equivalent, such as a GED) since this is needed to enroll at a college or university for a four-year bachelor’s degree. Every law school requires its applicants to have obtained a bachelor’s degree. This undergraduate degree does not have to be in pre-law; however, it is beneficial for students to take courses related to law such as criminology, politics, government, ethics, philosophy, or economics. While completing coursework, students must maintain a high grade-point average (GPA) since law school admission boards take this number into heavy consideration when reviewing law school applications from prospective students. Upon completion of a bachelor’s degree, students must then take the Law School Admissions Test (LSAT). Students generally take about three full months to study and prepare for this extensive examination. The score from the LSAT is another factor law school admission boards review. It is in the student’s best interest to obtain a score in the 80th percentile or higher. Students should apply to three to five different law schools as applying and getting accepted is quite a competitive process. Once accepted, law school is a rigorous three-year program. Grades obtained during this program are extremely important as law firms look at the applicant’s ranking within their class as part of the hiring process. After the first year, students are able to obtain summer positions at a law firm to gain working experience and the opportunity to network. Before graduation, students should have researched and applied at a number of different law firms to work at. They then must take and pass the state bar exam which then certifies them as a lawyer. Students are now able to work professionally as a lawyer, working in the jurisdiction of their choice.

As seen here, pursuing a career in law is certainly not an easy task but for those who enjoy the field and are hard-working and compassionate towards others, being a lawyer can be quite gratifying.

Below are a few helpful links which are related to the legal profession.

http://www.educationchoices.com/

http://legalcareers.about.com/od/legalcareerbasics/tp/Legal-Skills.htm

http://www.law21.ca/2008/07/core-competence-6-new-skills-now-required-of-lawyers/

Essential Skills for a Career in Engineering

Engineering is comprised of the principles of mathematics and science. These principles are applied to create, manufacture, and sustain structures, systems, materials, and processes which solve real-world problems and greatly benefits society. Engineering is a broad discipline but professionals may specialize in one area within engineering such as mechanical, civil, architectural, biomedical, environmental, materials, chemical, industrial, agricultural, petroleum, electrical, nuclear, computer hardware, or aerospace engineering. Although each area of focus is different from the other, there are similar skills and qualities students must encompass when entering a career in any of the specializations within the engineering field.

Complex problem-solving skills

Solving problems is essentially what engineers do. Using mathematics and science, engineers must come up with a plan for developing something as small as the dials on a wristwatch to something as magnificent as an international airport. Engineers are versed in defining an issue or dilemma and its pertinent constraints such as time, budget, etc. Engineers must then devise a solution which meets these time and budget constraints.

Creativity skills

Engineers must have creativity skills and an eye for designing new types of components, devices, materials, or buildings. Their work must be unique as well as functional. Creativity is needed when converting concepts and ideas into real-world applications.

Understanding and knowledge of mathematics and science principles

As stated above, engineering is comprised of the principles of these two subject areas therefore engineers must be able to use concepts such as calculus, algebra, trigonometry, chemistry, physics, and biology when analyzing, designing, or troubleshooting their work.

Communication skills

Engineers interact with a number of different professionals such as construction managers, technicians, electrical installers, surveyors, and architects when working on a project. Therefore, engineers must have exceptional communication skills. They must be able to clearly and thoroughly explain the details of the project to the necessary professionals and speak in terminology that they will be able to understand.

Organizational skills

There may be times when engineers work on several projects at once therefore they must have efficient organizational and time-management skills. Engineers must have the ability to prioritize their work in order to meet the different deadline dates. They also must stay on top of changes and adjustments to the projects.

The following are links to a few helpful websites regarding the engineering field and Engineering Schools.

http://educationchoices.com/

http://everydaylife.globalpost.com/skills-aptitudes-should-engineer-12982.html

http://www.brightknowledge.org/knowledge-bank/engineering/studying-engineering/what-skills-do-i-need-for-engineering

So you want to attend business school…

BUSINESS SCHOOLS

Choosing reputable schools to attend and to get a business degree can be a daunting task. There are a number of things to consider when deciding upon which school to apply to. However, below are the vital factors (in my opinion) all students must contemplate when conducting their business school research.

It is extremely important for students to attend an accredited institution. When a business school is accredited, it means that the institution provides high-quality education and adheres to certain academic standards. In addition, upon completion of a degree program, employers generally only hire applicants who have graduated from an accredited institution. Accreditation is granted by private regional and national associations. To qualify for accreditation, institutions must meet the criteria established by these associations.

There are a number of different business degrees and students should first decide which business degree they would prefer or are interested in. For instance, there are online business degrees, two-year MBA programs, three-year MBA programs, and part-time MBA programs for those who are currently employed full-time or have personal obligations or commitments which do not allow for a full-time education. Once a student decides which business degree they would like to complete, they can then narrow their search to business schools which offer this type of degree.

Location is another factor to consider. Business school programs generally take three years to complete and having been a student myself, the environment that surrounded me for those three years did affect my school life. It is important for students to attend a business school in a city or state that they do not mind living and studying in. An environmental setting can affect a person’s mood and day-to-day activities. Because a business degree program can be extremely rigorous at times, completing this business program while living in a city or state one detests will just add unnecessary negativity to an already stressful mindset which may then have a harmful impact on one’s studies.

Researching the faculty members within the department and viewing their curriculum vitae as well as academic credentials would also be advantageous for students. It is beneficial to be instructed by a professor who is experienced in the business field and who has conducted a substantial amount of research within the industry. These qualified professors may have more skills, knowledge, and advice to offer to their students.

Knowing the costs of tuition, books, supplies etc. is vital. There are various factors which affect an institution’s tuition and fees therefore these costs vary from school to school. Depending on a student’s budget, some business schools may be too expensive to enroll in. Students must assess their financial situation beforehand and determine the amount they are willing to pay for their education. Afterwards, they then research business schools which suit that financial parameter.

Make sure to assess the business school’s placement statistics. Students obviously go to school in order to enhance their future career options and obtain a professional job upon completion. A high placement rate is a great sign that the school is reputable and offers a high-quality education.

As seen here, considering a number of factors when choosing a business degree program is extremely important. Students who are willing to put in the time and effort in researching the right business school for them will reap the benefits upon graduation from their chosen MBA program.

The following link forwards you to an education website which can assist in choosing a business degree program right for you.

http://www.educationchoices.com/

Choosing an Online Degree Program

 

More and more people today are choosing to obtain a degree through an online school or institution because of the advantages an online education has over a traditional college or university education. There is much more flexibility with regards to class and study time, no need to commute, easily accessible course materials, and online networking opportunities. However, students must do their research when choosing from the numerous online schools available. There are important factors to consider when comparing one online school to another. Below are just a

Online Degree Schools

Choosing and Online Degree

few elements which students must take into account during their online school research process.

It is extremely important for students to attend an accredited institution. When a school is accredited, it means that the institution provides high-quality education and adheres to certain academic standards. In addition, upon completion of a degree program, employers generally only hire applicants who have graduated from an accredited institution. Accreditation is granted by private regional and national associations. To qualify for accreditation, institutions must meet the criteria established by these associations.

If at all possible, students should try to contact recent graduates of the online degree program that they are interested in. This will give students an outside opinion of the program and how completion of the program has helped the graduate in his/her career. The recent graduate can give prospective students further details about the program, any pros or cons, and their own opinion and advice about the program itself.

There are various factors which affect an institution’s tuition and fees therefore these costs vary from school to school. Depending on a student’s budget, some schools may be too expensive to enroll in. Fortunately, there are numerous affordable options for students on varying degrees of financial budgets; students just have to do their research and find the best financial option for their situation.

The online degree program’s curriculum also varies between institutions. Although the program may have the exact same name (e.g., an associate’s degree in business administration), the coursework included in the program may be different. There are many reputable online schools which offer specialized courses in a number of their programs and there are other online schools which offer a general and broad education. Students should assess the online degree program’s curriculum to ensure that the coursework efficiently prepares its students for the workforce.

Course material and interaction with the professor as well as fellow students should be easily accessible. Reputable online schools offer various ways in which to interact with others in the program via email, online forums, chat rooms, or web tutorials. Students should also enquire about how course material will be taught to ensure this is conducive to how they learn and retain information effectively.

As seen here, considering a number of factors when choosing an online degree program is extremely important. Students who are willing to put in the time and effort in researching the right online school for them will reap the benefits upon graduation from their chosen program.

The following link forwards you to an education website which can assist in choosing an online degree program right for you.  Online Schools and Campus schools.

http://www.educationchoices.com/

Some Things to Consider Before Attending Graduate School

There are numerous students that complete their bachelor’s degree majoring in an area of specialization who then immediately enter the workforce. While this may be the desire (or necessity) of some, there are many others who debate whether they should continue onto graduate school. Graduate school can be extremely time-consuming, expensive, and intense however, it can also be exceptionally rewarding. Nevertheless, there are a few things to consider before filling out that graduate school application form.

Students should give some thought to what their professional end-goals are. If they want to become a professor in their field of specialization, then graduate school would be the only possible option. To become a professor, one must have attended graduate school and obtained a Ph.D. Students must also have a passion for their area of specialization. During graduate school, students will be conducting extensive research and acquiring a more in-depth knowledge in a specific area therefore they must be passionate about that field.

Time and money are factors which should be considered before attending graduate school. Acquiring a master’s and Ph.D. can take anywhere from six to eight years to complete. Students must ask themselves if they are willing and able to devote that amount of time to their studies. Since graduate school is a full-time commitment, they may not be able to work. This is where money can be an issue. Students must consider their personal situation and determine whether graduate school is a financially-viable option. There may be instances where students are unable to further their education due to a mortgage or the responsibility of supporting children. In addition, graduate school tuition fees can be quite expensive. Students must be able to acquire a student loan or have saved a substantial amount of money to pay for school.

During a master’s and Ph.D. degree program, students work under or are supervised by a faculty member who oversees the student’s thesis project throughout the duration of their program. Therefore, before entering graduate school, it is best to have established a professional relationship with a faculty member whose research is of interest to the student. If the student has no relationship or has not even contacted a potential faculty member they would like to work with, it is likely that they will not get accepted into the graduate school program. Building rapport with a professor greatly benefits students in the acceptance process since the student and professor will be working closely together for a number of years.

Students who are interested in enrolling in graduate school should encompass a number of skills and qualities essential for success in graduate school. They must be motivated and committed to continually learn and study. They must have exceptional research skills since they will be conducting their own research for their thesis project. Organizational skills are a necessity. Writing skills are also quite important.

As seen here, these are just a few of the important factors which must be considered before applying for graduate school. Graduate school is not for everyone and it is important for students who are considering it, to get the most information they can before investing in this expensive, time-consuming, and rewarding endeavor.

Below are a few links related to graduate schools and the online schools and campus schools application process.

http://www.educationchoices.com/

http://gradschool.about.com/od/admissionsadvice/a/overview.htm

 

Advantages of Obtaining an Online Education

Acquiring a degree online has gained a lot of popularity in the recent years. More and more students are choosing to go the online route when making their decision to further their education. There are a number of reasons why and below outlines just a few of the advantages of obtaining an online education.

A lot of adults decide to go back to school after being employed in the workforce for a number of years. At this point in their lives, they may have perhaps gotten married, bought a home, or had children which in turn, would limit much of their time. They may have to continue working while furthering their education. Enrolling in an online school would allow people in these types of situations to take courses and study during times that are most convenient for them. Online schools are extremely flexible with regards to attending classes and students are able to design their study schedule around other commitments.

There may be instances where a student is unable to move to a different city or state. They may

Online School

Online School and online Degree

have personal or financial obligations which do not allow the student any flexibility in where they reside. Due to this constraint, some students choose to get an online degree. They may live in a city or state where the local college or university does not offer the degree program they are interested in therefore they enroll in an online school. This allows them to obtain a degree in the field of their choice without having to move to a college or university which offers that specific program.

Many online schools offer the opportunity to participate in lectures which are conducted by well-renowned professors and professionals in a specific field. This experience allows students to network and interact with people they may not have encountered at a local college or university in their residing city or state.

Online coursework is also always accessible. Students, if they wish, are able to view lectures and read online course material in the early hours of the morning or the late hours of the night. There is no specific time in which lectures must be attended to or course material must be read.

Tuition costs for online schools are often lower than the tuition costs at a “traditional” college or university. Also, students save time and money by not having to commute to class.

As shown here, it can be quite advantageous for certain students to obtain a degree online. It all depends on a student’s situation and their level of self-motivation. Because students do not have to physically go to a college or university to attend class, they must be motivated to still complete the coursework and study for the examinations to succeed and do well in the course.

Below are a few helpful links related to obtaining an online education.

http://www.educationchoices.com/

http://distancelearn.about.com/od/distancelearning101/tp/10-Reasons-to-Choose-Online-Education.htm

http://www.careerealism.com/online-education-benefits/

Professions You can go into with a Business Degree

Business is an economic activity which entails the continuous and regular production and distribution of goods and services which satisfy human needs and wants and is both an academic and applied discipline. Due to the broadness of this domain, acquiring a business degree opens many doors in various fields for students; there are many different career options one may venture into.

Working people Choosing one of these options depends on your interests and passions and in some cases, your willingness to acquire further education in an area of focus. Below are a few descriptions of professions you can go into with a business degree.

Public Relations Manager

To become a public relations manager, one must acquire a bachelor’s degree in business, communications, journalism, or public relations. Students acquire training from working in the field upon graduation. Training can last from one month to one year. Certification is voluntary but strongly recommended since this industry can be quite competitive. Students aspiring to become a public relations manager should encompass a number of skills essential in this field. They must have exceptional interpersonal and communication skills, problem-solving skills, analytical skills, research skills, writing skills, and organizational skills in order to become successful as a public relations manager. The average annual salary range for public relations managers is $98,260 to $118,260.

Lawyer

To become a lawyer, one must acquire a bachelor’s degree, pass the LSAT (Law School Admission Test), and complete three years of law school. Upon graduation from a law school program, students must successfully pass a written bar examination. During law school, students take courses in family law, corporate law, taxation law, civil procedure, legal writing, torts, contracts, and property law. Students who are aspiring to become a lawyer should encompass a number of skills essential in this field. They must have exceptional interpersonal and communication skills, analytical skills, problem-solving skills, research skills, writing skills, and speaking skills in order to become successful as a lawyer. The average annual salary range for lawyers is $120,880 to $140,880.

Accountant

To become an accountant, one must acquire a bachelor’s degree in business or accounting and in some cases, a master’s degree in accounting as well. Upon graduation, students must first gain on-the-job experience before applying for a CPA (Certified Public Accountant) licence. Licensure is mandatory while certification is voluntary, but is strongly recommended. Being a certified accountant shows employers that the applicant has the skills and knowledge needed in this profession. Students who are aspiring to become an accountant should encompass a number of skills essential in this field. They must have problem-solving skills, analytical skills, communication skills, mathematical skills, organizational skills and be detail-oriented in order to be successful as an accountant. The average annual salary range for accountants is $61,040 to $81,040.

Social Service Manager

To become a social service manager, one must acquire a bachelor’s degree in business or social work and in some cases, a master’s degree in business administration or social work as well. Students focus on statistics, program management, and policy analysis during their graduate program. Upon graduation, students must gain on-the-job experience before becoming a social service manager. Students who are aspiring to become a social service manager must encompass a number of skills essential in this field. They must have problem-solving skills, analytical skills, positive leadership and managerial skills, and interpersonal skills. The average annual salary range for social service managers is $33,660 to $53,660.

These are just a few careers one may obtain with a business degree. As you can see, they are not all in the same field. Acquiring a business degree is not only suitable for professions in academia, but also in the legal, social service, and financial fields.

Below are a few helpful links related to acquiring a business degree.

http://www.educationchoices.com/

http://www.jobswithbusinessadministrationdegree.com/

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/report-on-business/careers/business-education/what-a-business-degree-is-and-what-it-is-not/article4095784/

Earning an Economics Degree

Economics is a discipline which involves the manufacturing, expenditure, and transportation of wealth derived from goods and services. Individuals, who are interested in the conflict which arises from the limited supply of resources and the need to satisfy the growing demands for goods and services, would prosper in a career in economics. The economics industry is such a broad field and an educational background in this industry provides a strong foundation for many careers within business, law, government, academia, or healthcare.

Economics Degree

Economics Degree

There are three degrees available to those interested in a career in economics. The first is a bachelor’s degree in economics. A bachelor degree provides students with a broad introduction to this discipline’s concepts and practices as well as a strong foundation for continued education in economics. Those who graduate with a bachelor’s degree are prepared for entry-level positions in the economics field or for further advancement to a master’s degree. The master’s degree program allows students to specialize in a certain area within the economics field such as statistics, finances, market research, or environmental economics. Graduates from the master’s degree program are able to gain higher-level employment within their field of specialization. The third degree available is a Ph.D. (Doctor of Philosophy) in economics. Students enrolled in the Ph.D. program are prepared for positions in academia. There is a substantial research component in this program and students must complete as well as defend a dissertation based on original research which they conducted in the economics field.

Individuals interested in pursuing a career in economics must encompass a number of skills and qualities essential in this field. Economics professionals must have exceptional communication skills. They must have the ability to present and articulate their thoughts clearly and intelligently as well as be a great listener. Economics professionals actively listen to other people’s ideas and opinions as well as offer ideas and opinions of their own. Economics professionals must be clear, organized, and thorough when interacting with others. They must be able to communicate new concepts and ideas effectively and in terminology that others who are not versed in this field will be able to understand. Economics professionals must have positive leadership and managerial skills. Economics professionals cannot be negative or pessimistic when they interact with others. Economics professionals must also be hard-working, motivated, objective-focused, and straightforward.

A majority of economics graduates go on to becoming an economist within a private industry, academia, finance, or business. As stated earlier, an educational background in economics opens doors for many related professions such as a financial consultant, policy analyst, professor, actuary, insurance broker, hospital administrator, credit analyst, or lawyer. Some of these professions require additional education and training in that specific specialization.

The following are a few helpful links related to the economics industry.

http://www.educationchoices.com/

http://businessmajors.about.com/od/degreeoptions/a/Should-I-Earn-An-Economics-Degree.htm

http://www.aeaweb.org/students/Careers.php