Category Archives: Education

Degree Can Save You Time

It’s hard to argue that the cost of higher education isn’t exorbitant. After all, most families don’t have a spare $40,000 or so laying around every year for tuition and other college-related expenses. And while there are many amazing life advantages that come with getting undergraduate and advanced degrees, it’s also true that there are ways to cut costs without losing out on those benefits.

One lesser-known pathway worth exploring for students looking to save both time and money? An accelerated degree. Here’s a closer look at this alternative to conventional degree programs, along with four reasons why an accelerated degree program — particularly one overseas — might be right for you.

What is an Accelerated Degree Program?

An accelerated degree program is exactly what it sounds like: this non-traditional course of study offers students the same degree in a particular field of study in a shortened period of time — as little as half when compared to conventional degrees. Available at a number of different academic levels, accelerated degree programs usually come with more stringent admissions requirements, including a minimum GPA, course credits, work experience, professional certification, and/or completion of a lower-level degree program.

In addition to bachelor’s degree programs, other popular accelerated degrees include nursing, business, law and medicine. For each, admissions requirements, course format, and completion time vary depending on the school. Additionally, many accelerated degree programs are dual in nature, meaning enrolled students can work simultaneously toward a bachelor’s and advanced degree. (This avenue may also allow accepted students to bypass graduate admissions tests, and the fees that go along with them.)

Four Reasons to Consider an Accelerated Degree

1. You’ll save time while learning as much.

While most conventional degree programs are structured according to semesters, accelerated degree programs typically utilize shorter periods, such as terms or quarters. Additionally, accelerated degree program courses usually run continuously without lengthy breaks in between terms. The result? Students can pack in the same amount of learning in a significantly shorter amount of time. Yes, this means the demands are high. But if your goal is to graduate and enter the workforce sooner, accelerated degree programs deliver in a uniquely exciting way.

2. You’ll enjoy numerous financial benefits.

It makes sense that the less time you spend in school, the less money you’ll spend on tuition. But how much will you pocket in an accelerated degree program? According to Investopedia, an undergraduate who trims six months off of his/her degree stands to save more than $15,000. Similar savings apply to upper-level degrees, as well.

Students enrolled in dual degree programs, meanwhile, may find that their undergraduate scholarship funding also covers their graduate level coursework.

But the financial benefits don’t end there. In entering the workforce with an accelerated degree, you minimize lost income and start earning soon — more likely than not with a lighter debt burden.

If you choose an overseas program, meanwhile, you may also enjoy a lower cost of living, depending on the country in which you choose to study. (An added benefit of doing an international accelerated degree? A global education will make you a more attractive job candidate in today’s borderless business environment.)

How Will it Shape Your Future

The world’s first public schools date all the way back to ancient times. And while trends, philosophies, policies and institutions have come and gone since then, a surprising amount stayed the same through the millennia. However, technological advancements — and digital technology, in particular — have ushered in an entirely new era for educational delivery. For the entrepreneurially-minded, meanwhile, this ongoing shift represents a wide-open field of opportunities. Just how important is education technology (AKA “edtech”) and what does it mean for everyone from investors to students? Here’s a closer look.

EdTech 101

EdTechReview defines edtech as “a study and ethical practice for facilitating learning and improving performance by creating, using and managing appropriate technological processes and resources.” In more specific term, this means using technology-based products and tools to enhance how students learn and how teachers teach. It’s not about superseding current approaches, but instead out determining how technology can improve and enhance the delivery of education.

Given the meteoric ascent of everything from computer-aided classrooms to online learning over the past two decades you may be thinking to yourself, “But wait — that’s nothing new.” And you’re right, edtech has already transformed the educational sector. But insiders argue that we’ve only seen an inkling of what’s still to come. Reports one Hot Topics article on edtech, “As we witnessed the digitization of the media industry via the profusion of new content, audience fragmentation, data centricity and the convergence between content and platform players, so will they impact the education market, leading to a raft of opportunities for innovators in edtech.”

Indeed, much of the conversation about edtech surrounds its tremendous potential for innovators and investors in this red-hot industry, and with good reason: Between the massive education market — between $4.5 and $5 trillion USD annually and predicted to reach up to $7 trillion within the next couple of years, according to data from Worlds of Education — and the comparatively minuscule amount of funds funneled into the sector in recent years, and the result is a perfect storm of potential. Concludes TechCrunch, “But now the cat is out of the bag. The rise of a new education and learning world has begun with investment in edtech set to reach $252 billion globally by 2020. Just as digitalization has transformed the financial services industry, it too will soon have its progressive grip wrapped around education.”

The Impact of Edtech

Despite the buzz over edtech’s abundant entrepreneurial opportunities, something else remains at the heart of the equation: the students themselves. In what specific ways can we expect to see edtech play out in the lives of its direct beneficiaries? Here’s a closer look:

1. Engagement will improve.

Smart learning software will offer lesson plans customized to each student’s specific needs. More engaging materials, meanwhile, promise to further improve outcomes. Says Hot Topics, “Indeed, user experience and engagement is fast becoming the main differentiator among the ever-growing field of education technology options. The integration of multi-media, gamification, mobile casual and informal learning apps and peer-to-peer learning platforms are all making content increasingly immersive; designed to not only attract students but also keep them engaged – all the way to the end.”

2. Progress will be more measurable.

A large part of supporting the growth of smart learning software? Big data and analytics techniques, which give teachers access to more specific and extensive insights into the achievements and progress of individual students. Not only can this help bridge any knowledge gaps, but this information can continue to be called upon throughout an individual’s academic and professional life.

Edtech is also being heralded for its potential to standardize — and ultimately democratize — the field of education. Reveals Hot Topics, “Now, a rundown, inner-city school can receive the same standard and level of content as a well-funded one in a wealthy area. And this is true not just on a school by school or country by country basis, but globally; offering developing nations access to developed educational institutions, both in an academic and professional learning setting.”

Needs Unique Educational Models

While it may not seem obvious, sports management degrees focus less on athletics and more on finance, management, marketing, and law—as they pertain to the sporting industry.  Students graduate with the abilities to manage amateur, collegiate, and professional organizations and sports professionals while capitalizing on sports-related opportunities.  While many students choose sports management as undergraduates, it’s not uncommon to see mid-career business professionals transition to advanced sports management degrees—they’re interesting and lucrative.

The keys to success?  A positive attitude.  Self-reliance.  A willingness to push forward.  The Johan Cruyff Institute has it all.  According to Jordi Cruyff, the late Johan Cruyff’s son, former footballer, and current manager for Maccabi Tel Aviv, “My father always told me that when I had doubts about a certain situation, to follow my intuition and do what I thought was humanly correct and professionally correct.  I always follow that advice.”

What does the Johan Cruyff Institute have that other sports management programs don’t?  A unique, student-centered model that pushes sports management students as hard as any professional athlete.  A combination of passion and practicality, an understanding of the world, a global network, and the blood, sweat, and tears to make it happen.

1. Passion

Passion for sports comes first, above all else.  That’s why the Johan Cruyff Institute requires that its students care deeply about sports—many of the students are athletes themselves.   The Johan Cruyff Institute offers students the unique opportunity to translate passion for a sport into growth, development, and business acumen. According to Johan Cruyff, the founder of the Institute, “My vision on sport management is quite simple. I think people with a passion for sport are the best to lead sport organizations.”  Without it, why focus on sports?  Those who love the sport do well by their charges.

 

2. Practicality

At the heart of the Johan Cruyff Institute’s educational model: learning by doing.  The Institute offers a Corporate Internship Program that places students at the heart of the sports industry.  Students access the behind-the-scenes work of sports management, and experience the reality of what it means to management a sports team.  Students gain the skills necessary to compete in tight job markets—adapted to their passions, interests, skills, and needs.  Additionally, students have the opportunities to learn from and interact with faculty directly from the sports industry.

3. Global Awareness

Sporting is international—different cultures approach sports management in different ways.  The Johan Cruyff Institute prepares students for the transient life of sports management professionals by offering students opportunities that maximize their understanding of cultural differences in the sporting world.  The Johan Cruyff Institute prepares students for international endeavors by offering several campuses in different cities around the world.  On-campus and blended programs in the Netherlands, Spain, Sweden, Mexico, and Peru, combined with the flexibility of online courses make the Johan Cruyff Institute unique.  Students can combine their studies and travel to different cities and countries to maximize their learning—and their capacity to understand.

4. Network

It’s all about connections.  The Johan Cruyff Institute mediates the relationships between potential applicants and the sports management industry.  International sports management companies hold the institute in high regard and look to its graduates often, posting jobs with career services.  By studying at the John Cruyff Institute, students experience a clear advantage in the sports management industry: they have worked with professionals in the field, interned with top-tier sports management businesses, and can bring their passion and know-how to the industry with dignity and grace—just like the most accomplished athletes.

Athletes know that practice makes perfect, but even the most talented athletes need positive, driven leaders to turn skill into success. The Johan Cruyff Institute educates the next generation of Leaders in Sports Management. A sports management degree from the Johan Cruyff Institute offers any aspiring sports management professional the practice and the focus needed to be a successful and inspiring leader. The industry as seamless as the sport.  The team as graceful as the athlete. The unfailing positivity that allows your team to smile and say, “Good game,” whatever the outcome.  Find it at the Johan Cruyff Institute.  You won’t be disappointed.

Survive an Enduring Career

It’s like riding on a subway without holding onto anything for balance: the consistent shifting and evolution of your place and space on the train mirrors the metamorphosis of today’s work landscape.  One consistent trend in workplace evolution?  Time.  Young graduates will have to work longer than their parents.  Sure, you want to survive.  But we know that you want to do more than that.  You want to thrive.   Here’s how.

1. Changing Life Cycles

According to a recent Financial Times article, life used to be measured in three stages: education, work, and retirement, all with fairly equal amounts of time.  That cycle looks different now, with a significantly longer working life.  While an MBA used to be the catalyst for the job that would get you to your final burst of highly successful employment, it’s now somewhere in the middle.  When your working life begins in your 20s, you need to begin to think of this cycle lasting for fifty—or even sixty—years.  How should you prepare?  What do you want it to look like?  Consider what it would take to sustain your spending habits—and extrapolate those costs over the next half-century plus.

2. Transition and Change

Recognize that transitions—even positive ones—are always difficult.  They rattle your sense of self, and often your sense of place. They are always a time for growth, whether you want it or not.  The keys to your success? Flexibility and adaptability.  It’s unlikely that you’ll have the same job for 50 or 60 years. Keep your networks broad and varied—reach out to people of different ages, genders, and occupations.  As you build your portfolio, consider the trends that potential employers will invariably seek—and see.  With perseverance, your career portfolio will tell your story of resilience—and a willingness to try new things.

A Global Journey

“Think before you speak. Read before you think.” ―Fran Lebowitz, The Fran Lebowitz Reader

Hear a voice from the past, from across an ocean, from the future, or maybe even one that you could hear on your own street.  Whether it’s the crack of a new book’s spine, the worn, well-loved pages of a favorite, or the soft glow from your e-reader, the act of reading a book transports you.  To another place.  Another time.  To a group of people whom you don’t know.  And everyone is looking for something.  Join us on our journey around the world—in books.  Find something that speaks to you and tuck in.

Written in 2006, Adichie’s wrenching tale chronicles five people’s lives as they navigate politics, power, academics, journalism, women’s rights, marriage, and the struggle for daily survival during Nigeria’s Civil War in the late 1960s.  How blurred are the lines between life and death?  What does it mean to be in love?  How does war affect humanity—and its soul?

A Chinese classic on feminism, circa 1827.  While the Qing Dynasty period wasn’t known for embracing femininity, the author was. Ruzhen offers us a subversion of gender roles in a fantasy classic—often with a humorous twist.  He believed in equal rights for men and women and wrote Flowers in the Mirror as one fantastical version of what that kind of world could look like.

Travel to Barcelona, on Zafón’s meticulously detailed streets with young Daniel in 1945, just after the Spanish Civil War.  Pick up an obscure, tattered book in the Cemetery of Forgotten Books and join Daniel on a dangerous mystery that will take you throughout past and then-present Barcelona—and the heartbreak of the human spirit.  Also Try Zafón’s 2009 prequel, The Angel’s Game, written in 2008, seven years after Shadow of the Wind.

Degree in Indigenous Studies

A December 2016 THE article highlighted the rise in both the US and Canada of indigenous language coursework. That same month, CBC News ran a story on Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s prioritization of indigenous languages through the imminent proposal of the Canadian Indigenous Languages Act, while The Globe and Mail reported on Trudeau’s pledge to work toward reconciliation with the indigenous First Nations, Inuit and Métis groups through annual meetings with their leaders.

Given the media buzz over indigenous studies combined with the initiatives fueling this buzz, the question follows: Why is this field so important, and are studies in this area right for you? Read on for five reasons to consider a degree in indigenous studies.

1. Indigenous studies offer a more comprehensive and honest representation of history.

Indigenous people have been marginalized in countries across the globe for many years. In most cases, they’re still being marginalized today.

According to Danielle Lorenz, a PhD candidate in educational policy studies, the best way to remedy ongoing ignorance and stereotypes about indigenous people is through indigenous studies. In addition to fascinating coursework in diverse areas ranging from literature to traditional ecological knowledge, Lorenz points out that there are more general takeaways for students in this field: “They can learn about the accomplishments and contributions Indigenous peoples have made to global society, they can learn that Indigenous peoples in North America survived the world’s worst holocaust, they can learn about the true history of Canada – not as peaceful (or dull) as commonly thought, and they can learn that, today, while challenges exist – Indigenous peoples are more than just their ‘issues.’”

 

2. Indigenous studies are interdisciplinary.

Indigenous studies comprise a breadth and depth of academic fields the humanities, social sciences and beyond. Not only do students learn how to integrate this information in order to broaden their worldviews, but in doing so they also hone and refine their critical thinking skills.

These skills aren’t just applicable to directly related work in areas like indigenous governance, indigenous literature, and indigenous social work, they’re also transferrable — and highly valued by employers.