Is College Degree The Only Way To Land A Lucrative Job?

In the past few years, many Irish individuals were prevented from getting lucrative jobs due to prejudice. Most of us are used to the tales of job notices saying “No Irish need apply.” But the fact remains that such prejudice still exists today and is preventing numerous Irish educated people to apply for jobs. Currently, there is a common attitude across Ireland, which is rather ill-informed, that considers a university degree as the only way to land a lucrative job. Moreover, vocational training and apprenticeships are considered to be a poor quality alternative.

Demand For Vocational Skills

Vocational Training

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The truth is, presently there is a rapidly increasing demand for individuals with vocational skills. For instance, around 48,000 workers are now employed in the logistics industry, and in the coming 5 years an additional 13,500 to 15,500 people will be added as the sector will expand. The level of skills required to work in the logistics sector is expanding. Today we need advanced computer management systems along with cutting edge automated warehouses to keep the work going, which is necessitating a high demand for trained & skilled staff.

Damien English, Minister of State for Skills, Research and Innovation, recently wrote in an article “Ireland now has one of the highest proportions of people with a third-level degree in the EU. According to Eurostat, more than half of 30 to 34 year old (51.1 per cent) in Ireland have completed third level compared to a European average of 35.8 per cent of 30- to 34-year-old who had completed tertiary education. The third-level system and the graduates it produces have been key to our economic success.”

Emerging Challenging

Knowledge And Skills

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But, now problems are starting to come up with the existing system. The excess focus on university is preventing numerous youths from acquiring salable knowledge and skills that will enable them to build successful careers. Rather, these young people are being motivated to pursue courses that are not suitable for them or their future careers.

English added “One result is that on average 15 per cent of students drop out after first year (22 per cent from ITs, 9 per cent from universities and 4 per cent from teacher-training colleges). This is a waste both of the students’ time, and taxpayers’ and parents’ money.”

Workers Are Overqualified

A new report from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) found that more than 42 per cent of workers in Ireland are employed in a field which is not suitable for their qualification. The figure is much more than the OECD average. Moreover, more than 50 per cent of these people are identified as overqualified for the positions they are employed in. According to the report, it has been estimated that this mismatch of qualifications and jobs cost the economy around €1.5 billion.

Education Degree

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Damien English wrote “We have a very good education system but there are significant gaps in how we build skills in Ireland. Academic ability is not the only valuable talent and not every profession is best learnt in an academic setting. Business needs people with strong practical skills, and apprenticeships and vocational training are key to delivering these.”

He added “We need to recalibrate the third-level educational system to focus more on learning by doing and on-the-job training if we are to address these issues. ”

What do you think? Share your own opinions and thoughts with us by commenting below. We would love to hear from you.

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African Students Keen On Starting Career At Home, Not Abroad

                                     Source – bit.ly/1PuNJMl

African nations has been striving hard to boost their economy by undertaking a number of measures and one of the primary means to achieve economic development is by improving the state of education in the continent. This is why most African countries are now trying hard to prevent the most talented and brightest students in Africa from going abroad for higher studies. The emigration of the best students to UK and US universities has sprung up as a serious challenge for Africa as it now desperately wants to retain talents at home. However, new studies have found that “brain drain” in Africa might just end soon.

Source – bit.ly/1JbG5kP 

 Creating Opportunities For Talented Africans

The fact is several African students pursuing higher education abroad are currently finding various career opportunities back in their home countries, where they can use their knowledge and skills effectively. As 7 out of 10 fastest growing economies in the world are in Africa, young and talented individuals are realising that home just might the best place to start their career.

Reda Merdi, a 19 year old Moroccan student, is currently set to attend the University of Pennsylvania after completing her course at the African Leadership Academy in Johannesburg. However, he has no intention to settle in the US from where he finished his Ivy League education. He said “It is more exciting to work in Africa these days. There are way more opportunities, a lot of space for you to work, a lot of space to prove yourself. Also because there are a lot of exciting things going on in the African continent.

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Empowering Future Leaders 

The African Leadership Academy was primarily established for leaders of the future across Africa. The institute admits only 3% of applicants and aims to persuade the learners to stay and prosper in the continent. Fred Swaniker, co-founder of the institution, said “Our raw philosophy is that the main reason why people should come back to Africa is not out of any sense of obligation, or because we are forcing them to, but because they really see the tremendous opportunities that exist here for them. And because they see a wonderful future and a real opportunity for them to make a difference.”

He added “If you think like an entrepreneur then Africa is really your paradise… You can really be the next African Sam Walton or the African Bill Gates or Steve Jobs. No one has done that yet. You can be that person.”

Africa Is Transforming

The latest available statistics reveal the improvement of the continent in the last few years. In 2008, Nigeria was ranked at 112 worldwide in retaining well trained and qualified workers; where as now the country is raked at the 48th position. In the global rankings, Ghana has attained the 53rd place from 125th rank; and South Africa is at the 48th position from 72nd rank back in 2008.

                       Source – bit.ly/1DXyiew

Rebecca Harrison, project director at the African Management Initiative, said “Anecdotally, my sense is that there’s a real shift. We are starting to establish some links with a lot of the top business schools, particularly in the States and in Europe, to have Africa clubs, for people who are interested in working in Africa in the future.” She added “Some are from Africa, some are just from elsewhere, but are interested in the continent. We hear from them that their membership is growing quite dramatically. They all want to come over here and do internships here, consulting projects here. They’re interested in exploring working here.”

What do you think? Share your thoughts and ideas with us by commenting below. We would love to hear from you.

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Entrepreneurs In Nigeria – The Challenges They Undergo, The Success They Achieve

                        Source – bit.ly/1JNmAjc

More and more youths across Nigeria are now opting for entrepreneurship as a career choice due a strong lack of employment opportunities and severe political disturbances. If you wish to become financially independent and create a good life for yourself and your family, then becoming an entrepreneur can be a great idea, provided you have the right skills and knowledge and willing to face business challenges. It can enable you to become a successful business leader and add significant value to the national economy. Read on…

Challenges For Nigerian Entrepreneurs

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Nigeria is currently facing a wide range of problems and difficulties like political turmoil, terrorism, unemployment, poverty, illiteracy etc. This scenario is not only affecting the general populace and the youths of Nigeria, but is also creating severe challenges for aspiring and striving entrepreneurs. The unfortunate state of graduates from various Nigerian universities suffering from massive unemployment is echoed by 2004 data available from the National  Universities Commission (NUC).

According to 2001 statistics from the National Population Commission, over 50% of the population in Nigeria are below 30 years. This clearly implies that the national economy is undoubtedly a youth economy. Hence, if the Nigerian youths suffer from poverty and unemployment, it will adversely affect the entire nation as well. It is for this reason more and more Nigerian youths should focus on entrepreneurship as it will not only help them achieve professional success, but also create more jobs in the economy.

However, the truth is Nigerian entrepreneurs or those aspiring to become one face too many challenges which might discourage them to move forward with their plans for starting a business. Here are some of the problems that you might face as an entrepreneur in Nigeria-

–Issues Related To Safety & Security

With growing threats from terrorist and an unstable government, it has become really difficult for aspiring entrepreneurs to start a successful business as there is no security of property and lives in Nigeria.

–Unstable & Corrupted Government

The unstable political scenario in the 3 tier of government results in increased risks and uncertainties related with investments. Moreover, widespread corruption has became a real challenge not just for the business world, but also for the society at large.

–Energy Crisis

Numerous companies and factories have already been compelled to shut down due to a lack of constant energy supply. As local manufacturing firms are becoming unable to compete with international brands, they are running out of business. Moreover, most firms are operating factories with generators, which not feasible for any business in the long run.

–Poor Infrastructure & Transportation

The Nigerian transportation system is a nightmare- roads are lined with potholes, the railway system does not operate properly, the air transport system is facing a crisis, while the waterway is still undeveloped. It is simply not possible for businesses to transport raw materials or finished products without spending excessive money.

Nigeria Needs Entrepreneurs 

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Although it is certainly challenging to start and run your business in Nigeria, but the fact is Nigeria is an entrepreneurial country. And this is the reason why more and more Nigerian youths are going for entrepreneurship. In the past few years, innumerable young people and started their own business and have succeeded in accomplishing their business goals. So if you want to start your own business, then you will find ample opportunities for growth and expansion. However, it is essential that you gain the required business knowledge and skills first.

Study Business & Get Started

Studying business will help you gain the needed entrepreneurial, management and leadership skills and empower you to take your venture forward. But let’s face it, with the widespread poverty in our country, pursuing a full time programme is not the smartest move right now. Moreover, it will also hamper your chances of gaining work experience as you will spend most of your time sitting in a classroom. Then what should you do?

Simply opt for a business diploma online as it will offer you excellent affordability, flexibility and convenience. Online business education is perhaps the most ideal learning solution for aspiring entrepreneurs as there is a dearth of affordable education opportunities in the country. By studying business online you can choose to work and study simultaneously and gain relevant work experience which will help you in running your business later. Moreover, you will also get excellent networking opportunities and establish new relations and bondings will help you in getting funding and operating your business.

A Final Word

Your online business degree will make you more confident and help you develop the right skills for running your business and succeed as an entrepreneur in Nigeria.

A Quick Look At Entrepreneurship In Africa

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Today it is becoming much clearer that entrepreneurship can be considered as best solutions to challenging economic scenario faced by Africa, including capital formation, job creation, skills acquisition, social inclusion and quality of governance. But it is important that we find out how it has developed across Africa. Are there any specific features of entrepreneurship in Africa that we may believe relevant to major international debates on sustainability and development?

Characteristics of entrepreneurship in Africa

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 I have invested a lot of time in connecting with an effective pro-business think tank which has been busy in developing a useful database of start-ups, small businesses, innovation-focused enterprises and entrepreneurs in Africa. Analysing questionnaire responses, anecdotes, case studies and other aspects of entrepreneurship in Ghana and other African regions, I realised there were 2 main features of African entrepreneurship: hyper-entrepreneurship & excess diversification.

Earlier I had a rather negative attitude towards both these issues. I kept searching for reasons why the great start of our African economy has been comparatively slower than what was estimated by the experts. At present, Africa is developing by 5 per cent yearly, instead of 10 per cent growth which we can observe in India and China. I believe the problem is that the style of hyper-entrepreneurship followed across Africa are drastically different from the general business models that are predominant in the West.

Hyper-entrepreneurship

Regarding hyper-entrepreneurship, the observation was the rate of staff turnover seemed rather high in the entrepreneurial section of our economy, which includes sole proprietorships, innovation-driven businesses, non-public businesses, small businesses and even startups. The workers who we were observing in the business revealed an impressively high propensity, as compared to their western counterparts, to quit their existing jobs and start a new business, instead of getting another job with a higher pay. This pointed to a major shortfall in quality followership across Africa, which means a shortage of essential managerial talent.

Now i am sure that the entrepreneurial driver for the talent bubble in labour markets in Africa yields adequate net benefits for the economy. This is primarily by reason of being in a job tends to encourage latent entrepreneurship. Moreover, there is a growing intensive investment of social capital for creating financial capital. Hence, although most employees might not be able to save adequate cash, they tend to develop confidence and build contacts which can prove to be as good as cash in a standard informal economy.

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Excess diversification  

However, there is also a tendency towards excess diversification which I observed. My think-tank team and I were surprised to realise that several simultaneous businesses are managed and owned by a typical entrepreneur in Africa. A particular waste utility entrepreneur led almost 66 different organisations. In general, most entrepreneurs that were studied tended to run about 6 businesses on average.

The business leaders who are running these small sized organisations were most probably had less prospects compared to if they focused on lesser and scalable businesses by adjusting their incentives with determined managers. In this perspective, the economy was struggling with numerous clones of foreign exchange bureau, autogarages, restaurants, grocery shops etc. The profit margins tended to be low, which resulted in low salaries, limited growth and growing departing managers who opened more clone businesses, resulting in economic under-performance.

However, I still believe that Africa can move forward and improve the economic state of the continent by taking the right entrepreneurial measures and supporting aspiring entrepreneurs to succeed.

What are your thoughts on this topic? Share your thoughts with us by commenting here.

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STEM Courses Getting Interdisciplinary and Interactive

                                Source – bit.ly/1LdbkPG

A new grant of 2.4 million dollars for four years, from National Science Foundation in United States of America, to the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), aims to make some of the courses in the undergraduate level, more interactive and interdisciplinary.

The courses chosen for the purpose are STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) courses. Under the leadership of Blaire Van Valkenburgh, UCLA’s associate dean of life sciences, the NSF (National Science Foundation) aims for implementation of time-tested online techniques to live upto the true expectation of a learner.

Techniques for goal achievement

Online, with the scope of taking time to go through the discourse given repeatedly and interact with teachers in a friendly and open-minded way, and discussing open-ended questions, make better assimilation possible.

Implementation of quizzes and interactive games

Quizzes and interactive games will be worked out, to make the achievement of the goal of deeper undesrstanding possible.

This things are not new, as with the introduction of things like video conferencing and remote learning, taking learning experience to a new height, active participation of the students in solving genuine and original problems on their own has started living upto the true ideal of a learner.

Interactive sessions

As mentioned above, interactive sessions give students greater autonomy, that allows them to accept whatever truth comes at them, that they reveal. Without the pressure of remaining suboprdinate to the teachers, interactive sessions permit the student to go deep and see the truth, without any prohibition conforming to the norm, bringing the true genius out of them.

These sort of freedom in education, naturally motivates learners with true interest and curiosity about solving existential and epistemogical puzzles .. in an age of high competition.

Use of practical models

In this new initiative, practical model from biology and quanitative research of practical life, diametrically opposite to the qualitative abstraction of pure mathematics, will be incorporated in math courses along with courses in statistics.

Collaborative learning workshops by PEERS (Program for Excellence in Education and Research in the Sciences) will be complementing interdisciplinary initiatives like this, to make the abstract-minded student more practical and to make them stay in the courses.

Keeping students in line

Help of alumni

According to planning, members of alumni from UCLA, will be requested, in another project, to share their knowledge from studying in UCLA, matching their bright, successful careers, to give a career goal and practical direction to students apart from enlightenment, projecting tangible achievement that might possibly motivate continuation of the study in the university.

Measurement of progress

Case studies like these, will also be used in actual learning as well, to measure student learning.

Funding universities for increased interdisciplinary study is a consistent step towards comprehensive solution of emerging world problems, from realistic social perspective.

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Are IT Courses Online The Right Solution For South Africans?

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Are you planning to start a IT career in South Africa? Well, it is certainly a great idea build your career in this sector as the global IT industry is booming and creating more employment opportunities? But do you have the right skills to become an IT or ICT professional? Is it a good idea to study IT courses online to boost your career? Let’s find out…

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Creating Future IT Leaders In South Africa

According to data available in January 2015 from the 2014 matriculation results announcement in South Africa, learners who are planning to pursue higher education to improve their employability for the global job market, especially for a career in ICT or IT. Academic experts and Information and Communications Technology (ICT) professionals believe that online education plays a significant role in helping learners acquire the necessary education by offering quality academic programmes, not only in school, but also in tertiary level. This will enable job seekers to gain the necessary knowledge and skills.

Angie Motshekga, basic education minister in South Africa, announced in January 2015 that the national pass rate for matric 2014 has fallen to 75.8 per cent by 2.4 percentage points, which has decreased from 78.2 per cent in 2013. Over 600 000 students appeared in the matriculation final exams in 2014 . Statistics reveal that one in every four students failed with 28 per cent or 151,000 students qualifying for Bachelor’s degree education and 31 per cent or 167,000 qualifying for diploma study.

According to a report from Independent Online (IOL), universities in Kwa-Zulu Natal province of South Africa are already full and it was found that “ school-leavers have only a one-in-eight chance of winning a place to study”. This has created some serious debate regarding the fate of the students who were unable to pass to have not been able to secure adequate marks to become eligible for university study.

             Source – bit.ly/1IlSdDi

Challenges For IT Sector 

So if you want to enter the IT sector, then this can create some prominent challenges for you. In fact, many ICT industry experts have become seriously worried about the poor scores obtained by students in mathematics and science. Kobus van Wyk, head, eLearning at Mustek, said “The low pass rates in science and maths will definitely impact, not only the ICT sector, but in most other sectors, due to fewer skilled employees. Introducing ICT in schools (from Grade 1 to Grade 12) will certainly improve the quality of education.” He added “Is enough being done? Definitely not. And it is all very well for the ICT sector to ‘be concerned’ about the situation, but what are the different ICT companies doing to assist the national and provincial education departments?”

However, some others are more concerned about how this is going to affect the IT readiness of the students. Alfie Hamid, Cisco Corporate Affairs regional manager in Sub-Saharan Africa, said “Without that basic IT knowledge, a learner would be lost in their first year of studies. ICT as a subject must get more attention and focus… and this is where the ICT private sector has to come in.”

Study IT Courses Online

Yes…this is where online IT education comes in. Online IT diploma courses enable you to gain the required technical skills and knowledge with high levels of flexibility and convenience. As online ICT programmes are designed to expand the reach of education, you do not have to worry about the lack of seats in a particular course. Moreover, you can choose to study directly from the convenience of your home as it offers high levels of flexibility. Hence you can also choose to do a day job and acquire relevant work experience.

But if you are concerned about the quality of education, then let me tell you that most Information Technology courses online provide you a top-notch learning experience as the courses are developed and conducted by reputed professors and industry experts. You will get to learn about various IT aspects like design, configuration programming, database designing, applications and routine maintenance.

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 Boost Your IT Career

Online IT programmes can effectively help South African learners and job seekers master various technical and professional information and communications technology skills which will empower them to push their careers forward in the IT industry.

What do you think? How will you build your IT career? Feel free to share your views with us by commenting below. We would love to hear from you.

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Some Key Features behind Popularity of Online Distance Learning

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With the advent of technology, distance learning has advanced to unprecedented heights. In its early years, distance learning was more about course material being dispatched through the mail but today, it has evolved and students can access course material online and discuss it with their tutors with the help of internet tools like webcams.

Online distance learning has brought many enthusiastic learners back to academic fold. A number of people who had quit academics early in their life because of some constraints, show faith in online education and are returning to complete their education. It is the idea of giving something back motivating people to return to education and online distance learning program has proved to be of great help in realizing their dreams.

Online learning paves way for convenient learning environment

The most sought after distance learning online course has been found to be MBA. Professionals these days are keen to specialize in their respective area and stay abreast of others by increasing their educational qualification through online programs .

When it comes to distance learning online, most of its features are different from the traditional classroom environment, where students and teachers can interact in real time. As opposed to traditional classroom, virtual learning lets students study according to own convenience. There are some online courses that allow recording of interactions and instructional proceedings to review it later by students.

So, you must have got a fair idea about how distance learning works. But, there are more to it. In fact, the idea of distance learning is quite vast and one needs to carefully and sincerely examine all the features and facts about it.

Nature of study material

Students have access to the online study material in the form of audio CDs and video DVDs, though most colleges and universities provide plenty of printed study material as well. While compiling the topics into course materials, it is kept in mind that they are of highest quality and may contain specially written workbooks or textbooks, online teaching materials, audio and video CDs and computer software.

After enrollment, each student is given access to the module website, where they can find out plenty of additional resources. They are also given authority to visit the online library.

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You are going to need a computer

If you enroll for a distance learning online course, you will need a computer and reliable and consistent access to internet so that you can gain maximum from the universities’ online services, which include online forums and vast library, among others. On the computer with internet access, you can interact with fellow students and tutors in order to seek assistance in your studies.

Assessment and examinations

Online learning is not an easy cakewalk. You are asked to complete your assignments that contribute towards completion of your module. Furthermore, you must submit the assignments online on or before due date.

The assignment given to you covers the material from your module. It helps you strengthen the knowledge you have gained from module. Your tutors provide comments on most assignments.

At the end of the module, you are expected to appear for examination on scheduled dates. You are made aware of the specific details of the examination up to a year in advance. Examination location depends upon your country of residence and arranged individually.

In a sharp contrast to early years, online learners today are sought after in the job market. A number of online learners have gone on holding the top positions in the corporate sector. Some renowned UK universities have come to Nigeria with a hope to contribute to its education sector. Nigerian students can make the best use of their presence and achieve their dreams by receiving globally recognized online degrees from them.

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