Thursday, September 20, 2007

Homeland Security Education and the Corporate World

The post 9/11 world we live in has seen a multitude of changes in regard to the way we perceive homeland security. What was once a buzzword has become a certified institution, and academia has taken notice. The number of accredited colleges and universities offering homeland security degree programs has grown steadily over the last five years.

Homeland security degree programs offer an exceptionally wide platform from which to build a career. From law enforcement and corrections to border security and any of the many government agencies responsible for our nation’s safety, the opportunities are almost endless. One area of employment often overlooked by homeland security degree program graduates lies in the complex and oft misunderstood world of corporate security.

When most people think of corporate security, images of IT professionals come to mind. Certainly the problems of the information age have made data security and the safe and secure transmission of information a high priority. Still, corporate security involves much more than just the realm of information technology.

Trade secrets, formulas, employee access, financial information and secured locations are all part of the average large corporations security concerns. Considering that very few large corporations fall into the category of average, the need for qualified security personnel is ever present.

Homeland security degree programs, because of their very nature, are well suited for producing qualified applicants. The training and skills covered in areas such as surveillance, criminal law and security protocols and procedures can readily be applied to the corporate world. In years past, corporations would rarely hire recent graduates to handle their security needs, instead opting to recruit ex-military or retired police force personnel. Unquestionably, there is no substitute for experience in the law enforcement field or the military. Still, the curriculum offered in homeland security degree programs can provide students with the technical knowledge to be successful in the field. Those who have police or military experience in addition to a homeland security degree are especially ideal because of their experience level.

As the corporate world begins to recognize the potential for finding qualified security personnel from the pool of recent college graduates, it’s likely that more and more headhunters will be from the private sector in the years to come.

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Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Online IT Degrees Offer Advantages Over Campus-Based Programs

If you buy a computer today, almost anyone in the industry will tell you that your purchase is already yesterday€™s technology the moment you get it home.. Technology is expanding exponentially and what is new today quickly turns old tomorrow. The same can be said for campus based information technology degree programs. As with any knowledge that is constantly evolving, information presented in a traditional IT program can be outdated before the course begins. Textbooks sometimes take a year or longer to be written and published and software is revised, rewritten and replaced at a rate that defies logic.

IT education once relied upon teaching the fundamentals of hardware and software through the platforms on which they are conceived and built while allowing students to specialize in other areas that involved more current curriculum. Unfortunately, as information technology has progressed, even the platforms that were prevalent for so many years are now changing. Programming languages, applications and even the way in which programs interact with one another are in an almost constant state of flux, which makes the time frame associated with developing learning material infinitely small.

Seldom updated materials are acceptable for subjects such as history, geography, or literature, but entirely unacceptable for IT as the information is quickly antiquated. This problem works against educational efforts. Every college and university wants to offer its students the most current information, but that can be a tall order for IT departments, especially for those hampered by the traditional campus structure.

On the other hand, online IT programs have managed to find a way to stay as current as possible semester after semester. Many online universities work with active industry professionals and hire senior administrators in the IT field to serve as faculty. IT programs are able to avoid the problems associated with a tenured professor, which allows them to use the best minds available for each course. As a result, students are outfitted with the latest materials and information as they pursue their IT degree.

Online IT degree programs hold other advantages as well. Tuition is usually less than at a campus-based program and students can study at their own convenience from wherever internet access is available, in most instances. Most programs have students work in groups on occasion to help build teamwork skills related to problem solving. Homework is transmitted online and tests are taken online in a program that limits the time for answering questions to keep the student from seeking outside assistance or formulating answers from course materials during testing. In short, online IT degree programs are similar in form and function to traditional campus based programs, but with benefits that only distance learning can provide.

For more information on IT degree programs, visit our site at . For IT information and resources, visit our online education blog at . For online and campus based degree programs, visit .

Monday, September 10, 2007

Advertising Industry a Reflection of the Times

Advertising is one of the few industries that not only acclimates to changes in public perception but institutes them as well. What we as a population purchase is often more a reflection of what’s sold to us than what we want or need. In fact, it’s the perception of need that drives the advertising industry.

If the average person performed an analytical cost/benefit analysis on the purchase of a thinner phone, a faster computer or the latest pair of sneakers, savings accounts everywhere would be earning low interest yields on much more substantial nest egg. Unfortunately, analytical thinking has no part in our collective conscience when it comes to making purchases, at least for the average consumer. Instead, we are readily convinced of which new songs we like from a very limited pool of easily accessible offerings. We are told which styles of clothing are in and which are fashion suicide. We are bombarded with messages aimed at providing us with the knowledge of how we are supposed to think, feel, act and most of all, consume.

Colleges are teaching the same fundamentals of demographics, recognition, repetition and visual appeal that have been a hallmark of marketing for print, television and to a great degree radio since the 1950’s. The biggest change between that time period and the one in which we are currently living isn’t found in academia, but instead in the tenants that mark our modern world.

We buy what is sold to us because we need to belong, because we want the best, the fastest, the cheapest, the latest or the most unique. We buy out of the need to keep up with the Jones’ and then buy to set ourselves apart from them. We buy with purpose while claiming indifference. Successful advertising and marketing offers a reflection of how we feel today, and while it may prey upon our fears or speak to our vanity, it only reflects the importance we place on our inner feelings. Perhaps that’s why advertising is always evolving, to meet the needs and expectations of a society that is constantly in a state of change.

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Friday, September 7, 2007

Location Makes a World of Difference for Culinary Graduates

The White House is known to employ some of the finest chefs in the country, but culinary degree holders are better off working at luxury hotels or casinos in Las Vegas than anywhere in the Washington D.C. area, a recent survey by shows.

The average annual salary for a Washington D.C. chef is $71,666, which is a moderate income considering the high cost of living. Many who work in the restaurant industry but have no formal education in the culinary arts earn $12 to $15 per hour and work more than one job in order to sustain a more financially taxing lifestyle.

Meanwhile, chefs in tourist heavy cities across the country (and across the world) are finding favorable employment options that offer compensation well above the norm. Chefs in Las Vegas, Nevada are earning an average of $85,000 per year â€" well above the national average of $75,596 and even more lucrative considering the fact that Nevada has no state tax. Chefs who work in some of the more prestigious casinos earn as much as $140,000 annually. This has tempted several experienced chefs who have no ownership stake in the restaurants for which they work to leave their existing positions for employment opportunities in Sin City.

Better benefits and more career opportunities are also attracting top chefs to the Las Vegas restaurant industry. The starting hourly rate for a line chef in most of the restaurants surrounding Las Vegas Boulevard is commensurate with the national average. Because shifts are often longer as a result of the steady influx of patrons to 24 hour restaurants at all hours, however, many earn full time benefits. Few other line cooks across the country can make that claim. Additionally, because of the relative transience of Las Vegas, those who are looking for long term employment opportunities are likely to experience rapid promotion provided they are competent and able to meet the requirements of the position.

Of course, salaries and hourly rates vary greatly depending on the worker's position. The typical restaurant kitchen will have a number of hourly-paid line cooks with different levels of seniority based on experience and longevity at that particular location. The longest tenured line cooks can command relatively high salaries depending on the quality of restaurant in which they work. Larger restaurants often have chefs who oversee the line as well as an executive chef who oversees the entire kitchen area or back of house. .

The type of establishment also affects a kitchen worker’s potential earnings. Hotel restaurants at the more exclusive properties in Las Vegas are extremely rigid on quality, performance, and expertise. Those with the education and experience to meet their lofty standards enjoy higher salaries on average than their independent restaurant counterparts.

For more information on culinary degree programs, visit our site at For culinary training information, visit our blog at For information on a variety of online and campus based degree programs, visit

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Automotive Mechanic Training More Popular Than Ever With High School Graduates

Americans have always been obsessed with cars. Drivers want to own the latest models with the latest features and are willing to pay top dollar for them year after year. NASCAR has become a very popular sport with the youth of our country and older generations as well. Collectors have a passion for restoring, buying and showing muscle and sports cars of the past, and auctions devoted to the hobby are regularly held all over the United States. Street racing has been glorified on film in recent years, though one needs only to look back over our cinematic past to discover that fast cars and the people who drive them have been a part of our culture for years. Before movies such as The Fast and the Furious”, there was “American Graffiti” and “Rebel Without a Cause”. It’s easy to see that our love affair with the automobile has maintained itself throughout the years and continues to grow with each new generation.

Though we appreciate cars for a variety of reasons, we depend on them for only one, and that is simply to get from point A to point B. Every auto on the road today will need repair or maintenance at some point in the future. As the technology behind the automobile has changed, so has the training required of today’s mechanics. No longer will a rudimentary knowledge of drivetrains and electrical systems qualify a person to work on any vehicle. Automotive mechanic training has become a science of its own, with entire courses devoted to individual models or the industry standard diagnostic equipment that mechanics of the past never had the luxury of using. More and more high school graduates with mechanical aptitude are choosing technician training to provide them with a future and employment opportunities that are almost certain to always be available for the mechanically inclined. This is especially true today as the demand for qualified automotive mechanics often exceeds the number of automotive technician program graduates.

But why are so many graduates choosing to enroll in auto technical programs instead of traditional college programs? For starters, the auto mechanics of today earn respectable salaries as opposed to the mechanics of the past. Furthermore, the education necessary to become an auto technician doesn’t involve coursework unrelated to the trade. In short, auto technician training is a method by which young men and women can quickly learn a skill set that will allow them to earn a good living in a very short amount of time. Not many other educational opportunities can offer the same.

For more on Automotive Technical Careers, visit our site at . For automotive news and information, visit our blog at . For online and campus based educational resources, visit