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Monthly Archives: February 2017

Why You Need a Master’s Degree that Develops Your Digital Skills

1. Digital skills open diverse doors.

Do a quick internet search of the words “digital skills,” and you’ll turn up countless articles on “essential,” “must-have” and “top” digital skills employers are looking for today. At the same time, US staffing and solutions company the Adecco Group reveals that 92 percent of employees aren’t prepared to navigate the contemporary business world. Claiming top four spots on the list of skills executives think workers lack? Technical and software skills.

But that’s not all, insists The Guardian, “It’s not just the scale and pace of the digital revolution that makes it exciting; it’s also the fact that it’s being democratized. No longer reserved for IT departments and tech companies, digital is becoming a critical part of every industry and is opening up opportunities across sectors, whether it’s top surgeons video linking into operating theatres from abroad or targeted mobile advertising based on clothes you’re trying on in real time.”

So whether you want to be a teacher, doctor, businessperson, lawyer, journalist, or one of a million other possible career paths, skills like SEO, coding, video editing, imaging editing, blogging and others are quickly moving from the category of nicety to necessity. The takeaway? Digital skills aren’t just highly sought-after in technology-related sectors; they’re also universally prized.

2. Digitalization is essential to corporate development.

According to a recent article in The Telegraph, ‘Why Digital Skills Matter for Your Company,” “businesses that improve the digital skills of all their employees will become more productive, innovative, profitable and secure.” For bottom-line-minded organizations, these are hard words to ignore. Just how much do businesses stand to gain by embracing all things digital? As reported by The Telegraph based on research by Oxford Economics for Virgin Media Business, the UK economy could see a boost of £92bn and more than one million jobs in the next two years alone.

Said Peter Winebloom, skills director a manufacturers’ organizations EEF, “Britain is on the cusp of a global, technology-driven fourth industrial revolution, but the challenge comes from ensuring that we have access to the right skills in the right numbers.”  In other words, if the UK — and other countries, too — is to reach its potential, it will take workers with the right digital skills make it happen.

3. Students with digital skills are prepared to respond to future changes

Digital has fully infiltrated the contemporary consumer experience. The result? Consumers have higher expectations than ever before. Organizations looking to maintain their success with customers and profitability need to do more than satisfy what customers want now; they also need to be forward-thinking about what they’ll want next. Asserts The Guardian, “Businesses must invest now in digital training to empower their employees, boost productivity and fuel innovation or the UK might be left behind.”

But the ability to predict, plan and ultimately maneuver the challenges of the digital evolution doesn’t just benefit businesses. It also benefits workers who — with the right combination of digital knowledge, skills and savvy — acquire built-in defenses against obsoletion.

 

Work-Life Balance and Work-Life Integration: What’s the Difference?

1. Work-Life Balance

What is it, you wonder?  Achieve something at work.  Enjoy something at work.  Achieve something at home.  Enjoy something at home. For the mathematically inclined:

Aw + Ew + Ah + Eh = Work Life Balance.

What does this mean?  Working and living are never truly balanced—there are no coefficients or constants to guide you through the process.  Sometimes you’ll achieve and enjoy something more at work than you will at home.  What’s important is that all aspects of achievement and enjoyment in work and life happen throughout the day.  Some days—as you know—are harder than others.

Here’s an example: you might have a fantastic interaction with a persnickety coworker (achievement) and then laugh at a joke at a board meeting (enjoyment), followed by not tripping over a pile of laundry in the middle of the floor when you get home (achievement) and meeting a friend for dinner (enjoyment).  These achievements and enjoyments do not have the same weights.  That great conversation with that persnickety coworker might be the biggest achievement because you know he’ll probably invite you to work on that project you’ve been wanting to work on with him.  You probably enjoyed that dinner with your friend the most.

The big idea?  You unplug.  You achieve and enjoy something in both parts of your life—working and not working—and there’s a clear boundary between the two. Over time, achievement and enjoyment will balance each other out.  It’s the day-to-day that can be a bit tricky.

2. Work-Life Integration

This is way trendier.  Thanks to the gig economy that’s sprung up in the past decade, integrating what you do and how you live have become a necessity for some.  Even in bigger businesses, there’s this idea that living and working in the same place are desirable attributes for living.

Let’s look at a few examples.  Consider Silicon Valley—companies like Google have on-campus apartments, child care centers, organic gardens with staff cafeterias, and buses for those who don’t live where they work.  The idea is simple: integrate your work into your life.    For others, technology has allowed people to live their lives—exercise, take their kids to school, go food shopping—and work full-time. No one decided that all work needs to happen between 9:00 AM and 5:00 PM.  If you can meet your deadlines, show up for your meetings (even virtually), and live your daily life, then all is well.

What’s different here?  Discipline.  Strategy.  Knowing when to unplug.  And a stick-to-it attitude.  With work-life balance, the “unplug” is pre-set.  You’re done with work for the day, you leave.  With work-life integration, you plan on when you’re doing your work, meet all your job’s expectations, and still show up for touch football, or your volunteer work at that organization whose mission you love.

Is one approach better than the other?  Nope.   It depends on the kind of work you want to do and the kind of life you want to live.  If you need a strict schedule and need to know when you’re “on” and when you’re “off,” integrating your work into your life could be tough.  You might opt for a more traditional job with traditional hours.  If you feel constrained by that, you might want to integrate your work into your life and have more “flexibility” during the day—this is especially helpful if you have a family.

5 Reasons to Consider a Degree in Indigenous Studies

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

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.

3. They are a necessary part of achieving reconciliation.

Many national history curricula overlook the stories of indigenous people. In Australia, for example, while Aboriginal people created a unique and impactful civilization, it is largely disregarded today. Why? Because according to an article in The Conversation, “It does not easily fit with the colonial mythologies around which popular histories of Australia have traditionally been constructed. Indeed the very use of the term ‘civilisation’ in relation to Aboriginal Australia will no doubt confound some readers. Perhaps the most insidious myth perpetuated about Aboriginal society is the idea it was ‘primitive’, ‘stone age’, ‘nomadic’, or ‘unevolved’. This type of thinking feeds racist stereotypes and discriminatory attitudes which continue to marginalize and disassociate Aboriginal Australians from the national identity. The archaeology of our continent directly refutes this type of thinking, but until recently the monuments and achievements of ancient Australia have remained largely invisible to the mainstream public.”

The Conversation goes on to propose that expanding a society’s historical viewpoint not only “offers a path to new understanding,” but to achieving reconciliation.

4. It helps preserve indigenous cultures.

According to a recent New Yorker piece, “On every continent, people are forsaking their ancestral tongues for the dominant language of their region’s majority. Assimilation confers inarguable benefits, especially as Internet use proliferates and rural youth gravitate to cities. But the loss of languages passed down for millennia, along with their unique arts and cosmologies, may have consequences that won’t be understood until it is too late to reverse them.”

The proliferation of indigenous language coursework, in particular, is viewed as paramount. “Without language, we are empty vessels,” indigenous language master’s student Bob Badger told THE. “Within our languages, we have a deep understanding of the world around us. We make connections between the traditional cultural teachings and our place in the world. The language is alive and the language has a spirit.”

It is because of its vital importance that the Canadian government has proposed the Canadian Indigenous Languages Act, which will grant equal rights and privileges to nine indigenous languages in addition to English and France.

5. It promotes better citizenship.

According to The Conversation, “One of the most important skills promoted by historical inquiry is that of empathy, a feeling of sympathy and engagement for other people from different time periods and cultures….If students can develop the knowledge of why cultures are different it will help develop empathy and encourage an appreciation for diversity, and hopefully, undermine growth of racist viewpoints” while simultaneously supporting the development of a “more comprehensive appreciation of our humanity.”

In other words, is there any better way to improve upon our collective citizenship than by improving upon our collective understanding of each other?

Indigenous studies have been deemed so valuable, in fact, that there is a movement to make coursework in this field a mandatory component in university curricula — alongside English, math and other core requirements. By pursuing a degree in this vital field, you won’t just walk away with an enriched (and more accurate) perspective, but you’ll also be positioned to take on a leading role in righting the past towards a more equitable and tolerant future.

Why Sports Management Needs Unique Educational Models

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.