Category Archives: education
1. You’ll increase your earning potential.
While many teaching jobs require master’s degrees, others may call for just a bachelor’s degree. In this case, getting the bare minimum can hurt you in several different ways. Not only does it lower your chances of getting hired when you’re up again more qualified applicants, but it also means you’ll likely end up collecting a higher starting salary.
According to The Houston Chronicle, most school districts offer teachers with master’s degrees across the elementary, middle, and high school levels supplemental pay in the form of a “bonus” or “bump.” According to analysis by the Center for American Progress this averages between an extra $3,000 and $10,000 a year! And while the cost of getting a master’s degree can seem prohibitive, the degree can pay for itself in just a few years. Not only that, but most school districts require continuing education credits — doesn’t it make sense to put those credits toward a degree?
2. You’ll enjoy greater career mobility.
While a bachelor’s degree may qualify you to be a classroom teacher, many other school jobs require advanced credentials. If career advancement is important to you, a master’s degree is a must-have. Whether you’re looking to work as a school administrator, curriculum director, content/subject area specialist, or school counselor, you’ll likely need a master’s degree or more.
Additionally, a master’s degree can also open up new possibilities outside of the school system entirely. From textbook authors and community college teachers to educational consultants and educational researchers, these sought-after, well-paid professionals almost always have upper-level qualifications.
In addition to helping you move up the latter, a bachelor’s degree can lead to broader career prospects, which can be an effective defense against teacher burnout — a pervasive phenomenon among today’s hard-working teaching professionals.
3. You’ll be a better teacher.
A master’s degree isn’t merely a means to an end. Rather, it’s an opportunity for true growth and development. Your time in graduate school will benefit you in numerous ways, from understanding of your options as a teacher by exploring what truly interest you to acquiring tools which will enrich what you offer your students.
While your undergraduate degree might have bestowed knowledge in a certain field of study, a master’s in education places the focus on transitioning that and new knowledge to the classroom. Says Teach.com, “These degrees focus on teaching somebody how to be a teacher, with heavy emphasis on pedagogy, teaching methods, philosophy of education, and educational technology.”
According to one Reddit commenter, “It was a TON of work, and took a while, but it definitely made me a better teacher, both in increasing my knowledge and also making me more sympathetic to my students. Its interesting watching another person teach after you have been teaching all day, and seeing what you can do and what you shouldn’t do.”
One caveat worth keeping in mind? As with all advanced studies, you get out of a master’s degree what you put into it. On the flip side, however, if you’re pursuing your graduate coursework part-time while maintaining a teaching job, you’ll have immediate opportunities to start making change. Another Reddit poster shared, “I love teaching while going to school because I can implement strategies I learn in class the next day.”
4. You can make change at a higher level.
Teachers help nurture the growth and development of kids in classroom every day. If you’re interested in making change at a higher level, however, a master’s degree can help prepare you for a role in research, assessment or policy.
From regional school districts to local, state, and federal agencies, many organizations exist aimed at improving how teachers, schools and educational systems at large do what they do. They’re all looking for people with the knowledge, experience and insights to help guide them.
One of the most compelling reasons prompting people to enter the teaching profession is the chance to make a difference in society. A master’s degree will not only position you to achieve this goal, but it can also help you improve the quality of education at large while bettering your own life in the process.
Why Digital Innovation Matters
Contemporary business success largely hinges on an organization’s ability to adapt to the rapidly evolving digital space. Take companies like Amazon and Netflix, for example. Their business models inherently rely on continuously expanding and enhancing their digital products and services to remain competitive. But this evolution doesn’t happen on its own.
Says global management consulting firm North Highland Worldwide Consulting’s Alex Bombeck, “Everyone recognizes the importance of digital in today’s business environment, but the landscape is littered by companies that have been left behind the digital curve. Leaders must figure out how to meet the high expectations of customers and deliver a unique human experience, or risk becoming obsolete.”
In addition to the usual suspects of leadership like vision and managerial skills, the next generation of business leaders will also need to understand the fundamentals of digital innovation, including the economic and technological factors powering it; the intersection of former, current and future business models; differences between digital models and how they interact with each other; best practices for organizing and leading digital product and service innovation efforts; the role of crowdsourcing; and other topics.
Echoes North Highland Global CIO Ben Grinnell of what it takes to thrive in the new digital world, “To enable digital transformation, old legacy systems are not going to cut it. Silos must be broken down and an agile mindset needs to take hold. This means building cross-functional teams that can be nimble, move fast and quickly produce results.”
Three Steps to Becoming a Digital Innovator
Now that we’ve covered how important digital innovation is, along with why having the right skill set is critical for people looking to innovate in the digital space, a final question remains: How do you prepare yourself to become one of them? These three steps are a great starting point:
1. Be international.
Digital innovation has no physical borders. And with companies like Turner increasingly prioritizing international digital innovation, it makes sense for those looking for an inside edge to cultivate a global perspective — preferably through first-hand experience.
In fact, according to a recent Erasmus Impact Study which looks into the effects of international study on the skills and employability of students, 65 percent of employers consider international experience important in job applicants, while a full 92 percent are looking for transversal skills developed through international experiences, including “openness to and curiosity about new challenges, problem-solving and decision-making skills, confidence, tolerance toward other personal values and behaviors.”
2. Know the best course of study.
We’ve already established that international experience is a major plus. What else should you be looking for in terms of degrees and certifications? Not only will you need training in key digital technology areas, but you’ll also need to develop innovation and entrepreneurship skills.
Another plus? Real-world experience, which will allow you to practice applying your newfound skills while simultaneously building a network of professional relationships.
3. Choose the right program.
All of this may sound like a tall order, but EIT Digital Academy’s Digital Master School program delivers. This two-year program at two different universities from nine countries not only sends graduates out into the world with master’s degrees from two of Europe’s leading universities, but also a certificate from the European Institute of Technology.
What else separates EIT Digital from the rest? Students have their choice of 20 top European universities; gain a high-level technical education combined with an Innovation and Entrepreneurship minor; and build a strong professional network through internship opportunities with industrial partners and innovative startups.
The chance to specialize in the second year, meanwhile, offers in-depth studies in technical areas including cloud computing services, data science, digital media technology, embedded systems, human interaction and design, technology and architecture, security and privacy, and service design and engineering.
Says Head of the EIT Digital Master School Dr. Patrick Hartigan, “There is a heavy and increasing need for premium IT masters in Europe. This programme seeks out the best students from across the EU and beyond. It then equips them with cutting-edge technical knowledge and business skills so that they can go on to help assure Europe’s role in the global digital economy. This is a unique opportunity where learning to think as an entrepreneur is a key criterion.”
Think it all sounds perfect, but have concerns about paying for it? EIT Digital’s generous financial assistance including tuition waivers, scholarships, travel and installation support put the programs prestigious double degrees and an Innovation and Entrepreneurship EIT Certificate within your reach.
You Can Improve Your Career Opportunities
Do your research. If your prospective master’s degree is tied to a specific type of job that you want, then you’ll definitely have a broader reach of opportunity. Consider occupational therapy, in which a master’s degree is the key to success, or business management, where that MBA will certainly give you a competitive edge. Public school teachers will experience almost immediate benefits with a master’s. In some fields, where a master’s is a terminal degree, such as an M.F.A., you’ll be able to teach at the university level. Clinical psychology is another great example of pursuing a master’s in a specific field so that you can do the job you want.
You Can Earn a Better Salary
A graduate degree doesn’t always mean extra money, but in some fields, it’s the only way to make more of it. If you choose to study medicine or law, of course, you’ll need an advanced degree, but those of you who have your bachelor’s and are contemplating the endeavor? You can plan on making at least $400,000 more over your working lifetime with a graduate degree. Teaching is one profession for which you’ll automatically get paid more. Graphic design, marketing, finance, and therapy are other fields in which you’ll definitely see a better salary—and more professional marketability – with a master’s degree.
It’s a Chance to Do Your Research at a Respected University
When considering an international master’s degree, it is important to choose the right university. When it comes to research and graduate studies, location isn’t everything but it can help. After all, you can’t spend all your time in a lab or behind a book. Consider Helsinki, Finland, where you’ll find a safe, green city surrounded by stunning natural beauty and a vibrant student scene alongside one of the world’s top research universities: the University of Helsinki. You’ll earn a world-class education at one of Europe’s leading research institutions, and a major international reputation. With over half a million friendly faces, a vibrant urban atmosphere, and 60,000 students from around the globe, Helsinki is a perfect place to pursue that master’s degree and immerse yourself in a culture of motivated, inspirational, and brilliant people. Did we mention the saunas and omenalörtsy?
You Can Build on Your Undergraduate Studies…or Explore Something New
Whether you want to expand on your undergraduate degree or move into a different, but related graduate program, consider the University of Helsinki. The university offers 28 master’s programs in English with a wide range of possibilities. Not sure where to start? These six programs build on many common undergraduate majors, offering something for nearly everyone.
1. Master in Environmental Change and Global Sustainability
If your undergraduate degree is related to environmental science or sustainability studies, select a master’s and focus on issues sustainability that interest you. Solve socio-ecological problems that affect you and the world around you. Jobs in policy, education, advocacy, and science await!
2. Master in Food Science
If you have a bachelor’s in food science or the molecular biosciences and you want to reshape how the world views food—from agriculture to processing to innovation and policy—consider a Master’s degree in Food Science at the University of Helsinki, one of the highest ranked food science programs in the world.
3. Master in Microbiology and Microbial Biotechnology
With antibiotic drug resistance and superbugs at the forefront of global concern, a Master’s degree in Microbiology and Microbial Biotechnology will help to ensure your role in preventing the destruction of the human race through microbes. Cutting-edge research and technology, and the opportunity to have a lasting effect on the world’s future make this master’s program an ace in your pocket.
4. Master of Life Science and Informatics
Earn a master’s in one of the University of Helsinki’s leading research programs: Life Sciences and Informatics. Combine mathematics, computer science, statistics, ecology, evolutionary biology, and genetics—and you’re guaranteed to find a job as an expert in life science research for either the public or private sector. This degree also puts you at a significant advantage to earn your doctorate in chosen field of study.
5. Master in Particle Physics and Astrophysical Sciences
Enjoy the secrets of the world with a master’s degree Particle Physics and Astrophysical Sciences. You will enjoy a career in research, or an infinite range of possibilities in the private sector. If you studied mathematics, physics, engineering, or astronomy as an undergraduate, consider unlocking the secrets of the cosmos with an advanced degree in Particle Physics and Astrophysical Sciences.
6. Master in Linguistic Diversity in the Digital Age
Language: the key to the past, present, and future of communication. Dialect. Accent. Linguistic scope. Orthography. Indigenous language. Synthesized language. Human speech. Music. Binary code. Did you study a specific language as an undergraduate? Or maybe anthropology, semantics, communication, linguistic theory? Do you want to make an impact on the connection between language and cognition? Are you curious about the ways language grows, evolves, becomes part of a culture? Thinking about advanced study in language? Consider the University of Helsinki’s Master in Linguistic Diversity in the Digital Age.
Africa: Half of a Yellow Sun, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
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?
Asia: Flowers in the Mirror, Li Ruzhen
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.
Europe: The Shadow of the Wind, Carlos Ruiz Zafón
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.
Middle East: Spectres, Radwa Ashour
Winner of the Cairo International Book Fair Prize, Egyptian author Radwa Ashour details the ethnic cleansing of Deir Yassini in April of 1948. Using metaphoric “doubles,” Ashour parallels the stories of two women, Shagar Abdel Ghaffar, and “Radwa Ashour” who live through atrocities—both personal and political—in a fractured time and place. How much strength can the human spirit hold?
North America: The Corrections, Jonathan Franzen
Winner of the National Book Award, The Corrections offers us an ironic and often funny glimpse of a multi-generational family fraying at the edges at the beginning of the 21st century. With larger themes like economic collapse overshadowing the finer movements of a family’s collapse, Franzen sets the stage with an older couple hosting “one last Christmas” with their middle-aged children. Anxiety, uncertainty, and apprehension apply to the state of the family—and the state of the world.
Oceania: Cloudstreet, Tim Winton
1991 Winner of the Miles Franklin and NBC Awards in Australia, Cloudstreet details the bonds created between two families who flee rural life for different reasons. Watch them scrabble, struggle, laugh and cry twenty years in the city before they find what they want. What do they want? What we all do. Love and acceptance.
South America: One Hundred Years of Solitude, Gabriel García Marquez
Marquez’s magical realism does not disappoint in his 1967 epic that chronicles seven generations of the fortunes—and humorous misfortunes—of the Buendía family and their grandfather’s town, Macondo. The story of the family is the story of the town. History, for better or worse, consistently repeats itself. With lyrical beauty, Marquez explores the ghosts of family and place—and what it means to be a part of both.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
A master’s in biostatistics will earn you a median salary of about $113,400, according to Fortune, with at least a 20 percent projected job growth by 2022.
If those statistics aren’t enough to motivate you, how about this: biostatisticians help save the world. Your ability to make lasting, positive changes in public health, clinical medicine, genomics, health economics—and the raw field of mathematics is essentially limitless. So: if you have the science and math savvy, want to save the world, and live a pretty comfortable life on top of that, consider biostatistics.
Learn more about biostatistics and biotechnology.
2. Human-Computer Interaction and Artificial Intelligence
Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) and Artificial Intelligence (AI) is the study of how people interface with computers. From algorithm science to information science, psychology to anthropology, you could work on anything from projects related to design guidelines for all types of software to academic research to figuring out the best interface for human-robot interaction. With humans interacting with mobile and touch devices, you can also delve into the intricacies of human-computer interface.
3. Homeland Security and Cyber Criminality
If current world events don’t have your head spinning, imagine how experts in homeland security and cyber criminality feel. Cybercrime is relatively new specialty—and one that will continue to see nearly exponential growth in the coming years. Cybercrimes involve computers, networks, and the intent to harm individuals, systems, national security, and financial markets. These crimes cover the spectrum of identity theft to election hacking. Sounds relevant, doesn’t it?
If you opt to study Homeland Security, you can bet that cyber warfare will be an intrinsic part of your training. The graduate program in Homeland Security at San Diego State University, for example, focuses on prevention, deterrence, and response to instances of terror and espionage on national and international levels. A cornerstone of their program? Cyber security.
1. Duration of Study
While the typical master’s degree in the US takes two years, master’s degrees in the UK and Australia can be completed in a much shorter amount of time — many in as little as a year. A PhD, meanwhile, takes around three years in the UK and Australia — compared to five in the US. Not only can trimming time off your degree amp up your earning potential by getting you into the workforce sooner, but you’ll also save money on tuition and living expenses due to the shorter duration.
Because US degrees graduate degrees are spread over two years, they are often broader in nature — at least in the beginning. This can be an advantage for students looking for the freedom to explore different specializations and areas of research. In the UK, meanwhile, degrees are more specialized and self-directed. Students who already know what they want to focus on can immediately begin directing their efforts into this area and finish up sooner.
Not only will you pay less due to the shorter degree duration, but tuition fees in the UK and Australia are usually lower than those in the US, too. According to Investopedia, the average cost of tuition for a UK Master’s degree is $20,700 for American students. While tuition for a public US master’s degree is much less at an average of $14,537, the cost of an elite, private school graduate program skyrockets to more than $40,000 a year. One caveat? Funding is plentiful in the US so students may find it easier to offset the high cost.
When every penny adds up, even small savings add up to big ones: Many schools in the UK and Australia don’t require students to take standardized tests like the GRE and GMAT so you’ll also save on test and test prep costs. (A handful of UK universities do have GRE and GMAT requirements, so be sure to check into the admissions requirements for each prospective school.)
4. Term Structure
While most university terms run from mid- to late-August through mid-December and early- to mid-January through May with a lengthy break over the December holidays, academic terms in the UK and Australia may be different. While most schools also rely on a semester system, some UK and Australian universities use trimesters and quarter semesters, instead. They may also start a bit later than US schools with classes continuing into June. In general university, university schedules in the UK and Australia are much less standardized than in the US so will also vary more from school to school.
5. Teaching Approach
While countries all over the world aspire to the US higher education model, a recent article in The Guardian proposed that UK universities — where the focus is on “seminars, not stature” — have admirable qualities of their own, especially when it comes to teaching. While US undergraduate lectures are large with discussion groups typically run by postgraduates, in the UK “the focus is still on small-group teaching, and much of the undergraduate degree is conducted in seminars of 20 students or less.” Further, proposes The Guardian, “These seminars are taught by full-time staff who are experts in their field and have undergone extensive training in pedagogy.”
The good news? This is not as much of an issue at the graduate level where students in the US have more direct access to professors. However, it’s still important to remember that you’re dealing with two very different education systems and will need to adjust your academic expectations accordingly. According to US News and World Report, these differences can open up new opportunities for American students abroad: “U.S. students are often not only exposed to new material, but also a new way of thinking and learning. Varied class structures, teaching styles and interactions between professors and students can enhance the experience.”