Category Archives: Education

Do a Phd in Canada and then get back to Corporate / Industry – Yay or Nay?


I’ve been debating this myself, since the time I learned that I have gained admission to a Phd program at the Institute for Big Data Analytics at Dalhousie University, NS, Canada.

It was exciting at first and wanted to quit my job and jump onboard no sooner I learned of it. But then the budding analyst in me kicked in, and I took a step back and realized that I am going to do my research, so why not do a little research (digging in) to see what people have to say about doing your Phd with plans of getting back into the corporate / industry workforce.

Career

After speaking to a lot of Phd holders, Professors, colleagues, friends, family and a lot googling, I found a few points that helped me make my decision. Read the information below (especially the little excerpts shown in qoutes) before you take this plunge.

HOW MANY PHD’S DO YOU KNOW WHO WORK FOR CORPORATES?

When I spoke to my fellow post doctorate friends, this was the first thing I asked them, “How many Phd’s do you know who are currently working for a corporate?”.

And, for some reason they only responded in Binary digits (0 or 1)!!

Private sector in Canada hires only 4 per cent PhDs compared to the 42 per cent hired in the United States.” – The Huffington Post. Read full article.

Now this will vary from country to country, city to city and also based on your field of research.

For instance, if you have a Phd in Computer Science / Biology / Applied Mathematics or a combination of them you will get calls by big Healthcare / Analytical corporations.

“In Canada, PhDs unemployment rate is even worse: 50 per cent more than Masters (6 per cent as compared to 4 per cent).” – The Huffington Post. Read full article.

If you are willing to go against those odds, is proof by itself that you are passionate about your research and must go for it without any second thoughts.

Many things remain the same no matter which country you apply to, like this comment here –

Many HR departments will view the PHD and assume that you wouldn’t be satisfied with the pay levels that are set to attract people with Bachelors or were self-taught. Even if you declare you’re fine with it, there’s the assumption that your job dissatisfaction will be very high after a few months and you will view the work as beneath you.” – by dcousineau. Read full discussion on reddit.

It is advisable to be straight forward and mention your salary expectations in your cover letter so that they know you are willing to work for a reasonable pay.

That being said, you must have a dream role / designation / job title in your mind before you commence your Phd. And work towards it; In that way, you will not be dissatisfied with your role or willl not be doing work that is ‘beneath’ you. This is exactly what is said below, in different words –

There’s still a lot of prejudice against post-grad degrees in the industry, and listing a PHD on your resume may actively harm your chances at landing a job. The one exception to this rule is if your PHD is extremely focused and you’re looking for a job that perfectly matches your focus.” – by dcousineau. Read full discussion on reddit.

There are also HR departments that view a Phd student as a person who worked for a university with minimum pay for the past 4 or 5 years and try to take advantage of that fact. Be confident, and be bold. You know how much you deserve.

MONEY IN YOUR POCKET

Willingness to accept a minimum pay (funding) for 4 or 5 years while doing your research, while your friends move up the corporate ladders and buy fancy cars, is something you will have to deal with for a very long time until you find your spot in the corporate jungle.

PhDs, even after five to six more years of schooling, earn only 8 per cent more than Masters. In U.S., they earn 43 per cent more.” – The Huffington Post. Read full article.

This may sound clichéd, but if you are passionate enough, doesn’t matter in which field you’ve obtained your Phd, companies like Wallmart, Google Alphabets will have a spot for you!!; And they pay BIIIGGGGG!!

It is the market leaders that seem to respect, value and strive on Phd holders.

4-YEARS, ARE YOU SURE?

…looking at studies on PhD completion times at Canadian universities, it is clear that the vast majority of students do not finish in four years: the average post-master’s completion time is about five years, according to a 2003 report by Frank Elgar, Dalhousie University (PDF).” – University Affairs. Read full article.

ENVIRONMENT

Another important factor to consider when selecting your University is the city, campus, department, life style and weather. Otherwise, you will spend 5 long years walking in the corridors of the university shaking your head, trapped by the weather, or because there is nothing fun that the University campus can offer.

ALL HOPE IS NOT LOST

If you’ve come this far you may have realized that there is no universal answer to this as it varies from case to case

You can very well do a PhD and wind up with much more impressive experience than you would get at your average entry level position. For example, there are students who work with governments and large corporations solving very real issues like traffic congestion and automated threat detection etc. All this depends on your research lab and how much you yourself put into it. If at the end of your PhD all you have is the word PhD on your resume along with some publications on theory, then that’s on you.” – by pamme. Read full discussion on reddit.

But, what is common for all prospective Phd students is that you have to choose a field that you are willing to sleep, eat, dream and think about for the next 4 or 5 years.

Don’t quit your job; Instead create a new one : If you wish to get back into the industry immediately after your Phd, one way to do it is to narrow down and select a field that is relevant to your employer and the University. It must be a topic that will benefit / solve a real world problem for the company. In this way you can establish that bridge between your employer and the University, and do your Phd in a mutually beneficial topic, while working at the company. It’s not only a win-win situation. It is a win(employer)-win(university)-win(you) situation.

What’s most important is for prospective PhDs is to have a clear understanding not only of the competitive conditions for academic jobs, but also the range of possibilities opened up by doctoral education, which are far more diverse than those generally presented in graduate programmes. Those possibilities must also be developed actively through collaboration between universities, governments, other non-academic organizations and students, so that the promise of advanced education isn’t lost due to lack of mentorship, guidance and opportunity.” –  The Global and Mail. Read full article.

To the future 2% of the world, good luck.. and to the 98%.. good luck as well. : )

Let me know your thoughts. How many Phd’s do you know that work in the private sector?


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Choosing the Right Higher Education Program for You


The spring before high school graduation can be one of the most difficult semesters. Not only are you leaving the group of friends you have grown up with and are working to officially tie up loose ends necessary to graduate, but you are also preparing to enter the adult world. As a high school senior determining what you are going to do with your life after graduation, there are a lot of important decisions to take into consideration.

Possibly the most important of these questions is: are you going to pursue higher education? And if so, how do you determine which type of higher education institution is right for you? Identifying which type of higher education program is right for you can be difficult, especially if you have limited sources of advice from people who’ve been there. Below is a short list of options to consider outside of the traditional four year public school.

Liberal Art Colleges

Interested in a little bit of everything? A liberal arts college might be the type of higher education you are looking for. These schools tend to focus on students gaining a very broad amount of knowledge in a number of disparate fields, working closely with students from differing majors, and developing strong technical writing skills. Liberal arts colleges tend to have requirements for students to take classes outside of their major and typical graduates usually have a major and one or two minors in widely divergent fields.

Graduates

of liberal arts colleges are considered highly versatile and are typically able to succeed in any career path because of this exposure to many contrastable ideas throughout their education. In fact, over 55% of hiring managers say they prefer graduates with a broad education because they can work with people of various backgrounds well and they think outside of the box.

Technical/Vocational Schools

For some people the idea of learning about everything seems exceptionally undesirable. Students who would rather learn a skill that enables them to acquire a well-paying job and call it a day might find a good fit in a technical or vocational school. Technical schools were designed for this – they were developed to train people to complete specific jobs that companies are hiring for.

Often times, they focus on the practical, hands-on skills rather than the academic education. That being said, employment rates for students coming out of technical programs tend to be much higher than that of other higher education institutions. Technical/vocational degree programs can range from cosmetology, to IT, to mechanics. Really the certifications are limitless.

Online Education

When many people think of online education they tend to think of somewhat sketchy, unaccredited universities that are just devised to take people’s money and offer no real benefit. Although in the past that may have been the case, nowadays online education programs are on the rise and being offered by credible institutions. A number of them are even degrees most people would not typically associate with online classes such as political management and nursing.

The number of people getting online degrees is on the rise too. According to Ohio University, over 6.7 million students are enrolled in online education programs. They elect this type of higher education because it enables them to learn in a non-traditional setting i.e. when they want and where they want. Part of the reason online programs are gaining so much traction is because they enable people to have schedules outside of school such as full-time jobs or families.

Community College

Community colleges offer a lot of students that want to attend college on a campus some form of financial relief. Typically community colleges are a much cheaper form of education and a great way to complete an associates degree before either transferring to a larger school to complete a bachelor’s degree or entering the workforce. Furthermore, most moderate to large cities have a community college, meaning it is possible to live at home at attend college. Although for most young adults this isn’t the most ideal situation, the money saved can really add up.

Private College

Attending a private college may be a great option for students looking for a very personalized college experience. In these institutions the students – not the politics – are the priority, leading to a unique culture and typically rigorous educational standards. These schools tend to be more on the expensive side; however, a number of merit-based scholarships are usually offered that can really take the edge off.

Private colleges do offer many benefits to their students. Professors working for private colleges are usually there to teach rather than do research, meaning they are going to have high classroom expectations and small class sizes. At some smaller private colleges, even intro classes have less than 30 students. The small schools also typically lend themselves to very tight-knit communities. Most students want to be involved somehow, whether it is through a few different clubs, working for professors, or by participating in classroom discussions.

Graduate Programs with Low Undergrad GPA


There are many short-term and long term professional and personal perks that successful completion of both undergraduate and graduate education can bring to your life. That knowledge drives many individuals to seek higher education at times in their life when they are incapable, for various reasons, to spend enough time or effort to cultivate an amazing undergraduate grade point average (GPA) and transcript. Unfortunately that can have a major long term consequence: difficulty finding graduate programs that accepts individuals with low GPAs.

Not all is lost. While the majority of colleges expect all applicants to have managed at least a 3.0 GPA, some colleges and programs understand that a slightly lower undergraduate GPA is not a guarantee that the individual will not excel in a graduate program. A few college and programs requirements:

  • Do not set a minimum GPA.
  • Accept the GRE/GMAT to compensate for low GPA.
  • Require additional professional work samples to compensate.
  • Set a slightly lower minimum (2.5 to 2.7).

To set you on the path to locating a program that will work for you, here is a list of master programs for individuals with a low GPA.

No GPA Minimum Given                                                                                  

Business

Boston University – Master of Science in Management

Pepperdine University – MBA

 

Health

USC – Master of Public Health

 

Psychology
USC – Master of Science in Applied Psychology

 

GRE/GMAT to Compensate

Business

Norwich University – MBA

Norwich University – Master of Science in Leadership

Northeastern University – Master of Science in Taxation

Northeastern University – Master of Science in Finance

 

Public Service
University of Cincinnati – Master of Science in Criminal Justice

George Washington University – Master’s in Strategic Public Relations

George Washington University – Master’s in Political Management

Norwich University – Master of Public Administration

Rutgers – Masters in Public Administration 

 

Miscellaneous

Norwich University – Master of Arts in Diplomacy

Norwich University – Master of Civil Engineering

Norwich University – Master of Science in Information Security & Assurance

 

Additional Professional Work Samples

Business

Northeastern University – Master of Science in Taxation

Northeastern University – Master of Science in Finance

 

Public Service

George Washington University – Master’s in Strategic Public Relations

George Washington University – Master’s in Political Management

 

Miscellaneous

Rutgers – Master’s of Engineering with a Pharmaceutical Engineering emphasis

 

Low Minimum

Business

CollegeAmerica – Business Administration with an Entrepreneurship emphasis

2.5 GPA

Stevens-Henager – MBA

2.5 GPA

 

Health

Stevens-Henager – Health Informatics Master of Science

2.5 GPA

Stevens-Henager – Nursing Administration Master of Science

2.5 GPA

CollegeAmerica – Healthcare Informatics Master of Science

2.5 GPA

CollegeAmerica – Healthcare Administration Master of Science

2.5 GPA

Stevens-Henager – Nurse Education Master of Science

2.5 GPA

 

Psychology

Wake Forest University – Master of Arts in Counseling
2.5 GPA

 

Miscellaneous

Ohio University – Master of Athletic Administration

2.7 GPA

Nova Southeastern University – MATL & MEAL (Teaching Education)
2.5 GPA

CollegeAmerica – Informatics Systems Master of Science

2.5 GPA

Now you know that you can still apply to a graduate program with a low GPA. Remember that the path from application to acceptance will be more difficult for lower undergrad GPA students. Why? Colleges and Universities can only accept a portion of all applicants each semester. And chances are due to your GPA, your request to be accepted into the program will be slightly weaker than the other individuals seeking entrance. This means you should do everything you can to strengthen the other aspects of your application.

You can strengthen your application by:

  • Gaining as much time and experience in your field as you can before applying.
  • Ensure all professional references can speak intelligently and avidly about your performance and knowledge of the field.
  • Craft a strong statement of purpose and resume.
  • If allowed, take the GRE or GMAT.
  • And if all else fails, retake a few of the core subjects in order to boost your GPA slightly.

 

Other Resources:

Choosing a Program

Why America Needs Tax Professionals

A Growing Demand – A Look at MBAs

How to Choose Your MBA Concentration

How to Choose the Right School for Your Career Path

5 Tips to Help You Stand Out from Other MBA Graduates

From Healthcare to Hiring: Climbing the Rungs of the Nursing Administration Ladder

FinanceU Syllabus

 

Prepping To Apply

Delve Into the Nuances of the MBA Resume

How to Get a Business School Recommendation

Statement of Purpose for MBA

Statements of Purpose: Overview and Before You Draft

Preparing for the GMAT

Analysis Training Institute (ATI), Bangalore – Review / My Experience


Desperate to change my role in IT, I stumbled upon a 1 month program related to analysis of data. It was a SAS (Statistical Analysis System) program, held by the Analytics Training Institute in Bangalore, India. It seemed perfect. One day to go before the course commenced and there was only 1 seat left. I logged on to the web and did a quick background check of the institute. But, sadly couldn’t get much.

This institute seemed to have a clean sheet! Convinced, I pick up the phone to call the Institute. A very kind, polite lady answers all the questions I had, satisfactorily. With one day for the classes to start and the last seat reserved, I couldn’t be more excited.

My first day in the field of Analytics.

I researched thoroughly before I made my decision on pursuing SAS programming, and not R Programming (which is open source BTW!). I don’t regret my choice, but I do regret the decision of choosing a training institute to empower me with this freely available knowledge. To prove my point I shall put up a short 5 day starter tutorial to SAS, followed by few very handy links.

This is my review cum account of my experience at Analytics Training Institute (ATI) as the course progresses. A first of it’s kind on this blog.

With a prayer in my heart, “Lord, give me the strength to pound through this data. : ) “, I left home. I had to travel about 35 km one way, to the Institute. Despite the distance I still felt a spring in my stride, from the excitement of learning new things.

This is an account of my experience on Day 1 at Analytics Training Institute (ATI).

Date – 11th Jan 2015
Instructor – Tina Mary Wilson

The class almost always starts about 30-45 minutes late at ATI. Apparently the teachers are never informed by the management that the class starts at 9:00 a.m.
Well, we all have those administration and management glitches. And for crying out loud, we are in India, IST is known to be 30-45 minutes late! C’mon!

Moving on…

As the class progresses you begin to realize that the instructor really has no real-world experience in SAS programming or data analysis (She mentioned it in class during the introduction round). You also begin to wonder as to why aren’t you doing this course online. You don’t need to pay a large sum of money for an instructor to tell you to type this code and check the result on the screen. But you would rather know, the purpose behind that code? what are the best practices usually involved? what are the other options? when should you use which option?
With questions piling up in my head, I choose the most relevant and ask, “Is there a universally accepted coding standard followed by professionals using SAS?”.

And I get a confused look, followed by a response that is related but yet not so related.

“SAS is not case-sensitive.”

Day 2 –
As usual the class began at 9:00 a.m “Indian Standard Time”, i.e 9:30a.m, although it was unanimously agreed upon that we should commence our class at 9. The instructor had changed without letting us know in advance.

The new substituted Instructor didn’t know where the previous instructor left off. She related every concept of SAS to MS Excel. What sense does that make? We are here to learn SAS.

The class was eventually canceled, as most of the students were dissatisfied with her teaching and had left, post lunch.

Day 3,4 –

Our original instructor Tina, was back, on “popular” demand. Tina Wilson, was patient and helpful, and clarified student’s doubts very satisfactoriy. But the fact remains, that the instructors at the institute are inexperienced in the real world, but have a long history of teaching experience. She went on to cover the course syllabus, quickly. Avoiding students cancelling the course and asking for a refund.

Enough said.

If you are lazy to search around the internet for tutorials on SAS. Or if you are just looking to get started with SAS, but not to get deep into it. If you are in a managerial role in SAS, and just want to know what your minions do, when they say they are working on SAS. Or are being sponsored by someone/company to learn SAS. Then, I’d definitely recommend the SAS program at the ATI (Analytics Training Institute).

But, if you hope to give the SAS Base Programmers Certification, soon after the course or hope to get an in-depth knowledge of SAS, save that money, and buy a good book on SAS.

HIGHLIGHTS / TIPS
-> Classes don’t start on time
-> Too Slow. A lot can be covered during each class
-> Instructors are inexperienced
-> The syllabus covered can be easily learnt online
-> Apparently, once enrolled you are allowed to attend the same program any number of times when it is offered, as long as you register yourself for it. (What is the point? I paid for 1 course, not a life time membership of the same course.)
-> Students say, (Not sure) certain instructors at the insitute are really good. If you get a chance to enroll your self for the SAS course taken by Kamal Vaswani of ATI, Redwood Associates. I’d say go for it.

Stay tuned! Will see you all SAS enthusiasts in my next post, where I shall share some useful SAS code, SAS tutorials, SAS templates, and free SAS vidoes. In the meantime, let me know when was the last time you paid for a course outside of school or college, and actually got what you paid for?

Looking forward to hearing your experience with Training Institutes. : )

Cheers!
Peace. Happy learning! : )


Image Source : https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/6/68/SAS_Institute_logo.png

Look who’s been Crowdsourcing


Taking Crowdsourcing to the next level : Level Extreme!

Walmart

Walmart has recently revealed that it is considering a crowdsourced delivery system, in which it would get its in-store customers to deliver packages to its online customers, by providing them discount coupons if they agree to make a delivery that is on their way back home. Say what again?! You mean a stranger is gonna deliver stuff that I ordered online? What are the chances that I get it in one piece? Or what are the chances that I get the stuff at all?!

Although this idea is in the very early stages, I have to agree that it is very exciting, interesting and innovative. Kudos to Walmart. But no not for me. Thank you.

They say, the use of crowdsourcing, will help Walmart avoid shipping costs, improve delivery time and also make more happy (unsafe) customers.

Indian Traffic Police

India does not have the best reputation in terms of driving! This is no news!

To handle the (un)organized chaos (Indian traffic), many Indian cities like Pune, Chennai and Delhi, have turned to crowdsourcing to tackle traffic violations!

The use of crowdsourcing and social networking sites to police street traffic is slowly gaining popularity in India. Thousands of users have started submitting both photographs and video footage of traffic violations, to be acted upon by the police. So, the next person you see taking a video of you driving rashly, make sure you run over his phone too!

A constable traffic policeman directing taxis Calcutta Kolkata I

“No matter who you are, most of the smartest people work for someone else.” – Bill Joy, Cofounder Sun Microsystems

Unilever

Can somebody help us? Anybody? Unilever, despite having world class facilities and a respected and a reputed research staff. It seeks external contributions from outside the firm through an open crowdsourced Innovation project (http://www.unilever.com/innovation/collaborating-with-unilever/open-innovation/ ).

Nokia

Nokia’s Ideasproject (https://ideasproject.com/home ) is a great example of crowdsourcing, as it draws on the consumer experiences of participant-innovators to generate new ideas about the kind of products they seek from Nokia. Crowdsourcing participants are enabled, becoming their own agents of product-design. Nokia promises to share the revenue generated from the crowdsourced ideas with the participants.

Yes, Nokia is trying to listen! It’s too late, Nokia! 

Is that even a word? Shouldn’t there be a hyphen?

By now, you would have got a gist of what crowdsourcing is all about. If not,very quickly, ‘Crowdsourcing’ is a job that is usually outsourced to an undefined, large group of people in the form of an open call.

crowdsourcing-2

Isn’t Crowdsourcing, Outsourcing?

This is usually a debate. I believe that Crowdsourcing is a type of outsourcing, as when doing so one has to follow the same Questionnaire, to help decide whether or not to crowdsource, such as –

Does it involve a core competency?

Does it involve confidential or sensitive IS services or software development?

If the answer to the above such questions are “No”, then it is safe to crowdsource/outsource. More crudely, crowdsourcing could be described as projects that are outsourced to the ‘crowd’.

There are several online outsourcing/crowdsourcing websites like elance.comfreelancer.comodesk.com, Innocentive, Cambrian House, iStockPhoto, Amazon’s Mechanical Turk, Threadless, Rent a coder, crowdflower etc that have millions of users. Some believe, with websites like these it can lead to “digital sweatshops”, where workers put in long hours to generate very little pay and no benefits.

A Chinese website, Zhubajie claims to currently have 7.6 million workers, if this is true, it would mean that Zhubajie, is the largest online crowdsourcing site in the world. How many of them are underage?

From a business perspective, crowdsourcing is a popular way to get work done with minimal costs. A poetry magazine that I remember sending my submissions to for a long time, in the hope of getting published was a Canadian online poetry magazine called, Mattia. This is a crowdsourced online poetry magazine, that publishes, and maintains a regular doze of online magazines, without having a crew of writers/authors/poets. Instead crowdsources it to the public by organizing an open International Poetry Competition every season, gaining not only submissions from all over the world, but also readers and viewership. The top 25 submissions were published, and the best three are given prizes (CAD $100 for first place). Similarly, an Indian website/blog called ‘The Underground Writers’ collects submissions of articles from all over via weekly submissions and prints the best. Thus, creating content for their business, while also gaining viewership, with minimal expense.

Crowdsourcing, as a marketing strategy

Crowdsourcing, according to Laurence Wolf, cofounder and chief executive officer of Brand Honee, a crowdsourcing platform, in Australia, is “just another tool in the box of brand marketing.

We have seen examples of crowdsourcing on the television, restaurants and in the media where crowdsourced advertising has been used. Crowdsourcing has become easier, with the advent of social media, as it is easier to spread the word, and find people who are ready to work

Many companies like Coca-Cola, Intel, Emirates NBD Bank, Walmart, General Mills, Anheuser-Busch (AB) etc have been using crowdsourcing to their advantage, while also engaging their customers.

crowdsourcing2

Crowdsourcing – Good or Bad?

The Downside..

1.     To find good content in crowdsourced submissions, someone must first sift through piles of submissions, and there is no guarantee the search will be successful.

2.     No guarantee of the quality of work, as there is a lack of face-to-face communication. Companies do not get a chance to work closely with the team building the project.

3.     Talent is only paid for chosen ideas. This means that dozens, perhaps hundreds, of people are working for free in the hope of having their idea chosen. This devalues talent enormously.

4.     There is no reliable way to verify the age of the people employed, when a job is crowdsourced, as some may be ‘working’ underage.

5.     No accountability. With no contracts and low (or no) wages, one will always be on the lookout for a bigger, better deal.

The Good Stuff..

1.     Work can be done for less than the cost of hiring a full-fledged team of professionals.

2.     The talent pool is huge.

3.     You have access to international talent.

4.     Great collaboration across multiple disciplines, languages and age ranges.

5.      Helps you understand your audience and marketplace.

6.      Crowdsourcing is a very effective way of getting work done with minimal expense.

Lisa Arthur, chief marketing officer of marketing automation firm Aprimo says, “Crowdsourcing, is an effective approach for getting people to help you shape something that’s an idea into a tangible asset, whether that’s a piece of content, white paper, video, all the way into strategy, depending on what your need is and what the idea is.”

Umm… What did Lisa say again? More simply,

“…the world is becoming too fast, too complex and too networked for any company to have all the answers inside.” – Yochai Benkler, Yale University.

So if you don’t know what you’re doing, make use of the wisdom of the crowd!


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Sources, Related articles and Image sources –


Police man image – https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/4/4b/India_-_Kolkata_traffic_cop_-_3661.jpg

“Walmart to get CUSTOMERS to make deliveries in radical new ‘crowd-sourcing’ approach to shipping” – http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2300599/Walmart-CUSTOMERS-make-deliveries-radical-new-crowd-sourcing-approach-shipping.html “India turns to Crowdsourcing for tackling Traffic Violations” – http://dailycrowdsource.com/20-resources/projects/910-india-turns-to-crowdsourcing-for-tackling-traffic-violations 
“About Walmart’s Idea to Crowdsource Its Same-Day Delivery Service” – http://www.forbes.com/sites/erikamorphy/2013/03/28/about-walmarts-idea-to-crowdsource-its-same-day-delivery-service/ “The Pros and Cons of Crowdsourcing” – http://www.destinationcrm.com/Articles/ReadArticle.aspx?ArticleID=87290&PageNum=3
“The Ups and Downs of Crowdsourcing” – http://advertising.about.com/od/insidetheindustry/a/The-Ups-And-Downs-Of-Crowdsourcing.htm
“Crowd-sourced adventure: The couple on a cross-country road trip letting readers of their travel blog decide where they go next ” –http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-2309979/Crowd-sourced-adventure-The-couple-cross-country-road-trip-letting-readers-travel-blog-decide-next.html “Crowdsourcing is booming in Asia” – http://techcrunch.com/2012/12/08/asias-secret-crowdsourcing-boom/ 
Crowdsourcing Idea image – http://www.businessesgrow.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/12/crowdsourcing-2.jpg “5 examples of companies innovating with crowdsourcing” – http://www.innocentive.com/blog/2013/10/18/5-examples-of-companies-innovating-with-crowdsourcing/ “Innovation Zen” – http://innovationzen.com/blog/2006/08/01/top-10-crowdsourcing-companies/ Websites-  www.freelancer.com www.elance.com www.zhubajie.com www.odesk.com www.mattia.ca “Crowdsourcing: Pros, Cons, And More” – http://www.hongkiat.com/blog/what-is-crowdsourcing/ Crowdsourcing Image 2 – http://blog.gremln.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/06/crowdsourcing2.png http://cyber.law.harvard.edu/wealth_of_networks/Main_Page“Managing and Using Information Systems – A Strategic Approach” by Keri E. Pearlson, Carol S. Saunders; “Chaordix – Crowd Intelligence” – http://www.chaordix.com/crowdsourcing-101/

VTU Transcripts made easy


You will be surprised how well VTU (Visvesvaraya Technological University, Belgaum) is managing to give it’s thousands of ex-students their Engineering transcripts. If you have plans to go abroad for your higher studies some time soon, or planning to immigrate, then you will definitely need your “Official Transcripts” from your ex-university. And if it’s VTU, I just might be able to help you.

So here are a few things that you might find interesting

What are Official Transcripts exactly?  You’ve got all your semester marks cards. You have your final year degree completion certificate. Then what the hell is a transcript? The transcript will contain all your marks from all the semester in a single sheet, with a small indicator at the corner of each semester table, showing the number of attempts you had for that semester. It’s basically for the University that you are applying to, to have a general idea of how the rating system was at your previous university. Coz’ each university has their own way of grading students, like the GPA, Percentage, Percentile (Yes, it’s different from Percentage!), Grades, Levels, Marks etc. It can get quite confusing for the university you have/will be applying to, to compare students. The transcript will tell the university how exactly to interpret these marks.

What do they mean by ”Official”? You will receive your transcripts in envelopes, which are sealed and signed by the VTU Registrar on the flap, to show that no one has tampered with the marks. For example, if you have requested for 15 copies of Transcripts. You will receive 15 transcripts in sealed, signed envelopes + 1 additional unsealed transcript copy (without an envelope) for you to know the contents of the other envelopes you just received. The 15 sealed, signed envelopes will remain as your Official Transcripts until you break the seal. Refrain from opening them.

What do they look like inside? .. It is exactly like the extra copy that you get along with your sealed transcripts. If you haven’t applied or seen one yet, here’s a sample of my VTU transcript just so you know what to expect.

VTU Transcript Page 1 of 2
Click to ENLARGE
VTU Transcript Page 2 of 2
Click to ENLARGE

How do I get my Transcript from VTU? The answer to this question depends on how soon you need them. Coz’ there are 3 ways in which you may obtain your Official VTU transcript –

Option (a) IN ONE-DAY  (GET YOUR VTU TRANSCRIPT ON THE SAME DAY)
For this you will need to go to VTU, Belgaum.
Step 1: Reach Belgaum by 9:00 a.m on a day except Sunday and National Holidays.
Step 2: Take an auto (costs Rs. 150) or Bus (quite frequent) from the railway station to the VTU ofice.
Belgaum Address:
Visvesvaraya Technological University, Regional Center Belgaum, “Jnanasangama”, Matchhe, Belgaum – 590 018, Ph : 0831-249 8197
Try to reach by 10:00 a.m
Step 3: Once you reach, If you haven’t made your DD yet, there is a national bank bang opposite the VTU Transcript office in VTU campus. It opens at 10:30. Try and get it done as soon as possible.
If you already have a DD ready with you, order a hot tea and an Aloo Bonda (very tasty) from the Canteen just adjacent to the Bank, as you have enough time.
Step 4: After your tea, cross the road. Go to the first floor. Fill out an application form handed out by the receptionist.
Step 5: Submit the xerox copies of all your markscards + Application Form + DD.
Step 6: You’re work is done.
Now, all you have to do is – wait! Simply roam around the campus or take the next bus to the ‘city’ (half hour by bus), eat at a good restaurant.
Step 7: Return by 04:00 p.m to collect your transcripts.
Step 8: There you are! Return to wherever the hell you came from, on the same day.

Vineet’s Tip: Try and submit your application by 11:00 a.m to expect your transcripts on the same day.
Vineet’s Tip: Avoid the autos, they will scam you into staying in a hotel, waiting charge, food etc. The bus is quite convenient and reliable.

Option (b) WITHIN 4 WORKING DAYS (Submit and Collect from VTU, Regional Office)
VTU has opened Regional offices, in other cities like Bangalore, Mysore, Gulbarga etc, for the convenience of current/ex-students
Step 1: Reach the closest VTU Regional Office by 11:00 a.m

Address:

Bangalore
Visvesvaraya Technological University, Regional Center Bangalore, RHCS Layout Annapoorneshwarinagar, Nagarbhavi, Bangalore-560091
Ph : 080-23181188

Alternate Number : 080-23016694
Mysore (They don’t have this facility yet)
Visvesvaraya Technological University, Regional Center Mysore, Hanchya Sathagally Layout, Ring Road, Mysore – 570 019.
Ph: 0821-2570012
Gulbarga
Visvesvaraya Technological University, Regional Center Gulbarga
Ph : 08472-25 6155

Step 2: Fill out the application form provided by the receptionist, if not already done.
Step 3: Submit your xerox copies + 1 DD + 1 App form.
Step 4: Done! Come back to the same place after exactly 4 working days (exclude Sundays and National holidays) to collect your Official Transcripts. Voila!

Option (c) WITHIN 15 DAYS (AT THE COMFORT OF YOUR HOME)
Step 1: Get all your documents ready to submit i.e DD , Application form, Xerox of all your markscards.
Step 2: Write a letter to the VTU, Registrar requesting for a Transcript.
Sample Letter :  Sample Letter Download

Step 3: Buy an envelope and shove all the documents stated in Step 1 and Step 2 into it and address it to –
To,
The Registrar(Evaluation)
Visvesvaraya Technological University
“Jnana Sangama”, Machhe Belgaum: 590 018
Step 4: Send this package my post.
Step 5: Now, you play the waiting game! You will receive your transcripts by snail mail in 15-20 days time.
Vineet’s Tip : Do make sure you mention your current address in a legitimate manner.
Vineet’s Tip : Send it by Speed Post.

Here’s a sample of how your letter will look like –

VTU Official Transcript Envelope Side 1
Click to ENLARGE
VTU Official Transcript Envelope Side 2
Click to ENLARGE

To make your life easier, make sure you have the following ready well before hand-

1. Xerox copies of all your markscards

2. A filled out Application Form (available at http://vtu.ac.in/pdf/circulars/atten1.pdf )

3. A DD from a national bank in favour of “Finance Officer, VTU Belgaum”, with an amount of

Rs. (250 + (n-1) * 150) , ‘n’ being the number of transcripts.

(You’re an engineer you can figure that out!)

Well, all that’s left to say is “Good Luck on your applications!” : )

And Happy Studying in the near future, and please support me by liking my facebook page (can be found at the end of this page). Cheers!

References : http://www.vtu.ac.in/
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List of US colleges that DO NOT require GRE


Attempted GRE but failed to get a reasonably good score?
Late for your application deadline and don’t have time for GRE?
Want to do your masters but don’t want to study until you get there?
Forgot how to study for competitive exams? Well, don’t fret!

If you have a low GPA and looking to study further? Look no further, here is an article with a list of colleges/universities that accept students with a low GPA. You will also find tips to boost your academic profile.

Wiithout further ado, here is a list of colleges/universities in the US that don’t require the GRE score.

US UNIVERSITIES WITHOUT GRE AS AN ADMISSION REQUIREMENT (SORTED ACCORDING TO THE DEPARTMENT)

INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY & COMPUTER SCIENCE

San Jose University – computer science

California State University – Channel Islands – computer science

California State University – Northbridge – computer science

Bridge Port University – computer science

Wichita State University – computer science

Boston University CIS (Master of Science in Computer Information Systems)

Norwich University CIS (Master of Science in Information Security & Assurance)

University of Cincinnati – Master of Health Informatics

MANAGEMENT

Boston University MSM (Master of Science in International Marketing Management)

Norwich University MIS (Master of Science in Leadership)

Ohio MBA (NO GRE, NO GMAT required)

Norwich University MBA

Pepperdine University – MBA (GMAT is an alternative if the applicant has five years of full-time work experience and a quantitative Bachelor’s degree. A Master’s degree may also qualify as an alternative.)

Northeastern University – MBA (GRE not required unless applicant does not meet the 5 year professional experience requirement)

Nova Southern University – Master’s in Educational Administration & Leadership

University of Southern California – Master of Communication Management(GRE recommended, not required)

ARTS

Norwich University – Master of Arts in Diplomacy

Nova Southern University – Master of Arts in Teaching & Learning

ENGINEERING

California State University – Sacramento – Civil Engineering

Norwich – Civil Engineering

HEALTHCARE AND NURSING

Ohio University – MSN – Masters in Nursing (GRE is waived if GPA is 3.2 or +)

Ohio University – MHA – Masters in Health Administration (GRE is waived if GPA is 3.2 or +)

University of Arizona MSN – Masters in Nursing

University of Cincinnati – Master of Health Informatics

University of Cincinnati – MSN – Master in Nursing

University of Illinois at Chicago – Master of Science in Health Informatics

Norwich – Nursing

Maryville University – Nurse Practitioners Program

OTHER SCIENCE – PHYSICS, BIOMEDICAL SCIENCE ETC.

Carnegie Mellon University – Physics

University of New Mexico – Biomedical science

OTHER COURSES

University of New England – Masters of Social Work

University of Southern California – Master of Management in Library and Information Science (If you go to the FAQ on the page mentions that it doesn’t require a GRE or GMAT)

George Washington University – Masters in Political Management (only required if undergrad GPA is less than 3.0 and you don’t want to submit professional work samples)

George Washington University – Masters in Strategic Public Relations Online (only required if undergrad GPA is less than 3.0 and you don’t want to submit professional work samples)

Norwich – Public Admin

Northeastern University – Master of Science in Taxation
(GRE not required unless applicant does not meet minimum requirements)

Northeastern University – Master of Science in Finance

UNIVERSITY – ALL COURSES

University of Maryland University College

University of Dayton

Drop in a note, if you have any questions.
For professional career advice, head on to Careerealism.

Samantha Stauf, has been very kind to add on to this list, every now and then. A huge thank you to her. Here is an article written by her on Grad School, “Will Grad School REALLY help your Career?”. Give it a read! It just might help you make that next big decision of your life.

If you have a low GPA and looking to study further? Look no further, here is an article with a list of colleges/universities that accept students with a low GPA. You will also find tips to boost your academic profile.

Vineet’s Tip: It’s useful to take the GRE exam (even if it’s just for namesake), as this will help your visa application.

Good luck and Happy Studying!

image source: source

Top Ranked Human Computer Interaction(HCI) courses in Canada


Are you interested in Software Ergonomics? Or would like to explore the field of Human Computer Interact

ion (HCI) in Canada? Keen on an Masters/Post Grad course in Human Computer Interaction, but don’t know where
to apply?… Well, then the list below will help..

HUMAN COMPUTER INTERACTION COURCES IN CANADA (POST – GRADUATE)

HCI courses in Canada
(CLICK TO ENLARGE)

Continue reading Top Ranked Human Computer Interaction(HCI) courses in Canada

Education Loans – India – 2011


 

BANK INTEREST RATE INTEREST RATE TYPE OF INTEREST
Allahabad Bank BASE RATE + 3% 13% FLOATING
Bank Of Baroda BASE RATE + 4% 14% FLOATING
Bank Of India BASE RATE + 4% 14% FLOATING
Bank Of Maharashtra BASE RATE + 2.75% 12.75% FLOATING
Canara Bank BASE RATE + 2% 12% FLOATING
IDBI Bank   13.5% FIXED
Indian Bank /td>14%FIXED

TENURE
Usually 5-7 years, re payment starts 6 months after you get a job or 1 year after completing the course, whichever comes earlier.

BANK TENURE
IDBI Bank 5-7 years
UCO Bank 5-7 years
Canara Bank 7 years
Indian Bank 6 years

There are various other fees like, processing fees, documentation fees, pre payment and pre-closure charges. UCO Bank, Bank Of India and Axis Bank have no processing fees. Teh processing time varies from Bank to Bank.
Happy Studying!
image source : source

Cocktail Making Courses


I was on the hunt for a fun short term course to do during my not-so-happenning weekends lately (Just started to work! 😦 ), and I stumbled upon a course in coctail making aka bartending. I thought to myself what better way to spend my time. The best chance for me to learn everything about the thing I love the most! Booze!! hehe 🙂

While I was at it (searching for courses), I was surprised to find a ‘degree’ program in Bartending. It’s now such a professional course, they even give out certificates after completion of the course, and sadly they also have exams. With exams as part of the brochure, I am beginning to have second thoughts on joining. 😛
It sure does sound like a serious program.
By the way, when you google “Bartending courses in Bangalore”, you will definitely find courses, but I noticed they are all over the place, very difficult to find! So I thought I’ll bring them all together at one place, here at my blog!
So, here goes the most relevant, recognized courses that I found.

BARTENDING COURSES IN BANGALORE

Chaipatty, Bangalore, India

Chaipatty, an Art & Recreation based Creative Activity Hub where you will find niche & relatively unexplored activities like Photography, Dance, Bartending, Pottery, Horse riding, Short Film & Ad-making, Travel escapades etc

Professional Courses –
Christ University, Bangalore, India offers a certificate course in Bartending.

Tulleeho Bartending Academy
The Tulleeho Bartending Academy have 3 courses related to Bartending. They have a 1 day, 3 day and a 2 month certificate course to suit your needs. Find out more at the link above.

Liquid Arts Bartending Academy
Conveniently located in BTM Layout, you will always find a party happening around, where you can practice your bartending skills. Apart from certified courses, they organize weekend workshops on Mixology for people interested. To know more, head to their website.

PES (Peoples Education Society) Institute of Hotel Management
The Peoples Education Society’s Hotel Management Institue offers a certified program/course in Bartending / Cocktail Making and Bartending Management. Interesting huh? Bartending Management. Fancy!!:P Continue reading Cocktail Making Courses

Law in Canada – Top Ranked Law Courses 2011


                 

If you have decided to pursuit law, make sure that you are familiar with the following terms –
hardwork, patience, dedication, books, books and more books.
And the ability to talk non stop is a great advantage in this field.
‘coz it is these qualities that maketh a lawyer. : )

FYI – Law in Canada is very different from the course in USA. The JD program is not available in all universities in Canada. Although, there are plenty of LLB, LLM programs.
Following are the best available programs at the moment in Canada in the field of law.

 If international students wish to practice law in their own country, after a degree of law from Canada, then they will have to clear their country’s specific Bar Council Examination.

JD PROGRAMS AVAILABLE IN CANADA


McGill University
Application deadline – 30th November
Supporting Documents deadline – 30th Novemver
Documents required –
Official Documents (Undergraduation)
Personal Statement (essay)
Resume
2 Letters of reccomendation
LSAT (compulsary)
Other Info – Knowledge of French is an advantage
CEGEP required.

University of Alberta
Application deadline – 1st November
Supporting Documents deadline – 1st Febuary
Last acceptable LSAT – – December
Documents required –
2 sets of Official transcripts(Undergraduation)
Completed law School Application form
IELTS Score (minimum 6.5)
LSAT
Other Info – None available.

University of Calgary
Application deadline – 1st November
Documents required –
Application Form
Statement of Interest
3 Letters of Reccomendation
Official transcripts(Undergraduation)
LSAT
Other Info – $100 Application fee

University of Windsor
Application deadline – April 15 – JD dual program
                                                      November 1st – JD program
Documents required –
Application Form
Statement of Interest
2 Letters of Reccomendation
Official transcripts(Undergraduation)
LSAT
Other Info – Requires work experience, Community Involvement is an advantage

University of Ottawa
Application deadline – 1st November
Documents required –
Application Form
2 Letters of Reccomendation
LSAT
Official Transcripts
Other Info – None available.

image source – http://fyihigh.com/search/by-Province/Quebec/McGill-University-l11.html

Top Ranked Law Universities offering 3 yr LLB courses – India


UNIVERSITIES IN CANADA OFFERING A 3 YEAR LLB COURSE

LAW AFTER ENGINEERING IN CANADA

LAW AFTER ENGINEERING IN INDIA

UNIVERSITIES IN INDIA OFFERING A 3 YEAR LLB COURSE

If you are still wondering if law after engineering is a good choice? Then it is the best idea to stick to the field you are in. You are confused. Drop the idea right now.

If you are desperate to change your field, do not use law as a second career option to just explore. It is not easy, it involves tremendous amount of hardwork, tons of books, and even if you are prepared for it, most importantly you should have a passion for it. Otherwise, you will end up a frustrated lawyer hidden behind tons of files, in a shabby office in one corner of the city. After all it is going to be your second Bachelor’s degree, so it better be a choice of your liking.

DO NOT get fooled by the hype of an IPR Lawyer or Patent Lawyer that you saw the other day, in a shiny black suit, you will need to be the best at the game to reach there. There is tons of hardwork required, there is absolutely no short cut! Continue reading Top Ranked Law Universities offering 3 yr LLB courses – India

Plenty of 3 years LLB law courses in India ! !


Can I do Law after Engineering? Can I pursuit a LLB after graduation? Which universities in India offer a 3 year LLB course for graduates, engineers? Is it wise to do pursuit law after engineering? What role will I obtain after I do a Law after Engineering (Computer Science)? How do I become a corporate lawyer? What is an IPR lawyer?

If any of the above questions are in your head, then read on…

image source – source

iT’s bEst to Get yOUr IT cerTiFIcatiOn dOnE wHeN iN COllegE. . .


Confused what certification to get ? Which will pay off? Which is worth it? Which certification is hot in the market? Which certification is in demand?
Wondering when is the best time to start?
Well, START EARLY !!
Be it CCNA… SCJP.. Oracle SQL Programmer Certification.. ComptiA+ anything.
Widen your horizon.. just explore!!

I think the right time to do an external certification is in the 3rd year of your under-graduate course(pre-final), without comprimising your course work ofcourse! It gives you a glimpse of what is in store for you in the industry and makes you job ready! Graduates with an IT certification gives them an upper hand over the others.

Here are a few certifications you can start with –

Oracle Certified Java Programmer (previously known as SCJP) –
With this certification it proves that your foundation in Java is strong! Get this if you want to compete with IT proffessionals with 2 years of work ex. A great added value certification.. totally adds weight to a resume.
Cost :
Time required : 1-2 months study

CompTIA A+ Certification
This certification is difficult but worth every minute spent in studying for it! Coz’ it’s rare to find CompTIA A+ certified proffs. It’s a starting certification. By the end of this certification, you will know in and out of a computer. You can opt for jobs in PC Support, Security etc
Cost :
Time Required : 8-9 months study

Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA)
This certification is a good step to get into the Networking line. There is a lot of scope here. But I cannot gaurantee a high paying job with this certification but it can be used as a stepping stone to the next level. As most Cisco certifications require a CCNA certification. This will help in the long run perspective and not for an immediate change.
Cost :
Time Required : 3-4 months

Microsoft Certified Software Engineer (MCSE)
This is a wonderful certification to prove your knowledge in SQL etc. This is quite in demand, and a good move to progress in the career ladder.
Cost :
Time Required : 4 months

There are a lot of Cloud computing/networking certifications. IBM offers a few. Please ask around for the cost, demand and recognition of such certifications before you get into them. As they cost a bomb. Try and get somebody to sponsor 🙂