Archive for the ‘Internet & New Media’ Category

Replace an old computer before enrolling in online technical schools

Monday, August 27th, 2012

Replace an old computer before enrolling in online technical schools

If you feel that online technical schools will be the best way to receive an education that’s compatible with your busy schedule, then you’re going to want to take a good look at your computer.

Is it the type of machine you no longer see on the shelves at your local Best Buy? Does it look like it was built in the 1980s? If the answer to either of these questions is yes, it probably won’t be too much of a help as you try to complete your studies. Rather than struggling through your school experience, consider replacing your old computer with a newer model.

However, before you rush out and fork over a few hundred dollars for a new computer, think long term about the type of machine you’ll need – not just for school, but in the years that follow.

For starters, think about what you’ll be using your computer for. If you only need it for the courses you’ll be taking, you probably don’t need to go all out and purchase a high-priced device, complete with every bell and whistle imaginable. However, if you plan on using your computer for work purposes long after school ends, think about what specific programs you’ll be using and which computer can best run them. After all, you don’t want to have to shell out another $1,000 a year from now just because you rushed your decision the first time around.

At the same time, where you’ll be using your computer should also play a role in your decision. If you plan on getting all of your work done at home, then you may want to invest in a desktop device. However, if you like being mobile, going with a laptop may be your best bet.

What condition is your computer in? Is it time for an upgrade? Let us know in the comment space below.

The benefits of online technical schools

Friday, August 24th, 2012

The benefits of online technical schools

Are you stuck in the kind of job that has you watching the clock? Maybe you’ve thought about ways to escape the drudgery of the daily grind. You may have considered technical training schools as a way to learn a new trade and start a new chapter in your life. But what if you’ve got a family, or you can’t afford to take time off? Well, don’t despair – online technical schools are only a mouse click away, and could still change your life for the better.

What can you study?

Granted, it’s pretty difficult to learn how to become a welder or an electrician just by studying online, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t still plenty of career options available to you. Today’s workplace is becoming increasingly digital, and so are the kinds of jobs that are in need of skilled, motivated workers like you.

Many degrees and certificates available at online technical schools can help you embark on an exciting new career path. Subjects such as business, healthcare, human services and computing are all available online, so you don’t have to sacrifice your job to get ahead.

Set your own schedule

If you’ve spent years feeling like your wristwatch is a handcuff, the idea of setting your own hours and studying at a time and place that suits you may seem too good to be true. Well, online technical training schools make this a reality, as many of the programs and certificates offered by these institutions are designed with busy working adults like you in mind.

All you need to succeed is a decent computer, a reliable internet connection and the drive to push yourself. Many online technical schools post lectures and assignments as either text files or videos, so you can review them at your leisure – eliminating the need to stress about making it to class on time.

Another benefit of online technical schools is that this flexibility allows you to study in a way that aligns with your personal habits. If you’re a night owl, you can work after your family have gone to bed. Early riser? Get your coursework done before your spouse and kids sit down to breakfast.

A world of information at your fingertips

Remember sitting in the classroom at school, trying to keep up with what the teacher was saying? Did you ever feel like you were struggling to pay attention? Well, dry, stuffy lectures are a thing of the past. Thanks to advances in online technology, today’s students can enrich their academic experience with a world of information, including videos, audio files, interactive simulations and other multimedia elements.

Rather than try to learn a new skill by reviewing pages of handwritten notes, you can use the web to supplement your learning experience. With a world of information just a mouse click away, enroll at online technical schools and take control of the future you’ve always wanted.

What do you hope to get out of your experience at online technical schools? Let us know in the comment space below.

In business, the computer is your friend

Saturday, August 18th, 2012

In business, the computer is your friend

Do you think you’d make a pretty good photographer-for-hire? Maybe you’ve got a knack for fixing your neighbors’ lawnmowers and could see yourself doing it full time. While technical schools can bring you up to speed on the types of knowledge and skills you need to thrive in your preferred field, if you’re not regularly using the internet – or even a computer – you should start right now.

While going to electrician schools, you may wonder what the internet has to do with your career as an electrician. Well, just think about the average homeowner. When they need an electrician, do they pull out that heavy, hard-to-read phonebook or do they just pull out their sleek and lightweight iPad? The times are changing faster than some people may realize, so for career success, it’s a good idea to try and keep up.

Learn about internet marketing

The courses you take through technical training schools may or may not touch on topics like internet marketing. It entirely depends on what institution you’re studying at and what field you plan on entering. However, if you’re taking gunsmithing courses and no one’s talking about the basics of advertising, you’re going to want to do some research on the side.

Whether you want to start your own gunsmithing business or offer your services through an existing gun shop, knowing how to attract customers helps. After all, if your boss isn’t marketing the business, you may need to take charge or end up joining the nation’s unemployed.

To brush up on your internet marketing skills, you certainly don’t have to enroll in business school. There are actually very basic things you can do to become more knowledgeable in this area. For instance, if you’ve never used Facebook or Twitter, start an account and play around with it. Most companies have pages on these websites, and many of them are quite effective.

Do you have a favorite local or national business? Look them up on Facebook and see what they’re doing to attract and retain customers. Maybe they ask daily questions, give away gift certificates or post links to news stories related to their industry. Either way, you’ll see how easy it is to start building a following without having to hire some hot shot advertising agency.

Learn how to build a website

Something that’s a little more complicated than starting a Facebook page is building an effective website. However, if you can see yourself running your own business or becoming a freelance worker, having a website can lend you loads of credibility.

Before you do anything, conduct a Google search of businesses in the field you’re training for. So, if you want to become a freelance photographer, see how other professionals have set up their own websites. Think about what does and doesn’t work about what you see.

From there, you can start learning about the basics of HTML, search engine optimization and other web technologies. You can do some online research or look for a class in your local area. Either way, you’re taking a step that will help separate you from your less tech-savvy competition.

How often do you use the internet? Every day? A few times a week? Let us know in the comment space below.

Learn about cybersecurity before becoming your own boss

Sunday, August 5th, 2012

Learn about cybersecurity before becoming your own boss

Have you ever hired an electrician and admired the fact that they’re their own boss? Maybe you regularly take your lawnmower to a local small engine repair shop and think to yourself, “I can do that.” If this is the case, you might just possess the entrepreneurial spirit that’s present in many of the country’s most successful business owners.

Whether you decide to take gunsmithing courses and open your own shop or enroll in photography schools to gain the expertise necessary to take pictures for hire, there’s a good chance you’ll turn to the internet to get the word out on the types of services you offer. These days, being online isn’t an option so much as a necessity. Word of mouth will only get your business so far. If you really want to grow your customer base, you’re going to need a website or Facebook page.

However, with a presence on the internet comes a need for cybersecurity. While you may still be thinking about the type of technical schools you might enroll in, it’s never too early to start learning about the world of cybercrime and how you can protect your future small business from it.

What’s cybersecurity and why do you need it?

Cybersecurity is pretty serious stuff. In fact, it’s so serious that President Barack Obama said, “America’s economic prosperity in the 21st century will depend on cybersecurity,” according to The White House’s website.

Essentially, cybersecurity protects computers, networks and anything else related to cyberspace. Without it, organizations are susceptible to cyberattacks and vulnerable to what are known as cybercriminals. If you think anything that happens online is nowhere near as bad as physical theft, you may be in for a surprise.

How bad can cybercrime get?

Really bad. Anyone in need of proof just has to look at Lloyd Keilson’s New York small business, Lifestyle Forms and Displays Inc., a mannequin maker and importer. According to The Wall Street Journal, it took cyberthieves just a couple of hours to wipe out $1.2 million from the company’s bank accounts.

“Small businesses feel like they’re immune from cybercrime, and they’re wrong,” Larry Ponemon, chairman of the Michigan-based privacy think tank, the Ponemon Institute, told the news source. “They are absolutely on the list of potential targets of cybercriminals.”

What can be done to prevent cybercrime?

If you’d prefer not to have your business’ Facebook page or website hacked, you’re going to have to remain vigilant. Aside from that, there are things you can do on a regular basis that’ll provide you with a little extra security.

According to the Post Bulletin, it helps to not only create strong passwords, but change them every now and then as well. Once you’re in your inbox or looking at comments on your Facebook wall, practice extra caution. Not every link or attachment you receive is as friendly as it seems, so be careful and avoid falling into a trap.

If you’re using computers for your business, make sure all your software is up to date – especially anything that provides protection against viruses and other cyberthreats. Despite all your efforts, there may be an occasion when a cyber scoundrel sneaks past your defenses and does some damage to important information. That’s why it’s important to back up everything you have so if need be, you can get your business up and running as quickly as possible.

So now that you know a little more about cybersecurity, you can get back to searching for the technical training schools that will best prepare you for your future career. If you’re committed to becoming your own boss down the road, you may also want to see if there are any programs that touch on cybersecurity.

What’s your take on cybercrime? Does it influence the way in which you view the internet? Let us know in the comment space below.

Three distractions that may interfere with online coursework

Monday, July 30th, 2012

Three distractions that may interfere with online coursework

Convenience and lower costs are just two reasons to consider online technical schools over their on-campus counterparts. However, before you start to take classes, you’re going to want to think about your computer habits and whether or not they make you an ideal online student.

Email overload

Are you the type of person who can’t go 10 minutes without checking their inbox? If you are, you may not be the most productive online student. There may be times when you need to leave your inbox open so you can grab materials from your instructor or just review an assignment. Either way, if you keep taking breaks from your work to see if you’ve received any new emails from friends, family or retailers, you probably won’t get far in your studies.

Too social

Is Facebook the first place you go when you turn on your computer? What about Twitter or YouTube? Sure, these websites are a lot of fun, but are they going to disrupt the work you have to complete? If you tend to get a little too social on the internet, you may want to consider finding technical schools where you will not be required to sit in front of a computer to complete your studies.

Fun can be distracting

People usually play computer games like Solitaire, Bejeweled or FarmVille when they are bored or trying to pass the time. Unfortunately, there are just times when these games pull you in and don’t let go. If you want to take classes over the internet, but feel like you’ll spend more time playing games, you may want to reconsider your education options.

Can you think of any other distractions that might come between online students and the completion of their studies? Let us know in the comment space below.

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