These days, there isn’t just one way to get an education, says Virginia Tech’s Pamplin College of Business Dean Robert Sumichrast.
Popular program options for working professionals include MOOCs, coding bootcamps, technical certifications and master’s degrees. The question is which one to choose.
MOOCs — massive, open, online courses — let students audit courses online, at no charge, through well-known universities. Students may also participate in paid versions of the course, which add graded assignments, extra support and a certificate for successful completion.
Coding bootcamps vary widely in their duration, format and cost, but all have a similar goal: to help students ramp up quickly on coding skills, especially web and mobile development.
Technical certifications are credentials that show people have passed a test and, in some cases, worked in a given job for a set period of time. These can be inexpensive to attain, if the student is willing to do self-study. However, they’re of limited duration; when the technology is updated, the certification needs to be updated, too.
Then there’s the master’s degree:
- It’s only available through institutions that have gone through an accrediting process to prove the quality of their instructors and courses.
- In the leading schools, faculty have practical experience in the subject and bring cutting-edge information to their students.
- The program generally includes a community of alumni with deep connections and support.
The online Master of Information Technology, offered by Virginia Tech, adds an additional benefit: It has been jointly developed by faculty from both business and engineering, which means it can strike that sweet spot of “technical and soft skills” that employers truly value, notes Sumichrast. The combination, he says, “makes for a really well-rounded student coming out of the program.”
So how do you choose a program? (more…)
From the Mayor’s Office:
“The Mayor’s Office of Victim Services will join with community service providers, leading sexual assault prevention experts and law enforcement officials throughout the D.C. area, to launch a new, District-wide initiative to address sexual assault and dating violence through the use of technology.
For the first time, 33 life-saving assault response resources throughout the entire District have been united in an all-in-one tool for DC residents: the new Assault. Services. Knowledge. Washington, DC (ASK DC) mobile application and website. No other city or state has created a resource this comprehensive.
The new ASK DC app provides quick access to immediate medical help and law enforcement, 24-hour support hotlines and online chats, and District-specific community resources. As part of the ASK DC initiative, a series of trainings will be hosted throughout the city focusing on how to use the ASK DC app, bystander intervention strategies, and sexual assault response protocols. Training participants will include Capitol Hill staffers, law enforcement, other non-profits, local churches, deaf and hard-of-hearing, military families, and military personnel. (more…)