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Three ways to reimagine degree programs to increase equity, access, and job readiness

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The pandemic has accelerated the digital transformation of higher education institutions.

Greater access to education could help reduce the disparities in educational attainment and increase employment opportunities that have been made worse by COVID-19.

Higher education institutions can use technology to make more degrees more accessible, design degree programs that are more hands-on and skill-based, and remove admissions barriers.

The pandemic has accelerated the digital transformation of higher education institutions worldwide. COVID-19 has contributed to the worsening of many young people’s employment prospects and pre-existing gender gap. In 2020, youth employment declined by 8.7%, more than twice that of adults 25-plus.

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However, expanding access to education can open up economic opportunities. Higher education increases employment rates, job security, and lifetime earnings.

Students need access to skill-first learning opportunities to prepare them for the modern workplace in this uncertain and uneven economic environment. Higher education is more important than ever, including delivery, admissions, and curriculum. This will enable socioeconomic mobility by equitable access.

Higher education institutions need to leverage technology to reimagine degree programs to increase equity and access while also equipping students with the skills necessary to find work.

Use technology to get affordable and accessible degrees

The way universities deliver higher education has been revolutionized by advances in technology, especially online learning. Coursera’s enrollments doubled in 2020 and will increase by 32% in 2021. Online degree programs are being expanded by universities to reach students worldwide and meet growing demand.

Online learning technology allows students to access the best universities around the globe. Higher education institutions can also benefit from this. IIT Roorkee is a top-ranked institute in India and offers an online Post Graduate Certificate (in Data Science and Machine Learning) to its students. Over half (55%) of the students in this program are from outside India. The students come from 14 countries, including Canada and the United Kingdom. Their students come from more than 25% of the United States.

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Universities can increase access by unbundling bachelor’s and master’s degrees to open online courses and stackable credentials. Universities can save money by using open content to attract students to online degrees at lower costs. Colombia’s Universidad de Los Andes has an online MSc in Software Engineering, which is 30% cheaper than the on-campus Master’s Degrees offered by Uniandes Engineering School.

Artificial intelligence (AI), a new avenue for universities, allows them to create programs on a large scale and reasonable price. Faculty and staff at the University of Michigan implemented auto graders to reduce time and improve lab management. Cloud infrastructure allowed the university also to minimize staff and DevOps expenses. AI technology can identify students who need one-on-one support to increase student outcomes.

For hands-on skill development, create job-relevant programs

Universities must adapt their programs to meet the demands of the rapidly changing labor market. Universities can use data-driven market research such as the World Economic Forum’s Future of Jobs report to identify the most in-demand degree programs based on job growth and align them with job outcomes.

Degree programs must provide students with the skills they need to succeed in the job market. More than 150 labs and assignments are available in the cloud at the University of Michigan’s Master of Applied Data Science. This includes more than 30-degree programs. Students can use a pre-configured Jupyter Notebook environment in-browser with real-world data sets, persistent storage, and high-computing capabilities.

To meet the demands of the global workforce, Queen Mary University of London recently launched an online Master of Science degree in Applied Data Analytics. The degree program prepares students to work in data science and data analytics roles. This is the top emerging job, according to the Forum. Students learn by doing real projects and building a portfolio.

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Coursera data shows hands-on projects. Programming assignments can lead to a 30% higher rate of skill development and better career outcomes.

Eliminating admission barriers can increase equity and improve equity

Higher education institutions are eliminating application requirements to encourage a diverse student body.

Three online graduate programs at the University of Colorado Boulder offer performance-based admissions. Students are admitted to the University of Colorado Boulder’s online graduate programs by completing a performance pathway, a series of three-credit courses with a minimum 3.0 cumulative grade-point average (GPA). There are no applications, transcripts, fees, or entrance exams.

The university’s first online Master of Science degree in Electrical Engineering student didn’t hold a bachelor’s degree. He instead used five years of experience in the tech industry at top companies like Apple and Intel to complete the program in just one year. The university has seen a 30% increase in the number of admitted students to this program over the past year.

The University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign’s Gies College of Business removed the standard test requirements for several online degree programs to better serve underrepresented groups. The Online Master’s of Accounting (MSA), for example, saw a threefold increase in applications after removing the Graduate Management Admission Test(GMAT) requirement. Business schools typically use this test to evaluate the reading, writing, and analytical skills. In 2021, Coursera saw 73% growth in students from underrepresented programs.

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Applications for the Gies College of Business’s iMSA degree showing spike after removing GMAT requirement.

Many universities have created degree pathways that use industry-educated content. To prepare for entry-level IT jobs, learners can complete the Google IT Support Professional Certificate in just six months. The certificate can be stacked into a full-time degree, often required for managerial roles. The Google IT program was taken by 34% of current students in the University of London Bachelor of Science Computer Science in the United Kingdom. Many students continue to work even though they are pursuing their degrees.

This approach is promising in reaching underrepresented groups as 58% of US participants in the Google IT program identified themselves as veterans, women, Black, or Latinx.

These programs create highly qualified graduates who can work remotely and provide a diverse talent pool for global companies.

The global workforce faces unprecedented challenges due to rapid digital transformation and the COVID-19 crises. Higher education institutions can rethink the delivery of online degrees to ensure equal access for all people worldwide to affordable, work-relevant, and skills-first degrees.

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Apple Plans To Double Its Digital Advertising Business Workforce.

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The move raises industry concerns following the launch of privacy guidelines which make it impossible to create ads that are tailored to iPhone users

Apple plans to more than double its workforce within its rapidly growing digital advertising business in less than 18 months after it enacted radical privacy rules that crippled its larger competitors in the lucrative business.

The iPhone maker has about 250 employees per LinkedIn advertising platforms team. On the Apple careers website, it’s looking to fill additional 216 positions, which is quadruple the 56 positions that it had hired in the latter half of 2020. Apple denied the claims. However, it declined to provide any further details.

The digital advertising industry has been apprehensive over Apple’s plans for advertising since the company introduced privacy regulations this year, which have shaken up the market for digital ads worth $400 billion and made it more challenging to customize ads for Apple’s one billion+ iusers Phone .

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Since the new policy was implemented, Facebook parent Meta, Snap and Twitter have lost billions of dollars in revenue and a significant amount in market valuations, even though other contributory factors exist.

“It was almost like a global panic,” Jade Arenstein, global service director at Incubate, a South African-based marketing performance firm, was quoted as saying about the impact of Apple’s recent changes.

The once-flourishing advertising business is “incredibly fast-growing”, according to an ad for jobs. The business has grown from a mere few hundred million dollars in revenue in the last quarter of 2010 to an estimated $5bn in the current year, according to research firm Evercore ISI, which expects Apple to be able to grow its $30 billion advertising revenue within four years.

Compared with Google and Facebook and their 2021 revenue from advertising was $115bn and $209bn. For instance, Apple’s business in advertising is small. The digital advertising industry is worried that it will increase due to establishing rules that critics and rivals believe provide it with an advantage.

“Building new ad systems to effectively compete with incumbents with tens of thousands of employees and 10 to 20 years of maturity would normally be an impossible task,” said Alex Austin, chief executive of the ad tech group Branch. “Unless,” he added, “you were somehow able to disadvantage those competitors on your platform.”

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Apple has been for a long time the most prominent Big Tech outlier for not taking part in “surveillance capitalism” — the practice of offering customers free services but making money on their data through targeting ads on them.

“We could make a tonne of money if we monetized our customers — if our customers were our product,” chief executive Tim Cook said in 2018. “We’ve elected not to do that.”

However, with Apple having twice the number of developers who can purchase ads on the App Store over the last two years and preparing plans to expand, the critics are seeing Cook taking a significant turn.

David Steinberg, chief executive of Zeta Global, a marketing technology firm, said Apple had been “Machiavellian” and “brilliant” in implementing privacy regulations that required rivals to revamp their advertising infrastructure while creating an opening to fill the gap.

“They could build out (their advertising business) dramatically (and) the ‘air cover’ is they are protecting the consumer’s privacy,” said the researcher. Added.

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Apple did not comment on its long-term plans. The job advertisements tell prospective employees that the company’s goals are nothing more than “redefining advertising” for a “privacy-centric” world.

The 216 positions Apple wants to fill are managers and designers of products, in addition to data engineers and sales experts.

An advertisement for an engineer, released on August 24, is a reference to “Apple’s most confidential and strategic plans” and explains how the company plans to “build the most secure technology-driven, technologically sophisticated . . . Supply (Marketplace) Platform and Demand Side Platform”.

These are the core aspects of an ad tech company that allows advertisers to purchase and sell ads across multiple exchanges, possibly advertising in mobile applications downloaded through the App Store. Apple may be able to consider apps for mobile “first-party” data because all activities take place on the iPhone, which is in line with its privacy regulations which ban third-party apps’ contentful monitoring of users.

The positions are predominantly located in the US. However, there are at least 27 roles in Europe and 12 in China and 12 in India and four located in Japan, as well as two positions in Singapore.

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“That’s a giant team — that’s bigger than most small companies,” Arenstein said. Arenstein. “Wherever there is smoke, there is fire, and that’s some smoke.”

Apple has never been averse to advertising by itself. Its CEO Steve Jobs even tried to create an in-app advertising business in 2010, so that iPhone apps would remain completely free. Cook is against how personal information is purchased and traded by opaque third parties without iPhone users’ consent.

Yet, Apple set the rules regarding how advertisements should function and later expanding into this very subject is seen by many as unsatisfactory.

At the moment, it’s more secure — in terms of the economy of surveillance using an Apple phone over one that is a Google phone, as Google has designed its products to support surveillance, while Apple isn’t, in its essence, an advertising firm,” said Claire Atkin co-founder at Check My Ads, a surveillance agency. “But if Apple suddenly delves into that realm, they won’t have a that competitive advantage.”

Apple might be putting its image at risk if regulators and consumers oppose its privacy claims which have been a significant part of the recent iPhone campaigns. If the argument prevails, Apple would have an unobstructed runway.

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Margo Kahnrose, Chief Marketing Officer at Skai, an omnichannel advertising platform, has said that she believes it “makes absolute logical sense” for Apple to develop its advertising network, following the lead of Google, Facebook and Amazon.

Adtech’s power has, she explained, for a long time been flowing from the decentralized “open web” to “walled gardens” run by one company that can control how ads are purchased and served, as well as how they are measured and tracked.

“The world has been unnerved by Apple’s ambitions for a long time,” she said. “There are a few companies that have vast quantities of power, and Apple is the one that is sleeping.

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Six Ways To Maintain A Growth Mindset While Running A Business.

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To be successful as an entrepreneur, starting your business with the appropriate mentality is essential. A growth-oriented mindset implies always striving to improve the product or service you offer or the ability to communicate with people in your industry. Many companies start as small, but they expand in time to become massive businesses that impact people’s lives in the millions. However, this kind of growth isn’t a quick process – it requires a lot of time and effort, and it’s all with constant improvement.

Six Ways to Maintain a Growth Mindset While Running a Business.

1.) Change your outlook

If you’re in the business of managing, it’s easy to become caught up in the day-to-day and forget about the bigger perspective. However, if you’d like your business to flourish, keeping an attitude of growth is essential. Being able to open your mind to be fully engaged in the things you believe are the best for you is crucial.

2) Are you in your comfort zone?

One of the difficulties of managing a business is it’s easy to get into a routine. Once you’ve discovered a method that works, it might be tempting to stick to it. However, staying with the same formula with different outcomes isn’t intelligent. If you’re looking for your business to expand, make sure you alter things with slight adjustments to ensure that your business feels fresh and exciting.

3.) Be prepared to take the risk

Nobody said creating and running a company was easy, regardless of whether you’re putting together an exercise calendar or an entirely new line of clothing. It’s one of the most challenging tasks you’ll ever have to do. If you want to succeed, you must have a mindset of improvement. Create a staff around you. Find people who can assist your company in its growth. It’s not necessary to shoulder all the responsibility for your company. After all. Make sure you take sensible risks. There is undoubtedly a danger involved in taking risks, but when you take calculated risks, you reap a calculated reward. The most successful entrepreneurs realize that sometimes it takes a long time to bring an idea to fruition. Therefore, they remain in the game and push forward.

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4.) Connect with others who are adamant about your abilities

One of the most effective methods to keep a positive mental attitude is to surround yourself with people who are confident in your abilities. If you’re always around optimistic people who believe in your ambitions, It’s easier to stay inspired and push ahead.

5) Discuss your concerns

If you’re in charge of an enterprise, it’s simple to become distracted by the day-to-day and forget about the bigger overall picture. It’s possible to worry about how to make ends meet and meet deadlines or having to deal with demanding customers. Discussing these concerns with the rest of your entrepreneurial friends and colleagues is essential to ensure that things stay on the right track.

6) Be focused on progress, not perfect

When you’re an entrepreneur is effortless to be caught in the pursuit of perfection. You’d like your service or product to look flawless before launching it, but the reality is that it’s impossible to be perfect. It is essential to keep in mind that the pace of progress will always be better than perfect. Start by taking it one day at a. The advantage of keeping a single day in mind at a time is that even should things not go as scheduled. It doesn’t matter since tomorrow is another day to start from scratch. Create workable goals. After creating some feasible goals, please keep track of them and assess how they performed based on outcomes rather than the amount of time and effort poured into them.

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What Is Good Debt and Bad Debt for a Small Business?

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There are two kinds of loans for small companies. Find out which one is best and which one is not.

For many people, the term “debt” has negative connotations. However, when setting up a small-sized company, it is not necessary to stay clear of debt completely. There’s “good debt” that is essential for growth when you start an enterprise, but there’s “bad” debt that could cause long-term harm to your financial situation.

The difference between good and bad debt and how to manage your company’s finances to keep them in check.

Good debt in contrast to. Credit card debt What’s the distinction?

Lyle Solomon, principal attorney for Oak View Law Group, states, “good debt returns money to your pocket, but bad debt takes money from your pocket.”

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“Debt that increases your future net worth is considered good debt, and debt that reduces your future net value is referred to as bad debt,” Solomon added.

Good debt

Kenneth Hearn, fund manager and director of research for Swiss One Capital AG, describes good small-sized business loans as the money borrowed to finance things that contribute to the development and growth of their company.

“This could be for anything from paying for improvements to meet new safety regulations or expanding your human resources team,” the man explained. “A general rule of ‘good debt’ is debt that is low-interest, or will increase the overall net worth of your business.”

Paying off your debts shows you have a good payment history, which your credit rating can show. The more debt types you can manage responsibly and pay off, the more favourable. This means that more lenders will permit you to get in the future.

Bad debt

When a lender takes out money to purchase an item that doesn’t increase in value or produce revenue, it is often regarded as bad credit. Any loan or borrowed funds that could lower the value of your company’s net future must be avoided. The signs of bad debt are the high-interest cost, fees, and strict loan repayment conditions.

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Examples of lousy credit include cash advances and payday loans, usually called “predatory loans.”

“These loans . Target people with bad credit or low income with few options to consider,” Solomon added. Solomon. “[They often] come with exorbitant interest rates and unethical terms.”

Things to think about when making a “good debt an investment

If you are considering getting a loan, entrepreneurs in small businesses should consider the type of debt they’ll be taking on. If the lender takes out a loan for an asset that isn’t going to depreciate, for example, real estate, education, or their own company, on favourable terms, it’s considered to be a good debt.

“Healthy debt entails borrowing money for investing in items that do not depreciate over time,” Solomon explained. Solomon. “Keep the above in mind when you borrow money to run your business. Use the funds to minimize the chance of a catastrophe or loss.”

One approach small business owners may employ when borrowing money is to commit to the lowest rate of interest possible.

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“Your interest payments are tax-deductible,” Hearn said. Hearn. “These tax deductions could help you get over the red line and into the realm of profitability. If you manage your cards correctly, interest rates can benefit you rather than against you.”

Strategies to get out of credit

If a small-sized business owner is trying to escape the burden of bad debt, There are options to overcome the situation. First, examine the company’s budget and financial statements.

“Financial management software has come a long way over the past couple of decades, and having proper procedures for data entry and its use from the start of your business is crucial to managing good or bad debt,” Hearn said. Hearn.

For business owners who are in “bad debt,” Solomon advised consolidating debts to one loan.

“Debt consolidation is an intelligent debt management approach to ensure you’re paying the lowest rates and on the most optimal or flexible terms available,” said the expert to CO–. “Such a move would benefit your business, as you can avoid worries regarding payments.”

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Companies must ensure they have the funds to repay this consolidating loan, or it could negatively affect their business credit and financial situation. However, if used properly in the right way, consolidating or restructuring multiple debts is an innovative method of managing the finances of small businesses.

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