Engineering Technology Fields See Continued Job Growth

Technology has become a seamless part of our everyday lives, from the time we wake up until we go to bed. Both at work and at home, we use technology to some extent in completing the majority of personal and professional tasks – from downloading music and playing games to communicating with clients and personal banking.

In this fast-paced world, relevance is fleeting, and new product launches make existing technologies obsolete seemingly overnight. The constant evolution of the industry means new job opportunities will continue to rise for professionals with relevant skills. In fact, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that employment of computer software engineers is expected to increase by 32 percent from 2008 to 2018, much faster than the average for all occupations, particularly for those with bachelor’s degrees.

Balancing Higher Education as an Adult

(NewsUSA) – Parents and even grandparents are now doing homework alongside their children. According to the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), higher education enrollment of students age 25 and older rose 43 percent between 2000 and 2009. From 2010 to 2019, NCES projects a 23 percent rise in college enrollments of students age 25 and older.Many adults are striving to find the balance between work, family and education; others feel they are too overwhelmed by responsibilities to even consider pursuing a higher degree.However, options do exist. Online education is a great solution for working adults seeking an advanced degree. Online programs enable working adults to accommodate their busy schedules. However, despite the schedule flexibility that online learning offers, adult students still must prioritize their responsibilities and commitments in order to complete assignments on time."Parents aren’t the only ones who need to understand that going back to school is a time-consuming process — everyone in the family should understand the commitment as well," says Savitri Dixon-Saxon, Ph.D., LPC, NCC, associate dean of Walden University’s School of Counseling and Social Service. Walden University offers more than 60 online doctoral, master’s and bachelor’s degree programs.Here are five tips from Dr. Dixon-Saxon for achieving balance:* Choose a focus or specialization that you truly care about. The juggling act will be much more challenging for you if you don’t enjoy your field of study. Choose a focus area you are passionate about.* Set aside time for your studies. Set specific time frames for studying and completing assignments. This requires discipline and time management, but once you establish a routine, it can help keep you on track.* Find a place to do your studies. It’s easy to be distracted, so find a quiet place to study away from excessive noise and interruptions.* Ask for help. Make connections early on with classmates and faculty members to set up online study groups and start the term off right.* Renew your energy. Take time for yourself as part of your schedule. Spend time with your family and friends to recharge your batteries.For additional tips for a successful online learning experience, go to www.WaldenU.edu/studytips.

Is Going Back to School an Option?

School is never easy, but responsibilities like bills or a family can make the prospect of adding to the mix seem overwhelming. Despite these challenges, people from all different backgrounds are choosing to go back to school, seeing continued education as a way to improve their current job prospects or create future job security.

Many choose to go back to school to complete degree programs they never finished or to enter a new career. Some find that an advanced degree is needed in order to get to that “next” position. However, in a lot of cases, these individuals worry it may be too late to go back to school.

Should I Go Back to School?

Five words or less(NewsUSA) – School is never easy, but responsibilities like bills or a family can make the prospect of adding to the mix seem overwhelming. Despite these challenges, people from all different backgrounds are choosing to go back to school, seeing continued education as a way to improve their current job prospects or create future job security.
Many choose to go back to school to complete degree programs they never finished or to enter a new career. Some find that an advanced degree is needed in order to get to that “next” position. However, in a lot of cases, these individuals worry it may be too late to go back to school.
Annette R. Uncangco, MS, and regional director of career services at DeVry University, disagrees. “It is never too late to go back to school!”
“Many of our students are adult learners, who have come back to continue their education. Our Career Services department partners with our graduates in their career search and provides them with lifetime assistance throughout their career.”
Whatever your situation, going back to school is a big decision. Consider the following when making such a choice:

The Halls are Alive With the Sound of Music

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<p>(<a href=NewsUSA) – As students purchase No. 2 pencils and notebooks, parents and teachers might want to think about putting something else on back-to-school lists — musical instruments.

Numerous studies demonstrate that musical education benefits children both in and out of the classroom. One study from Columbia University found that students in the arts are more cooperative with teachers and peers, more self-confident and better able to express their ideas. Students in music programs show higher IQs than their peers, and art programs have been proven to boost critical-thinking and problem-solving skills.

A study by Patricia Shehan Campbell, Ph.D., of the University of Washington examined essays by 1,155 teenagers on school music programs. The essays revealed that music gives teens the freedom to be themselves, as well as a creative and emotional outlet.

With music programs being cut across the country, independent organizations are working hard to help students access musical educations. For example, NAMM, the 109-year-old trade association of the international music products industry, has launched the non-profit Wanna Play Fund (www.nammfoundation.org) to support programs and activities that strengthen music education in schools. Endorsed by Mike Huckabee, a bass player and former governor of Arkansas, the Wanna Play Fund uses donations to fund community-based music programs and provide musical instruments to schools.

Another NAMM-sponsored program, SchoolJam USA, encourages teenagers to form bands through a unique, all-teen battle-of-the-bands competition. Amateur bands with members aged 13-19 compete to win prizes and musical instruments for their band, funding for their school music programs and the chance to perform live at the SchoolJam USA Finals in Anaheim, Calif.

The 2010 winner, a band called After Math, won $5,000 for its schools’ music programs, a trophy in the shape of a platinum album and a grand-prize trip to Europe to perform at the international 2010 SchoolJam finals in Frankfurt, Germany. Kids can take this opportunity to form their own bands and get involved in the contest. Teen bands can sign up for the 2011 SchoolJam USA competition after August 2nd, 2010, at www.schooljamusa.com.

Engineers Bring Hope to Undeveloped Nations

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<p>(<a href=NewsUSA) – Humanitarian outreach to the victims of natural disasters and poverty oftentimes includes the work of medical professionals, missionaries and other volunteer organizations in an effort to bring emergency relief, aid and comfort. Now, engineers are responding to the growing need to serve in humanitarian roles, building emergency shelters and designing sustainable technology systems to provide assistance and hope in many areas of the developing world.

Humanitarian engineering has come to be defined as “design under constraints to directly improve the wellbeing of underserved populations.” It has roots dating back to the French Revolution, when a group of engineers at the Ecole Polytechnic debunked Napoleon’s military aims and sought instead to employ their technical skills to work for social justice.

More than 200 years later, engineers remain dedicated to helping those in need. Today’s

socially conscious engineers, particularly students, are working on the scene in underdeveloped communities around the world, to help create a new future for those at the bottom of the economic pyramid. For example, seven engineering students at Dartmouth College recently visited the village of Banda, Rwanda, to design and build a small-scale hydropower system to provide lighting for local residents. After the system was installed, the students trained the villagers on its operations and sustainable maintenance.

Recently, the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) created a Web-based open-source project hosted by Western Kentucky University, in which engineers and engineering students collaborated on the design of a human-powered water purifier for use in remote regions of the developing world and locations affected by natural disasters and other catastrophes.

ASME is a partner with the group Engineers Without Borders-USA, which operates more than 400 projects in water treatment, renewable energy and sanitation in about 45 developing countries worldwide. Academic institutions, such as Valparaiso University in Indiana and the Colorado School of Mines, are teaching the value of the engineers’ worth to society by establishing a humanitarian engineering minor within the core curriculum.

At ASME, a good mechanical engineer is many things, among them a public servant. Going forward, ASME will encourage engineers to use their skills and expertise to create lasting solutions to improve the quality of life of individuals and communities in need. For information about ASME, visit www.asme.org.

Find a New Career Without Giving Up Your Day Job

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<p>(<a href=NewsUSA) – Unhappy at work? Many Americans stay in careers that they consider ‘just bearable’ for fear of unemployment, but doing so compromises their well-being. Life is just too short to spend eight or more hours a day in misery, and work-related stress can reduce quality-of-life.

Today’s Americans can’t exactly bank on early retirement. Employment remains uncertain in the current economy, and many companies are cutting retirement benefits. Current employees will need to stay in the workforce longer than previous generations. The wrong career choice could mean decades of unhappiness and frustration.

And while the down economy might seem to limit options, it actually expands them — there has never been a better time to pursue your passions, further your education or look for employment in a new field.

Those who are unemployed may be able to take a break from the workforce, choosing to volunteer or travel as a means of self-discovery. Americans considering a career switch might want to “try out” a job or two. For example, someone considering a new career in teaching could substitute teach a few classes or become a volunteer educator at a children’s program.

Even those who continue to support themselves can find ways to set the foundation for a career change. Online courses, for example, allow full-time workers to learn on their own schedules, and without the expense or inconvenience of commuting to campus. One accredited online university, American Public University, offers 76 degree programs and 51 certificates, including programs in business, criminal justice, sports and information technology, as well as grants to reduce textbook prices.

Panteha Vaghedi is pursuing a Master of Science in Environmental Policy and Management at American Public University. “Accepting the responsibility of becoming a student — in addition to continuing as a business owner and full-time mother — is made easier in part because of the options APU offers.”

For more information, visit www.studyatapu.com.

In Tough Economy, Play Your Trump Card

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<p>(<a href=NewsUSA) – As America continues its economic slowdown, more people find themselves without jobs. Even employed Americans struggle as lower spending threatens small businesses.

But with additional training, some people have attained the skills not only to survive, but to thrive in today’s tough economy.

Knowing that an economic downturn would lead to lower housing prices, Kevin Andrews completed a real estate investment course offered by Trump University.

Andrews, who owns a business in Arizona, soon learned about a homeowner overwhelmed by medical bills and a high mortgage. Andrews bought the home for enough money for the original owner to pay his debts, avoid foreclosure and still profit. Andrews then sold the home for a 20 percent return.

Andrews said that homeowners should “be able to get out of a foreclosure and walk away from the sale with some money to pay off bills or have in their pocket.”

Other people further their education to improve on their current job performance. John Hancock, an Idaho-based financial advisor, took a course to help him learn how to invest in property. Hancock learned to research markets, evaluate properties, and contact and interview agents.

“When John came to us, he was already a savvy financial planner,” said Josef Katz, the Vice-President of Trump University. After his course, “John knew exactly what to look for when he went to Boise to investigate the commercial real estate market and was able to orchestrate a financially sound deal.”

Trump University is an online education company that teaches business skills. Its faculty, which includes both graduates from the best business programs and former Fortune 500 executives, teach programs in marketing, real estate and entrepreneurship.

Trump courses can help busy business people enhance their education on their own timetables. In a tough economy, when navigating the market requires special savvy, taking continuing-education coursework can mean limited expenses and large profits.

Said one Trump University graduate, “I have the confidence to succeed because I’ll be able to take advantage of my Trump University training and the support system they provide me.”

For more information about Trump University, visit www.trumpuniversity.com.

More U.S. Hospitals Offering Proton Beam Therapy

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<p>(<a href=NewsUSA) – Proton beam therapy is increasingly being used to treat various cancers – so much that new centers are being planned for Hampton University in Virginia and the University of Pennsylvania Medical Center in Philadelphia.

The new sites are expected to cost between $190 and $250 million and open over the next three years. Dr. James Slater of Loma Linda University Medical Center in Southern California, a pioneer of clinical proton therapy, foresees upwards of 100 proton centers in the U.S. in the coming decades.

Proton beam therapy is a type of radiation that can precisely target tumors while sparing surrounding tissue and causing fewer side effects than traditional radiation. Proton beams deliver a low dose of therapy as it enters the body and releases virtually all of its energy at the targeted tumor site.

Currently there are three other proton beam therapy centers operating in the U.S. They are located at Loma Linda University Medical Center, Indiana University in Bloomington and Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston. They collectively have the capacity to treat 5,000 patients annually.

The center at Loma Linda, which opened in 1990, is the world’s first hospital-based proton treatment facility.

Initially, many radiologists and oncologists questioned the therapy’s cost and effectiveness. However, by the late 1990s, many had begun to recognize its benefits as studies showed excellent outcomes and significantly reduced side effects.

And that’s when Massachusetts General Hospital, the teaching hospital for Harvard’s medical school, built the second U.S. hospital-based proton treatment facility. Indiana University’s Midwest Proton Radiotherapy Institute opened for clinical care next.

“Oncologists have long known that substituting proton radiation for X-rays now used to treat about half of all cancer patients would do less harm to normal tissues and organs and more damage to malignant growths,” said Dr. James Cox, chairman of

radiation oncology and medical director of the proton cancer center at M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, which is set to open in spring 2006.

Seven proton centers are either under construction or being planned nationwide, said Leonard Arzt, executive director of the National Association for Proton Therapy. By the summer of 2006, the University of Florida’s Proton Therapy Institute will begin treating patients on the Shands Medical Center campus in Jacksonville.

Loma Linda has performed more than 250,000 proton treatments on more than 10,000 patients for various types of cancers, including prostate, head and neck tumors, eye tumors, certain lung cancers and abdominal cancers.

“At first, we treated three or four types of tumors, now we treat 50 types,” said Dr. Jerry Slater, chairman of radiation medicine at Loma Linda, which plans a new scanning technology to treat breast and more complicated lung cancers.

For more information, visit www.proton-therapy.org or call (800) PROTONS.