Wednesday, July 24, 2013

How to Get an Online IT Degree

Where are the women in technology?

Technology continues to grow, continues to provide, and continues to innovate the world around in so many ways, you couldn't begin to list them all. Even now, kids are learning the beginning aspects of creating and even selling their product and software ideas and getting the jump on the rest of us adults still trying to wrap their heads around how a tablet works.

And leading the charge Mostly.

Why is that?

Is it because women don't like technology? The social media platforms would disagree, as large number of women use Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google+, and more on a daily basis. Is that we don't understand technology? That doesn't seem to be the case when speaking of Ada Lovelace, Jean Bartik, or Adm. Grace Hopper - you know, three of the most pioneering women in technology. Not to mention Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer, Wikimedia Foundation executive director Sue Gardner, or Virginia Rometty, the president and CEO of IBM.

Tech is still a boy's club, but it's been increasing becoming an open field, especially for woman and with several men backing us up in the endeavor. So, if you're interested in learning about tech and getting a degree, where do you go?

Let's just talk to those potential college students, who might also be professional, working moms. So you want to learn about networking technology by getting an online IT degree; maybe you think you could organize your work environment's infrastructure or maybe you want to understand how one virus on one computer could morph onto the others. Maybe you're just curious about all this fuss over wires and wireless and mobile technologies; either way, you're opening a door to a grand history and a life changing course.

Going Back to School

Maybe you already have a degree in something else or perhaps you started college way, way, way back in the day and never finished for whatever reason. College isn't just for graduated high school students - more and more professional adults are returning to school for whatever reason, making the classroom more diverse with people of all ages. This is the same with online schooling as well, mixing ages, background, and countries to bring about more communication and understanding.

Online schooling offers a flexibility that brick and mortar schools don't - for one, there's no conflict when it comes to trying to attend class and work a full time job. Because you can take classes from anywhere, you can schedule class time when you feel like it - maybe your mornings are the perfect time to watch one or more video lectures; maybe after the kids heads to bed is the best time for you.

Maybe the weekend, when everyone is doing their own thing is the greatest; whenever and wherever, you have access to class, as long as you have an Internet connection.

Your Own Pace

Another great thing is the ability to set your own pace. Many online courses have video lectures, which can be watched over and over, making sure you understand the concepts of the module. Some classes can be skipped - maybe you already know how to set up a home network or how to connect wirelessly; skip that section and go on.

Will a Business Take an Online IT Degree?

This is probably the number one consideration on whether to get a degree online or go to the more traditional school. The funny thing is, while the rest of the world has combined the two, the business world is very much stuck in the 'you need to be surrounded with people in order to be social'.

Luckily, many universities and colleges see this and have opened their own online courses, which can either be taken independently or combined with classes on campus. Your degree will still come from a major institution and businesses won't know that you primarily were online.

One Big Leap for Women

Maybe you aren't considering an IT degree because you want to start your own tech company, but the fact that you're considering and will eventually have a shiny tech degree is nothing to laugh at. You'll be entering a field that's trying to grow, as well as opening the doors for others. One of the hardships with getting women in IT is that, there's very few of them to teach girls that being in IT doesn't mean you live in your mother's basement or you can spout PI to the nearest hundredth.

If your daughter or niece or their friends see you studying and understanding how the wires in the computer or laptop work, they'll be impressed. More impressive is when your daughter shows up her male classmates or teachers with her knowledge; that's a big confidence boost and may make her think maybe there's something to this technology thing after all.

Monday, July 22, 2013

The Real Cost of Returning to School

School has always been expensive but in current times the cost of college tuition seems to go up substantially year on year.  In fact in the past 10 years the cost of studying a professional program has increased by 60%!  Add to this the fact that there are no guarantees there will be a job at the end of all your hard work and you are left with a big question. 

Does it make financial sense to go back to School?

Luckily there are a few key questions that you can consider which will help you in making this important decision.

Why do you want to go back to school?

It is important to remember that money is not necessarily your only or indeed driving reason for returning to school. 

Make a list of all the reasons you would like to return…maybe you feel bored within your current profession and are looking for a more fulfilling profession...maybe you have grown and developed new skills within your current job and are now at a point where you are ready to take the next step but you need a professional qualification…or maybe you are just simply looking to earn more. 

Whatever the reason having a clearer understanding of why you want to return to school can help you make the final decision if returning to school is right for you.

How much debt are you willing to get into?

This is all about return on your investment.  You will need to consider:

·         What will you be studying?  Remember that the return on your investment will be different depending on what you study – some professions like engineering are likely to give you a higher return on your investment than nursing.

·         How much will the program of study cost?

·         What are the hidden costs?  Don’t forget to detail costs such as living expenses; travel; interest on loans.  And remember while you are at school you may not be able to contribute to your retirement fund or and savings funds you might have set up.

·         How many years will you be studying?  In simple terms the longer you study the less time you are able to earn.  You can cut costs by choosing a shorter program or studying part-time.

·         What is your salary going to be?  Do your research.  A rule of thumb used by many is to never take on more debt than the basic starting salary you expect to earn.

·         What are the job prospects? You want to get a job at the end of all this so do some research into current trends.

Once you have answers to the questions above you will be in a better position to know whether your increased earning potential at the end of study will balance out the cost.

It is very important to consider how much debt you are willing to get into and how long you want to be paying it back.  You don’t want to start studying only to find the financial burden is too great, be forced to drop out, and be left with no qualification and a lot of debt.

Are there ways you can cut the cost?

It is worth researching potential ways to reduce the cost.

Perhaps you could choose a shorter program of study cutting your time studying from 2 to 1 year?  Or maybe there is an option to study part time which will allow you to continue to earn some money? 

It is also worth looking into scholarships and discounts for alumni.

Ask a lot of questions to see if there is an option that could save you money and reduce your debt.

Good luck!

Dawn Antestenis currently works for Fresh Start Women's Foundation managing their websites and social media. Dawn has a Masters in English Literature and qualifications in Multimedia Technology and Non-Profit Management with experience working for non-profits for over 10 years.

Friday, July 19, 2013

Women Are A Power To Be Reckoned With

This excellent article is reposted from

Women are a power and we’re not just a “niche market. ” If you think so, let me give you some strong statistics that will prove you wrong. The past CEO of Avon, Andrea Jung said, “The biggest emerging market in the world isn’t a country. It’s women.”

Woman bathed in money
  • American women spend about $5 trillion annually
  • Women control over 60% of personal wealth in the U.S.
  • 68% of women are the on-line spenders
  • Women make 80% of the buying decisions
  • 70% of new businesses are started by women
  • Women 50 + are the wealthiest, healthiest and most active generation of women in history
I don’t think sales, marketing or advertising companies always understand us. Here are some suggestions to help them out:

Women’s issues

As a woman in my 60’s I want quality clothes that are stylish and current. I don’t choose to look like a teenager again. Designers wake up.

Don’t brush us off or get impatient with us. If you do, we’ll take our business elsewhere. We ask questions to make the best decisions. Don’t assume the man has the money. When I went car shopping a few years ago, the salesman focused on my husband, not me. The guy lost the sale because he ignored me—the one with the checkbook.

Stop targeting the young consumers. They aren’t the ones with the money. We are. Focus on us older women individually—not as a couple. I am my own person and make my own decisions.

There are only a handful of magazines that reflect the interests of the woman 50 and older. The fashion magazines show young, stick-thin models wearing attire I wouldn’t consider wearing to a Halloween party. We’re non-existent to them. Remember, we’re the ones with the money. Youth sells, as long as the anti-aging myth is perpetuated. It’s a lie that we’ll be young forever but many want to believe it.

I want to watch television programs and movies that are thought-provoking and interesting. I am tired of all the violence and stupidity. These days the programming for TV and movies is geared toward the younger minds. I feel most comedies are inane and their humor infantile, directed at the 18 to 34 year old male demographic.

Women are big sports fans across the board. When watching sports why would every ad for a truck, a beer brand or a sexual enhancement drug be of interest to us? Forty-five percent of us are buying light trucks and SUV’s.

Women are high-powered purchasers

Don’t think of all of us women as moms or the “little lady” of the house—we’re high powered purchasers and need to be listened to. We’re the decision makers on everything from autos to healthcare. As women, we are the guides for our families. We influence what food is eaten, what car to drive, where we live, how our homes are furnished, where we go on vacations and more.
Sure, we’re known as shoppers. But now we’re making big purchases that, in the past, were made by men. It is estimated that over the next decade, women will control two thirds of the wealth in the United States.

Women do it all

Life has changed for women in the past fifty years. We juggle managing our families, running businesses and making the time to volunteer in our communities. We’re concerned about the environment, wellness, healthcare, values, giving back, a stable future for our children and our parents. Pay attention to those needs.

Ask us–rather than assuming you know what we want. Women make decisions differently than men. We’re open to trying new products and services, although we need information before we buy. We take our time. We look for the details that work for us. We’re looking for value, quality and good customer service. When you take good care of us, we’re loyal customers. Yes, some of us like the color pink—but that doesn’t mean you have to make it in pink.

Never underestimate the power of women

Don’t underestimate us 50 and beyond women. We’re not like our younger counterparts. We don’t act like them and we don’t want to look like them. We’re changing and so are our interests and needs. We look and act younger than our mothers ever did, and we choose a lifestyle that reflects who we are now. We want to enjoy life, be secure, have adventures and look good. I say Amen to that. Or should I say A-women?

About Isadora

My intention with this blog is to create a conscious awareness of what is going on with women on the planet. Hopefully my writings will educate you, move you emotionally, amuse you and open your hearts and minds to perhaps a different perspective. When we know better, we do better. I welcome your comments and suggestions.  For more information visit

Thursday, July 18, 2013

The Secrets to True Success

Hiking the mountain range behind my home is where I often receive my most inspired ideas.
The other morning, a phrase bolted into my head in a very dramatic fashion just as I reached the
apex of my climb. Standing there, scanning the horizon, satisfied with my morning’s
accomplishment, clear as day in my mind I heard:

Look Good, Feel Good, Do Good.

When the phrase popped into my mind, it was clear to me that it was more than a phrase, but a
motto, a rally cry and the path for all women. That’s it, I thought this is what women want! We want to better ourselves, access our potential, be successful and become more and more of the woman we sense we can be. We want to Look Good, Feel Good and Do Good!

As a coach, speaker and teacher, I’m always asking myself how can I communicate everything I
know, have witnessed or experienced in such a way that it helps women find their path to
success and ultimately their true self. This phrase seemed to bring my message through in
such a clear and succinct way as I started to make my way down the mountain, feeling great
about my new discovery.

Each step I took allowed me to grasp more of the essence of what Look Good, Feel Good, Do
Good really means for women. I sensed it was more than just the obvious yes
of course, we have all said, I just want to look good or why can’t I feel better? But, by truly embracing it as a motto, and going deeper, we open ourselves up to new possibilities of our own power, potential and true success.

I started to remember that years ago as I was going through my own personal transformation evolving
into more and more of myself people who hadn’t seen me for a long time would always
ask me if I had lost weight. Now, what girl doesn’t want to hear that?!  It was the first thing they would say upon seeing me and when I would say I hadn’t, they would give me this confused look. Sometimes, they would even argue with me, convinced I just wasn’t admitting it! At that time, I hadn’t actually lost any weight, but because of the inner transformation that took place, I appeared completely different on the outside.

Looking good is more than the surface it’s about the energy and essence we are
showing the world. It’s our glow, our radiance and our presence. That’s real beauty that’s
the essence of looking good. Ever meet a woman who is stunning but not a perfect size 6? She has a quality and presence about her that is more than just her size. Ok so how do you get inner radiance you might be asking?

The first tip I have for you is to bump up your self care. Most women leave self care to the bottom of the list and it only happens if they have time. Try moving one or two things to the top of your list. Whether you’re relaxing with lotions and potions, diving into a juicy book, meditating or exercising, all of these things bring a sense of value and appreciation to your being.

Remember hearing all of those financial gurus say that if you want to build wealth, you have to
start by paying yourself first? They would encourage you with every paycheck to automatically
put some into savings. It’s kind the same idea when it comes to self care. The time that you put
into self care, becomes an investment in yourself. And when we invest in ourselves, we radiate
and when we radiate, we’re happier.

So the first way to create true success is to Look Good by cultivating your inner radiance.

By now, I’m about halfway home and I’m really starting to love this idea of Look Good, Feel
Good, Do Good. It seems that the more I ponder it, the bigger it gets. I start to realize that for so
many women, looking good has been a way to try to feel good. Makes sense. We have all been
bombarded with ads and images of good looking people and they never seem unhappy or
depressed! The two are so interrelated and especially for us women, we cannot have one
without the other.

Just as there are a million products promising that you’ll look good if you use them, there are just
as many promising that you’ll feel good. Antidepressants are actually the most often prescribed
medication in this country so clearly there are a lot of people wanting to feel better.

In working with different women, I’ve discovered some common patterns around feeling good.
Most women feel happiest when they are honoring themselves. When we are not trying
to be perfect, or unemotional or everything to everyone, but when we allow ourselves to
simply be real. Which includes embracing all the different parts of ourselves even the ones
we think are wrong, unpleasant or unattractive.

Is there a part of you that you would be willing to embrace today? Can you be more accepting of
your emotions? Can you allow yourself to ask for help? Can you take some time to just be and
not do? These type of shifts create space for us to be more and more authentic which always
leads to a greater sense of peace and happiness.

So honoring yourself leads to Feeling Good which becomes the second way to create
true success.

When women look and feel good from the inside out, a desire emerges to give back in some
way. Whether that’s in her own family, in her career or as a volunteer, when women are at our
best, they are natural givers and want to help others be their best too. So its only natural
that doing good becomes the next stage in true happiness. By now I’m running down the
mountain, excited to get home and allow my ideas to tumble onto the paper!

What I love about the concept of doing good is that there are infinite possibilities. We can go big
or small, regular or once there are numerous ways to do good in the world. From a warm
hello, to doing something for a friend or family member or starting a new project or community we
are only limited by our imagination.

For some women, they would like to contribute, but often think they don’t have the time, energy
or resources. If this is true for you, I would encourage you to look at what you have in abundance and begin to give a bit of that back. Maybe you have some extra time to help someone out or have a few extra dollars to donate or can use your energy to send positivity to someone in need. In this way, you are sharing your abundance to create even more.

Or you might start by exploring what you think is missing in your world. Remember the famous
quote by Ghandi of “Be the change you wish to see in the world”? Notice where you want to see
changes. Ask yourself: How I be a catalyst for the very thing that I desire or want more of? Who
do I feel most called to help out? How can I bring a lasting contribution to the world? Your
answers will guide you to a place where you can do good, and in the process, create a sense of
purpose.The third and final way to create true success is to Do Good in the world.

By Looking Good, Feeling Good & Doing Good, women guide themselves into a profound
experience of true success.

Gabrielle Marie Loomis is a Coach, Speaker & Educator who awakens women to their true power and purpose. Her belief in the power of a woman’s spirit along with her own personal journey of radical transformation has empowered hundreds of women to awaken their true potential and step into their brilliance. Gabrielle offers life changing programs at

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

What are your strengths?

Every human being has strengths and weak points. Strengths are those that stand out in front of other people, being related to our differential. Areas for improvement are the ones we have not yet dominated, either through lack of technical knowledge or lack of affinity with the area. Both our strengths and weaknesses are extremely important for our career and personal development.
The fact that we can improve on our strengths and overcome our weaknesses, is essential for us to know. It is a constant exercise of self-awareness and reflection on our life history, including: beliefs, values, skills, knowledge and attitudes faced in everyday life.

Consider events in your life, where you've faced challenging situations. What was your reaction at that moment? was it a difficult situation for you to handle or did you deal with it with vigor and agility? Think about different events and how you handled them, and if possible make a list.

Next analyze your desires and career aspirations. List the professions that you admire, the one that awaken in you passion or motivation. Meditate on these points and take note of them.

Now compare the two lists you made: the first about your strengths and weaknesses, and the second about the professions that you most admire. At this point, begin to connect the professions you've chosen to your strengths. In your current occupation do you get the opportunity to use your strengths?. If not, it's time to rethink your career.

The next step is  feedback from friends and family. Ask them what are your most striking features, how do you stand out and what attitudes would be an improvement?

After analyzing these points, it is time to seek professional help. Start at your workplace, asking for feedback from your team and  your manager .  Ask them what are the areas in your job that you show strength, and what skills you still need to improve. The Human Resources department of your company can also offer to you good tips on your job performance.

After learning about your strengths and weaknesses, it is time to reflect on them:  are you willing to overcome your weaknesses? Are you willing to work on professional improvements to further improve your strengths?

Developing self-awareness, reflecting on your career and personal development is an excellent exercise in your personal development, that will surely make a difference in your life and in the lives of everyone around you. Worth it!

Daniela Silva is married, Brazilian, and currently resides in Sao Paulo, where she works in her home office with research and projects in education and the third sector.  Graduated in Pedagogy, she has qualifications in: Pedagogy and school management business, and an MBA in Managing People.