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Category Archives: education

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How International Students Can Celebrate Thanksgiving

1. If an American friend invites you, accept the invitation

Thanksgiving is about, well, being thankful for what you have.  This includes being thankful for new friendships.  An American friend invites you?  Accept.  It’s an invitation to be a part of the family, to share the tradition, to take a break from school, and maybe even to participate in the day after Thanksgiving—Black Friday—the day that many retail shops offer sales and discounts in preparation for December’s holidays.  How’d “Black Friday” get its name?  It’s the day that many retailers’ ledgers assure that they will end their fiscal year “in the black,” or showing a profit for the year.

2. Consider on-campus opportunities

Feel like staying on-campus during the Thanksgiving break?  Look for campus traditions at your school.  Some schools offer their own Thanksgiving celebrations for any students and faculty who opt to stay on campus, or who may not have options to travel.  Kansas’s Hesston College hosts an annual Thanksgiving weekend, with a dinner and a bevy of other activities, including art exhibits, concerts, talent shows, basketball tournaments, a benefit fun run, and other special events. At Ohio State University, any students, faculty, and staff who are not planning to head home are invited to attend an annual Thanksgiving feast—this year, the University expects over 1,600 attendees.  At Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, PA, students and faculty spend the entire month of November learning about spirituality.  Several faculty at the University host international students at their homes on Thanksgiving Day—as an expression of gratitude for sharing their learning.

3. Attend a parade

What’s Thanksgiving without a parade?  The most famous, of course, is the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York City, with over 3 million in-person spectators and upwards of 40 million television viewers.  Several major cities besides New York also hold parades where you can enjoy the holiday spirit of gratitude.  Check out the Dunkin’ Donuts Thanksgiving Day Parade in the City of Brotherly Love, Philadelphia.  Motor City has another option—check out America’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in Detroit, Michigan for floats, bands, music, and a glimpse at the history of the US auto industry.  Also in the Midwest is Chicago’s McDonald’s Thanksgiving Parade, which began in the 1930’s in an effort to raise the spirits of Depression-era residents.  Charlotte, North Carolina, Houston, Texas, and Seattle, Washington offer additional possibilities for big parades.  If you don’t live near a city, don’t fret!  Check your local paper for smaller, regional events.  Watching a parade also gives you a chance either to travel to a new place, or to learn something new and interesting about your university town.

4. Take a break

Not interested in all of the hullabaloo?  Not feeling the need for turkey, Black Friday, parades, or big get-togethers?  Relax.  Enjoy the quiet.  Go for a walk.  Read that book you’ve been wanting to read.  Do some sightseeing—explore the city or town where you’ve decided to study.  If you really feel like it, get caught up—or work ahead—in one of your classes.  Take some time for yourself and recharge.

Why Study Business Analytics?

What is Business Analytics?

Professor Vincent Nijs, co-director with Professor Terrence August of the Master of Science in Business Analytics program at the Rady School of Management at UC San Diego, describes the field this way, “I think of business analytics as the field focused on how to use data and models to make better business decisions.  Data Science uses many similar tools (e.g. machine learning) but the set of questions they seek to answer are often different.  You can think of business analytics as ‘data science for business.’”

The Amount of Data That Companies Collect Gets Bigger and Bigger…

Just how big is big data?  Really big, and getting bigger all the time.  The EMC Digital Universe Study predicts that by the year 2020, 1.7 megabytes of new data will be created every second for every human on the planet.  What does that mean?  There will be 44 trillion gigabytes (44 zettabytes) of data in the digital universe.  Where does the data come from?  Just about everywhere—1.2 trillion searches per year on Google alone, over 1 billion people using Facebook every day, trillions of photos taken, and billions shared.  By 2020, there will be over 6.1 billion smartphone users, and at least 1/3 of all data will be transmitted through the cloud. We haven’t even talked about online banking, business, movies, television, music, and games.

…But Businesses Don’t Always Know How to Use the Data

The Rady School‘s Professor Nijs states, “Companies are collecting more and more data but often lack the people to use it effectively.” He referenced a quote from a well-known report by the McKinsey Global Institute (2013): “Big data promises big things—but only if organizations have the right people in place who know what to do with it. A recurring theme among senior leadership across all sectors is a shortage of professionals trained and experienced at the intersection of disciplines necessary to capture, analyze, and generate meaningful business insights from big data. In addition to deep analytics talent, organizations need management with the right balance of business judgment and statistical skills to translate analysis into action.”

A Company’s Future Relies on Its Business Analytics

The need for effective, efficient business analytics is stronger than ever.  Businesses need to know what they want to learn from business analytics—and then how they’re going to use that data to inform their decisions across the board.

Businesses need to be able to determine what data they need and then identify the data sources for gleaning that information.  The final piece?  Distilling that information into actionable insights using the tools of business analytics. Once businesses have a plan for capturing the desired data, organizing it, and analyzing it, they are in a position to develop plans to stay competitive.

Business Analytics Has Excellent Job Prospects…

According to a McKinsey Global Report, the US alone has a shortage of about 190,000 data scientists and 1.5 million business analysts.  Globally and in the US, companies need experts in business analytics.  High demand means higher salaries, and a variety of options.  Graduates in Business Analytics work at large companies, start their own businesses, work in banks or FinTech, web-based businesses, retail and food companies, media companies, and marketing companies.

…Especially When You Study at a Forward-Thinking School Like Rady

The Rady School’s  new Master of Science in Business Analytics (MSBA) puts students at the forefront of the field. The program focuses on the problems big data poses to businesses—and how to solve them using models, statistics, and machine learning – in classes such as customer analytics, business intelligence, and supply chain analytics.  The school’s bottom line?  To graduate students who know how to use analytics to make a positive impact on business performance—and sustain it.

Professor Nijs says that “After graduation, our students should expect to work extensively with data, use statistics and machine learning, write code, and develop tools to enhance business decision-making.  After gaining some experience, we expect them to be well-suited to lead an analytics team.”

First steps for prospective students?  Those interested in studying in this program should have an undergraduate degree in a “quantitative discipline,” says Nijs, like “mathematics, statistics, economics, or physics.”  They should also have some programming experience.

As data continues to get bigger, the global business world will rely more heavily on business analytics to succeed.  Want to make a difference in the business world?  Earn your MSBA in the field that businesses will indisputably need for success and sustainability.

The World’s Most Powerful Women and What They Studied

1. Angela Merkel

The German Chancellor has a PhD in physical chemistry from the University of Leipzig. She worked as a chemist at the Central Institute for Physical Chemistry, Academy of Sciences from 1978-1990.  After the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989, she entered politics.  In 2005, she became Germany’s first female Chancellor. In the light of seismic political shifts around the globe, Merkel recently announced that she will run for a fourth term as Chancellor.

2. Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf

In office since 2006, the Liberian President is the first female leader of Liberia.  She is Africa’s first female head of state.  In 1971, Sirleaf earned her Master’s in Public Administration at Harvard’s John F. Kennedy School of Government, after which she became Liberia’s Minister of Finance. In 2011, she shared the Nobel Peace Prize with fellow Liberian Leymah Gbowee, and Tawakkol Karman of Yemen.  Their work?  The non-violent struggle for women’s safety, and women’s rights to full participation in peace-building.

3. Erna Solberg

Norway’s Prime Minister since 2013, Erna Solberg, leader of Norway’s Conservative party studied sociology, political science, statistics, and economy at the University of Bergen. Solberg triumphed over dyslexia, a diagnosis she received at the age of 16, and went on to a successful career in Norwegian politics and government.

4. Michelle Bachelet

Chile elected its first female President in 2006-2010, and then again in 2014. That woman?  Michelle Bachelet, who has focused her life’s work on meeting the needs of the poor, children’s rights, women’s rights, and economic change.  She finished her medical degree at the University of Chile, after years of exile in Australia and Germany.  Her medical expertise?  Treating victims of torture, especially children.

5. Sheikh Hasina Wazed

A two-time Prime Minister of Bangladesh, first from 1996-2001 and again from 2009 until now, Sheikh Hasina Wazed studied Bangla at the University of Dhaka. In 1971, she helped her father, Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, when she served as his political liaison during his detainment for initiating Bangladesh’s separation from Pakistan.  In 1975, shortly after her father became president of Bangladesh, her mother, father, and three brothers were assassinated by military officers.  Hasina was out of the country; she subsequently led her father’s political organization, the Awami League.  She has several honorary degrees from universities around the world; she spent the better part of her life in exile, avoiding various assassination attempts.

6. Aung San Suu Kyi

State Counsellor of Burma and the Leader of the National League for Democracy, Aung San Suu Kyi studied Burmese at the University of Delhi and philosophy, politics, and economics at the University of Oxford.  She lived abroad with her husband and children for most of the 1970s and 1980s.  When she returned home from her life abroad in 1988, she learned of her government’s slaughter of her people—and the ensuing protests and violence.  She helped spark a movement against then dictator U Ne Win, and initiated non-violent protests for democracy and human rights.  From 1989-2010, she was in and out of house arrest and government custody.  In 1991, while imprisoned, she won the Nobel Prize for Peace.

7. Tsai Ing-wen

Taiwan’s current President Tsai Ing-wen studied law.  Throughout the 1980s, she earned her initial degree National Taiwan University in Taipei, and then earned a master’s in law from Cornell, and later a PhD in law from the London School of Economics.  She taught law in Taiwan until 2000, and became involved in government in the 1990s.  She is Taiwan’s first female president, the first not to have been Mayor of Taipei, the first never to have held a previous executive position, the first unmarried president—and the first president of Hakka and aboriginal descent.

8. Theresa May

In office since July 2016, Prime Minister Theresa May is the UK’s leader of the conservative party and second female prime minister.  Like her predecessor Margaret Thatcher, Theresa May studied at Oxford, where she specialized ingeography.  David Cameron appointed her Home Secretary and Minister for Women and Equality in 2010.  Politics aside, she is a self-declared “feminist.”  Think tank Wonkhe recently named her one of the 50 most powerful people to shape education in the UK post-Brexit—make that the world.

How to Become One of Europe’s Digital Innovators

Why Digital Innovation Matters

Contemporary business success largely hinges on an organization’s ability to adapt to the rapidly evolving digital space. Take companies like Amazon and Netflix, for example.  Their business models inherently rely on continuously expanding and enhancing their digital products and services to remain competitive. But this evolution doesn’t happen on its own.

Says global management consulting firm North Highland Worldwide Consulting’s Alex Bombeck, “Everyone recognizes the importance of digital in today’s business environment, but the landscape is littered by companies that have been left behind the digital curve. Leaders must figure out how to meet the high expectations of customers and deliver a unique human experience, or risk becoming obsolete.”

In addition to the usual suspects of leadership like vision and managerial skills, the next generation of business leaders will also need to understand the fundamentals of digital innovation, including the economic and technological factors powering it; the intersection of former, current and future business models; differences between digital models and how they interact with each other; best practices for organizing and leading digital product and service innovation efforts;  the role of crowdsourcing; and other topics.

Echoes North Highland Global CIO Ben Grinnell of what it takes to thrive in the new digital world, “To enable digital transformation, old legacy systems are not going to cut it. Silos must be broken down and an agile mindset needs to take hold. This means building cross-functional teams that can be nimble, move fast and quickly produce results.”

Three Steps to Becoming a Digital Innovator

Now that we’ve covered how important digital innovation is, along with why having the right skill set is critical for people looking to innovate in the digital space, a final question remains: How do you prepare yourself to become one of them? These three steps are a great starting point:

1. Be international.

Digital innovation has no physical borders. And with companies like Turner increasingly prioritizing international digital innovation, it makes sense for those looking for an inside edge to cultivate a global perspective — preferably through first-hand experience.

In fact, according to a recent Erasmus Impact Study which looks into the effects of international study on the skills and employability of students, 65 percent of employers consider international experience important in job applicants, while a full 92 percent are looking for transversal skills developed through international experiences, including “openness to and curiosity about new challenges, problem-solving and decision-making skills, confidence, tolerance toward other personal values and behaviors.”

2. Know the best course of study.

We’ve already established that international experience is a major plus. What else should you be looking for in terms of degrees and certifications? Not only will you need training in key digital technology areas, but you’ll also need to develop innovation and entrepreneurship skills.

Another plus? Real-world experience, which will allow you to practice applying your newfound skills while simultaneously building a network of professional relationships.

3. Choose the right program.

All of this may sound like a tall order, but EIT Digital Academy’s Digital Master School program delivers. This two-year program at two different universities from nine countries not only sends graduates out into the world with master’s degrees from two of Europe’s leading universities, but also a certificate from the European Institute of Technology.

What else separates EIT Digital from the rest? Students have their choice of 20 top European universities; gain a high-level technical education combined with an Innovation and Entrepreneurship minor; and build a strong professional network through internship opportunities with industrial partners and innovative startups.

The chance to specialize in the second year, meanwhile, offers in-depth studies in technical areas including cloud computing services, data science, digital media technology, embedded systems, human interaction and design, technology and architecture, security and privacy, and service design and engineering.

Says Head of the EIT Digital Master School Dr. Patrick Hartigan, “There is a heavy and increasing need for premium IT masters in Europe. This programme seeks out the best students from across the EU and beyond. It then equips them with cutting-edge technical knowledge and business skills so that they can go on to help assure Europe’s role in the global digital economy. This is a unique opportunity where learning to think as an entrepreneur is a key criterion.”

Think it all sounds perfect, but have concerns about paying for it? EIT Digital’s generous financial assistance including tuition waivers, scholarships, travel and installation support put the programs prestigious double degrees and an Innovation and Entrepreneurship EIT Certificate within your reach.

Digital innovation is all about blazing new territory in an uncharted world. Will you be following behind or at the forefront? EIT Digital Academy’s Digital Master School program can prepare you not just to be a player in the digital innovation space, but to be a game-changer.

How to Stay In Touch From Abroad

A trick and an App…

1. Type your emails whenever you want and save them as drafts.  When you get to WiFi, all you have to do is hit “send.”  Huge timesaver. (That’s the trick).

2.      Have you met Boingo?  Boingo Wi-finder is an app that helps you find thousands of free WiFi and Boingo hotspots around the world.  Easily.  You don’t have to wait until the internet café opens or until you pass advertised WiFi.  Boingo tells you where to go.  It’s reasonably priced, and you don’t have to buy a plan for a year.  You can buy one of their “AsYouGo” plans for an hour, a week, a day, a month if you want, and have access to free WiFi and Boingo hotspots to connect with your family and friends. (That’s the app).

If you do have a data plan

It’s a beautiful thing: you can send emails any time you want.  That’s not a trick.  That’s a reality.

Fun Apps to consider:

1. Skype

Probably the most well-known and it works well.  It’s a free download for phones, tablets, and computers, and you can also call cell phones and land lines (what are those?!) for a small fee.  Biggest plus?  Lots of folks already have accounts and use it.  It boasts free Skype-Skype video and voice calls.  You can instant message, screen share, and operate from a Mac or PC phone, tablet, or computer.

2. Viber

For starters, the app is free.  Everything is free if your family and friends have Viber, too.  For a small fee, you can contact non-Viber users, too.  You can call, text, and photo message, and you can use it from your phone, tablet, or computer.  Mac or PC?  Doesn’t matter.

3. WhatsApp

Avoid SMS fees by messaging friends and family for free.  You can also talk internationally for free, and have free face-face conversations.  You don’t use your cell plan’s voice minutes, but you may have to pay for data.  Double check your plan if you don’t want the “hidden” data charges to show up on your bill.

4. Facetime

Make video or audio calls from an iOS device.  Super easy to use—but the folks you contact also need to have iOS devices.

If you have none of the above…

Write a letter.  Get out paper and your favorite pen and have at it.  No, it’s not as “instant” as everything else.  The act of writing is slower than typing and swiping.  That can be a good thing.  Writing a letter home will force you to pause and reflect, think before you write, share something truly thoughtful with your family and friends—and give them the benefit of having a physical thing.  From you.  Plus, there’s the added joy of finding an envelope in their mailbox—and it’s not a bill or an ad.

Why an Accelerated Degree Can Save You Time (and Money)

What is an Accelerated Degree Program?

An accelerated degree program is exactly what it sounds like: this non-traditional course of study offers students the same degree in a particular field of study in a shortened period of time — as little as half when compared to conventional degrees. Available at a number of different academic levels, accelerated degree programs usually come with more stringent admissions requirements, including a minimum GPA, course credits, work experience, professional certification, and/or completion of a lower-level degree program.

In addition to bachelor’s degree programs, other popular accelerated degrees include nursing, business, law and medicine. For each, admissions requirements, course format, and completion time vary depending on the school. Additionally, many accelerated degree programs are dual in nature, meaning enrolled students can work simultaneously toward a bachelor’s and advanced degree. (This avenue may also allow accepted students to bypass graduate admissions tests, and the fees that go along with them.)

Four Reasons to Consider an Accelerated Degree

1. You’ll save time while learning as much.

While most conventional degree programs are structured according to semesters, accelerated degree programs typically utilize shorter periods, such as terms or quarters. Additionally, accelerated degree program courses usually run continuously without lengthy breaks in between terms. The result? Students can pack in the same amount of learning in a significantly shorter amount of time. Yes, this means the demands are high. But if your goal is to graduate and enter the workforce sooner, accelerated degree programs deliver in a uniquely exciting way.

2. You’ll enjoy numerous financial benefits.

It makes sense that the less time you spend in school, the less money you’ll spend on tuition. But how much will you pocket in an accelerated degree program? According to Investopedia, an undergraduate who trims six months off of his/her degree stands to save more than $15,000. Similar savings apply to upper-level degrees, as well.

Students enrolled in dual degree programs, meanwhile, may find that their undergraduate scholarship funding also covers their graduate level coursework.

But the financial benefits don’t end there. In entering the workforce with an accelerated degree, you minimize lost income and start earning soon — more likely than not with a lighter debt burden.

If you choose an overseas program, meanwhile, you may also enjoy a lower cost of living, depending on the country in which you choose to study. (An added benefit of doing an international accelerated degree? A global education will make you a more attractive job candidate in today’s borderless business environment.)

3. You’ll climb the ladder faster.

Not only does entering the workforce sooner mean you start earning earlier, but it also gives you an inside edge in today’s competitive job market. As Australia’s Bond University Director of International Student Recruitment Cheryl Jolliffe told US News & World Report, accelerated degree programs offer students a “career head start [that] puts them on a promotional fast track.”  According to Jolliffe many graduates of accelerated degree programs go on to land high-ranking administrative positions and even coveted partnership status within a decade of graduating.

Think all of this sounds too good to be true? You’re right: There is a catch. By nature, accelerated degree programs are inherently challenging. Not only do most programs have rigorous admissions requirements, but the expectations remain intense throughout the length of the program. (After all, students do get the same education in half the time. Did you really think it would be easy?) Given all of the advantages of accelerated degree programs, difficulty level isn’t reason enough to stay away. However, it is reason enough to make sure you’re fully motivated, committed and focused before deciding to pursue an accelerated degree.

Work-Life Balance and Work-Life Integration: What’s the Difference?

1. Work-Life Balance

What is it, you wonder?  Achieve something at work.  Enjoy something at work.  Achieve something at home.  Enjoy something at home. For the mathematically inclined:

Aw + Ew + Ah + Eh = Work Life Balance.

What does this mean?  Working and living are never truly balanced—there are no coefficients or constants to guide you through the process.  Sometimes you’ll achieve and enjoy something more at work than you will at home.  What’s important is that all aspects of achievement and enjoyment in work and life happen throughout the day.  Some days—as you know—are harder than others.

Here’s an example: you might have a fantastic interaction with a persnickety coworker (achievement) and then laugh at a joke at a board meeting (enjoyment), followed by not tripping over a pile of laundry in the middle of the floor when you get home (achievement) and meeting a friend for dinner (enjoyment).  These achievements and enjoyments do not have the same weights.  That great conversation with that persnickety coworker might be the biggest achievement because you know he’ll probably invite you to work on that project you’ve been wanting to work on with him.  You probably enjoyed that dinner with your friend the most.

The big idea?  You unplug.  You achieve and enjoy something in both parts of your life—working and not working—and there’s a clear boundary between the two. Over time, achievement and enjoyment will balance each other out.  It’s the day-to-day that can be a bit tricky.

2. Work-Life Integration

This is way trendier.  Thanks to the gig economy that’s sprung up in the past decade, integrating what you do and how you live have become a necessity for some.  Even in bigger businesses, there’s this idea that living and working in the same place are desirable attributes for living.

Let’s look at a few examples.  Consider Silicon Valley—companies like Google have on-campus apartments, child care centers, organic gardens with staff cafeterias, and buses for those who don’t live where they work.  The idea is simple: integrate your work into your life.    For others, technology has allowed people to live their lives—exercise, take their kids to school, go food shopping—and work full-time. No one decided that all work needs to happen between 9:00 AM and 5:00 PM.  If you can meet your deadlines, show up for your meetings (even virtually), and live your daily life, then all is well.

What’s different here?  Discipline.  Strategy.  Knowing when to unplug.  And a stick-to-it attitude.  With work-life balance, the “unplug” is pre-set.  You’re done with work for the day, you leave.  With work-life integration, you plan on when you’re doing your work, meet all your job’s expectations, and still show up for touch football, or your volunteer work at that organization whose mission you love.

Is one approach better than the other?  Nope.   It depends on the kind of work you want to do and the kind of life you want to live.  If you need a strict schedule and need to know when you’re “on” and when you’re “off,” integrating your work into your life could be tough.  You might opt for a more traditional job with traditional hours.  If you feel constrained by that, you might want to integrate your work into your life and have more “flexibility” during the day—this is especially helpful if you have a family.

Whatever you decide: your work and your life should bring you joy—not all the time, but enough so that it all balances out in the end.  L’chaim!

5 Reasons to Consider a Degree in Indigenous Studies

1. Indigenous studies offer a more comprehensive and honest representation of history. 

Indigenous people have been marginalized in countries across the globe for many years. In most cases, they’re still being marginalized today.

According to Danielle Lorenz, a PhD candidate in educational policy studies, the best way to remedy ongoing ignorance and stereotypes about indigenous people is through indigenous studies. In addition to fascinating coursework in diverse areas ranging from literature to traditional ecological knowledge, Lorenz points out that there are more general takeaways for students in this field: “They can learn about the accomplishments and contributions Indigenous peoples have made to global society, they can learn that Indigenous peoples in North America survived the world’s worst holocaust, they can learn about the true history of Canada – not as peaceful (or dull) as commonly thought, and they can learn that, today, while challenges exist – Indigenous peoples are more than just their ‘issues.’”

2. Indigenous studies are interdisciplinary.

Indigenous studies comprise a breadth and depth of academic fields the humanities, social sciences and beyond. Not only do students learn how to integrate this information in order to broaden their worldviews, but in doing so they also hone and refine their critical thinking skills.

These skills aren’t just applicable to directly related work in areas like indigenous governance, indigenous literature, and indigenous social work, they’re also transferrable — and highly valued by employers.

3. They are a necessary part of achieving reconciliation.

Many national history curricula overlook the stories of indigenous people. In Australia, for example, while Aboriginal people created a unique and impactful civilization, it is largely disregarded today. Why? Because according to an article in The Conversation, “It does not easily fit with the colonial mythologies around which popular histories of Australia have traditionally been constructed. Indeed the very use of the term ‘civilisation’ in relation to Aboriginal Australia will no doubt confound some readers. Perhaps the most insidious myth perpetuated about Aboriginal society is the idea it was ‘primitive’, ‘stone age’, ‘nomadic’, or ‘unevolved’. This type of thinking feeds racist stereotypes and discriminatory attitudes which continue to marginalize and disassociate Aboriginal Australians from the national identity. The archaeology of our continent directly refutes this type of thinking, but until recently the monuments and achievements of ancient Australia have remained largely invisible to the mainstream public.”

The Conversation goes on to propose that expanding a society’s historical viewpoint not only “offers a path to new understanding,” but to achieving reconciliation.

4. It helps preserve indigenous cultures.

According to a recent New Yorker piece, “On every continent, people are forsaking their ancestral tongues for the dominant language of their region’s majority. Assimilation confers inarguable benefits, especially as Internet use proliferates and rural youth gravitate to cities. But the loss of languages passed down for millennia, along with their unique arts and cosmologies, may have consequences that won’t be understood until it is too late to reverse them.”

The proliferation of indigenous language coursework, in particular, is viewed as paramount. “Without language, we are empty vessels,” indigenous language master’s student Bob Badger told THE. “Within our languages, we have a deep understanding of the world around us. We make connections between the traditional cultural teachings and our place in the world. The language is alive and the language has a spirit.”

It is because of its vital importance that the Canadian government has proposed the Canadian Indigenous Languages Act, which will grant equal rights and privileges to nine indigenous languages in addition to English and France.

5. It promotes better citizenship.

According to The Conversation, “One of the most important skills promoted by historical inquiry is that of empathy, a feeling of sympathy and engagement for other people from different time periods and cultures….If students can develop the knowledge of why cultures are different it will help develop empathy and encourage an appreciation for diversity, and hopefully, undermine growth of racist viewpoints” while simultaneously supporting the development of a “more comprehensive appreciation of our humanity.”

In other words, is there any better way to improve upon our collective citizenship than by improving upon our collective understanding of each other?

Indigenous studies have been deemed so valuable, in fact, that there is a movement to make coursework in this field a mandatory component in university curricula — alongside English, math and other core requirements. By pursuing a degree in this vital field, you won’t just walk away with an enriched (and more accurate) perspective, but you’ll also be positioned to take on a leading role in righting the past towards a more equitable and tolerant future.

4 Top Emerging Fields for Post-Graduate Studies

1. Biostatistics

A master’s in biostatistics will earn you a median salary of about $113,400, according to Fortune, with at least a 20 percent projected job growth by 2022.

If those statistics aren’t enough to motivate you, how about this: biostatisticians help save the world.  Your ability to make lasting, positive changes in public health, clinical medicine, genomics, health economics—and the raw field of mathematics is essentially limitless.  So: if you have the science and math savvy, want to save the world, and live a pretty comfortable life on top of that, consider biostatistics.

2. Human-Computer Interaction and Artificial Intelligence

Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) and Artificial Intelligence (AI) is the study of how people interface with computers.  From algorithm science to information science, psychology to anthropology, you could work on anything from projects related to design guidelines for all types of software to academic research to figuring out the best interface for human-robot interaction.  With humans interacting with mobile and touch devices, you can also delve into the intricacies of human-computer interface.

3. Homeland Security and Cyber Criminality

If current world events don’t have your head spinning, imagine how experts in homeland security and cyber criminality feel.  Cybercrime is relatively new specialty—and one that will continue to see nearly exponential growth in the coming years.  Cybercrimes involve computers, networks, and the intent to harm individuals, systems, national security, and financial markets.  These crimes cover the spectrum of identity theft to election hacking.  Sounds relevant, doesn’t it?

If you opt to study Homeland Security, you can bet that cyber warfare will be an intrinsic part of your training.  The graduate program in Homeland Security at San Diego State University, for example, focuses on prevention, deterrence, and response to instances of terror and espionage on national and international levels.  A cornerstone of their program?  Cyber security.

4. Urban Studies

A focus on making cities sustainable place to live and work—environmentally, socially, economically, politically, and financially—is the axis on which urban studies turns.  There’s a need for on-the-ground specialists—and researchers who can help inform decisions for urban spaces.  What do urban communities of the future need?  What do they look like—and how can they evolve?  How do they accommodate human needs—and the needs of their unique ecosystems?

Learn more about earning your master’s in urban studies.

What do these fields have in common?  Technology.  Brilliance.  A common desire to improve lives—no matter who you are or where you live.   If you don’t have the skills, interests, or abilities in these fields, do something that will help support them.  Learn to code.  Invent an app.  Learn how to use the technologies that these fields will require.  Innovate.  Educate yourself.  The possibilities are limitless.