Thursday, January 26, 2012

Shape Up Your Career At Physical Therapy Schools

There is a profession that deals with fixing impairments in the body and restoring mobility through evaluation and exercise. The job is performed by physical therapists who have to undergo specialist degree training at Physical Therapy Schools to become qualified.
The schools help you to prepare for and pass the national licensing examination that is now a requirement in most States before you can begin practicing the profession. There you will receive the specific education and training to become either a therapist or therapist assistant.
The most important aspect of these school programs is to receive accreditation. So the institutions must prove to the official accreditation authority that their schooling methods cloak students with specific facets to their character relative to the profession before they can be considered for accreditation.
So when considering a school, ensure it is one of the 200-plus across the nation approved by the Accreditation Commission for Physical Therapy Education, the only body recognized by the Education department to carry out this purpose.
Enrollment in these schools will help you to determine if physical therapy is the right profession for you, but even before enrollment you should have spent some time as a volunteer at a facility to help you decide which area of the profession you will feel most comfortable in pursuing as a career.
Indeed, volunteering is important, as most school programs will require you to be in possession of a letter of recommendation from a physical therapist to form part of your application. As well, this step may not be optional, in some cases, as many of these programs place a demand on you to spend a specific amount of hours in volunteer time at therapy sessions.
Remember, in deciding on a school there are few things to be considered. Its location. You may not want to travel far distances, but stay close to home. Its size. You may feel more comfortable in a small school as opposed to a large university. Private or State-funded. If finances determine that you select a State-funded school, be aware that tuition at these institutions is somewhat less intense than what you can get at a privately run school.
Finally, do a background check on your chosen school. Make sure it is accredited and has been training students in this field for many years. Remember, it is important to locate the best school in your area of specialization.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Why Business Leaders Need Executive Education

While many people dream of owning or running a business, they do not dream of the hiccups and problems they may encounter along the way. These issues often come in the form of employee conflicts, challenges in staff training and how to be an effective executive. Many people learn these skills as they develop their businesses, but savvy business leaders take the time to gain professional training. Taking the time to learn about the fundamentals of effective leadership can help a company grow and become more successful. Classes are available through executive education and leadership programs at local universities.
Every industry changes and grows, and every business needs to learn how to keep up with the competition and even surpass it. Executive education programs help the management and leaders at the top to build a better understanding of how their company is run, what its strengths and weaknesses are and how they can manage it better. People that stop learning and changing tend to become stagnant both personally and professionally.

Every business is only as strong as its weakest link. When executives take the time to discover how to help their employees learn, grow and better performs their duties, it will also help the company as a whole. This is done through conflict management training. It is also helpful for management to learn how to deal with issues such as unhappy or overburdened employees, staff development and training, technical problems and the art of negotiation through various classes and seminars.

Taking time out for leadership training is sometimes difficult for the person with the most responsibilities in the company. They may have a busy schedule or feel as if they cannot leave the employees alone for any length of time. However, investing the time training seminars and certificate programs is an investment in the future that management cannot afford to ignore. There are several ways that executives can find the time for training. These include attending regular seminars with keynote speakers, attending short educational luncheons or going to week-long executive leadership development program workshops.

There are many different ways for executives to improve their approaches toward business. These courses and seminars come in the form of certificate programs, customized personal development programs. They are available through a university or extended educational service. Once the top level of management has discovered ways to make the business stronger and more efficient, they can begin to focus on the other parts of the company and business.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Returning to School

There are many reasons that more working adults are returning to school and if you are thinking about joining them, there are a few things you should take into consideration. Of the considerations the following are very important:
  • Is the college accredited?
  • How are you going to pay?
  • Is there a job market for the degree you want?
The first and most important thing to look at when deciding a school is the accreditation of the school. The condensed version of why this is very important is that when you are going for a job after you complete your degree, many of the companies that will be looking for educated employees are looking for reliable schools. Meaning, the employer is not just interested in the diploma hanging on your wall, but did you learn anything substantive from your time in school or was it just a diploma mill? When your prospective employer considers you for a position it is based on what you can do for that particular company with your existing expertise. Very few companies are going to hire a recent graduate with an expectation of teaching them what they should have learned in school. So an accredited school tells the employer that the curriculum was evaluated and is in line with the expectations of the various disciplines that are offered. The easiest way to determine if the school you are looking at is accredited through a reputable and recognized accreditation body is to view the following links. There are two large organizations in the United States that recognize accrediting agencies, giving them validation:
  • U.S Department of Education  
  • Council for higher Education Accreditation (CHEA) 
The next factor to consider is how you plan on paying for school. There are various ways to finance your education. The most basic and preferable way is to save money and pay as you go. This way, you do not create a sizeable amount of debt that you will have to repay. As a working adult, this is likely one of the best options. There are also scholarships and grants that you may qualify for. In general, a scholarship and grant is money that you will not need to repay. The last option but the one that is most used is the student loan. While tempting I would highly suggest you do not use student loans. They will need to be repaid and because there are no assurances of employment, you could be stuck with a large debt without the income to cover your responsibility. And also keep in mind that a student loan is forever. They cannot be liquidated through a bankruptcy. Once you have the loan, you must repay the loan. Also, some employers may offer reimbursement for college courses in part of whole.
The last thing to really consider is what you plan on studying and if there is a viable job market for it. Your passion might be for 15th century literature, but other than teaching, there is not much of a job market for that type of degree. Theatre arts are another similar degree. One way to see what the job market looks like is to look at the Department of Labor and see the trends for employment professions. There will be few things in life as disappointing as spending several years in school only to find you cannot do anything with it.
Ultimately, going back to school is well worth the effort and should be something that anyone that wants to change careers or rise higher in their own should consider.

Monday, January 2, 2012

Is the Construction Industry Facing a Productivity Challenge?

Building and construction magnate Daniel Grollo recently stated that the construction sector could be completely 'shut down' by the rising Australian dollar and large wage hikes.
In an interview with The Australian newspaper, the businessman said Australia had to take measures to boost productivity in line with the rising dollar and high wages. He stated that unless this happened, foreign investors were likely to look elsewhere for investment opportunities.
Mr Grollo pointed out that workers were being paid $60 an hour, with increases to $80 per hour being locked in by enterprise bargaining agreements, and noted that a similar wage set in Texas was only $20. The solution was to boost productivity, he added.
Various industry leaders and commentators have spoken out about productivity in the construction industry. In 2011, John Lloyd, the former head of Australian Building and Construction Commission, suggested that the Fair Work laws were holding back productivity reforms in the sector.
Mr Lloyd stated that the problem was the complexity and centralisation of the Fair Work system, which emphasised collective rather than individual bargaining. More individual agreement should be introduced that allow employers and employees to engage with each other directly, which would allow employers to better encourage and reward performance, and in turn enhance productivity.
However, recent figures show that productivity gains are in fact being realised in the construction sector. The latest ABS (national accounts and labour force) data shows that the productivity in the construction sector was up, with gross value added per hour rising by 7 per cent.
A recent PricewaterhouseCoopers report shows that annual average productivity growth levels across the Australian economy average 0.6 per cent in the December quarter and 1.1 per cent across the last year (compared with 2010's 0.1 per cent growth rate). The construction sector saw a productivity improvement of almost 10 per cent in the December quarter in WA alone.
Corporate leaders and decision makers in the public sector have also expressed optimism. Telstra's Productivity Indicator report, which is based on interviews with over 700 Australian leaders, suggests that optimism about productivity is relatively high.
The report found that improving productivity is a top priority for 80 per cent and 66 per cent of Australia's private sector and government organisations. The report found that the construction industry was among those sectors that expected to see significant productivity increases in the year ahead.
There is also positive news in the government's Skills for All Australians reforms which will provide subsidised training places and interest free loans to qualifying courses, including those in the building and construction sector. Adequate training and continuing professional development, such as NSW's builder CPD system, may also support a drive toward boosting productivity in the sector.