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Tips to Stand Out in the Crowd

by South University
November 23, 2015

MariKathryn E. Arnold
Career Services Advisor

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that the monthly unemployment rate fell 0% in September 2015. This is an overall 0.8% improvement from the beginning of the year, but is this significant enough to impact you, as the job searcher? Job searching can be a challenging and frustrating process. With the job market’s conflicting expectations and projections it can be difficult to understand what to believe and what the job market is really like. Many anticipate that more jobs will be available and that the job search will get easier, but are they right?

Minimizing Your Job Search Frustration

Understanding job market trends can minimize some of your job search frustration. Job market trends help to show what you are up against and the size of your competition. On average, 250 or more candidates apply for one position. Not only are you up against a high volume of candidates, but you are in a technological day and age, where personal interaction rarely exists. You may apply to a position and never hear back. You may only receive an automated electronic rejection. In a world that seems to be against you, it can seem overwhelming.

What can you do?

1. Spend time on your resume.

First, build a strong enticing resume! Hiring managers want to easily read how impressive you are. Be sure to build value around why you are the ideal candidate for the position.

2. Include a cover letter.

Many hiring managers view a cover letter as a crucial component to the job search. A cover letter gives you an opportunity to express your interest in the position and the company, as well as highlight your skills. A cover letter separates you from the 250 other applicants.

3. Build your network.

Sometimes it’s not what you know, but who you know Companies may review candidates referred to the position first, not solely the candidates who meet the qualifications checklist. If you know someone who works in that company, reach out to them for a referral!

4. Follow up.

Follow up with the company. If you have not heard back or even received a rejection email, reach out to the recruiter or hiring manager to see why you were not asked to come in for an interview. This can help you to see what skills you may be lacking and where you can make improvements. Remember, the more aggressive that you are with the job search, the less frustrating you will find it. Persistence is key!

5. Stay positive.

Finally, the job search is not easy, but the payoff is worth it. There will be ups and downs, but it’s important to go into the process with a positive attitude. Rejection is part of the job searching process, but once you land the job you want, you’ll be happy you didn’t waste time agonizing over every rejection letter, because they won’t matter anymore.

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Faculty share driving factors behind Information Systems graduate program

by South University
November 18, 2015

As part of the team developing the curriculum for South University’s Master of Science in Information Systems (MSIS) program, Jason Crittenden and Angelo Thalassinidis focused on answering one question. A question that was not what courses students should take, but instead “What competencies do we want our students to learn?”

After looking closely at the needs of today’s businesses, they arrived at three answers.

1. Data Analysis and Management

With all the talk about the value of big data for businesses, the team identified data analysis and management as an essential skill for information systems professionals.

“Big data is here to stay,” says Dr. Crittenden, Department Chair of Information Systems and Technology at South University, Richmond. “There is an extraordinary amount of unstructured data that resides in our world and companies are begging people to sit down with it and try to find out what they can do with all of this data.”

Both Dr. Crittenden and Dr. Thalassinidis believe this data is being used in fascinating ways--and that the possibilities only get more interesting with evolving technology.

“Once you connect all the data that we have or that we can gain access to with natural language processing and artificial intelligence, we're going to see a number of developments that will have tremendous business applications,” says Dr. Thalassinidis, Director of the Department of Information Systems and Technology at South University, Tampa.

2. IT Governance and Compliance

With the constant influx of new or updated regulations from the federal government, IT governance and compliance is the second area the MSIS team identified as essential.

“From HIPAA to Sarbanes-Oxley, you are hard-pressed to find a regulation that gets released by the Federal Government that does not have some slant where IT needs to be involved, whether that's in the health world, the criminal justice world, or the educational world,” says Dr. Crittenden, who also notes that many job listings today want people skilled in IT auditing.

3. Emerging Technology

With technology changing every day, people who can very quickly research, learn, adopt, and implement new technologies are crucial.

Dr. Thalassinidis expects that much of this new technology will be concentrated in specific areas. “Where we see innovative technologies being used now is to address business ambiguity. We're going to see more of that,” he says. “We're going to also see the connectivity of everything exploding even more. Because of technology, small companies can act big, and big companies can act small and give you that personalized experience.”

However, what exactly new technology will look like, reminds Dr. Crittenden, is hard to predict. “Even the brightest of individuals out there, the Stephen Hawkings of the world, the Elon Musks, the people who sit and think about how these things are going to happen in the future, they really have no idea either.”

Combining These Competencies: Bigger, Faster, Stronger

If students develop competencies in these three areas of data analysis and management, IT governance and compliance, and emerging technologies, says Dr. Crittenden, they will gain valuable skills for their professional future.

He says, “It will make them better managers of technology, it will make them better analysts, and I think students will be, what I always like to say, ‘bigger, faster and stronger.’”

Dr. Thalassinidis adds, “The MSIS program addresses all aspects of information systems, whether that is their development and maintenance or even retirement, in a way that will reduce risk to the business and enable businesses to continue moving forward.”

Plus, what you learn, says Dr. Crittenden, can stand the test of time. “We have brought components into the program—risk management, compliance, data management, the emerging technology pieces—that really prepare students for not just jobs that are happening today, but jobs that will be available a year from now, two years from now, ten years from now.”

To learn more about the MSIS program, explore our related posts or visit our program detail pages.

Programs, credential levels, technology, and scheduling options vary by school and are subject to change. Not all online programs are available to residents of all U.S. states. Administrative office: South University, 709 Mall Boulevard, Savannah, GA 31406-4805 © 2015 South University. All rights reserved. Our email address is materialsreview@southuniversity.edu.

See suprograms.info for program duration, tuition, fees and other costs, median debt, salary data, alumni success, and other important info.

The information and opinions expressed herein represent the independent opinions and ideas of the faculty and/or staff and do not represent the opinions or ideas of South University.

South University, Tampa is licensed by the Commission for Independent Education, Florida Department of Education. Additional information regarding this institution may be obtained by contacting the Commission at 325 West Gaines Street, Suite 1414, Tallahassee, FL 323099-0400, toll-free telephone number (888)224-6684.

South University, Tampa is licensed by the Florida Commission for Independent Education, License No. 3284.

South University, Richmond, and South University, Virginia Beach, are certified to operate in the Commonwealth of Virginia pursuant to Title 23, Chapter 21.1, §23-276.4 of the Code of Virginia by the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia (James Monroe Building, 101 North 14th St; Richmond, VA 23219; 804-225-2600; www.schev.edu).

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Why Businesses Need Information Systems and Technology Professionals

by South University
November 12, 2015

Just what is the role of information technology (IT) and information systems (IS) in modern organizations? According to two of our faculty members, these areas are integral to every business in every industry.

From Competitive Advantage to Necessity

Jason Crittenden entered college focused on business, but soon something else caught his attention, a new development called the Internet. He was hooked. After earning a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration with a concentration in Information Systems, he continued on to earn a master’s degree in Information Systems and a PhD in Instructional Systems and Workforce Development.

Dr. Crittenden started his career in web development before transitioning to database development, building robust, scalable systems for his department, which he then linked to the enterprise systems. Following that role, he spent several years as a research professor studying educational technology. In 2011, he joined South University, Richmond as the Department Chair of Information Systems and Technology.

Today, he sees the dynamism of technology and the way it influences businesses as the most exciting element of the field. “Business happens now in nanoseconds. It doesn't happen in days or in weeks, and having IT and IS solutions has become a must in all organizations,” observes Dr. Crittenden, adding, “We wake up every day to new technology wonders.” Such changes, he says, can drive everything from the formation, evolution and eventually obsolescence of a business.

“If a market in Asia has a glitch, it is felt all over the world within the hour,” says Dr. Crittenden. “Once IT was purely for competitive advantage reasons, but it has evolved so that, yes there are companies that can and still utilize it as a competitive advantage, but IT is now a necessity. There is no business without IT or IS anymore.”

Finding Answers to Business Questions

Angelo Thalassinidis started his career in computer science, and over time he discovered his knowledge could inform business decisions. His interest in the field, however, was sparked long before beginning his career. “At about 12 years old, I started dating a girl whose mom didn't like me. The only way we could communicate was if I would write her letters and code the letters,” he recalls.

After learning to write in code, he became interested in breaking codes, which eventually led him to study mathematics and computer science in college. When he finished school, however, he was surprised to realize that he preferred working with databases over cryptology. Before long, he found work in business intelligence, monitoring and analyzing information published around the world to forecast business performance.

Following roles in management, consulting, and data warehousing and information support systems, he moved to Greece, where he co-founded a company that collected real estate data and produced market indexes. In 2011, he returned to the US and began working at South University, Tampa as the Director of the Department of Information Systems and Technology.

Over the last 20+ years, Dr. Thalassinidis has seen information systems and technology professionals become increasingly important for businesses. “The business comes to us with an issue or a concern and we are the solution,” he says. “The question used to be ‘Can you do this?’ and now it has become, ‘We have this general problem and we have no idea how to address it. Can you help us?’”

When faced with these questions, finding a solution quickly is crucial. “In the business environment, because of the complexity, because of a number of things, you cannot afford to not do it right the first time. You cannot afford to not have a reliable infrastructure. You cannot afford down time on your network or your website,” he says.

A Graduate Program Joining Business with Information Systems and Technology

According to Dr. Crittenden and Dr. Thalassinidis, South University's Master of Science in Information Systems program is not only accessible to business professionals, but also teaches skills very relevant to today’s organizations. “This is not a heavily technical program,” explains Jason. “It is a program that bridges the business world with the IT world.”

For starters, students are not required have a bachelor’s degree in computer science, and those from a business background are welcomed, even encouraged, to apply.

“This degree will help someone get a very, very good hands on experience with what technologies and what governance methodologies are out there and how to use them from a business perspective,” says Dr. Thalassinidis. “This program is designed for people who want to incorporate Information Systems into their organizations and to gain a competitive advantage in the workplace by understanding what these technologies can do.”

Learn about the Master of Science in Information Systems program on the blog or visit our program detail pages for more information!

Programs, credential levels, technology, and scheduling options vary by school and are subject to change. Not all online programs are available to residents of all U.S. states. Administrative office: South University, 709 Mall Boulevard, Savannah, GA 31406-4805 © 2015 South University. All rights reserved. Our email address is materialsreview@southuniversity.edu.

See suprograms.info for program duration, tuition, fees and other costs, median debt, salary data, alumni success, and other important info.

The information and opinions expressed herein represent the independent opinions and ideas of the faculty and/or staff and do not represent the opinions or ideas of South University.

South University, Tampa is licensed by the Commission for Independent Education, Florida Department of education. Additional information regarding this institution may be obtained by contacting the Commission at 325 West Gaines Street, Suite 1414, Tallahassee, FL 323099-0400, toll-free telephone number (888)224-6684.

South University, Tampa is licensed by the Florida Commission for Independent Education, License No. 3284.

South University, Richmond, and South University, Virginia Beach, are certified to operate in the Commonwealth of Virginia pursuant to Title 23, Chapter 21.1, §23-276.4 of the Code of Virginia by the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia (James Monroe Building, 101 North 14th St; Richmond, VA 23219; 804-225-2600; www.schev.edu).

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The Role of Family Nurse Practitioners in Healthcare

by South University
November 9, 2015

Navigating the world of healthcare can be tough enough without adding confusion about titles and roles. While the nurse practitioner profession continues to grow, many people aren’t familiar with what family nurse practitioners do and the services they offer. Today, we look at the role of family nurse practitioners and the care they can provide for you and your family.

What’s a Nurse Practitioner?

For those unfamiliar with the profession, nurse practitioners are healthcare providers who deliver a blend of nursing and medical care, focusing equally on treating and on educating patients.

Nurse practitioners can help patients to manage acute or long-term, chronic illnesses, and have been found to have primary care outcomes as good as or superior to those of physicians. They conduct physical exams, perform diagnostic tests and procedures, and can write prescriptions in all 50 states.

You can read more about the role of nurse practitioners in healthcare here.

What is the Role of a Family Nurse Practitioner?

Building relationships with and caring for families is at the heart of the family nurse practitioner profession. Nurse practitioners specializing in family practice can diagnose, examine, and treat patients of all ages, from childhood to adulthood, much like a family doctor.

In addition, family nurse practitioners are committed to educating patients on disease prevention and promoting positive, healthy behaviors for all developmental stages. Because nurse practitioners closely work with their patients to understand their needs, concerns, and lifestyles and to guide their patients in living healthy lifestyles, many patients find themselves able to develop trusting, familiar relationships with their family nurse practitioners.

Some family nurse practitioners work with or under physicians in private practices, while others work at community treatment centers or walk-in clinics. Although nurse practitioners’ scope of practice varies by state law, family nurse practitioners in some states may operate their own private family practices.

“We’re in the role of helping people get well and stay healthy,” explains Dr. Cherie Howk, a family nurse practitioner and faculty member at South University, Online Programs. “We’re not replacing physicians; we are augmenting that practice.”

As demand continues to grow for medical services from aging baby boomers and those newly insured by recent healthcare reform, the laws regarding independent practice for family nurse practitioners are likely to continue evolving. In medically underserved populations with a shortage of physicians, family nurse practitioners can fill an important community need and many nursing organizations support nurse practitioners gaining more professional autonomy.

“There are a lot of primary care positions that need to be filled, especially in rural areas, that aren’t being filled by physicians,” explains Dr. Howk. “Nurse practitioners are stepping up and taking care of patients in areas that don’t have primary care providers.”

What Education Do Family Nurse Practitioners Have?

All family nurse practitioners have achieved licensure and credentialing well beyond what is required to work as registered nurses (RNs). To practice, all nurse practitioners also complete a graduate education and some earn additional post graduate certificates and even doctoral degrees. Throughout their career, nurse practitioners also complete courses in support of continuing their education and growing their knowledge in the healthcare field.

To learn more about this career, find more articles about nurse practitioners on our blog, or explore our Nursing programs, including those designed to prepare students for careers as Nurse Practitioners.

South University does not guarantee third-party certification/licensure. Outside agencies control the requirements for taking and passing certification/licensing exams and are subject to change without notice to South University.

The information and opinions expressed herein represent the independent opinions and ideas of the faculty and/or staff and do not represent the opinions or ideas of South University.

Programs, credential levels, technology, and scheduling options vary by school and are subject to change. Not all online programs are available to residents of all U.S. states. Administrative office: South University, 709 Mall Boulevard, Savannah, GA 31406-4805 © 2015 South University. All rights reserved. Our email address is materialsreview@southunivers ity.edu.

See suprograms.info for program duration, tuition, fees and other costs, median debt, salary data, alumni success, and other important info.

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Student Spotlight: Nancy Adkins

by South University
November 7, 2015

“As a lifelong learner, I understand that it takes skills and knowledge to lead and pursue a productive life,” says Nancy Adkins, a South University, Online Programs student pursuing her Associate of Science in Paralegal Studies degree.

As for the motivating factor behind her interest in Paralegal Studies, it’s simple. “This will enhance my ability to give back and to help someone else,” she explains.

Serving her community is nothing new for Nancy. For the past 8 years, Nancy has been a life coach mentor at a juvenile detention facility in Detroit. She has also served as a volunteer at Vista Maria Girls Youth Home as well as been involved in many other activities through her church.

“My work experience in management at the 36th District Court in Detroit, Michigan, along with volunteering in my community and caring for others has been the catalyst, through education, for the accomplishments that I have made,” she says.

Through the combination of these experiences, Nancy is confident that she is gaining the leadership, research and problem-solving skills she needs to be effective as a paralegal.

South University, Online Programs Associate Professor and Assistant Program Director for Legal Studies, Lisa K. Dunham, Esq. agrees. ”Ms. Adkins is an extremely bright, articulate and hardworking woman with good work habits and a clear vision of her future,” she says. “In class, Ms. Adkins was eager to learn, attentive and enthusiastic, and, she performed exemplary work.”

In part, Nancy credits her diligence and focus on education to being raised by an elementary school principal who instilled in her the importance of knowledge. “I know that education is the key to success as it relates to all aspects of life and it has given me the ability to succeed in past endeavors,” she says.

In 2015, Nancy was awarded the South University Path to Graduation Scholarship from the Education Foundation. “Receiving this scholarship will help me to continue and finalize the direction I started many years ago as I have overcome many obstacles along the way,” explains Nancy. “I am determined to reach my goal.”

Programs, credential levels, technology, and scheduling options vary by school and are subject to change. Not all online programs are available to residents of all U.S. states. Administrative office: South University, 709 Mall Boulevard, Savannah, GA 31406-4805 © 2015 South University. All rights reserved. Our email address is materialsreview@southunivers ity.edu.

See suprograms.info for program duration, tuition, fees and other costs, median debt, salary data, alumni success, and other important info.

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