Friday, May 11, 2012

Less Theory, More Practice: The Benefits of Apprenticeship Programs

The main difference between an apprenticeship and a traditional degree program is the theory-practice ratio implemented in each. Typically, degree programs are extremely theory-heavy, and aim to introduce students to centuries' worth of ideas and schools of thought pertaining to a respective area of study. For example, an English Literature major will spend a good portion of their academic career reading and discussing the works of countless authors, from Homer's The Iliad (1194-1184 BC) to more obscure, lesser known works by modern authors like Michael Turner and Charles de Lint.
An apprentice, on the other hand, will find that their time in school will be dedicated more to practicing their skill set. That is not to say that apprenticeship programs do not focus on theory. Of course they do! However, before apprentices can even think of approaching a mechanism, they must first understand the concepts around it. In fact, theory is typically taught throughout the entire apprenticeship program, giving students the opportunity to learn new principles as their skills mature.
A focus on practice means that students will be able to get hands-on experience while they are earning their certification. Unlike degree graduates, who more often than not graduate with little to no experience in their field, apprentices leave school having already clocked in a significant number of hours working. What this means is that apprentices overcome their novice stage while they are still in school, giving them a one-up in their respective industry.
An additional benefit to apprenticeship programs is the level of industry exposure students get. While apprentices are put alongside master tradespeople to learn and perfect the required expertise, they are also forming relationships with industry leaders. For example, let us say a student pursuing an automotive apprenticeship is placed at a local garage in order to complete the work experience necessary to gain his certification. The student will invariably develop relationships with colleagues, ones that will likely last years, and which will expose him to other sectors and people of the industry. In short, the nature of apprenticeships place students in an environment that gives them the opportunity to develop bonds with people, to discover different aspects of the industry, and, ultimately, be completely in the know of all things field-related.
Students who aspire to enter a skilled trade profession, such as mechanics, welding, and plumbing, may prefer to opt for an apprenticeship. There are no hard facts to sustain the belief that degree programs are better than apprenticeship programs, or vice versa. The advantages of one over the other completely depend on your own goals, and what you hope to get out of your time as a student.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

5 Different Types of Electrician Careers

Deciding that you want to become an electrician is only part of narrowing down your career options. There are several different specializations within the electrician industry, so it is important that you explore these specializations before enrolling into a program and earning your certification. Here is a quick look at some of the different types of electricians out there.
Domestic electricians are likely the type of electrician who we are all most familiar with. Ultimately, domestic electricians are responsible for installing and repairing any and all electrical wiring in a residential setting. From the breaker unit to the wire running across the walls in the attic, domestic electricians are the go-to pros for any house-hold electrical work.
Commercial electricians extend their skills to trade settings, such as stores, shopping malls, schools and hospitals, restaurants and office buildings. This line of electric work involves installing, testing and repairing lighting and air conditioning systems. Also, many commercial facilities will need to be equipped with security systems. Most importantly, commercial settings are often obliged to adhere to health and safety standards, which electricians are responsible to know and implement.
Construction electricians are trained to install and design the electrical structure of a new building, be it residential, commercial, or industrial. That said, construction electricians typically work closely with engineers, architects, and carpenters during each step of the construction process.
Industrial electricians are responsible for installing, repairing, maintaining, and testing electrical equipment in factories, workshops, or any other industrial setting. Typically, most industrial electrician apprenticeships will train students to become specialists in instrumentation control systems, electronics and robotics, and blueprint interpretation.
Linemen (also referred to as Journeymen or outdoor electrician) specialize in building electrical power systems. From the construction of support tower to the installation of overhead power lines and underground cables, the work of linemen allows everyone to go about their day with modern conveniences, including street and traffic lights.
Regardless of which area you decide to specialize in, most electrician apprenticeships will teach the Canadian Electrical Code, meaning you will need to learn and know the code thoroughly. The code itself contains information on requirements and provisions pertaining to all electrician work, as well as details on alternative materials and resources that electricians can use instead of their traditional counterparts.
Depending on the situation, industrial electricians may prefer to work as independent contractors rather than permanent technicians for corporations. There is no good or bad choice. It all depends on your preferred career setting.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

A Moveable Grind: Careers That Revolve Around Metal Work

Welders are trained experts who merge pieces of metal or thermoplastic together for building, construction, and sculpting purposes. The process of merging materials together can be done in several different ways, but will invariably involve the application of heat. The sources of heat that can be used depend on the welder, the project at hand, and the materials that are being coalesced. Typically, however, heat is applied through an open gas flame, arc discharge, electromagnetic radiation, and friction, just to name a few.
If we stop to think about the various constructions that require welding, it quickly becomes clear how many different working environments welders can choose from. From ground-level environments, such as factories, construction sites, aviation or automobile manufacturers and repair shops, to underwater tasks, such as repairing or building ships and pipelines. There are many different work environments that welders can choose from.
Steamfitters hone a completely different craft than welders, however, welding is still a huge part of their skill set. The focus of a steamfitter's work is on pipes (explaining why steamfitters are also referred to as pipefitters). Working with piping systems requires a great level of specialized expertise. In order to properly execute the task at hand, steamfitters will need to consult a variety of blueprints, layout plans, and technical provisions before launching the project. From there, the steamfitter will decide which tools and materials are best suited for the pipe assembly or repair, and will then begin to map out the estimated progress of the project.
A steamfitter's job is very technical, and requires a variety of different skills, including but not limited to, precise measuring, welding, soldering, cementing, and being able to handle a wide range of power tools and machinery. Most employers will require applicants to have completed a steamfitter apprenticeship or certification program before being hired.
Sheet metal
Sheet metal is made from various types of metal, including steel, aluminum, silver, copper and gold. Although not immediately obvious, sheet metal is widely used, and can be seen in everything from art pieces to roof tops. Much like steamfitters, sheet metal workers also need to be able to read and interpret intricate blueprints and design plans in order to successfully carry any given project. incorporate welding into their trade.
A sheet metal worker apprenticeship program will most likely introduce students to the various ways sheet metal workers handle the material, both of terms of the ways metal is formed (i.e. bending, rolling, ironing) and the energy source used to form it (i.e. laser cutting, drilling, shearing).

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

How To Get Into MIT

MIT admission requirements are very different from that of other educational bodies. When applying to get into Harvard or other rivals, students are asked to fill out the Common Application, MIT has its very own procedure. Whilst other bodies will ask applicants to write an essay, MIT will ask you to write a number of essays. The interview at other institutes has no bearing on your acceptance, at MIT it could be essential. Let's discover this in a bit more detail.
The Common Application is appropriately titled. For it is the common set of student forms used by more than 4 hundred education bodies around the US. At MIT though, you will be asked to go through a unique process and create an MIT account.
Maybe you adore writing. Perhaps you do not. Maybe you have read the classics and may recite Dickens. Equally you may barely able to barely recite the headlines of yesterdays tabloids. In any case, you'll need to understand just what MIT expects from you. MIT has its own unique process for assessing students. Right here you'll be provided a series of 'essay prompts' or questions, and you'll be asked for your interpretation.
Whilst students dread the admissions interview, it is usually not justified. At Harvard, for example, the procedure is a mere formality. Not at MIT. MIT has Educational Counselors around the globe. These are volunteers and alumni who'll meet you at your nearby library or while having a cup of coffee to discuss your application. If there's no one inside your locality a Skype call will be enough.
MIT stats reveal just 1.4% of those that pass-up the interview are offered acceptance. Do the essentials, take the right steps to make sure your voice is heard.
Entering MIT isn't like warming-up for American Idol. There are no scowling ego's sat behind a desk sneering at a missed note. They're former students who'd like to witness a shining application. They want outstanding students who they will be proud of approve. MIT has an extraordinary history. Ask yourself, are you really capable of succeeding America's elite? If not, it's time to change your approach.
Getting Into MIT will alter the course and direction of your life. It will impact your career and you'll make lasting friendships. How much is the that worth to you?
Ensure you prepare. Do yourself justice. Be that 1 in ten.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Make That Dorm Bed More Comfortable

When it comes to buying bedding for a dorm there are a couple of things to keep in mind. Dorm bedding is usually best bought all together in a set. When packing away for college it is best to keep everything compact and tucked away because there is a lot of stuff to take along. Buying bedding separately can make it harder to know where everything is and to keep it contained. Instead of buying pillow cases, sheets, and comforters separately it is easier to buy it all together in what is known as a "bed in a bag."
Bed in a bag sets provide sheets, pillow cases, and a comforter all packed together in a clear bag so it is convenient to see the contents of what is inside. The college student and parent can be sure that all of the bedding has been packed because it was bought that way. The Bed in a Bag is also convenient because everything is made to match in a set so it will look coordinated and one can be sure that everything will be the same measurement.
Another aspect to think about in order to choose the best dorm bedding is the size of the dorm bed. Many dorm beds are very small ranging from about a twin size to a full size. It is important to know what size the bed is before purchasing the bedding to make sure it will fit nicely on the bed. Be sure to call the dorm and find out what size the bed is before purchasing the wrong size bedding.
Another great idea for dorm bedding is to buy a mattress topper with extra down or a memory foam mattress topper. Dorm mattresses can be extremely thin and the beds themselves are not at the height of comfort. It is easy to add an extra layer of comfort to the thin dorm mattress with a cushioned mattress topper. Mattress toppers are very easy to put over the bed as they lay flat on top of the mattress and some of them attach securely over the mattress like a fitted sheet.
This same comfort of adding comfort to the dorm bed applies to pillows as well. Be sure to bring along some extra down or memory foam pillows so the head will have a nice comfortable cushion to sink into. A comfortable pillow can make a huge difference in getting a comfortable night's sleep.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

How to Keep Social at College While on a Student Budget

In general, being a starving student and having a social life doesn't seem to go hand in hand. This does not have to be the case! You can have tons of fun when not cramming for exams, researching for papers or studying. All it takes is a little creativity and opening up your mind to exciting opportunities for adventure and relaxation. We've got some great tips up our sleeves to stir some ideas and give you the opportunity to have some real fun without having to worry about breaking the bank.
Tip #1 Enjoy the Outdoors
Do not underestimate your surroundings! Even if you are not the outdoorsy type, if you are gifted with nature's playground surrounding you, give it a go and explore some of the many trails in your area. If hiking isn't your thing, try setting up a camping trip with your friends. Splitting the costs of the camp site rental for the weekend along with splitting the costs of supplies can be a great getaway from stress and gives you the opportunity to enjoy nature and your friends without the interference of the internet, smart phones etc. In this day in age it is important to "unplug" once in a while to rejuvenate.
Tip# 2 Dinner & A Movie: Budget Friendly Style
Heading out to a movie and dinner these days can be quite pricey especially if you throw popcorn and snacks into the equation. You can have just as much fun or even more fun by holding your own "movie night" at your own place. Rent a movie you think your friends will enjoy and have everyone bring their own snack for everyone to share. You can even set a theme night by tying in the food with the type of movie.
Tip #3 Head to the Museum
If you have a keen interest in art and history, check out your local museum! Not only will educate yourself, but exploring new and old works of art can be interesting and exciting. Many museums offer a discounted admission during the week.
Tip #4 Hold a Spa Party
As much as you would love to sign up for a pampering spa, it can be relaxing but super expensive - why not throw your own spa party? Have all of your girlfriends bring spa tools such as nail files, massage oils, towels and nail polish and practice your techniques on each other. Why not throw in snacks and a chick flick to go along with it? This option can be much more entertaining!
Tip #5 Check out Free Events
Check your local listings for upcoming events in your town or city. Depending on the population of your town, the amount of events being held may vary. However if you check your community newspaper and city websites through social media, surely there are many free events happening in the summer whether they be cultural events, free concerts, outdoor movies etc.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Homeless To Harvard

Harvard has been the backdrop and subplot to many great movies. From Good Will Hunting to the ridiculous Stealing Harvard, Harvard is the setting where dreams are made and broken.Yet the story of Dawn Loggins eclipses any Hollywood plot.
18 year old Loggins, from North Carolina, has made international news. Loggins grew up in an environment beset by school bullying and parents in the grip of drug-abuse. Fellow students taunted the teenager, who often turned up at school looking bedraggled. Despite this hardship, and a series of school transfers, Loggins somehow managed to hold course and become a Straight A student.
The story has echoes of Liz Murray who's auto-biography, 'Breaking Night, My Journey From Homeless To Harvard'. Her story became a bestseller and was later dramatized for an Emmy winning drama.
Murray too had a dysfunctional family background and found herself on the streets at the age of 16. She finally won a New York Times scholarship for needy students. Harvard is viewed by the media, with some justification, as the passport to a life of prosperity.
Murray has since become an author and international public speaker. She has shared the stage with world figures including Tony Blair, the Dalai Lama and Mikhail Gorbachev. She is also the founder and director of Manifest Living, spreading a message of empowerment to teenagers around the world.
At Harvard Loggins plans to work on her degree in biology, so that she can realize next the chapter of her remarkable life and study animal habitats. Like a Charles Dickens novel, this rags to riches tale has the power to move and inspire. In the tradition of any great cliche, dreams come true for those who hold the course.
Harvard is often viewed as the passport to a life of prosperity. Which is why student applications are soaring from around the world. This year Harvard accepted just 5.9% of applicants. Which makes Dawn's achievements all the more impressive.
A word on Harvard's financial aid policy. Harvard has the highest financial aid budget of any US university at $172,000,000 for needy students. Financial Aid is reserved for students whose family finances are under $60,000. Infact Harvard's financial aid is so generous that fees best or equal 90% of other higher education institutes.
Students qualify for aid regardless of race, nationality or background. Their only requirement? Students in possession of an outstanding resume.