Ashworth College Blog

Affordable online degrees: College done your way without annoying college problems

Written by Allison Brenner on Monday, 09 September 2013. Posted in Career

Affordable Online Degrees: College Done Your Way Without Annoying College Problems

Movies like Animal House and Old School depict a very narrow view of what college life is supposed to be like. While that idea may be one person’s ideal advanced learning situation, the truth is there are many other college types. Going to an online college allows you to avoid many of the less than glamorous aspects of truly attending a brick-and-mortar school.

  • Spending a lot of money:
    No need to spend money on meal plans and football tickets. Taking your schooling to the internet allows you to study for affordable online degrees without breaking the bank. Instead of paying for a parking place on campus, you can put that money toward something that will last longer than a semester.
  • Loud neighbors late at night:
    Living in a dorm, you’re surrounded by boisterous neighbors who make it impossible to get sleep before class. Online college allows you to go to sleep on your own schedule in the peace and quiet of your own home.
  • Tons of all-nighters:
    Staying up all night to cram for a test or finish a paper is a constant occurrence in college. Getting your degree on the web allows you to learn and study when and where it fits into your schedule. No late nights necessary!
  • Deciding what to wear to class:
    Buying the latest brand of jeans or picking the right shoes to wear on your walk to campus takes time and energy. Why do that when you can have class right in your home? You can even wear pajamas without feeling judged from others.
  • Walking to campus in the rain:
    Like post carriers, classes happen in the rain, snow and sleet and if you go to a brick-and-mortar school, you have to walk to class in all kinds of inclement weather. Online school lets you go to class inside where it’s nice and dry.
  • Scheduling your day around classes:
    Online college means you can fit your schooling into your life – not the other way around. No more taking time to commute to campus or lose specific hours of your day to sit in a classroom.
  • Bad cafeteria food:
    Dining hall food is inherently inedible. Why wait in lines for mystery mean when you can have home cooked food every night? Even better: in online colleges there are no dining plans!
  • Fretting over schedules:
    It can be overwhelming to decide which courses to take when there is no clear path to graduation. Even worse, in traditional college not every course is offered every semester. At Ashworth, you always know what class comes next and it’s ready whenever you are.

While online college may not be right for everyone, it definitely has some perks compared to traditional brick and mortar colleges. Looking to earn an affordable online degree on your terms means you still have a legitimate degree to show employers but without the worries of campus life.

About the Author

Allison Brenner

Allison Brenner

Allison Brenner is a copywriter with James Madison High School and Ashworth College. Alli, holds a B.S. Journalism from the Georgia Southern University College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences.

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What do employers really look for in a resume? Three things to include and three things to avoid.

Career Life Hacks What do employers really look for in a resume? Three things to include and three things to avoid.

When it comes to what employers want to see in a resume, you may be surprised. Certainly they want to see the standard bits of information, such as education, job history, and training. But what they’re really looking for is a means by which to determine if you’re the right hire for the job. This means they’re also looking at information such as results, relevance, signs of motivation, and an indication that you have a genuine interest in the company and position.

No matter where you are in your educational journey or career, you can write a resume that helps employers identify you as the best person to hire.

Here’s what employers look for in a winning resume – and three things they don’t want to see.

1. Keywords

Keywords help match your resume to relevant job openings. It should be a no-brainer to realize that an employer searching for a “veterinary technician” needs to see that specific phrase in your resume (and not just the abbreviation “vet tech”). Beyond the job title, you should include other important keywords in your resume, too.

Go over any job posting carefully and make a list of the skills and attributes the employer is seeking. For instance, if a job posting lists “the ability to create pivot tables in Excel,” and you have this experience, then be sure to include the phrase “pivot tables” in your resume. If a posting requires “ability to work with minimal supervision,” and your prior work history includes such a position, then you should be sure to write something like, “managed the department with minimal supervision.” Including specific keywords like this helps employers find you when searching for resumes online and also helps the hiring official match you to the opportunity when scanning resumes to determine which people to interview.

2. Action-oriented verbs

When you write about your employment history, use strong action verbs and focus on accomplishments instead of tasks.


Example: “Achieved 25% year-on-year sales growth,” NOT “Was responsible for managing the sales department.”

Example: “Reduced patient billing errors by improving the efficiency of work flow within the department,” NOT “As part of management responsibility, changed the department’s work flow.”


Be sure to quantify your achievements whenever possible. If you can use numbers to communicate the concrete results of your efforts on the job, it will help a prospective employer better visualize what you can contribute to the organization.

3. Education

Even if you’re applying for a job that doesn’t specify an educational requirement, be sure to list all of your degrees and relevant diplomas or certificates, starting with the highest degree you’ve earned. You do not need to include the year you graduated unless you are still taking classes, in which case you should share your anticipated graduation date and your current GPA:

Bachelor of Science in Early Childhood Education (anticipated degree date June 2020)
Ashworth College
Current GPA: 3.9

To highlight your commitment to continuing education, be sure to include relevant career diplomas and certificates you’ve earned:

Career Diploma: AutoCAD
Ashworth College

Career Diploma: Medical Office Assistant
Ashworth College

Three things an employer doesn’t want to see on your resume

Just as employers are looking for the inclusion of certain items on a resume, they are also actively scanning to make sure certain items are not a part of your resume. Don’t make these common resume mistakes! No employer wants to see these errors on a resume.

  1. Typos. Make sure to carefully proofread your resume before you post it online or send it to a prospective employer. In fact, you should have a couple of friends proofread your resume, too, to catch any stray typos.
  2. Inflated skills or credentials. Be honest on your resume and only list the skills and qualifications you actually possess. Never lie on your resume, whether it’s about your educational level or past career history.
  3. Lack of links to social media profiles. These days, many employers dive deeply into the backgrounds of their job candidates. On your resume, include links to your LinkedIn profile, Twitter handle, personal website, or other relevant social media so prospective employers can get to know you better.

BONUS: Add a new degree to your resume’s education section

You can increase your chance of getting a good job by pursuing a degree, certificate, or career diploma in a field that pairs well with your interests. Talk to an admissions advisor today to find a degree program at Ashworth College that suits your interests, schedule, and budget!

What do employers look for in an interview? These 4 interview secrets will help you land the job.

Career Life Hacks What do employers look for in an interview? These 4 interview secrets will help you land the job.

During an interview, a prospective employer wants to get to know you better as a person. Your resume tells a prospective employer everything he/she needs to know about your educational background, work history, and job skills. You’ll be expected to answer questions on these topics but, to ace an interview, you need to be able to speak beyond your resume.

Different companies have different ways of approaching interviews. Some ask every candidate the exact same questions while others take a more open approach, allowing the conversation go where it may. As a job applicant, you should be able to do four things in any interview setting: speak knowledgeably about the company, articulate your successes, talk about your weaknesses, and ask questions about the job.

1. Speak knowledgeably about the company

Before you even sent a resume in response to a job posting, you should have researched the company to find out exactly what products or services it offers, where it operates, how it’s structured, and other important details. During the interview, you can use this knowledge to demonstrate you know how you and your job skills can help the company meet its goals.

Instead of offering generic answers to interview questions, tailor your responses to show how you will address the company’s specific needs. You might say something like, “All of my experience in healthcare compliance has been in Texas, so I’m well-qualified to oversee risk reduction activities in your nine Texas-based nursing homes.” This response shows the hiring official you’ve done your homework and understand where your skills might fit in.

2. Articulate your successes

Many people fear “tooting their own horn” or sounding egotistical by “bragging” about their accomplishments, but in a job interview you absolutely must be able to discuss your successes. To make it easier, you should come prepared with two or three anecdotes about things you’ve achieved – at work or outside it.

Maybe you want to tell a story of running your first 10k race, how you trained every day, and how you felt victorious even by coming in last. Or maybe you want to relate an incident that occurred at work, when a colleague left without warning and you stepped in to take on additional responsibilities until the role could be filled. Rehearse these stories by telling them to friends until you feel comfortable talking about them.

3. Talk about your weaknesses

Gone are the days when you could couch a weakness as a strength by saying something like, “My biggest weakness is working long hours.” Employers don’t want to hear that from you.

Instead, prepare to talk about two or three genuine deficits – and how you plan to address them. For instance, if you’re asked about your greatest weakness on the job, you could respond with something like, “I wish I had a better grasp of bookkeeping now that I’m moving into positions that require more budget responsibility, and I’m planning to take an online course to improve my skills in that area.”

4. Ask questions about the job

Always remember a job interview is a two-way street. You don’t want to work for just any firm or take just any job. You want to make sure the company, position, and people are a good fit for you and your career goals.

So come prepared with three to five questions that will provide the insight you need to determine whether or not to accept the position, if it’s offered to you. A few questions you might consider are:

  • What caused this position to come open?
  • What has been the position/department’s biggest challenge over the past year?
  • What is the departmental culture like?
  • What are the top priorities for this position over the next six months?
  • What type of staff or resource support will I have to accomplish the department’s goals?

These types of questions demonstrate that you want to be successful in the job, and any hiring manager will appreciate that!

Advance your education to be interviewed for better jobs

Employers may not always ask about your education in an interview, but you can guarantee they’re looking at it, and that having the the right training for a job can help ensure you get your foot in the door. For those ready to take the next step in their current career – or start a new one – talk to an admissions advisor today to find a degree, diploma, or certificate program at Ashworth College that will propel your career to the next level.

Meet the Ashworth College Online Engagement Coordinator: #ShawnCares

Why Ashworth Meet the Ashworth College Online Engagement Coordinator: #ShawnCares

We’re not so different from the students we serve. Like them, we each have our individual goals, dreams, personal roadblocks, and vision for who want to be and where we want to go. Here at Ashworth College, we’re all about inspiring and enabling students to be their best selves, so we thought we’d share insights into what motivates our staff to GO BEYOND the ordinary and always—always—strive for more.

Every company has that person—the one who knows everyone and seems to hold the key to finding the answers to any question. At Ashworth College, that person is Online Engagement Coordinator Shawn Bryant. Or, as he’s referred to by his social media teammates, #ShawnCares.

A graduate of James Madison University and lifelong athlete, Shawn originally came to Ashworth College in 2007 as an Admissions Advisor to pay for his training to play professional football. He eventually returned to Ashworth College where his career path took him from Admissions, to Student Services, to being tapped to join the social media team.

Today, Shawn can be found behind the scenes on the social media sites (Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, YouTube, Facebook, etc.) for Ashworth College and sister sites James Madison High School (JMHS), Madison School of Healthcare, and PCDI-Canada, responding to questions and resolving issues.

Q: #ShawnCares. Why do you think your peers gave you that nickname?

A: I think it’s because anything I put my name on, I take seriously. I remember something our CEO, Rob Klapper said, about everyone in our company being important from the janitor to the CEO and that resonated with me. When I’m responding to students, I’m not speaking for myself—I’m speaking for Ashworth College. So I treat every issue as if I had something to do with it, personally. That helps me be the very best I can be.

Q: You were the Chairman of VOTE for six years. Tell us about that.

A: VOTE is “Voice of the Employee” and its purpose is to give employees across the company a means to be heard. It’s also a morale booster, as we headed a number of projects like Habitat for Humanity builds, food bank drives, our annual company picnic, etc. When I was chair, I was still in admissions and student services but I had one-on-ones with our CEO, representing employee concerns. That was great training for what I do now on our social media channels.

Q: What’s your superpower?

A: I’m a puzzle-finder. My degree is in sociology with a minor in criminal justice and for a while I thought I might be a detective. My current role allows me a good bit of detective work. I trace down what was said, what the roadblock is, and put together the story of what happened, so I can bring our team members together to resolve it.

Shawn Bryant and Kamogelo Phahladira

Shawn Bryant and Kamogelo Phahladira. Kamogelo traveled from South Africa to attend our 2018 graduation. She often reached out to Ashworth College on Facebook Messenger with questions and was thrilled to meet the person who helped her along the way!

Q: What do you most enjoy about your job?

A: Resolving issues! It’s great to turn a frown into a smile or just know I was able to help someone seeking answers.

Q: You live on social media during the day. Are you active on your own time?

A: Oddly enough, no. (Laughs). I prefer face-to-face conversations and being able to read body language and hear someone’s tone. That’s why when I receive a complaint over social media, I read the complaint over and over and over. I’m really trying to “hear” what the person is saying, so I can respond appropriately and give them the answers they need.

 
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