A New Beginning Rises out of Lower Manhattan

The shadows of the Twin Towers Stretch Over Lower Manhattan

Although some of you may be studying online from places very far away from New York, the Allen School ground campuses and administrative offices are all located in the greater New York City metro area.  As such, we all have a local connection to the events of 9/11.  This blogger traveled from his home about an hour upstate into Manhattan over the last weekend to attend a birthday party and noticed, for the first time, the looming superstructure of the new Freedom Tower rising up in the gaping hole left in the skyline of lower Manhattan by the fallen World Trade Center towers.  It was both a visceral shock and an emotional moment.  It felt as though something that had long been missing, something stolen, had been returned to city and my view.So I was pretty jazzed to see this story on the cool-beans website, Gizmodo.com. Have a look at the killer view the new tower will sport.  Can’t wait until it opens so I can go to the top and look down.

Get Your Resume Past the Electronic Screeners

With so many people looking for jobs in this tough economy, hiring authorities are getting buried under mountains of resumes.  Many have turned to automation software to scan and screen paper resumes and sort out the relevant ones from the rest.  As a result, most resumes aren’t reviewed by a human being until they have been selected by the algorithm of a sophisticated “applicant tracking system” software.  Wanna know how to game that system and make sure that your resume is actually viewed by the hiring manager?  I BET you do.  Let me hook you up with some pretty savvy, tech-based, Human Resources secret knowledge.  Visit this awesome article from the cool nerds over at Lifehacker.com.  It tells you the whole story on how to use keywords and other techniques for getting past the robot screener.

Boost Concentration and Memory

Being an Online Student at Allen School Online (or really being a student of medical billing and coding anywhere) requires great levels of concentration and memory.  There are many specifics to learn, commit to memory and recall, as needed once you enter the fast paced work world.  For this reason, I think nearly all our readers could benefit from some tips on how to keep your brain fresh and operating at optimal levels.  |Some of these things are intuitive like, “Don’t deprive yourself of sleep if it can be helped” and “Eat more foods with Omega 3 fatty acids which help boost brain activity”.  But there are alot of other techniques too like “Making sure to find laughter and laugh often” and “Enjoy a glass of wine several times each week” which don’t seem like the standard, run of the mill suggestions.Here and here are some links to several sites offering more orthodox and unorthodox ideas for keeping your mind sharp.

Productivity Boosting Sites for Students

Being an online student at Allen School means you’re already someone inclined to multi-task and to find innovative ways of getting work done more quickly and efficiently.  So you’ll probably be stoked with this list of nearly 30 websites designed to help students optimize their activities in such student-centric areas as online research, homework composition, buying/selling of textbooks, handy tools and academic social networking.  Find easy PDF converters, textbook exchanges, professor reviews and many other tools, services and products to help optimize your productivity as a student.  Visit this Student Productivity Guide for the details.  You can thank me later!

Top Job Locations for 2012 – Hope You Like the Desert

Forbes magazine is out with its list of top states for job growth in 2012.  Four of the top 5 on the Forbes list of 10 are desert states.  Texas, Nevada, Arizona and New Mexico are numbers one through four.  Before you pull up stakes though, pack your freshly minted Allen School Online medical billing and coding certificate and head West, consider this important caveat.  All the states on Forbes’ list are so-called “right to work” states.  These are states that have instituted laws making it more difficult for unions to organize.  As a result, lots of large companies, particularly manufacturers, have made the move into these states to take advantage of lower wage standards in the absence of collective bargaining.  This may explain the jump in available positions and new hiring in these states.  While medical billing and coding jobs are generally not candidates for unionized workforces (except maybe in large healthcare organizations), it is worth noting that workers  “right to work” states generally suffer lower overall earning power than their counterparts in other states.   So unless you’re super fond of painted desert landscapes, native American artwork and motifs or warm winter months, you may be better off staying coastal.  After all both Oregon and Georgia made the list too!

Where to Score Black Friday Deals on Tech

Online students have an excuse for going out and spending money on electronic gadgetry.  After all, a new all-in-one printer is useful for printing out coursework.  A new laptop will increase productivity during study times and also, allows online classes to load and play more quickly with less browser crashes.  And of course, a new flatscreen TV or media player is just the thing with which to reward your favorite Allen School Online student for studying hard and joining the workforce as a medical billing and coding specialist.Lifehacker has this pretty solid list of the best Black Friday deals available beginning Thanksgiving in the evening.   Share any sale info you may have come across with your classmates in the comments section.

5 Fresh Tactics for the Job Hunt

So this isn’t going to be the tired old “Dress for Success, Write a Thank You Letter, Make Eye Contact” kind of post about how to land the job.  The net is jam packed full of old, tired advice on what it takes to turn the job interview into a salary.  As many may have already found, what was useful even 10 years ago is no longer relevant given the radically different (read: exceedingly tough) job market.  Monster.com recently published a piece with what seems to be some very astute recommendations regarding what is needed to help a candidate succeed in the interview.  And it has nothing to do with clothing or how to turn “your top three weaknesses into strengths”.  The 5 fresh tactics are:Pain Spotting Story Telling Using a Human Voice Showing Relevance Knowing Your ValueClick here to read the article at Monster for the details on what these suggestions involve.  Then go out and get ’em!

Why You’re Studying

OK, so this is a bit of comic relief but it is a true story and it underscores the need for QUALIFIED medical office help.   Keeping track of medical records is a tough job.  So many people with so many different ailments and specific requirements.  It seems like an overwhelming task to keep it all straight.  This is why Allen School Online students study hard.  Consider the case of Les Kennington who was told that his severe abdominal pains were likely the result of his past hysterectomy! Yes, you read that right.  This New Zealander’s doctor’s office insisted Les’s pain was a result of his having had his uterus removed because his medical records said he’d had one! Click here to read the story that would be hilarious if it weren’t true.  Then get back to your studies because this is important stuff you’re working on!

Remember, They Fought for Our Freedoms

On this Veteran’s Day, the Allen School Online Blog would like to offer sincere thanks and profound gratitude to all those who put themselves in grave harm’s way to protect and defend our Constitution, Bill of Rights and the freedoms they enumerate.  Their sacrifice and dedication should never be forgotten.  Please honor the memory of those who have fallen and those who have returned to us by being an engaged citizen.  Vote, participate, celebrate your right to self governance and thank a veteran for the gift of being able to have a voice in your country.“As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them. — John F. Kennedy

Zero Unemployment In Many Medical-Related Fields

OK, so I cannot say that Medical Billing and Coding made the list, but a recently published list of the Top 10 college majors with the lowest unemployment rates after graduation contained no fewer than 3 medically-related fields.  The list put out by Liz Godwin at the Lookout was mirrored by recent research performed by the Wall Street Journal showing that majors in the following job fields all enjoy between 0-2% unemployment rates:Majors and their unemployment rate:1. Actuarial Science—0 percent2. Astronomy and Astrophysics—0 percent3. Educational Administration and Supervision—0 percent4. Geological and Geophysical Engineering—0 percent5. Pharmacology—0 percent6. School Student Counseling—0 percent7. Agricultural Economics—1.3 percent8. Medical Technologies Technicians—1.4 percent9.Atmospheric Sciences and Meteorology—1.6 percent10. Environmental Engineering, Nursing, and Nuclear Industrial Radiology and Biological Technologies—2.2 percentClick here to read the whole article. If you are trained to work in medical offices as a billing and coding professional, you’re entering a field where there is categorically high employment.