If you’re like me (and since you’re an online student, chances are that you are), online the better part of the day every day, you probably use the internet to manage your credit card accounts. Ever come across a charge that you’re sure you didn’t incur? Maybe it is some annoying fee charged by the bank. Maybe it is something more sinister, like a fraudulent charge made to your account. In either case, it can be difficult to determine. You could spend hours navigating automated call centers or clicking around confusing websites. Or, if you’d like to avoid the $300 the average American pays every year in bogus or otherwise unwanted credit charges, you could join BillGuard. BillGuard monitors all your credit accounts for erroneous charges and cross checks suspect items against known scams and chatter from the Better Business Bureau and other online sites dedicated to tracking fraud. If you’re online as much as I am, this service is great because it alerts you to suspicious transactions very early, before real damage can be done to your accounts. Read more about how it works at Credit.com.
Raw Story has an article out today recounting the story of how an AIDS enzyme which had puzzled scientists for decades has been unraveled by computer gamers. Trying to figure out the structure of certain proteins in the molecular makeup of pathogens is a difficult task. Scientists cannot determine which pieces of the enzyme may be vulnerable to medical compounds until they understand the three dimensional shape of the enzyme itself. Computers analyzing the two dimensional images of the proteins as viewed through a microscope were not up to the task. But a group of video game mavens, using a specialized software tool, applied their well-honed (and likely Cheetos stained) gaming abilities to unlock the shape of the enzyme in the AIDS virus. Click here to read the details of this stunning story.
So, CNBC recently published a report listing the top ten most hated jobs based on a survey they took of workers in many fields. You’ll be happy to learn that not a single one of these odious employment opportunities was in the healthcare field. The top 10 worst jobs are: 1. Director, Information Technology 2. Director, Sales and Marketing 3. Product Manager 4. Senior Web Developer 5. Tech Specialist 6. Electronics Technician 7. Law Clerk 8. Tech Support Analyst 9. CNC Machinist 10. Marketing Manager So, this blogger is happy for all you Allen School Online students who will NOT be entering a hated field. Please feel sorry for me though. I am a marketing director/manager, web developer and product manager for a living. Maybe it is my cheerful natural disposition that keeps me from hating my job.
So you thought you’d get all the information you needed in your Allen School Online studies to land a killer job with a great salary in Medical Billing and Coding? Well, that’s mostly true. But there are some very important, non-verbal negotiation strategies that can mean the difference between decent compensation and extraordinary compensation. And these tips are not something you’ll learn in class. These are tips that come from the hard won experiences of the job seekers who came before you. Instead of learning them the hard way in this tough economic climate, read up on them here so you can prepare yourself to negotiate like a seasoned worker. Click here to read a piece from Yahoo! HotJobs written by consultant, Pat Mayfield about how to communicate using non-verbal cues such as “the power of body language”, “the power of the eyes” and “internal and external power”. Then go out there and get the best compensation you can for the value you bring to a new employer.
So this weekend marks the 10 year anniversary of the 9|11 attacks on America. As a school with headquarters and campuses in the NY metro area, we have an extra connection to the events of this fateful day. Born and raised in New Jersey, within site of the Manhattan skyline, this blogger watched the towers being built as a very young child. The towers were an indelible part of my upbringing. I was working in a financial services firm in California in September of 2001 and was up at 6AM Pacific (9am Eastern) to be ready for the stock market’s opening even on the west coast. I’ll never forget turning on the TV as I did every morning with my coffee to see the image of flight 175 striking the second tower as the first tower burned in the background. At the ten year mark, the country seems ready to reflect on the tragedy that befell us all that fateful morning. National Geographic magazine has put together one of the better photo essays in remembrance which you can view here. Where were you when you heard the news? Share your recollections in the comments. It is part of the healing process to relive the trauma of this scar on our national psyche. God Bless America!
OK, so as heavy users of online resources (being online students and overall Internet junkies), we’ve grown pretty savvy regarding the scams used by scammers to scam us out of our hard earned money. For a while, we were susceptible to these “too good to be true” appeals to our greed. “Nigerian banker fleeing oppressive regime needs compassionate foreigners to help him move his family business and significant cash holdings out of the country. Let me deposit $4,000,000 into your account and when I transfer out the balance upon arriving in the US, I will leave $50,000 in your account as payment.” I’m sure you’ve seen that one. What about, “You’ve been selected to receive a $500 gift card from Walmart”? OK, so we have grown to recognize these as scams. But scammers in Nigeria and elsewhere never sleep it would seem. Latching on to the fact that we’ve grown hip to their schemes, they have gone the other way in an attempt to confuse us. The new scams prey on the “too BAD to be true” response. For example, you receive a very official looking email from your bank. It has all the colors and logos from your bank. It may even come from an email address with your bank’s name somehow included. It says something like, “Your account has been overdrawn by a debit in the amount of $7500.00. The large dollar amount has alerted our fraud detection department. Please log in immediately to verify the debit or to log a fraud claim.” Provided is a link to a mocked up website that again “borrows” your bank’s website appearance. In a panic, and wishing to quickly straighten out your account, you enter in your username and password and voila! The scammer has access to your accounts. Pizza and beer for all the scammer’s friends is on him tonight. There are lots of new Phishing scams popping up every day. Click here for more information on the latest scams and how to detect them before you get taken for a ride. Share any scams you have uncovered in the comments below.
Writing a resumé can be a task that is quite difficult to begin. Especially if you don’t have a point of reference from which to begin . Do you ever wish you could take a peek at what other people have done with their resumés so that you could at least get an idea of how to structure/format your own? There’s no shame in cribbing from the work of others when it comes to writing resumés. In fact, there are lots of resumé sample sites out there (here, here and here) where you can review the CV’s of people in the exact same field as you. Or, click “read more” to see a particularly good example of a medical billing CV I found online. Continue reading…
We all have days when we feel like life’s challenges are just more than we can overcome. If you’re feeling stretched thin, perhaps as you’re trying to train for a job in a new career field. Or maybe you simply struggle to keep studies, work and family responsibilities from falling by the wayside. Whatever your personal struggles, remember that the secret to success is to never give up. Never give in. PERSEVERE! Consider the story of Brandon Mulnix of Michigan. Mulnix’s jaw was wired shut after injuries he sustained in a car wreck. Yet he was scheduled to run a marathon. A person with less perseverance might have opted to skip the 26 mile run. But not Brandon. He stuck to the task, no matter how large the obstacle in his path and completed the run in spite of his inability to consume solid foods for nutrition and energy. Kind of puts your struggles into perspective no? Excelsior!
Getting your certification is a wonderful thing, but now it is time to turn your attention and efforts to finding a new position with your newly minted qualifications. With the economy in turmoil and the effects of this volatility on the labor market, the rules of job hunting are changing day to day. What may have been conventional wisdom about how to write a resume, how to handle interviews or how to negotiate compensation is potentially no longer relevant. In many cases, what used to be a strategy for success has become a recipe for failure. The best way to know what is working (and what is not) in real time is to read the shared experiences of other job seekers who are also currently out there dealing with resumes, human resources, hiring managers, etc. The best job hunting blogs have shared experiences posted daily and that fresh input can be of immense value to the job hunter. I recommend Jobhuntingblogs.org which is a wonderful compilation of the best job hunting blogs out there. I also like guerrillajobhunting Get a fresh look at what is working for others and you can get ahead in the hunt! Also, share your experiences in the comments below to help fellow Allen School Online students in their search.
Many of our students live in the coastal areas in the path of Hurricane Irene. From all five boroughs to New Jersey’s coastline and all along the Eastern seaboard, its gonna be a wild weekend. Please be careful and take care of one another during this dangerous storm. -Allen School Online Blog