What Can You Do with a GIST Degree?

GIST or Geographic Information Science Technology is becoming an increasingly popular degree course in the United States, not least because of the amount of different careers available upon graduation.  After graduating from an online GIST program, you can work for the government, for law enforcement and criminal justice, in transportation, or even for health and human services, the options are endless.

And, now that colleges like the University of Southern California are offering online geographic information science and technology degree courses, anyone can study from the comfort of their own home.  The infographic below, created by the university, explains in full just what you can do with a GIST degree.  As you can see, there are tons of industries you can work in.

Common Career Paths for the Student of Geographic Information and Technology is an infographic created by the University of Southern California.

Could An Online Degree Be For You?

Online degrees are an increasingly common route towards a degree or formal qualification. Over the last decade or so, online degrees have evolved from borderline scams to reputable degrees on par with their traditional counterparts. This has been helped in large part by the diverse range of already established and respected educational institutions who now offer online counterparts to their campus courses. Now that an online degree can offer the similar or same value to a traditional one, they represent fantastic value for money and a legitimate first step on a long-term career path.  Even if an online degree isn’t something you’ve really considered, read on to find out if you’re the kind of person who could benefit from studying one.

Flexibility

One of the greatest advantages of an online degree is that it can be completed over a different timescale to a university course, making them ideal for those who are either currently employed or those who have young children to look after and therefore are unable to dedicate themselves to full-time learning. These flexible studying timescales also allow those sensitive to the pressures of full-time education to take their time and ease the pressure. Online degrees also offer a great deal of flexibility in terms of the available subjects to study and often entry requirements aren‘t quite as strict for campus courses, and for those that do have prerequisite qualifications, they can often be studied prior to taking up the full course through the same institution.

Career Advancement

An online degree not only looks fantastic on a resume but is a great investment for those looking to advance on their chosen career path. For those looking to break into the world of business, a master’s in business administration (MBA) is the standard to which all entrepreneurs are held. An MBA will not only prepare you for how to start and run your own business but also how to manage others and as such is just as suitable for career advancement as it is for going solo. For those who already have a qualification, an online degree can upgrade or supplement it. A good example is a BSN to DNP online course, such as those offered by Bradley University. These online doctoral nursing programs are designed to allow those with a BSN to apply for a more senior and higher salaried role.

Lower Costs

The costs of an online course are significantly lower than those of studying on campus. Combined with the suitability of part-time online courses for those who are in work, they represent a strong investment with returns both financial and otherwise. Lower costs not only make the course more accessible but it encourages those who might not have otherwise considered it to pursue an area of study they consider risky.

The lessons and skills learned while studying an online degree are all applicable to many other areas of work and life and so the benefits extend beyond those gained from the degree itself.

Buying a Car in the U.S.

The U.S. is a true melting pot with new, eager faces arriving every day from all over the world for their shot at the American dream. Life in the U.S. can be overwhelming for foreigners who’ve recently arrived, from bank accounts to housing, from work to transportation, there are a lot of specifics to work out when you arrive.

The U.S. is a big country. Many American cities don’t lend themselves to a pedestrian lifestyle. And while many American cities do offer dependable public transportation, owning your own car is very American. Here’s what you need to know about buying a car in the U.S.

There is great online resource for car buying – Cars.com. The site features resources for car buying like finding cars for sale at car dealerships, finding cars for sale by private owner, researching the various car models available, reviews on cars, dealers in your area, used car costs, payment estimations and more. You can enter the type of car you’re interested in buying, and your geographic location into the search criteria, and the site will generate a list for you of available cars in your area.

If you’re new to the U.S., you won’t have much credit history in this country. That may make car buying here difficult until you can build it up. There are some car lots and dealerships that specialize in helping buyers with no credit. Interest rates on these purchases tend to be higher and the payments on the loans tend to be more frequent. If you have cash on hand, that’s the single best way to purchase a car. You won’t have to haggle with the credit issue and you will save money on interest over the long run. You will need a driver’s license issued by a U.S. state to complete the transaction, register the vehicle in your name after sale and legally drive it around.

Car ownership gives you freedom to explore your new country too. The U.S. is a vast network of highways and interstates. Each community, city, state and region are heavily connected to each other which makes travel between by car easy. So hit the open road in your new car and see all that America has to offer in its diversity and its scenery.

Why Your Small Business Should Hire a Reputation Management Firm

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Running a small business is not easy and you must scrutinize every cent which is spent to ensure that you are going to make sensible financial decisions. The key to making financial decisions is to ascertain whether you are going to receive a strong return on your investment and one such area of investment which not enough businesses are making, which provides a very strong return on the investment is the hiring of a reputation management company. Many reputation management consultants complaints which people have when discussing small businesses are highly unfounded and here are just a few reasons why you should genuinely consider a reputation management company for your small business.

How Are You Doing?

There is a huge amount of companies who have no idea what their online reputation even looks like and fail to understand the level to which this can affect business. If you want to understand what your online reputation is and see just how much it could be causing harm to you business then you need to hire professionals who have your best interests in mind.

Competition

Strong reputations lead to higher trust for customers which in turn leads to higher sales. All of this collectively improves your market share and can take you above the competition. If you are falling behind your business enemies then consider what damage your online reputation might be doing to you, a single negative review can see you losing a huge amount of sales and if you don’t get on top of it then who knows how much more you will lose, and how much further ahead your competition will move.

Future Plans

If you are blind to what your online reputation is and you invest heavily in an digital marketing strategy for example, you could very well be shining a spotlight on a company which has criticism across the internet. This will not only see you waste your money but also exasperate the problem. Hiring a reputation management company will ensure that the image which you want to put across to consumers is accurate so that when you do make future plans such as marketing or a growth strategy, you can do so safe in the knowledge that this is the image the consumer will see as well.

Higher Sales

The reason why a reputation management firm investment has such strong ROI is because it will ultimately increase and general more sales for your business. AS mentioned before, a single negative review could potentially scare of hundreds, even thousands of clients if it is left unanswered ( should it be true, ) or left on the site if it is a falsehood. The key to business is about making money and the way we do that is through sales, if there is anything which is standing in the way of you selling your products then it must be addressed as soon as possible.

Top Pitfalls in Business

It is a well known fact that over half of all new businesses will fail within their first 3 years and that of that half, around a further 40%, will fail in the following 2 years. These figures are actually rising year on year which is a very worrying fact for anyone who has just started out in business or for anyone who is planning to do so.

Striving for success and consciously avoiding failure is a daily struggle which will place you and your business under a great deal of pressure and in truth, there is no way to avoid this, it is the true face of business. With that being said, there are lessons that can be learned form this eh have been successful in the past and also, those who have failed. To help you in your efforts to avoid failure, let’s take a look at some of the factors which have caused businesses to fail in the past.

Finances

Naturally, finances is the key to the success or failure of a business and this will fall into a few separate categories.

– Lack of funds

Businesses should always ensure that they have a healthy amount of money both as a foundation and going forward to ensure that they can operate to their potential.

– Mismanagement

Businesses managing finances without the skills to do so or making risky decisions without consulting.

– Ignorance

Owners becoming blind to their bottom line and not paying sufficient attention to their cash flow either because they are too wrapped up in operations or they have a lack of knowledge.

Focus heavily on the financial side of things and ensure that it is an area looked after by a professional.

Outsourcing

Outsourcing is a vital piece of the puzzle when it comes to running a business but it is important that it is done at the right time and in the right way. It can be tempting to outsource too much of the business but this can result in financial problems, equally, many people do not outsource the right areas at the right times, causing a similar problem. Ensure that you outsource key parts of your business which give a strong ROI and help you to operate more effectively.

Reputation

Your company and its reputation is crucial to your success and if you follow in the path of many who have gone before and fail to acknowledge this, then you could be in for problems. Online reputations are especially important and you should consider employing a reputation management company to help you out in terms of creating and managing a strong online reputation, if you are in any doubt as to whether this is a service which could benefit you then read the reputationmanagementconsultants.com reviews to see just how many businesses have greatly benefited from having their reputation reviewed and boosted online. Reputation is crucial to you success and you should treat it with a high level of importance.

How to Interview For That Job You Want

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Job hunting is no fun, hours and hours spent searching and even more time filling out application forms can be a tough time and as much as it sucks, it is vital that you see it through. Once you are fortunate enough to get an interview, now is the time to give everything that you have in order to go get that job.

There is a great deal of competition right across the board when it comes to getting a job, this is largely as a result of more highly skilled people coming out of universities and colleges. For this reason you need to be on top of your game, and here is how.

Preparation

Preparation will include learning all that you can about the company which you have applied to, learn their history, learn what they do, how they do it and what their plans are, as well as any new and exciting developments. In terms of personal prep, you also need to ensure that you avoid any chances of not getting the job. For example, what will a prospective employer find when they search for you online? Will they find an upstanding member of society? Or will they find that photo on your Facebook page where you passed out after a party? If you are worried then speak to someone like Reputation Management Consultants Eric Schiffer and his team who can help to fix your online reputation.

Interview Time

The interview is all about you selling yourself, try not to waste time feeling nervous, this really will not help you. If you do start to feel nervous then try some breathing exercises which can help you to stay relaxed. When you are in the interview, you need to approach it with absolute confidence, avoid coming over as arrogant but you need to be assured in your approach, be direct and answer the questions in full. The key is to speak as much as possible, without rambling, if the interviewer has heard enough then they will stop you. If you are short with your answers then it will appear as though you have nothing to say and this will not bode well for you.

Listen carefully to what you are being asked, by all means take some time to think about your response, try to understand what the interviewer wants from you before answering. Be clear with your responses and try to pack in as much detail as you can about your strengths. By all means you can mention your weaknesses but do so in a positive light, for example: “Organization is a lesser strength of mine, but I am regularly seeking to improve it”. Nobody is perfect and you shouldn’t paint yourself as though you are.

Feedback

If you should fail in your interview then do not worry, take it as a learning curve, ask for feedback, understand it and go again. There are no guarantees that an interview will lead to a job and it is important that you hold your head high and try again.

How to Grow Your Business’ Presence Online

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Regardless of what business you happen to be in, we are in a  world where it has never been more important to create a profile online. The world operates using the internet and from our smartphone to our laptop, the internet is where we go when we want to find something new. Online marketing can gain access to more sets of eyes than any marketing ever has and if you want to grow your business, your brand and ultimately your revenue, an online presence is essential.

If you want to increase your internet presence then here is what you need to be doing.

Check Your Reputation

The first thing that you need to do before you make efforts to create or boost your online profile is to ensure that your online reputation is in good shape. Contact a team like the one at Eric Schiffer Reputation Management Consultants who can review, restore and protect your online reputation. Something as small as a negative review can do great damage to your company or your brand image once you shine an online spotlight on to your business so you should ensure that before you start, your business is squeaky clean.

Go Social

Social is the best place to go when it comes to building your online presence, this will give you the chance to connect with millions of people around the world with ease, you can also add a human touch to your business through social media. You can utilize social media to create campaigns which will boost your online presence, if you are in a position to do so then you can also pay social media websites such as Facebook and Instagram to push the reach of your posts to ensure that you engage with a wider audience and grow the presence of your business online.

Search Engine Optimization

Search engine optimization is a technique which allows many customers to find your business and it gives you much greater exposure on search engines. The idea is that you target a particular set of keywords, once a potential client searches for these keywords on a search engine such as Google, you company will arrive on the first page or second page of the results. There are two reasons why this is important, the first is that it is very rare that anyone looks further than page 2 of search engines and the second is that even if they do not use your company directly, they will see your name and make a mental note, the essence of why building an online presence is important.

If you have no technical skills regarding computing or the internet then don’t worry, many of the skills which are required can be done with ease and for everything else, you can hire a company for a reasonable price who will work towards the goal of boosting your online presence. The ROI on this kind of investment is tough to measure but you can guarantee that with a strong push online, you are sure to see more sales coming your way.

Visiting Breckenridge During the Summer

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Not everyone wants to go to the mountains to ski. During the winter, it can be very cold and full of tourists who are there for one reason – to ski. And when this happens, the prices shoot up making a vacation at this time of the year very expensive. The alternative is to visit in the summer when there are fewer people and the cabins in Breckenridge are much more affordable. This is a great way to spend your summer vacation with the beautiful views of the mountains. In this article, I’m going to describe everything you need to know about visiting Breckenridge during the summer.

Why Visit Breckenridge in the Summer?

The first reason is that there’s going to be fewer people in and around the area. You won’t have to wait in line or be faced with the inevitable congestion. This is perfect if you want to go hiking or explore the region without having to worry too much about finding a place to park. When it’s low season, the prices are cheaper making a trip to the mountains more affordable. You can find decent accommodation with big discounts compared to the winter months.

Enjoying the outdoors is also better when the weather is warmer. You don’t need to pack as many clothes and it rains less. This means that you don’t need to pack three suitcases with all of your cold weather gear. But, don’t worry, if you go up to some of the higher altitudes it’s still possible to see and enjoy the snow-capped mountains at any time of the year. And if you want to explore the town and soak up some of the history, it’s a lot more pleasant when you can do so in a t-shirt and jeans.

The Best Things to Do in the Summer:

The things to do in Breckenridge during the summer will depend on your interests and preferences. Some people like to relax with the cooler air and do a bit of hiking. Others come here for adrenaline sports.

The most obvious thing to do is to take advantage of one of the many trails. The time it takes to finish them and the level of difficulty varies from being moderately easy to very difficult. As you hike up the trails, you’ll pass through forests and will most likely encounter some wildlife. There are several alpine lakes and streams that are great opportunities for photographs. The views from the trails are amazing all year round. Another advantage is that during the winter, the snow covers the trails making it both difficult to follow and harder to hike.

If you want to get a bit more of an adrenaline kick, you can bring your mountain bike or rent one from the town. Breckenridge is cyclist-friendly and you can find places to ride your bike. Some of the hills are steep and give you a kick when you’re speeding down them. This is only really possible during the warmer months of the year when the snow has melted. Cyclists have the choice to

explore the region on the roads or on the trails. Both will satisfy your sense of adventure and give you an amazing experience.

Water sports are also popular in Breckenridge when the weather is warmer. There are lots of lakes and streams that fill up quickly when the snow melts and they flow surprisingly fast. Some people like to go rafting in the faster waters whereas others come to enjoy a bit of fishing. You can also learn and take part in stand-up paddleboarding. This is similar to surfing, but you move around with a paddle. But only sign up to this if you don’t mind falling into the cold water!

One of the other activities is zip lining through the mountains. A line connects two points and you hold onto to something and slide down. You can do this against a breath-taking backdrop of the mountains. If this is something that you’re interested in, the best option is to check online before you visit. You can find offers and promotions from different companies and if you’re lucky you’ll be able to get a reasonable discount.

The Disadvantages of Visiting Breckenridge in the Summer:

The biggest disadvantage is that it’s going to be completely different from the winter wonderland. You’re not going to see much snow unless you go really high up. And the weather is warm, but it still gets very chilly on the night.

Another important thing to consider is the altitude and getting altitude sickness. This affects more than half the people who come here and can take a few days for your body to fully acclimatize. If you’re here to enjoy sports, you need to be very careful not to overdo anything when you first arrive. Inevitably, this can be difficult since you’re probably only going to stay for a few days. People tend to have longer vacations in the winter to give themselves more time to enjoy skiing. After all, they can only do it during the winter months. This gives them more time to allow their body to adjust.

The Takeaway Message:

Breckenridge isn’t just a skiing resort. There are lots of things to keep you busy in the summer including hiking, water sports, and mountain biking. Fewer people visit making it less crowded and the prices are lower. This makes it more enjoyable if you’re here to relax. Just make sure that you factor in the altitude sickness before pushing yourself too hard.

How to Choose a Drywall Contractor

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The first things people see when they come into your home is your walls. If they have been installed by a professional like Lloyd Claycomb II and you have looked after them properly, your home will make fantastic first impression. If they are starting to crumble, however, it may be time to find a good contractor to fix the issue and do a good job. But what makes a good contractor?

  1. Experience

First of all, you need to make sure that the company you work with has at least one member of staff with five years’ experience or more. Usually, five years is the minimum required to become a truly skilled drywall taper, as this will have given them the time to learn about all the different complexities. Experience takes time, after all.

  1. Quotes

Secondly, you need to get quotes from at least three different companies, although preferably five. What you will find is that there will be great differences between each of those quotes. This is because they all have different charges and costings. You need to take a good look at what each of the costs does and does not include. You need to find the quote that offers the best value for money, which is not necessarily the lowest price.

  1. Check the Phonebook and the Internet

Usually, a good drywall contractor will advertise both online and in the phonebook. If they do not have this, then you need to ask yourself why. Does it mean that they don’t have faith in their own skills, or perhaps that they don’t really want to be found at all? Considering a lot of advertisements are available for free, not having a presence like this should be a real red flag to you.

  1. Ignore the Lowest Quote

As previously said, you shouldn’t be looking for the lowest quote, but rather to the best value for money. A quote that is surprisingly low, or even significantly lower than other quotes, is another red flag. It is possible, for instance, that the company is not properly licensed, registered, and insured. It is also possible that they do not pay their staff the salaries they deserve. Alternatively, the quote may be artificially low because it doesn’t show the cost of things like materials.

  1. Get References

Last but not least, the company should be more than happy to provide you with references. What is even better, however, is to find these references yourself through independent sources. Social media is a really good platform for this, as are internet forums. You can simply ask people whether they have had experiences with the company you are considering and see what they have to tell you. No matter how good someone is at marketing and advertising, word of mouth will forever be the best way to find out what is really going on.

With these five tips, you should be able to find the best drywall contractor for your needs.

Use Automated Document Control Programs to Prepare for Audit

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If you work in a regulated environment, you will constantly face the complex problem of having to manage huge amounts of data, while at the same time being compliant during inspections. With regulatory pressure being increasingly high, it is important to have audit trail software in place at all times. This ensures that you can always have all your paperwork in order whenever an audit occurs.

One of the big problems caused by having a poor audit score is that there is poor synchronization between underlying processes, documents, and change management. For instance, if you are dealing with more than one supplier and/or location, a document change does not necessarily also change the process. As a result, it is all too easy to find yourself non-compliant, which in turn means you get a negative audit score. When you properly manage your documents, however, you prove that you also follow the best practices that are accepted in your industry.

Features of an Excellent Audit Trail Software Package

A good document control system has a number of core features:

  1. It enables you to control your documents in a safe and secure environment. Because almost all documentation is now electronic, the life cycle of a document can be fully automated while at the same time ensuring that critical information can be accessed securely. It should have a number of automated features, such as easy search options and electronic signatures, while at the same time ensuring only those with the right credentials can access the information.
  2. It should be available on the cloud, so that it can be accessed at all times from anywhere. This is vital because so many businesses now operate on an international level, and because so much of the workforce is now mobile as well. Good audit trail software packages are 100% online, being stored on the cloud. This means that all documents are always available in real-time, regardless of where or when they are accessed, and where from.
  3. It should fully integrate with training management processes. This ensures change management is made far easier as well, as it will show where in the organization there may be a need for additional support or training. Workforce training auditsare as important as other forms of audits, as they demonstrate that you invest in your people and make sure they are the best they can be. At the same time, this will help you reduce expenditure, since you will only develop training for which there is a requirement.

When you integrate your audit trail software with the core processes of your business, you will be ready for any audit. At the same time, you will make your business more efficient, resulting in greater profits, happier customers, and happier members of staff as well. This will put you on an upward continuous spiral of becoming more profitable, more relevant, and more respected across the industry. Clearly, audit trail software is an absolute must.