Vega, a brand of The Independent Institute of Education (The IIE), has launched two online IIE degrees, offering ambitious individuals the opportunity to pursue a rewarding career in strategic brand management and communication.
Applications are open for The IIE Bachelor of Commerce in Strategic Brand Management and The IIE Bachelor of Arts in Strategic Brand Communication online. Both four-year IIE undergraduate degrees are available for online study from February 2019.
“We’ve done a great deal of work to ensure that the online learning platform isn’t just ream after ream of static text and images, but an interactive experience where students, no matter where they are, enjoy a comprehensive learning experience supported by our online experts,” says Cynthia Olmesdahl, online strategist at Vega.
“From extensive research, we know that support is key to online learning success, so we’ve gone above and beyond to ensure that students have scheduled and after-hours access to our experts,” says Olmesdahl.
Students have access to dedicated online module tutors for course-related queries and regular tutorials and discussions, and an online success tutor for success motivation and support.
The IIE Vega’s online team brings extensive industry experience and expertise, specialising in facilitating online learning and support.
“Whether individuals are entering higher education for the first time or returning to studies to further their careers, online learning offers flexibility for those with busy schedules,” she says.
While students are free to structure their study time as they see fit, Vega recommends participation in regular online sessions to benefit from mediated support from experts. Students are advised to spend 20 to 25 hours a week on engaging with the material to succeed.
Because of the quality of The IIE online learning platform, the learning experiences that contact students enjoy can also be incorporated into the online-learning experience, such as the annual brand activation and the celebrated brand challenge projects when students engage with real-life briefs for real-life clients.
“Online learning shouldn’t be a lonely and isolated experience, so teamwork and collaboration are integral to the learning experience, along with engagement forums and some face-to-face interaction. Most importantly, this means that online students experience some of the “Vega way” of life, through their involvement in our annual events and projects,” says Olmesdahl.
Applications to enrol for the 2019 intake of The IIE Bachelor of Commerce in Strategic Brand Management and The IIE Bachelor of Arts in Strategic Brand Communication with online Vega faciltation are open.
For more information on IIE qualifications available to study at Vega and other career-building opportunities, visit www.vegaschool.com.
With almost daily, rapid advances in technology, the opportunities provided in the IT sector continue to expand and evolve at a similarly fast pace. This means that prospective students – regardless of their major field of interest – should do careful research to determine whether there might be a match between their aspirations and strengths, and a career opportunity in this burgeoning industry, an education expert says.
Nola Payne, Head of Faculty: Information Technology at The Independent Institute of Education
, SA’s largest and most accredited private higher education institution, says often prospective students will only be exposed to more traditional options, but that there is a world of new choices where skilled graduates are highly sought-after.
“Careers now exist which were non-existent 5, even 2 years ago,” says Payne.
“With this shift, forward-looking education providers are incorporating new technology and new careers into their curricula, and future students would do well to investigate new growth industries within their field of interest,” she says.
“Furthermore, even working adults are now more than ever required to commit to lifelong learning. And adding an IT strength to one’s repertoire within a field could help future-proof your career.”
Payne cites the example of someone interested in studying education, or already working in the sector.
“That does not mean that you only have the option to become a teacher and stay one for the rest of your life. Because as education adopts technology, new professions are emerging. You could, for example, consider specialising in the exciting, very new field of instructional design,” she says.
Instructional designers are the people who help subject matter experts to improve the learning experience by analysing learning needs and processes and systematically developing learning materials to address those needs, Payne explains.
“To some extent, all competent lecturers and teachers design their instruction. What differentiates instructional designers in the digital education space, is their use of technology and multimedia to enhance learning. An instructional designer will match a learning theory to technologies that not only add value to the content to be learned, but also enhance skills which need to be developed,” she says.
In high demand due to the specialised skills required, instructional designers can work across any discipline with an appropriate subject matter expert to bring learning to life on a digital platform. They need to have a solid educational background - normally a qualification at postgraduate level in education - as well as experience working in the industry concerned, such as education or corporate training.
Payne says that it is also worth noting that even within the field of IT, rapid tech advances have demanded swift adaptation from workers.
“Enterprise technology has shifted to include mobile devices, access to some data and software to the cloud, and social networking.
“IT employees have had to make this shift and learn how to incorporate these technologies into their careers. Education providers have had to review their IT qualifications to develop their students into these emerging careers.
“If you are in a career in IT, or intend to pursue one, it is imperative that you constantly upskill and adapt yourself to ensure longevity in your career. It is impossible to predict the future of IT, but the one certainty is that it will change and that change will happen quickly.”
Likewise, someone considering a career in sales or marketing may not be aware that they could actually specialise in the fast-growing field of social media marketing, which is no longer just a sub-function of being a marketer.
Payne says the current technologies and trends to be taken into consideration are:
- Social media
- Mobile technology and the various platforms (smart phones, tablets)
- Cloud services and virtualisation
- Big Data and real-time data analytics
- Gamification of business
- The Internet of Things
- Networking for these technologies
- New hardware (3D printers, drones, robotics)
And some of the hottest new careers include:
- Business Architects, strategists and analysts
- Data scientists who are proficient in big data
- Security strategists and architects
- Social media architects and user experience gurus
- Mobile Technology experts in mobile application development
- Cloud integration specialists
- Game developers
“As tech takes over even traditional fields of study and specialisation, it is especially important that future students carefully investigate all their options, because there may be many more than they, their parents or teachers imagined.
“Then it is also important to carefully consider the best match of course or combination of courses to the envisioned career, and finally the best institution at which to study. Many of these new fields and career options rely heavily on the ability to do, rather than just theoretical knowledge. It’s a new world out there, with lots of exciting new choices to make,” says Payne.
In recent years, there have many developments in the higher education sector with the rise in the number of institutions, both public and private.
Faced with this increase in choice, it is natural for young people to be anxious about their decision – should I go to a public university, or should I opt for a private higher education institution?
It’s a massive concern duly to whether your qualification after three or fours of study will be recognised in the working world – will it position you well to land your first job? Will it help you build the career of your dreams?
“It is so important that future students don’t base their decision on their gut feel or vague perceptions,” said Dr Felicity Coughlan, director of The Independent Institute of Education
and group academic director at ADvTECH
According to Coughlan, there is a concrete checklist that potential students should measure their chosen institution against and, if all the boxes are checked, they can rest assured that their choice of institution can help them achieve their dreams.
“Ultimately, you have to make an informed choice based on your own vision and circumstances, and you should not blindly follow a direction just because everyone else is going that route, or because you think that’s the way to go.”.
She advised prospective students, and their parents or guardians, to look at the following when considering or reviewing higher education institutions:
Most importantly, your institution must be registered and accredited.
South Africa has a single quality assurance system and one National Qualifications Framework, which means that any institution offering a registered and accredited qualification – whether public university or private – is offering a qualification of equal standing.
So if your institution is listed on the Department of Higher Education and Training’s
list of registered higher education institutions and colleges, you don’t need to be concerned about whether the institution is called a university, a college, or a private higher education institution.
This is because the only difference between public (university) institutions and private higher education institutions – which purely as a result of regulations may not refer to themselves as private universities – is that the public institutions get some subsidy from the government while the private institutions don’t.
The world of work has changed dramatically over the 10 years, and the economic climate is tough. That means future students should make sure that their qualification and their choice of institution is well respected by employers and in the market.
Generic three-year degrees with no practical experience do not provide a strong competitive advantage after graduation.
This means that young people should question the institution about the following: Curriculum, industry relationships, lecturer activity in the industry, and practical experience that form part of the studies.
The strongest qualifications today are the ones that are closely linked to specific careers and fields, and whose curricula are based on the competencies required to be work-ready from day one.
One way of determining industry recognition of your institution is to ask about its career fairs when the country’s top companies visit campuses to meet students. If employers are lining up to meet the leaders of tomorrow at your institution, you can be assured that you are signing up for a quality education that is respected in the workplace.
Many students want to know that their qualifications will be internationally recognised. If this is important for you, you should ask your institution about international links and accreditation. Does your institution have links with international exchange programmes, or is it accredited by an independent international accreditation council?
All good institutions should be able to provide satisfactory answers to your questions about potential international opportunities.
Class sizes and student support
Class sizes and student support are important for ensuring student success and successful transition into the world of work. Individual attention, and being more than a number, can dramatically influence your studies.
But an institution’s involvement should go further than quality lectures and success at exam time. Good institutions will have career centres which assist students and alumni beyond academics.
“The higher education landscape looks entirely different today from the way things were even a decade ago. These days, prospective students have a lot more choice in terms of institution and qualification,” said Coughlan.
“To really make the right choice in terms of the best grounding for your career dreams, you have to look beyond historical perceptions and gut feelings about which way is ‘the best’ way, and make sure your choice is based on the facts about what makes one institution and qualification stand out from the next one,” she said.
The period between the last exam paper and the release of Matric results are some of the most anxiety-inducing, nail-biting weeks of school-leavers' lives. What should be a period of rest and relaxation as young people make the transition between school and further studies, is often marred by questions about "what if".
"It's important to be able to use this time to reflect and look forward to future plans, but because there are so many possible scenarios that may arise from one's Matric results, this time is too often spent stressing – both on the part of learners and their parents or guardians," says Dr Gillian Mooney, Dean: Academic Development and Support at The Independent Institute of Education, SA's largest private higher education institution.
"Instead of stressing, now is the time to consider what you can control and to let go of what you cannot control. For example, the exams are over - you cannot change the outcome, or the exam results. What you can control is how you react to this outcome, and you can start to plan for a range of possible outcomes," she says.
Mooney says that there are established potential scenarios for which Matriculants can and should plan after writing their last paper.
"If you know what to do after receiving your results, regardless of what the outcome may be, you'll be able to relax and regroup so that you enter the new year refreshed and ready to take on the next phase of your life," she says.
She adds that parents and guardians in particular need to get in the right frame of mind ahead of the release of the results, so that whatever happens, they are well-positioned to either help their child make a successful transition, or deal constructively with any challenges that may arise.
"Parents who are concerned that their child may not have performed as well as hoped, need to be particularly cognisant of how their reaction to results may impact on the ability of their child to bounce back should results be disappointing," she says.
"For these parents and learners, it will be particularly helpful to discuss potential scenarios in coming weeks, and be ready with a plan of action on how to manage the situation if indeed the learner's results were below par. In addition, parents must manage their own emotions while remembering an over-the-top reaction may make an unnecessary but long-term impact."
So at this stage, it is helpful to stand back and objectively consider what options are open to both successful and not-so-successful Matriculants, Mooney says.
"Always keep in mind that there are indeed options, no matter what your results."
SCENARIO 1: OPTIONS IF YOU RECEIVE A FAIL MARK
- Sit for the supplementary examinations.
- Send papers for either a re-mark or re-check.
- Return to school and re-register for matric.
- Register at another school to complete matric.
- Complete matric via distance learning.
SCENARIO 2: OPTIONS IF YOU PASS, BUT NOT WELL ENOUGH FOR DEGREE STUDY
- Send papers for either a re-mark or re-check.
- Enrol for a Higher Certificate at a higher education institution, which can give access to degree study.
- Enrol for a Diploma which can give access to degree study.
SCENARIO 3: OPTIONS IF YOU PASS, BUT NOT WELL ENOUGH TO ACCESS YOUR FIRST CHOICE OF DEGREE OR INSTITUTION
- Re-do the relevant subjects to attain the required marks.
- Investigate other options – look at different public universities or private higher education institutions. Whether public or private, all institutions set their own minimum criteria. An institution where the demand outweighs the availability of space as often occurs in the public sector, may set this bar quite high regardless of the objective quality of the education and qualification at that institution.
- Look at different qualifications within your field of interest, as there may be countless exciting offerings at institutions you may not have considered before. Other institutions may also have made provision for students who require more support, and will therefore have more accommodating admission requirements.
SCENARIO 4: BETTER THAN EXPECTED RESULTS
- Great results mean greater options, so use the opportunity to review whether you are really on board with your chosen qualification and institution, before spending precious time and money pursuing a path that isn't perfect for you.
- Investigate further than the road everyone is travelling, by researching niche offerings that may be a better fit and provide greater access to high-growth, high-demand career paths.
"No matter what happens in January when results are announced, knowing now how you will handle any eventuality will make for a more peaceful, less stressful December, and will go a long way towards averting unhelpful tension within families and for young adults as the moment of truth nears," says Mooney.
Last night at the NEA Young Performers’ Showcase Southdowns College Pupils won 4 Items, 6 Categories and 1 Ambassador Award for Top3% in the Country. Southdowns College is the No5 School in the Northern Region of South Africa and No1 in Pretoria, for a 4th year in a row!
By Barbara Eaton (Academic Development Co-ordinator for Junior Colleges)
Mom is strolling around the supermarket with a six-month-old infant in the baby seat. Not once does she engage in eye contact, talk to the child or even smile. When the baby becomes restive, a dummy is thrust in his mouth without a word spoken. Contrast this with a dad in a fruit and veg store, with an infant of similar age. At every display he picks up a fruit, lets the baby touch and smell it and talks about the name of it, the colour and how good it tastes. Not hard to know which of these babies will develop a good language as he grows. Babies develop language through constant face to face engagement with a trusted care giver. These days many infants are left in the hands of untrained nannies who are too busy listening to music on their earphones or talking on their cell. The foundations of language are laid in utero and beyond. Two-year old’s who have been deprived of stimulating language are already developmentally behind their peers and the gap grows, requiring expensive therapeutic intervention before formal school entry.
Adding to this language gap, we now place the child into a school where the language of learning is different and expect that the new language will be acquired rapidly-because that’s what we pay fees for! What is not understood is that a second language is based on the first. Almost like making a photocopy. If the original is poor, the copy will be too.
Home language is important, but make it rich by talking, singing and reading to the baby/toddler. TV and tablets do not teach language, it is a reciprocal process. If someone in the home is fluent in the proposed language of learning, they should be doing all the above in that language, from day one. Babies are pre-programmed to learn as many as 4 languages simultaneously, AS LONG AS EACH LANGUAGE IS SPOKEN BY THE SAME PERSON. Granny can speak Sotho, Mum isiZulu and Dad English, but they must stick to their language until the child is at least 3. Don’t mix languages, this just results in language soup!
Besides talking, singing and playing with the child, using a rich vocabulary, you should be reading to the baby from a very early age. Initially use board books with clear pictures that relate directly to the child’s home environment. Talk about the pictures, relate them to real objects if possible and let the baby touch them when you name them. Expand the range of books as the baby grows and by two, join the local library. A weekly visit in search of a new book will become a highlight. You will of course have taught the child how to handle books respectfully! Yes, you can use a tablet, but these are too heavy for young babies to handle and hold. Books in many of our official languages are scares, but you can translate!
But what if my child is only speaking one language when he enters school? In this situation, parents will have to work hard to support the school. Here, a tablet can be useful as you can find good apps for simple songs that will help your child acquire the rhythm of the new language. Find books that have a picture with details of familiar rooms at home, animals, toys etc. to help your child learn as many new words as they are capable of, revising them daily. Use full sentences: “Look at the big red car. Let’s count the wheels. Let’s drive your car across the floor Does your car have four wheels? Your car can go fast. Can you make it go slowly?” Young children learn by doing and including plenty of action as you talk will help the learning process.
If possible, enroll you child in language enrichment classes, or form groups and engage a good tutor. Find out what theme/inquiry your child is doing at school and link your support to it. Ask the teacher for a list of important vocabulary to practice. In order to cope well in Grade 1, a child needs a cognitive and perceptual vocabulary. Colour/number/shape/size/position in space/sounds in words etc. etc. School curriculums are available on line, which will help you keep pace.
Playing with peers is a great help in learning a new language. Children can play without language, and for a couple of months they may just listen but will soon be joining in and may talk more in play than they do in class.
If your child has difficulty acquiring the language of learning, talk to a speech and language therapist and get advice. Therapy before the age of six will pay dividends and results will be much faster than if you wait until troubles loom in Grade 1 and negatively affect learning to read.
Lastly, make your child’s life as interesting as possible. Visit the zoo, animal parks, farms etc. as often as possible. Be with your child, not in the restaurant taking you ease, and talk, talk, talk. After the visit encourage your child to draw a picture and tell you what he saw. Going to one of our numerous eating venues and handing the child over to the resident nannies is wasting precious language time. Sitting together, talking about the food and having family conversation is making the most of the outing.
A Communicate Recruitment Blog by Bridget Maoko
Before we delve into the nitty-gritties of the topic: 'the right to disconnect, lets first explain where the concept stems from.
We live in a super-connected world with many employees now getting work emails sent to their smartphones. You know the drill, WhatsApp messages from work group chats and checking emails before you even step out of bed. Imagine you just got home from work, barely had time to sit down, your phone vibrates and its an email from your boss marked 'urgent' - you just got back from work!
This hyper-connectedness is causing employees to have anxiety because of the need to always respond, coupled with the expectation of receiving these messages. This then led to a culture of burned out employees with blurred lines between work-life-balance which further led to a proposed bill: 'The Right to Disconnect.'
What this 'right' means
It means we need to disconnect from our electronic gadgets and or instant messaging platforms especially if the connection is work related - after office hours. Countries like the US want to propose this bill in order to protect employees from over-engaging, unless otherwise stated in their contracts by employers that it is a prerequisite.
But is this bill realistic for a globalised workforce in a modern society? Let's delve into this.
As we all know employees are entitled to rest periods and bosses cannot force them to answer WhatsApp work group messages outside of their working hours. Jon Brodskymanager for finance site Finder.com thinks that restricting the hours that employers can contact their employees does not take into account global growth, remote opportunities and seamless communication between employers and employees. This then begs the question, when do employees switch off from work?
Well, it depends on your industry and type of work.
The modern workplace no longer implies your presence at the office. The modern workplace allows you to send a quick voice note or text to employees at any time of the day regardless of schedule. So should we still have bills that allow us to disconnect after work hours?
Maybe not, but it is illegal for a boss to demand around-the-clock attention from employees. Except of course if they bought you the cell phone and are paying for the data and it was stated in your contract. Then though shall not disconnect!
WhatsApp as an official tool of communication
WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger and other instant messaging platforms are now more popular than email in the workplace according to research.
We have all seen or heard of someone who got in trouble at work because of these platforms.
At FNB a good 4 employees were fired for what they communicate on WhatsApp be it 'private conversation.' I personally know a friend who ended up in HR because of what she posted on her WhatsApp 'stories'and someone who got a warning for not replying on the group chat. Companies take these platforms very serious!
In India, an IT worker got fired for leaving a WhatsApp Group chat. The manager demanded everyone use WhatsApp as an official tool of contact rather than calling and emailing. So if WhatsApp is part of your company's communication policy then you cannot make a personal decision to refrain from the platform.
However, if your company does not have a policy in place regarding communication on instant messaging platforms, then the best solution is to have honest conversations about expectations regarding this as they are not official tools of communication.
Share with us, what are your thoughts on instant messaging platforms as tools of communication in the workplace?
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An Oxbridge Academy Blog - By Dale Hes
If working with people is your passion, then a job in human resources (HR) can be one of the most satisfying careers you’ll find. We spoke to Ruth Jephthah, Oxbridge Academy’s superstar HR Officer, about the ins and outs of her rewarding work.
WHAT ARE YOUR MAIN RESPONSIBILITIES AS AN HR OFFICER?
The job is very broad and includes a variety of responsibilities. I keep track of employee attendance and deal with any disciplinary processes that take place. I am involved in recruitment, specifically accepting CVs and arranging interviews. I also carry out the inductions for new employees, where I take them on a tour through the building and work through their contracts with them.
A big part of my job is employee counselling. Staff would often approach me to discuss HR-related issues and my job then is to give them support and advice.
Another aspect of my work is employee training. So, for example, I will conduct training on employment equity and other processes.
WHAT IS THE MOST REWARDING PART OF YOUR JOB?
I definitely enjoy meeting new people and getting to know people. The employees view me as someone they can turn to when they have a problem. As these matters are very important to them, it is very rewarding when you are able to give them the support they need and make a positive impact in their lives.
WHAT ARE THE MOST CHALLENGING ASPECTS OF THE JOB?
There is a lot of admin and paperwork that you need to stay on top of, and you must be able to manage your time properly. You may have to deal with unexpected issues at a moment’s notice, so juggling various things at once can be a challenge. In addition, d
isciplinary processes are challenging and sometimes not pleasant. You need to be able to make unbiased decisions without letting your emotions get in the way.
WHAT CHARACTERISTICS DO YOU NEED TO BE A SUCCESSFUL HR OFFICER?
You definitely need to be a people’s person who can interact with a wide variety of personalities. You need to be someone people can reply on, have patience, display good listening skills, and be able to communicate well. Since the job involves so many different responsibilities, being flexible is also crucial. Lastly, good administrative skills and paying attention to detail are vital elements too – one small mistake can have a big impact on an employee.
HOW DID YOU ENTER THIS PARTICULAR CAREER?
I wanted a career where I would be working with people, so HR was a natural choice. I studied my N4 – N6 Human Resource Management qualifications and then found an internship. I would strongly suggest this path to anyone who wants to enter the field. My internship was a defining moment for me. It really gave me a proper taste of the HR field and provided confirmation that this is what I wanted to do.
Does the career of an HR Officer sound like it’s for you? Start laying your foundations with Human Resources courses from Oxbridge Academy.
The Network Recruitment/SAIT Tax Executive Breakfast took place on October 25, 2018, from 07:00 – 12:00 at the Radisson Blu Hotel in Sandton.
Being the first of it’s kind in ADvTECH Resourcing history, Network Recruitment had the privilege of co-hosting the event with the South African Institute of Tax Practitioners (SAIT). The purpose of the Tax Exec Breakfast was to engage with thought leadersin this niche. Our goal was to hear and discuss important topics within the niche such as Tax Administration, Africa Tax Outlook and the Employment landscape just to mention a few.
We had the pleasure of hearing from speakers such as SAIT’s very own CEO, Keith Engel, Head of Corporate Tax, Marcus Botha and Network Finance’s Executive Consultant, Mia Nel etc.
The event was a great success as over 70 delegates attended. Overall, the feedback we received was overwhelmingly positive with delegates commenting favourably on social media on their experience.
Ashton Spykerman explains his team's presentation to the class. Photo: Blake Linder.
Charterhouse’s Go Lab has already been working with 3D printing, laser cutting, and programming but aims to begin basic robotics by the end of the year.
The Go Lab is an innovative classroom that provides learners from Grade 1 to Grade 7 the opportunity to undertake new challenges to further their creativity and abilities. The Go Lab launched at Charterhouse and many ADvTECH schools around the country earlier this year, with the hope of furthering learners’ abilities from as young an age as possible.
Kudakwashe Jumo and O’Neil Mthethwa giving their presentation to the class in the Go-Lab. Photo: Blake Linder.
The Go Lab is also run in accordance with a set of 17 sustainable development goals set out by the United Nations. The learners are put into groups and are given the chance to choose one of the 17 goals, on which they will have to do a presentation to showcase what the problem is and why there is one, and to also provide a sustainable solution to the problem.
The Grade 1s who work in the Go Lab are given toy insects which are programmable through a series of buttons, to start teaching them the simplest of programming. As the learners get older, the harder the tasks they need to achieve become, so by the time they reach Grade 7 they will be working with laser cutting and 3D printing as well as slightly more advanced programming techniques.
Jaden Carter-Johnson demonstrates how their proposed solution to water pollution would work. Photo: Blake Linder.
The school also aims to get the learners started on the basics of robotics by the end of the year, and then the more technical aspects as time goes on.