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7 steps to build a great résumé

If, like many others, you've resolved to get a new job this year, you'll either need a better agent or an outstanding résumé. And since most of us aren't Hollywood stars, here are 7 steps to build your résumé.  More

Which qualification level should you choose?

What’s the difference between a Certificate IV and a Diploma? Which one should you enrol in to boost your chances of securing your dream job? Unfortunately the formula isn’t a simple one, as the latest research shows.  More

SMART goals to start the New Year

Whether you’re looking to get a better job, improve your skills by finishing a course, or want to work towards a work/life balance so you have more time to do what you want, you’ll need to set yourself a goal or two. Here’s how to make those goals count.  More

Five on Friday: Gift guide for students

Welcome to Five on Friday, a round-up of views on a theme. If you’re a university student, the gift guides all recommend people get you backpacks and fancy stationery; when you study from home, gifting is a slightly different ball game. Forget the pretty pens—what do you really want?  More

Launching your career with travel

Travel is a wonderful way to learn about the world, but did you know your holiday or gap year could also benefit your career? It doesn’t matter if you’re skiing in Switzerland or bartending in Britain, travel can really help your career take flight.  More

Five on Friday: Planning your career

Welcome to Five on Friday, a round-up of views on a theme. In this issue we take a look at different ways to plan your career. Many people take a good hard look at their career prospects at the beginning of the year, but you can start with a little canny planning now to stay ahead. Here are five tools to help you see opportunities.  More

How balancing work and school affects future study

Every year, thousands of high school students take on part-time work while studying. A report issued by the National Centre for Vocational Education Research tracks how these students managed to balance work and school and whether part-time work had any effect on their future education prospects.  More

Five on Friday: Time for a career change?

Welcome to Five on Friday, a round-up of views on a theme. In this edition we take a look at changing your career: the signs you need a career change, inspiration from successful career-changers, how to do it… and how not to do it.  More

Are your skills up-to-date or obsolete?

Professionals who think their initial qualification is a sufficient ticket to a permanent, lifelong role are kidding themselves. Continuing professional development is a process that continues throughout the duration of your career, as new research suggests.  More

How much data analysis is too much?

If you thought data analysis was all tech, you’d be wrong: this science will change the way you think about every sector, from marketing to manufacturing, politics to sport. Is big data the next big thing, or is it a big distraction from getting on with business?  More

Five on Friday: Education campaigns

Welcome to Five on Friday, a round-up of views on a theme. This Friday we delve into the world of advertising, specifically how to sell an educational experience when you have just a few minutes—or even just a few seconds—of a potential student’s attention.  More

Lack of business interest causes training downturn

Businesses link the proficiency of their employees to training, yet employers’ use of the vocational education and training (VET) system has decreased. Find out why from the latest results of the NCVER national employer survey.  More

Five on Friday: Weird work perks

Welcome to Five on Friday, a round-up of views on a theme. In this post we look at weird work perks, beyond pay bonuses and your own personal concierge. (If anyone has a concierge they can lend me, let me know.) Are they incentives? Are they an excuse for management to let loose? Are they perverse jokes on employees? You decide!  More

Manage your career like a business

“The idea of ‘employment’, as in a job that lasts for more than a few days or a few weeks, is going to be this very weird term by 2050.” So said futurist Mark Pesce. It turns out that in just a few decades’ time, we are all going to need to manage our careers like a business. What skills do you need for this new economy?  More

Five on Friday: How to fail

Welcome to Five on Friday, a round-up of views on a theme. This Friday we invite you to recognise failure, give it a hug and tell it that things will be better next time. Failing is an art, so we’re going to tell you how to fail good. I mean well. Fail well.  More

Five on Friday: Will work for… free?

Welcome to Five on Friday, a round-up of views on a theme. In this edition we look at some of the reasons people work for free and whether it’s a good idea to slave it out for a while if it gives you a start on the career ladder.  More

Five on Friday: Job dealbreakers

Welcome to Five on Friday, a round-up of views on a theme. Today we look at the reasons people don’t get hired: whether it’s the graphic design candidate who uses Comic Sans, or the poor speller who was rejected for the proofreading job. Don’t laugh, though, not all dealbreakers are this obvious.  More

How lower level qualifications can help your career

Many students enrol in vocational education at Certificate IV or Diploma level, so what’s the value of Certificate I and II level courses? For young school-leavers, these qualifications represent an early boost to their career, according to an NCVER research paper.  More

Five on Friday: Is philosophy worth fighting for?

Welcome to Five on Friday, a round-up of views on a theme. In this edition we look at whether philosophy is defendable in a society that values economic contribution. It’s often said that vocational education is for the hands while higher education is for the mind; can philosophy make friends with career outcomes?  More

Is continuing professional development for you?

The concept of lifelong learning is a compelling one, but often hijacked by images of retirees learning to build a website. Continuing professional development is different. It is largely driven by the individual’s motivation to keep up to date with the knowledge and skills needed to stay at the top of their profession.  More

Five on Friday: Social Studies

Welcome to Five on Friday, a round-up of views on a theme. This Friday we look at whether it’s better to learn alone or with people, how to make study more social, and which people you can turn to, to help you with your course. As they say, two’s company, three’s a workshop (well no one says that, but they should).  More

Is your ego getting in the way of your education?

Some courses are easy, some courses are difficult but it turns out that how you feel about yourself can make a big difference to how you approach your studies—and whether you view your success or failure as fair. A study suggests that excessive entitlement, characterised by “an exaggerated or unrealistic belief about what one deserves” is a terrible way to start your studies.  More

Five on Friday: Graduates and money

Welcome to Five on Friday, a round-up of views on a theme. In this edition we will show you the money! Heirs and heiresses aside, qualified people tend to earn more than unqualified people but what people should be getting is still a murky area. So let’s clean up.  More

Does vocational assessment make you job-ready?

Vocational education and training (VET) has always been skills-led, but does a qualification at this level mean a graduate is job-ready? The content of all VET courses has been developed by industry practitioners, which means it is relevant to skills needed on the job, however a new paper questions the consistency of the assessment process.  More

Five on Friday: Fun Facts and Wacky Info

Welcome to Five on Friday, a round-up of views on a theme. Today we cover the role of trivia, fun facts and wacky information in the way we learn and how you can turn something boring into something that will stick in your mind. Here are five perspectives on fun ways to feed your brain.  More

Gaining work experience to help your career

Work experience has always been fraught with the sneaking suspicion that there might be exploitation involved, so how do you know whether working for free (or cheap) will give you traction for your future career? Here's a guide to help you navigate through the different ways you can gain work experience.  More

Five on Friday: Checking information

Welcome to Five on Friday, a round-up of views on a theme. This time we take you through the world of information, how to validate it, how to use it for your own nefarious ends. Though I admit not all ends are nefarious. Here are five perspectives on information, and a reminder that information is not knowledge is not education.  More

What is user experience design?

The demand for user experience design, also known as UX design, has ramped up in recent years but there’s still a bit of confusion as to what it is and how it can assist with accessibility, functionality and, most of all, customer satisfaction. Here’s the lowdown.  More

Five on Friday: Learning to be resourceful

Are you studying? Short of time? Short of money? You need to be more resourceful. But doing what you can with what you have can be difficult if you don’t know where to start. Here are five tips for students who want to get the most from their study materials.  More

Five on Friday: Stimulated learning

Welcome to Five on Friday, a round-up of views on a theme. We take you through a few ways students like to stimulate themselves to make study fun, or simply tolerable. Some methods are tasty while others a little dangerous. Here are five perspectives on study and stimulants.  More

Career spotlight: Project management

What is project management? What kind of career can you expect with a qualification in project management? Project management is a skill set that can be applied to a number of different industries in various contexts. Best of all, it’s a lucrative occupation.  More

Five on Friday: Bored of studies

Welcome to Five on Friday, a round-up of five views on a theme. We take a look at what happens when people get bored… and five non-study things you could be doing instead to improve your learning ability.  More

Your education beyond ATAR

The Federal Government has implemented a policy to see 40% of 25-34 year olds in possession of a bachelor degree by 2025. That policy is now under review after concerns about the quality of the degree programs to be designed to cater for a wider market. In response, one of Australia’s top universities has decided to take matters into its own hands.  More

Champion of education: Malala Yousafzai

Our Champion of Education segment will profile a person who has been exceptional in their support for education, wherever they are in the world. We take a look at a champion who has been at the forefront of change and an inspiration to many: Malala Yousafzai.  More

3 study tips to establish good online learning habits

Online learning is a godsend for those with busy lives. Being able to take an accredited course online instead of commuting to classes (especially after a day at work), and studying wherever and whenever you want is a triumph of technology. But online learning requires a lot of discipline and is not always easy. Here are 3 tips for new online students to establish a headspace to maximise learning in this mode.  More

Why the push for more degrees is a bad idea

University participation has been a hot topic ever since the Federal Government decided 40% of 25-34 year olds should have a degree by 2025. The target, set in 2010, has had its detractors, with many saying it compromised the quality of bachelor degree programs. But perhaps the aim was misguided in the first place.  More

Bridging the gap between education and industry

The idea of a career pathway is not new, but in some cases there's a distinct lack of structure between the training and education system and the skills needed for jobs offered by industry. How can students make choices that will bridge this gap?  More

Which training courses are tax deductible?

Whether you enrolled in a course since the last financial year or are looking to enrol in training soon, it’s worth considering the tax implications of doing a course because it could make the course fee look a lot smaller. All vocational training courses are potentially tax deductible; you just need to understand the rules around what you can claim.  More

How training increases staff retention

Employers lament that staff loyalty is no longer what it was in the good old days. There is one sure-fire way to increase retention, though, and that's by investing in staff. One of the best ways to invest is through training: good for the employee and good for business.  More

Five on Friday: Corporate education

Welcome to Five on Friday, a round-up of news and views from the education world this week. This issue we take a look at corporate education as the end of financial year is upon us and a lot of employees and employers are looking to enrol in courses to spend training budgets and secure an immediate tax deduction benefit.  More

3 questions to ask when changing your career

'Change is as good as a holiday', or so the saying goes. Changing your career isn't as easy as celebrities make it look—switching from making music to developing a perfume at the drop of a hat—it's a rather more involved process and there are a number of considerations you need to make.  More

TAFE colleges to offer degree programs

The Federal Government has endorsed a higher education franchising arrangement that will see four TAFE colleges offer degree programs on behalf of the University of Canberra.  More

The case for matching education with career outcomes

Over-education is becoming the norm. Parents shepherd school-leavers towards university degrees before they even have their Year 12 results in hand and the curriculum now forces high school students to make subject choices that will affect their career path before they know what they want to do and what they’re good at. Let’s step back a bit. Let’s look at what students actually need to get a job, to start a career.  More

Why take a social media strategy course?

Earlier this year, CoursesNow decided to take a closer look at how social media could help us communicate better with current and prospective students and also how our students may be able to easily form a community. We turned to one of our providers, the University of New South Wales Australian Graduate School of Management, for guidance.  More

300,000 students to be surveyed on training experience

The National Centre for Vocational Education Research will once again activate its annual research project, which will involved canvassing the feedback of more than 300,000 students in the vocational education and training sector.  More

Origin's sweet marketing makes facts sticky

In a sweet marketing deal, Origin Energy paid confectionery company Allens to repurpose Fantales as 'Energy Tales'. The correlation of sugar fix and energy certainly caused a buzz, but could it also give your studies a boost?  More

Tourism receives seasonal job boost

Are you studying tourism? The seasonal nature of tourism means you can gain experience on temporary jobs during or after your studies. Tourism Australia and career resource brand Monster.com have combined to help fill seasonal roles across the country.  More

Do entry requirements improve education?

Browse any course in the CoursesNow directory and you'll encounter a subheading: Entry requirements. This section will outline the knowledge, skills and/or experience a training organisation expects the prospective student to have before they can—or should—enrol in the course. An inside look at entry requirements and whether they improve education and training.  More

Gamification, or how playing helps us learn

When we were toddlers our parents gave us toys to help us learn new skills and knowledge, and played games that would help with planning, behavioural enforcement and motor skills—why should adulthood be any different?  More

MOOCs struggle for credit—and credibility

Free online courses from universities can't quite bridge the gap between a learning hobby and serious education. A recent article at US publication The Chronicle of Higher Education revealed a yawning divide between enthusiasm for massive open online courses (MOOCs) and what finishing a course might mean for students and educational institutions.  More

The cost of TAFE cutbacks

Cuts to the education and training sector are never a good sign. Many political parties have won an election on the back of a bread-and-butter health and education platform, so it's a brave government indeed that slashes an education budget.  More

Project management qualification versus certification

PRINCE2, ITIL, MoP—if you're new to the project management training and education space, these acronyms are a bewildering alphabet soup of certifications that mean almost nothing without an understanding of the project management space. Even experienced project managers who have come through other professions such as engineering may not be familiar with the range of certifications now on offer.  More

Sydney hosts World Education Games

Sydney will this week play host to the World Education Games, an initiative by United Nations children's charity Unicef. Approximately 6 million students around the world have registered to take part in the games, the world's largest education event.  More

The good sport: Scott Reynolds, ACPE

Scott Reynolds is a typical Australian student. Halfway through his degree at the Australian College of Physical Education (ACPE), he had a vague plan to eventually open his own business and, like many students, was uncertain if he’d undertake postgraduate study. He never expected to find himself wrapped in the life-changing experience of travelling to Cambodia.  More

Mental health management key to workplace leadership

Imagine if 20 percent of a workforce was underperforming and it was because of poor leadership at the upper levels of an organisation. I'd certainly be asking the question 'what should human resources do?' Unfortunately we don't need to imagine this situation: one in five people experience some form of mental illness every year and many of these people go unsupported.  More

Employer survey to highlight skills and training needs

The National Centre for Vocational Education Research (NCVER) has launched its biennial survey of employers in order to identify the skills gap in various industries and organisations. The survey will ask 9,000 employers to answer questions regarding the way they meet their skills needs and whether their training and recruitment strategies are effective.  More

Homework and other challenges in online learning

The rise of online learning has many benefits, among them convenience, flexibility and the ability to accommodate different learning styles. These benefits, however, come with challenges that range from finding the discipline to do the course to a lack of accountability when it comes to achieving course milestones.  More

The myth of student debt versus university funding

One key recommendation of the Higher Education Base Funding Review final report was to increase investment in higher education by increasing the average level of base funding to "improve the quality of higher education teaching and to maximise the sector’s potential to contribute to national productivity and economic growth". But what does this have to do with raising student debt?  More

Student debt prevents additional university funding

The Federal Government has decided not to meet additional university funding requirements, citing a reluctance to increase student debt as the reason, despite a long wait for its response to a 2011 report recommending that it should.  More

Guide to the Project Management Institute's certification updates

Global professional association the Project Management Institute (PMI) has released its new standards via three updated publications: A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK Guide) 5th Edition, the Standard for Program Management 3rd Edition and the Standard for Portfolio Management 3rd Edition.  More

Will mass online courses see the rise of 'luxury' degrees?

Imagine taking an online course from an Ivy League (that's US speak for 'prestigious') university along with 200,000 others around the world. You would not only go through the same subjects as fee-paying students, but also be able to discuss what you've learnt in forums populated by exponentially more students than your average classroom, all for the price of your bandwidth and time.  More

How to turn your diploma into a degree

There are a number of reasons why high school students don't go straight from Year 12 to higher education. Occasionally it's the lure of a gap year. Sometimes it is due to indecision about what to do. Often students don't quite get the marks they need. While vocational education and training (VET) may not be able to tempt you from a year abroad, it can certainly address the other two reasons.  More

There's more to education than university

Didn't get the marks you needed to enrol in your preferred university degree? You know, people aren't lying when they say, "your ATAR isn't everything" because there's more to your future than university. Having the right ATAR is, admittedly, the easiest way to enrol in university, but it is not the only way.  More

How to study during the holidays

Distraction is the enemy of study. If you aren't concentrating on your lessons, they aren't worth anything. During the holiday season, whether it's Christmas/New Year festivities, a long weekend, mid-semester break or simply a few days off work, it is doubly hard to focus when there are so many temptations outside of study.  More

5 things to consider before starting an online course

The benefits of online courses, also known as e-learning, are clear: no commute to the classroom, learning at your own pace and 24/7 accessibility to the course materials so early birds can wake up to a lesson and night owls can cue a session at 11pm. If you're working or have other duties during the day, an online course fits perfectly around your lifestyle.  More

BAS agent fined $40K for filing tax returns

The Federal Court of Australia has imposed a $40,000 penalty on BAS agent Isabella Munro, who had been filing tax returns for clients while not registered as a tax agent with the Tax Practitioners Board. Munro charged and received a fee for completing and lodging individual tax returns while unregistered, in breach of the Tax Agent Services Act 2009.  More

The case of the fake diploma

Not everyone is cut out for school, college or university. It may be the alienating way we are assessed (does writing three essays in two hours really demonstrate your analytical abilities?) or a bad fit with educational institutions. I was disappointed, however, to learn that the next course of action for some people is to buy an accreditation.  More

Interview tips to leverage your impressive résumé

Knowledge, skills and experience are the three 'on paper' elements that employers look at when deciding whether to call you for an interview. Behaviour, personality and cultural fit are what they look at in an interview. Your job during the interview is to send a clear, consistent message that you have the right combination and the best way to do that is by ensuring that your assets are the focus at all times.  More

Rethink your career development

There's no denying that workers in Australia are more educated today than they've ever been. Tertiary enrolments are up, and new graduates are vying for a foot in the door and some purchase on the ladder in their chosen field. The reason for this is clear: tertiary study enables young people to leapfrog those who choose not to pursue further education by entering the workforce at a higher level, with better pay and with more job opportunities.  More

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