Tag Archives: Education

Children’s Education Funds Reviews: 5 Flexible Opportunities for Working Moms

Across Canada, many parents are struggling to manage their work life and their families. The difficulties of juggling both responsibilities, for instance, lack of childcare or inflexible managers, continue to push women out of the workforce.

According to a CBC News Report, 15% of women who left their jobs in 2018 and are now out of the labour force did so for personal or family reasons.

While some working moms have decided to trade in their careers for more time with their children, others have found flexible schedules that allow them to be present for both roles. Alongside finding adequate childcare, a flexible work environment is a critical piece of the puzzle.

Since 1991, Children’s Education Funds Inc. (CEFI) has been assisting Canadian families with their children’s higher-education savings goals as a Registered Education Savings Plan (RESP) provider.

Children’s Education Funds Inc. also knows how important it is for working mothers to have flexibility built into their careers so that they can balance their responsibilities at home. A CEFI career means being in the business of helping families understand RESPs and which plans work best for their financial situation.  It also means having the freedom to set your own schedule.

Since many moms are returning to the workforce after giving birth, let’s review some of the most flexible work circumstances for the busy parent.

Working remotely

An ideal situation for both moms and dads, working remotely allows parents to be available to their children and make money from a home office at the same time.  Many companies are allowing employees this flexible option, which helps the modern parent conquer the work/life balance on their own schedule.

Co-working spaces that offer childcare

As more parents are able to work remotely, co-working spaces are becoming increasingly popular.  This is a space that a group of people rent together with the added bonus of built-in childcare.  Instead of trying to work at home with your young kids or taking them to daycare, moms can leave their child with trusted caregivers as they get the job done.

Flexible positions

It’s not shocking that a career as a busy lawyer or doctor will unlikely offer flexibility in your day-to-day routine.  There are a range of careers, however, that will.

For example, flexibility is built in to a career running your own business.  Case in point, a CEFI Dealing Representative specifically helps Canadian families set up Registered Education Savings Plans or RESPs under the umbrella of CEFI.  What that means is – setting your own goals, working hours that meet your lifestyle demands and developing your own clients and book of business with access to the full support and resources from the CEFI head office.

The job can also be rewarding to assist young students and their families realize their goal of a higher education, while at the same time having the flexibility to tend to your own family.

Flex schedules

Moms who are granted flex schedules at work can stagger their clock-in time, which can help make mornings less hectic.  Starting work later in the morning is especially helpful for parents who need to make sure their children get on the school bus. A flex schedules can also mean an employee trades in their lunch break in lieu of an earlier release time.

4 day work weeks

Working moms are used to getting lots done in a small amount of time. Although the 5 o’clock quitting time isn’t likely to change, the length of a workweek can.  When companies implement the 4 day work week, moms can reap major benefits from having an extra day off.  Instead of spending the weekend catching up on chores and grocery shopping, they can focus more on family activities.

Offering flexibility on the job helps more than just moms.  It is also enticing the younger population of workers who have a strong preference for flexible working arrangements.  Tara Dragon, an Edmonton-based human resources expert, notes: “Flexibility is something of value to people regardless of where they are in their career.

Finding balance as a parent can be a challenge, but with a flexible work arrangement, moms can still put their talents to good use and take care of their families at the same time.

How to Find the Right Graduate Program in 4.5 Simple Steps

These Tips, Tricks, and Tools Make Finding a Graduate School Easier Than Ever

You survived undergrad. Maybe you’ve even survived a few (or more than a few!) years out in “the real world”. First of all, congratulations! Making it this far is no small feat. But now that you have decided to pursue a graduate degree, there is a whole new set of challenges to deal with– first and foremost, deciding on the right graduate program for you.

If choosing the right graduate program seems overwhelming, don’t worry– we’re in it with you. That’s why we put together this simple guide to finding the right graduate program for you. Here’s the short version:

  • Search the internet
  • Make a spreadsheet
  • Send some emails
  • Take a road trip (or plane trip, or boat trip)
  • Get the inside scoop

The first step in finding the perfect graduate program is searching the web for schools you might want to research further.

1. See what the internet has to say about programs in your chosen field.

There’s a reason that the verb google was added to the dictionary— it’s a huge part of how we find out information these days. “Googling it” is a great way to start any information-gathering process, and researching graduate programs is no different.

You can also try using these resources to find some graduate programs that might be a good fit for your goals. At this point, you want to cast a wide net– try to find 15 to 20 potential programs using:

  • GradSchoolMatch. Narrowing your search to programs that truly fit your interests has never been so easy. GradSchoolMatch also gives you reminders about application deadlines and other important dates.
  • Peterson’s. This is your one-stop shop for all things grad school. Whether you need to find a school, learn about funding your education, or prep for important entrance exams, Peterson’s has you covered.
  • GradSchools.com. AKA, the #1 graduate school directory in the nation. If there’s any information you’ve been unable to find thus far in your search, you can find it on GradSchools.com.

Organizational tools like Google Sheets and Gmass are essential to finding the right graduate school for you.

2. Get organized with Google Sheets.

How are you going to keep track of the important information you find during the research phase? With a handy dandy Google Sheet, of course. Part of Google’s cloud-based suite of professional tools, Google Sheets are a free way to keep all of your grad schools in a row (or column– whatever floats your boat).

Make sure you have an email address for each institution on your list– this will be important in step 3.

3. Harness the power of mail merge and put admissions office to the test.

Most guides to selecting a graduate program will tell you to come up with a question you can’t easily find online– such as “What type of career services do you make available to graduate students?”– and email admissions offices to see how they respond.

In addition to getting the answer to your original question, the way the admissions office responds will tell you a lot about how each institution treats its students.

Mail merge is a powerful tool that allows you to use information from a spreadsheet (like the university name, email, and other information you collected in step 2) to streamline the process of sending emails to lots of people at once.

All you have to do is create a message template and link it to your Google Sheet. That might sound complicated, but with the mail merge tool Gmass, it’s as simple as drafting a message in Gmail.

Visiting prospective schools gives you a much better sense of what it will actually be like to attend.

4. Take a good ol’ fashioned college road trip.

Based on the results of step 3, narrow down your list to the 5 graduate programs you are most seriously considering. After that, make some time in your schedule to stop by and visit those schools. Nothing gives you a better sense of what a school’s like than actually being on its campus.

4.5 Get the inside scoop from faculty and students.

While you’re on campus, take advantage of your greatest resources– the school’s students and faculty. Unlike tour guides, who will give you a practiced spiel about the school, you can rely on students you find milling around the library or quad to tell you what it’s really like to attend. Be sure to have questions ready!

Finding the right graduate school can be tricky, but you’ll be glad you did your research and found the perfect program in the end.

Finding the right graduate program can seem daunting, but when you follow these steps, the whole process gets a lot easier. Be sure to take advantage of tools like Google Sheets and Gmass to keep your search organized. Good luck!

Survive Another Semester With These Dorm Room Gadgets

At the start of the semester, you can fool yourself into believing you’ll be spending all your spare time between classes in the library. With your nose in a book, it’s easy to ignore how utilitarian your dorm room is. What do you care if it’s ugly? You’re only there to sleep, right?

If you’re lucky, you get about a week into this routine before you realize you can’t keep it up. At which points, you trade a trip to the library for staying in on your bed.

If you’re going to be spending a lot of your time in your dorm room, you might as well do everything you can to make it time well spent. This list will help you curate the best dorm experience possible. From the hilariously extravagant to the surprisingly practical, these gadgets will elevate your dorm room to the next level.

A robot maid

Raise your hand if you like cleaning. When neither hand even twitches, you know you can’t claim this activity as a preferred hobby. There’s just too much going on around campus for you to want to waste your time cleaning up.

In 2018, that doesn’t mean you have to live like a slob. You can “hire” a robotic maid to vacuum your dorm room. Though the Roomba is synonymous with the robot vacuum, the most well-known brand isn’t always the best. The iLife A4 is a cute little addition that keeps on top of dirt without emptying out your student wallet. It’s relatively affordable addition to your dorm room that saves you a fight with your roommate about whose turn it is to vacuum.

Noise cancelling headphones

Few residences could be confused for the Ritz. You’re going to be dealing with a lot of people in a small space. As a result, you’re going to be hearing a lot of stuff — whether you want to or not. Someone somewhere is always going to be making noise, even if it’s the middle of the night. Come midterms, it’s likely more than one person will take of up the Nordic tradition of wailing in the middle of the night.

If you’re sensitive to your surroundings, you’ll want to pack a pair of noise-cancelling headphones. While Sony’s WH-1000XM2 make it to the top of Tech Radar’s list, you may not have the budget to drop roughly $400 on a set of headphones. The Sennheiser HD 4.50 BTNC offer an affordable alternative that offers NoiseGard ™ to filter out the sounds of college life.

Portable speakers

When you’re done cancelling the noises other people make and are ready to make some noise yourself, you’re going to need a set of speakers to help you make an impact. The UE Boom 2 offers considerable sound quality in a small, lightweight package. It’s small enough to fit anywhere in your room and light enough that you won’t regret owning it when it comes time to move out. Check out CNET’s review to see why it’s the portable speaker to blast your mid-semester playlist.

Nintendo Switch

If you’d rather skip the party to explore Hyrule, then a Switch would better serve your dorm room this year. As Nintendo’s first 2-in-1 console, it’s the perfect system for campus. It offers excellent single player games when you want to kill some time on your own, and it has a library rich with multiplayer (both co-op and competitive) games. You can dock it and play on the big screen or throw it in your bag and take it along to class.

A Switch skin

You’ll just want to wrap it up in a Nintendo Switch skin before it’s ready to mix and mingle in your backpack. This accessory protects your console from pens, keys, and other sharp objects in your bag that could damage it. When you shop from a company like dbrand, you’ll get a Switch skin that’s made out of 3M vinyl. Because of their partnership with 3M, these skins leave residue on the Switch’s unique surface material — or any other tech you want to decal. That means you can protect and customize your devices with multiple skin designs and switch it up whenever you’re feeling bored.

A power strip

Last but not least, you’re going to need a surge-protecting power strip to make sure you don’t blow the breakers once you plug in the rest of the gadgets on the list. The Dynex Surge Protector comes with 8 outlets and two USB charging ports, so you’ll never have to fight with your roommate over a chance to charge

Despite your best intentions, you’ll be spending more time in your college dorm room than you might expect. If you expect to enjoy all the time you log in this tiny room, you’ll need a few gadgets to help improve your quality of life. Once you have the right ratio of space to tech, you’ll never regret staying in your room. Your grades, on the other hand, might miss the library!

Healthcare Career Paths You Can Consider as You Complete Your Studies

If you need to choose a major soon or are heading off to university in the coming months and are still trying to decide which program to enroll in, it’s important to learn about a wide variety of job types and career paths, so you have a better idea of what you might be most interested in and suited to.

If you’ve always been interested in the healthcare field, perhaps you’ve thought about becoming a doctor, dentist, PT, chiropractor and so on. However, you should note that demand in healthcare is growing at a rate that’s twice as high as the national economy, so you have a range of occupations to choose from apart from the well-known ones.

For those looking for a little inspiration or some clarity, it’s time to think outside the box. Read on for some interesting healthcare jobs you might not have considered yet but which could be just the right path for you.

Phlebotomist

Are you someone who doesn’t feel faint at the first sign of blood? If so, a job as a phlebotomist might be up your alley. The term phlebotomy originates from a combination of Greek words. There is “phlebo,” which relates to a blood vessel, and “tomy,” which refers to making an incision. If you become a phlebotomist, you’ll be a medical technician who extracts blood from people with a sterilized needle. This procedure is called venipuncture. The samples of blood taken during this process are used for blood transfusion or as a means of testing to evaluate patient health.

In their jobs, phlebotomists assist doctors and nurses by taking patients’ blood. They can work in a variety of facilities, such as medical centers, labs, hospitals, clinics and dedicated blood-collection facilities. On top of collecting and testing blood, these professionals may also work with urine and other samples. A key part of the position is also setting up tests accurately, so the correct details are written on sample tubes, and blood is tested for the correct things.

Healthcare Manager

An emerging area of healthcare is one in which workers combine management skills with proactive, hands-on, day-to-day work. This is the job of healthcare manager. People working in this field must be dedicated to improving the quality of healthcare and increasing patient safety levels. This is a leadership-based position that involves managers working across administrative and leadership functions, whether covering a single department or an entire venue.

Healthcare executives, or administrators as they’re also known, must work closely with a variety of medical personnel, plus suppliers, custodial staff, potentially government employees and other types of contacts involved in the delivery of healthcare. Positions can be based within health centers, hospitals, nursing homes, rehabilitation centers or even government organizations. As such, there is plenty of diversity in potential roles.

If you become a healthcare manager, you will likely have to take care of many different aspects of a facility. For example, you’ll need to oversee the staff working at the venue or within your department, plus you’ll be required to run the center’s operations, manage its budget, handle strategic planning and act as a spokesperson when media representatives require quotes or data.

Crisis Counselor

Another healthcare role that has been growing over recent years and which seems to be required more than ever, is that of a crisis counselor. This particular type of mental health counselor helps patients who have been through some kind of traumatic, emotionally intense, and/or exhausting experience.

If you complete your counseling master’s online, you can join this specialized field and help your clients in numerous ways. You can be there to offer emotional support to sufferers, and you can help them recover from and move past a crisis, through avenues such as the sharing of information and activities.

You will help patients to understand their own limiting beliefs or feelings and assist them to create new, healthy structures in their lives. You can be there to help people find ways of restoring their sense of control after a traumatic event. Counselors in this specialization typically only work with patients for a short period, such as one to three months.

How to Make the Most of Your College Degree

For many so-called traditional students, college is just a way to get away from home, earn some independence and have fun with friends. Friday nights come first, and education comes second. However, if you want to make the most out of your college experience and academic investment, there are a few things that should factor into your decision of where to attend school, what to study and how to approach your academic years.

Major Bummer

You have more choice than ever when it comes to your focus of study. With so many course options at today’s universities, you need to decide the best route. More than 20 million students now flood American campuses, and even with the amount of variety offered, the same majors top the list of most popular subjects to study. That means a couple of things: First, there are some credentials that will always be in-demand and provide lucrative post-educational compensation; secondly, there’s a whole lot of opportunity out there for those who are willing to step outside the box.

Business, psychology, nursing, biology and teaching degrees round out the top five most popular majors. These fields are crowded, and even with the amount of jobs available, there are still plenty of college grads with these degrees who can’t find employment. That’s why you need to think different. Kind of like this:

The Major of the Future

While your old classmates are spinning their wheels looking for any low-level opportunity out there, you can be making sizable early career leaps in a specialty field. And it doesn’t even take a niche college halfway across the globe to find a program that will get you there. Among others, there are autism certification programs online that will launch you into a successful and fulfilling career your friends only dream of.

Completing a program such as this one will allow you to help those in need while bringing home a healthy paycheck. A rewarding and financially beneficial field like this is something that most high-school graduates don’t even consider when selecting their colleges. If it’s something you can see yourself doing (and liking), the negatives are hard to find. Not only will you secure a financially sound future after you graduate, but you can save money while attending school simply by electing to complete your degree via online courses. Sounds like a win-win, doesn’t it?

Consider the Job Market

Though we shouldn’t celebrate any increase in difficulty, more problems in the world generally requires more people to create solutions.

Such is the case in a field like autism education. Now one in every 59 children is diagnosed with the disorder. On one hand, this means more students are struggling to learn and relate to peers; on the other hand, it means these students are achieving greater visibility, which results in increased need for qualified professionals, like you. Not only does that mean that there will be a need for your position, but it also means you’ll be genuinely helping a cause. Making money and feeling like you’ve done society a service all in one job is about as good as you can ask for. In an industry where so many people need help, you can be a beacon of light.

Easy Does It

While specialized fields like autism education may be challenging, it is not as difficult to break into as you might expect. You can complete your chosen degree in a relatively short time, especially if you choose an accelerated online program. It’s important to remember that not every major is created equally. While some programs will take time and dedication, most will leave you plenty of time to do what all college kids love to do.

There are hundreds of majors to choose from, and it’s almost impossible to know which one is right for you when you’re being forced to pick. But entering a field that most people don’t aim for provides a long list of pros and a short list of cons. If you’re undecided how to approach your college experience, this is a good place to get started.

Close
Your support means the world!
By clicking any of these buttons you help our site to get better