Category Archives: Education

News The Changing Face of International Students in the United States

Last year, nearly 1 million international students studied in the US.  Long considered the land of opportunity, the US has always attracted a significant percentage of the world’s international scholars.  In recent years, the numbers of international students have skyrocketed; they’re a lot younger, and while they’re from all over the globe, they’re likely from only a couple of places in the world.  They also receive significant funding from their home country.  International students coming to study in the US are changing the face of universities across the country.  Let’s take a look at what’s happening—and why.

1. They’re younger

A recent report published by the Institute of International Education (IIE) found that more international students who pursue higher education in the US come from US high schools. IIE’s Deputy Vice President for Research and Evaluation, Rajika Badhari says, “While secondary students from around the world have been coming to the United States on high school exchange programs for many years, IIE’s new analysis shows that the number of students who enroll directly in US schools to earn a US high school diploma now significantly outnumbers those who are here on exchanges.  This is a remarkable finding, and one which has implications for US higher education.”  What does this mean?  Students are coming to the US earlier and then following the direct pipeline from secondary school to higher education.

Even the ones who don’t study at US high schools before enrolling in a university program are historically younger.  International students are not just coming for graduate school anymore; they’re starting their university education in the US as undergraduates—and freshmen, more often than not

This uptick in younger international students on US campuses has forced many universities to strengthen their foreign-student services programs.  Younger international need the same academic, social, and emotional supports as domestic students, if not more so.  In addition to changing freshmen orientation to meet international needs, universities are addressing issues related language barriers, cultural and religious differences, and a new kind of homesick—typically from thousands of miles away, not to mention every college student’s need: time management skills.  Many universities started mentorship programs for international undergraduates in the US, pairing students with older international students, or even graduate students who typically have fewer emotional support needs, mostly because they’re older.

2. There are more of them

According to the Wall Street Journal, international students comprised nearly 5 percent of all undergraduate and graduate enrollment in the US in 2015, up from about 3 percent in 2005.   The 2015 Open Doors Report on International Education Exchange, an annual survey of study abroad trends published by the IIE in partnership with the US Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, confirmed that the number of international students at US universities experienced its highest growth rate in 35 years.  The IIE’s conclusion?  The US continues to be the destination of choice for international students.  According to the IIE 2015 Open Doors press release, IIE President Dr. Allan E. Goodman said, “International experience is one of the most important components of a 21st-century education.  Studying abroad is one of the best ways undergraduate and graduate students gain the international experience necessary to succeed in today’s global workforce.  And studying in another country prepares students to be real contributors to working across borders to address key issues in the world we share.”  Stay tuned for the 2016 Open Doors Report, to be released later this month.

3. Likely from Asia

51 percent of all international students who studied abroad in the US last year were from Asia. China contributed 31 percent of the total.  Of the 974, 926 students, 304,040 thousand hailed from China, 132,888 from India, and 63, 710 from South Korea. 20 percent of those students studied business and management, and another 20 percent study engineering.  Where are they going?  All over the country.  According to the 2015 IIE Open Doors Fast Facts, in 2015, the top five US institutions hosting the largest numbers of international students are: New York University, the University of Southern California, Columbia University, Arizona State University, and the University of Illinois—Urbana.

4. They pay their own way

As undergraduate numbers bulge, so do pocketbooks.  Many of the US’s international students—roughly 60 percent—report that their family covers their tuition.  A growing number also study on scholarships sponsored by their governments.  Studying in the US no longer means you have to be from a well-traveled, well-heeled elite class.  The surging middle classes from places like Shanghai and Seoul, Riyadh, Delhi, and Taipei now compete with their once elite classmates.

The US maintains its global edge in international education.  Superior universities coupled with a diversity of study options continue to make it one of the top study destinations in the world.

Survive an Enduring Career

1. Changing Life Cycles

According to a recent Financial Times article, life used to be measured in three stages: education, work, and retirement, all with fairly equal amounts of time.  That cycle looks different now, with a significantly longer working life.  While an MBA used to be the catalyst for the job that would get you to your final burst of highly successful employment, it’s now somewhere in the middle.  When your working life begins in your 20s, you need to begin to think of this cycle lasting for fifty—or even sixty—years.  How should you prepare?  What do you want it to look like?  Consider what it would take to sustain your spending habits—and extrapolate those costs over the next half-century plus.

2. Transition and Change

Recognize that transitions—even positive ones—are always difficult.  They rattle your sense of self, and often your sense of place. They are always a time for growth, whether you want it or not.  The keys to your success? Flexibility and adaptability.  It’s unlikely that you’ll have the same job for 50 or 60 years. Keep your networks broad and varied—reach out to people of different ages, genders, and occupations.  As you build your portfolio, consider the trends that potential employers will invariably seek—and see.  With perseverance, your career portfolio will tell your story of resilience—and a willingness to try new things.

3. A Few Paces Ahead

Plan your career like you’re a chess master: think strategic steps.  Always.  Sitting still gets you nowhere.  Learn a new skill.  Try a new language.  Add some people to that fantastic network of yours (see #2).  Learn some new technology.  Reach out.  Look out.  Do what you enjoy.  Keep yourself relevant, happy, and think about how you can apply what you know and love to what you want to do—recognize that those things will probably change over time.

4. Identify and Invest in…

Your interests and skills.  Easier said than done.  Why?  You need to know what interests you—without having someone else tell you.  When you’re just starting out, this can be difficult because there are so many people—family members, friends, professors, career advisors—telling you what you should do.  The key is for you to tell yourself what you should do—and then invest the time in learning how to achieve your goals.  Don’t wait for a professional development opportunity to land in your lap.  Make your own.  You’ll be thankful you did.

5. Career as Financial Asset

Your career has the potential to pay off dividends bigger than all of your other financial assets combined—car, house, stock portfolio, 401K.  Manage your career like it’s gold—because it is.  When you maximize the opportunities for your career, you maximize your financial security—and also your lifestyle satisfaction.  Do what moves you, and figure out a way to maximize your returns.  Find a reliable mentor, assess your risks, survey the economic landscape—and most importantly, establish your classy reputation in whatever path you choose.  You won’t regret it.

Your takeaway for the next 50 years?  Find out what makes you tick—and do it.  With resilience, grace, commitment, and a little bit of strategy, you’ll get there with flying colors.

Five Reasons For You to Consider a Degree in Indigenous Studies

1. Indigenous studies offer a more comprehensive and honest representation of history. 

Indigenous people have been marginalized in countries across the globe for many years. In most cases, they’re still being marginalized today.

According to Danielle Lorenz, a PhD candidate in educational policy studies, the best way to remedy ongoing ignorance and stereotypes about indigenous people is through indigenous studies. In addition to fascinating coursework in diverse areas ranging from literature to traditional ecological knowledge, Lorenz points out that there are more general takeaways for students in this field: “They can learn about the accomplishments and contributions Indigenous peoples have made to global society, they can learn that Indigenous peoples in North America survived the world’s worst holocaust, they can learn about the true history of Canada – not as peaceful (or dull) as commonly thought, and they can learn that, today, while challenges exist – Indigenous peoples are more than just their ‘issues.’”

2. Indigenous studies are interdisciplinary.

Indigenous studies comprise a breadth and depth of academic fields the humanities, social sciences and beyond. Not only do students learn how to integrate this information in order to broaden their worldviews, but in doing so they also hone and refine their critical thinking skills.

These skills aren’t just applicable to directly related work in areas like indigenous governance, indigenous literature, and indigenous social work, they’re also transferrable — and highly valued by employers.

3. They are a necessary part of achieving reconciliation.

Many national history curricula overlook the stories of indigenous people. In Australia, for example, while Aboriginal people created a unique and impactful civilization, it is largely disregarded today. Why? Because according to an article in The Conversation, “It does not easily fit with the colonial mythologies around which popular histories of Australia have traditionally been constructed. Indeed the very use of the term ‘civilisation’ in relation to Aboriginal Australia will no doubt confound some readers. Perhaps the most insidious myth perpetuated about Aboriginal society is the idea it was ‘primitive’, ‘stone age’, ‘nomadic’, or ‘unevolved’. This type of thinking feeds racist stereotypes and discriminatory attitudes which continue to marginalize and disassociate Aboriginal Australians from the national identity. The archaeology of our continent directly refutes this type of thinking, but until recently the monuments and achievements of ancient Australia have remained largely invisible to the mainstream public.”

The Conversation goes on to propose that expanding a society’s historical viewpoint not only “offers a path to new understanding,” but to achieving reconciliation.

4. It helps preserve indigenous cultures.

According to a recent New Yorker piece, “On every continent, people are forsaking their ancestral tongues for the dominant language of their region’s majority. Assimilation confers inarguable benefits, especially as Internet use proliferates and rural youth gravitate to cities. But the loss of languages passed down for millennia, along with their unique arts and cosmologies, may have consequences that won’t be understood until it is too late to reverse them.”

The proliferation of indigenous language coursework, in particular, is viewed as paramount. “Without language, we are empty vessels,” indigenous language master’s student Bob Badger told THE. “Within our languages, we have a deep understanding of the world around us. We make connections between the traditional cultural teachings and our place in the world. The language is alive and the language has a spirit.”

It is because of its vital importance that the Canadian government has proposed the Canadian Indigenous Languages Act, which will grant equal rights and privileges to nine indigenous languages in addition to English and France.

5. It promotes better citizenship.

According to The Conversation, “One of the most important skills promoted by historical inquiry is that of empathy, a feeling of sympathy and engagement for other people from different time periods and cultures….If students can develop the knowledge of why cultures are different it will help develop empathy and encourage an appreciation for diversity, and hopefully, undermine growth of racist viewpoints” while simultaneously supporting the development of a “more comprehensive appreciation of our humanity.”

In other words, is there any better way to improve upon our collective citizenship than by improving upon our collective understanding of each other?

Indigenous studies have been deemed so valuable, in fact, that there is a movement to make coursework in this field a mandatory component in university curricula — alongside English, math and other core requirements. By pursuing a degree in this vital field, you won’t just walk away with an enriched (and more accurate) perspective, but you’ll also be positioned to take on a leading role in righting the past towards a more equitable and tolerant future.

Information From Research to Action

How can we turn what we know about child development into tangible services and supports for the most vulnerable children?

We know that interactions with adults shape children’s neurological and behavioral development, and that long-term hardship can negate the core skills adults need to succeed as caregivers. We’re understanding more and more how these two concepts interact: A stable, supportive relationship with an adult can be the key to a child’s health and resilience, despite adversity; conversely, when a caregiver doesn’t have the capacity to provide that support, the child can face severe mental and physical consequences.

Now, a new report from the Center on the Developing Child (CDC) at Harvard University brings all this together to offer operational guidance for social workers, educators, and other caregivers — helping them use the science of child development as a framework for providing the support and services children need in the moment and the tools for continued success.


The report makes three broad recommendations for child welfare systems: that they work to reduce external sources of stress for clients and workers alike, strengthen the core life skills of children and adults, and help develop responsive relationships.

Reduce Stress

Stress is a “defining feature” for those involved in child welfare systems. Circumstances that necessitate assistance — poverty, neglect, abuse — are by nature stressful, and they often go hand in hand with other stressors, such as systemic racism, uncertain immigration status, unaccepted sexual orientation, and mental health problems. Just dealing with child welfare, with its threat of breaking up families, is stressful. Over time, a build-up of such toxic stress can compromise executive function and self-regulation skills for both children and adults.

To help reduce stress for children and families, child welfare systems can:

  • Work with other services to ensure that basic needs, such as housing, food, and household supplies, are met.
  • Streamline processes, coordinate services, provide routine reminders, and reduce the frequency through which services need to be authorized.
  • Provide well-regulated environments that build a sense of calm and control. For example, social workers can present clear options, timelines for services, and rubrics for success.
  • Support front-line staff, whose work requires them to be observant, attentive, and action-oriented in highly stressful situations. Create a work environment that ensures manageable caseloads, easy access to supplies, and regular opportunities to relieve stress.

Strengthen Core Life Skills

Along with reducing the factors that can inhibit executive function and self-regulation skills, child welfare services can intentionally develop core life skills, like the ability to plan ahead, manage appropriate responses, and adjust to changes. These skills are what children and families need to make responsible decisions.

To help strengthen core life skills, child welfare systems can:

  • Prioritize approaches that focus on skill-building. For instance, rather than asking parents to comply with requests, ask what they hope to gain from a specific program, or how they can transfer new skills to other areas.
  • Use approaches that explicitly target executive function and self-regulation skills. For instance, teach children and adults to refocus their attention away from negative surroundings, or to recognize and interrupt unplanned responses.
  • Support skill-building in areas other than parenting, such as employment training. Strong core skills in any area can still assist adults in providing and caring for their children.
  • Provide services with clear, explicit, incremental steps, and offer consistent feedback. For children and adults, following these plans can help develop executive function skills and can afford frequent opportunities for success, which reinforces positive habits.
  • Consider using “coaching models,” which explore a person’s goals and motivations and helps them build the mindset to sustain behavioral changes and remain hopeful.

Develop Responsive Relationships

Healthy relationships are key to success. For children, they help stimulate brain development and serve as protection from toxic experiences; for adults, they provide the emotional and practical support needed to navigate challenging situations.

To build and support strong responsive relationships, child welfare systems can:

  • Provide trainings and suggestions for parents to develop positive caregiving skills.
  • Identify clients’ existing important relationships, and leverage those to create future successes.
  • Strive to minimize the number of placements children experience in foster care. When a child’s placement does change, try to sustain important relationships, whether it’s between a child and foster or birth parent or between siblings.
  • Whenever feasible, promote positive relationships between foster and birth parents. These connections are often tenuous, but constructive partnerships can offer the stable caregiving that children need.
  • Select caseworkers and educators who will treat clients respectfully. Offer professional development on managing race and class differences, and model positive interactions in the workplace.

Important Investing and Earning While in Grad School

From astronomy to zoology, the fields of study pursued by graduate students are very different. But today’s diverse students all share at least one thing in common: They will eventually complete their degrees; enter the “real world;” and have to support themselves — a daunting prospect for many. But you don’t have to wait until graduation to start thinking about your financial future thanks to a new program aimed at increasing financial literacy in academia. Here’s a closer look.

Money Woes Abound

Approximately 60 percent of master’s students and 55 percent of PhD students report feeling stressed about finances, according to joint research from The Council of Graduate Schools (CGS) and financial services provider TIAA.

These fears aren’t exactly unfounded given the staggering cost of student loans and further data revealing that the majority of graduate students report that they have no financial education. Factor in that financial literacy has been linked with everything from increasing degree completion rates to promoting diversity on college campuses, and the need for corrective action becomes even clearer.

Amping up Educational Opportunities

In response, CGS and TIAA have joined force to launch theEnhancing Student Financial Education Program. Through this initiative, 34 US universities are currently developing financial education programs for graduate students, according to news from Financial Advisor.

Demand is high for this type of programming according to CGA and TIAA findings, with students expressing the desire to learn more about a comprehensive range of financial topics — from how to select employee benefits to planning for retirement.

But even if your university doesn’t yet offer a financial literacy program, options for raising your financial knowledge abound — starting with GradSense, a free, interactive, financial planning program for graduate students. The overall takeaway? For students who take advantage of these and other resources, worries about meeting monthly expenses — let alone saving for the future — don’t have to be part of the graduate school experience.

Build on Your Bachelor’s with For an International Master’s Degree

You Can Improve Your Career Opportunities

Do your research.  If your prospective master’s degree is tied to a specific type of job that you want, then you’ll definitely have a broader reach of opportunity.  Consider occupational therapy, in which a master’s degree is the key to success, or business management, where that MBA will certainly give you a competitive edge.  Public school teachers will experience almost immediate benefits with a master’s.  In some fields, where a master’s is a terminal degree, such as an M.F.A., you’ll be able to teach at the university level.  Clinical psychology is another great example of pursuing a master’s in a specific field so that you can do the job you want.

You Can Earn a Better Salary

A graduate degree doesn’t always mean extra money, but in some fields, it’s the only way to make more of it.  If you choose to study medicine or law, of course, you’ll need an advanced degree, but those of you who have your bachelor’s and are contemplating the endeavor?  You can plan on making at least $400,000 more over your working lifetime with a graduate degree.  Teaching is one profession for which you’ll automatically get paid more. Graphic design, marketing, finance, and therapy are other fields in which you’ll definitely see a better salary—and more professional marketability – with a master’s degree.

It’s a Chance to Do Your Research at a Respected University

When considering an international master’s degree, it is important to choose the right university. When it comes to research and graduate studies, location isn’t everything but it can help. After all, you can’t spend all your time in a lab or behind a book. Consider Helsinki, Finland, where you’ll find a safe, green city surrounded by stunning natural beauty and a vibrant student scene alongside one of the world’s top research universities: the University of Helsinki.  You’ll earn a world-class education at one of Europe’s leading research institutions, and a major international reputation.  With over half a million friendly faces, a vibrant urban atmosphere, and 60,000 students from around the globe, Helsinki is a perfect place to pursue that master’s degree and immerse yourself in a culture of motivated, inspirational, and brilliant people.  Did we mention the saunas and omenalörtsy?

You Can Build on Your Undergraduate Studies…or Explore Something New

Whether you want to expand on your undergraduate degree or move into a different, but related graduate program, consider the University of Helsinki. The university offers 28 master’s programs in English with a wide range of possibilities. Not sure where to start? These six programs build on many common undergraduate majors, offering something for nearly everyone.

1. Master in Environmental Change and Global Sustainability

If your undergraduate degree is related to environmental science or sustainability studies, select a master’s and focus on issues sustainability that interest you. Solve socio-ecological problems that affect you and the world around you.  Jobs in policy, education, advocacy, and science await!

2. Master in Food Science

If you have a bachelor’s in food science or the molecular biosciences and you want to reshape how the world views food—from agriculture to processing to innovation and policy—consider a Master’s degree in Food Science at the University of Helsinki, one of the highest ranked food science programs in the world.

3. Master in Microbiology and Microbial Biotechnology

With antibiotic drug resistance and superbugs at the forefront of global concern, a Master’s degree in Microbiology and Microbial Biotechnology will help to ensure your role in preventing the destruction of the human race through microbes.  Cutting-edge research and technology, and the opportunity to have a lasting effect on the world’s future make this master’s program an ace in your pocket.

4. Master of Life Science and Informatics

Earn a master’s in one of the University of Helsinki’s leading research programs: Life Sciences and Informatics.  Combine mathematics, computer science, statistics, ecology, evolutionary biology, and genetics—and you’re guaranteed to find a job as an expert in life science research for either the public or private sector.  This degree also puts you at a significant advantage to earn your doctorate in chosen field of study.

5. Master in Particle Physics and Astrophysical Sciences

Enjoy the secrets of the world with a master’s degree Particle Physics and Astrophysical Sciences. You will enjoy a career in research, or an infinite range of possibilities in the private sector.  If you studied mathematics, physics, engineering, or astronomy as an undergraduate, consider unlocking the secrets of the cosmos with an advanced degree in Particle Physics and Astrophysical Sciences.

6. Master in Linguistic Diversity in the Digital Age

Language: the key to the past, present, and future of communication. Dialect.  Accent. Linguistic scope.  Orthography.  Indigenous language.  Synthesized language.  Human speech.  Music.  Binary code.  Did you study a specific language as an undergraduate?  Or maybe anthropology, semantics, communication, linguistic theory?  Do you want to make an impact on the connection between language and cognition?  Are you curious about the ways language grows, evolves, becomes part of a culture?  Thinking about advanced study in language?  Consider the University of Helsinki’s Master in Linguistic Diversity in the Digital Age.

Graduate degrees aren’t the answer to everything, but with more jobs and career paths requiring post-graduate specialization pursuing a master’s degree is becoming increasingly popular. Combining your graduate degree with an international experience may be just the boost you need to make the most of your career potential. And an international master’s degree from Finland’s University of Helsinki is the perfect combination. Helsinki offers students access to superb education, a diverse student body, a wide array of study options, and a stunning country.  Onnea!

Info For You Honoring the Impact of Philosophers on World Philosophy Day

While philosophers are often written off as dreamy-eyed daydreamers, the truth is that their work has very real impact: It helps us make sense of the world we live in while working toward a better one. We can think of no better occasion to celebrate the value of this field than with the celebration of World Philosophy Day. Let’s take a closer look at this annual observation, along with highlighting a few philosophers who have had a profound influence on the world as we know it across a variety of different disciplines.

Why Does Philosophy Matter?

Why is philosophy so important that UNESCO designated this discipline with its very own day?  UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova explains, “Faced with the complexity of today’s world, philosophical reflection is above all a call to humility, to take a step back and engage in reasoned dialogue, to build together the solutions to challenges that are beyond our control. This is the best way to educate enlightened citizens, equipped to fight stupidity and prejudice. The greater the difficulties encountered the greater the need for philosophy to make sense of questions of peace and sustainable development.”

While we often think of philosophy as theoretical in nature, it not only has practical applications, but multidisciplinary ones.

Seven Influential Philosophers Across the Disciplines

Still think the musings of philosophers are more ethereal than earthly? Read on for a roundup of philosophers whose work directly shaped understanding in a particular field or area of study.

1. Michel Foucault

While largely regarded as a historian and philosopher, Foucault is also well known for his contributions the social sciences — particularly for his ideas about the link between knowledge, power and social control. His work has enlightening applications across a number of topics, ranging from socio-legal studies and the sociology of race to feminist and political theory.

2. Michel de Montaigne

While more of a statesman in his time, de Montaigne is now heralded as an author whose intellectually heady essay directly influenced writers from all over the world, including Descartes, Bacon, Pascal, Rousseau, Emerson, Nietzsche, Asimov and even Shakespeare. He’s also credited with the acceptance of the essay as a literary genre in its own right. His ideas about psychology — particularly as related to education, fear, motivation, happiness, and thought — also had a significant impact on psychology.

3. Saul Kripke

According to Encyclopaedia Britannica, this American logician and philosopher seminal publication, Naming and Necessity, forever altered analytical philosophy by providing “the first cogent account of necessity and possibility as metaphysical concepts” as well as in distinguishing “both concepts from the epistemological notions of a posteriori knowledge and a priori knowledge (knowledge acquired through experience and knowledge independent of experience, respectively) and from the linguistic notions of analytic truth and synthetic truth, or truth by virtue of meaning and truth by virtue of fact.”

Kripke’s work yielded fascinating new insights into language and linguistic meaning — particularly pertaining to common nouns and proper names.

4. Robert M. Pirsig

While we often think of philosophy as primarily in the domain of the humanities and social sciences, Pirsig is recognized for his contributions to science and technology. Best known for his cult favorite autobiographical novel, Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance: An Inquiry Into Values (ZAMM), Pirsig’s work addressed distinctly 20th-century questions related to what defines good and what defines bad — in other words, “the metaphysics of quality.”

5. Galen

A prominent physician, surgeon and philosopher during the Roman Empire, Galen, AKA Aelius Galenus, Claudius Galenus and Galen of Pergamon,  is credited with having influenced the development of a number of different scientific disciplines in addition to philosophy and logic, including physiology, pathology, anatomy, pharmacology, and neurology. He saw himself neither as physician nor philosopher but as both, as evidenced by his famous treatise, That the Best Physician is Also a Philosopher.

6. René Descartes

No mention of the intersection of medicine and philosophy is complete without mention of Descarte, whose attempts to recognize the body and the soul. The contemporary concept of brain-stem death can be traced back to this French philosopher and mathematician work. According to Encyclopaedia Britannica, “Descartes succeeded in eliminating the soul’s general physiological role altogether and in circumscribing its cognitive role to the human species. Descartes’s writings about death show that his concept of the soul clearly implied both mind and the immaterial principle of immortality.”

7. Plato

While Plato’s work was significant across areas from ethics and epistemology to metaphysics and aesthetics, law was a constant theme. In fact, his work remains today as the “foundation of political theory and jurisprudence.” Because of this, his The Republic is largely regarded as required reading for any student considering law studies.

But these are just a small fraction of the many philosophers who for millennia have not only asked big questions and tried to solve them, but also applied them across the disciplines to expand, enrich and improve our collective understanding of the world.

The Reasons Study Business Analytics

What is Business Analytics?

Professor Vincent Nijs, co-director with Professor Terrence August of the Master of Science in Business Analytics program at the Rady School of Management at UC San Diego, describes the field this way, “I think of business analytics as the field focused on how to use data and models to make better business decisions.  Data Science uses many similar tools (e.g. machine learning) but the set of questions they seek to answer are often different.  You can think of business analytics as ‘data science for business.’”

The Amount of Data That Companies Collect Gets Bigger and Bigger…

Just how big is big data?  Really big, and getting bigger all the time.  The EMC Digital Universe Study predicts that by the year 2020, 1.7 megabytes of new data will be created every second for every human on the planet.  What does that mean?  There will be 44 trillion gigabytes (44 zettabytes) of data in the digital universe.  Where does the data come from?  Just about everywhere—1.2 trillion searches per year on Google alone, over 1 billion people using Facebook every day, trillions of photos taken, and billions shared.  By 2020, there will be over 6.1 billion smartphone users, and at least 1/3 of all data will be transmitted through the cloud. We haven’t even talked about online banking, business, movies, television, music, and games.

…But Businesses Don’t Always Know How to Use the Data

The Rady School‘s Professor Nijs states, “Companies are collecting more and more data but often lack the people to use it effectively.” He referenced a quote from a well-known report by the McKinsey Global Institute (2013): “Big data promises big things—but only if organizations have the right people in place who know what to do with it. A recurring theme among senior leadership across all sectors is a shortage of professionals trained and experienced at the intersection of disciplines necessary to capture, analyze, and generate meaningful business insights from big data. In addition to deep analytics talent, organizations need management with the right balance of business judgment and statistical skills to translate analysis into action.”

A Company’s Future Relies on Its Business Analytics

The need for effective, efficient business analytics is stronger than ever.  Businesses need to know what they want to learn from business analytics—and then how they’re going to use that data to inform their decisions across the board.

Businesses need to be able to determine what data they need and then identify the data sources for gleaning that information.  The final piece?  Distilling that information into actionable insights using the tools of business analytics. Once businesses have a plan for capturing the desired data, organizing it, and analyzing it, they are in a position to develop plans to stay competitive.

Business Analytics Has Excellent Job Prospects…

According to a McKinsey Global Report, the US alone has a shortage of about 190,000 data scientists and 1.5 million business analysts.  Globally and in the US, companies need experts in business analytics.  High demand means higher salaries, and a variety of options.  Graduates in Business Analytics work at large companies, start their own businesses, work in banks or FinTech, web-based businesses, retail and food companies, media companies, and marketing companies.

…Especially When You Study at a Forward-Thinking School Like Rady

The Rady School’s  new Master of Science in Business Analytics (MSBA) puts students at the forefront of the field. The program focuses on the problems big data poses to businesses—and how to solve them using models, statistics, and machine learning – in classes such as customer analytics, business intelligence, and supply chain analytics.  The school’s bottom line?  To graduate students who know how to use analytics to make a positive impact on business performance—and sustain it.

Professor Nijs says that “After graduation, our students should expect to work extensively with data, use statistics and machine learning, write code, and develop tools to enhance business decision-making.  After gaining some experience, we expect them to be well-suited to lead an analytics team.”

First steps for prospective students?  Those interested in studying in this program should have an undergraduate degree in a “quantitative discipline,” says Nijs, like “mathematics, statistics, economics, or physics.”  They should also have some programming experience.

As data continues to get bigger, the global business world will rely more heavily on business analytics to succeed.  Want to make a difference in the business world?  Earn your MSBA in the field that businesses will indisputably need for success and sustainability.

Information For You The World’s Most Powerful Women and What They Studied

1. Angela Merkel

The German Chancellor has a PhD in physical chemistry from the University of Leipzig. She worked as a chemist at the Central Institute for Physical Chemistry, Academy of Sciences from 1978-1990.  After the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989, she entered politics.  In 2005, she became Germany’s first female Chancellor. In the light of seismic political shifts around the globe, Merkel recently announced that she will run for a fourth term as Chancellor.

2. Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf

In office since 2006, the Liberian President is the first female leader of Liberia.  She is Africa’s first female head of state.  In 1971, Sirleaf earned her Master’s in Public Administration at Harvard’s John F. Kennedy School of Government, after which she became Liberia’s Minister of Finance. In 2011, she shared the Nobel Peace Prize with fellow Liberian Leymah Gbowee, and Tawakkol Karman of Yemen.  Their work?  The non-violent struggle for women’s safety, and women’s rights to full participation in peace-building.

3. Erna Solberg

Norway’s Prime Minister since 2013, Erna Solberg, leader of Norway’s Conservative party studied sociology, political science, statistics, and economy at the University of Bergen. Solberg triumphed over dyslexia, a diagnosis she received at the age of 16, and went on to a successful career in Norwegian politics and government.

4. Michelle Bachelet

Chile elected its first female President in 2006-2010, and then again in 2014. That woman?  Michelle Bachelet, who has focused her life’s work on meeting the needs of the poor, children’s rights, women’s rights, and economic change.  She finished her medical degree at the University of Chile, after years of exile in Australia and Germany.  Her medical expertise?  Treating victims of torture, especially children.

5. Sheikh Hasina Wazed

A two-time Prime Minister of Bangladesh, first from 1996-2001 and again from 2009 until now, Sheikh Hasina Wazed studied Bangla at the University of Dhaka. In 1971, she helped her father, Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, when she served as his political liaison during his detainment for initiating Bangladesh’s separation from Pakistan.  In 1975, shortly after her father became president of Bangladesh, her mother, father, and three brothers were assassinated by military officers.  Hasina was out of the country; she subsequently led her father’s political organization, the Awami League.  She has several honorary degrees from universities around the world; she spent the better part of her life in exile, avoiding various assassination attempts.

6. Aung San Suu Kyi

State Counsellor of Burma and the Leader of the National League for Democracy, Aung San Suu Kyi studied Burmese at the University of Delhi and philosophy, politics, and economics at the University of Oxford.  She lived abroad with her husband and children for most of the 1970s and 1980s.  When she returned home from her life abroad in 1988, she learned of her government’s slaughter of her people—and the ensuing protests and violence.  She helped spark a movement against then dictator U Ne Win, and initiated non-violent protests for democracy and human rights.  From 1989-2010, she was in and out of house arrest and government custody.  In 1991, while imprisoned, she won the Nobel Prize for Peace.

7. Tsai Ing-wen

Taiwan’s current President Tsai Ing-wen studied law.  Throughout the 1980s, she earned her initial degree National Taiwan University in Taipei, and then earned a master’s in law from Cornell, and later a PhD in law from the London School of Economics.  She taught law in Taiwan until 2000, and became involved in government in the 1990s.  She is Taiwan’s first female president, the first not to have been Mayor of Taipei, the first never to have held a previous executive position, the first unmarried president—and the first president of Hakka and aboriginal descent.

8. Theresa May

In office since July 2016, Prime Minister Theresa May is the UK’s leader of the conservative party and second female prime minister.  Like her predecessor Margaret Thatcher, Theresa May studied at Oxford, where she specialized ingeography.  David Cameron appointed her Home Secretary and Minister for Women and Equality in 2010.  Politics aside, she is a self-declared “feminist.”  Think tank Wonkhe recently named her one of the 50 most powerful people to shape education in the UK post-Brexit—make that the world.

Best Nine to Study in the UK

1. Marine Biology

Home to diverse marine life and some of the world’s best marine facilities, the UK is a terrific destination for students aiming to enrich their knowledge of the biology of marine organisms. Boasting five of the top 20 best universities for earth and marine sciences, according to QS World Universities, the UK also lays claims to plenty of other world-class marine biology programs, universities and institutions.

Popular UK marine biology degrees include the Master of Marine Biology at the University of Aberdeen, the MRES in Marine Biology at Plymouth University, and the MSC in Freshwater and Marine Ecology at Queen Mary University of London.

2. Medicine

The UK has been a leader in the field of medicine for hundreds of years, and many of the world’s major medical discoveries happened here. Whether you’re looking for a breadth and depth of coursework, clinical contact, the development of a global network, or access to the some of the planet’s most brilliant professors and researchers, you’ll find it here.

Degree options in medicine are also diverse, including the MA Science, Medicine, Environment & Technology at the University of Kent, the Master in Medicine and Therapeutics at the University of Aberdeen, and the Master in Cancer Medicine at the University of Aberdeen.

3. Computer Science

Throughout history, British mathematicians, engineers and scientists have been at the forefront of computing innovation, devising rules and theories which laid the groundwork for modern-day computing and problem solving. This visionary spirit is alive and well in the UK today, solidifying its status as a premier destination for the next generation of leaders in the field.

Computer science scholars looking to become part of the UK’s legacy and future in computing and computer science have their pick of programs from which to choose.

4. Actuarial Science

Given the strength of its programs in math, computer science, finance and economics, it’s hardly a surprise to find that the UK is also a leader in actuarial science — a discipline which employs mathematical and statistical methods to evaluate risk across a number of different industries.

One program topping the list when it comes to putting students on the fast track to qualifying as an actuary? TheUniversity of Kent’s MSc Applied Actuarial Science.

5. Psychology

The UK has a rich history of teaching psychology as a science. Today, it maintains its reputation for excellence in the field, including in areas where cutting-edge advancements are being made, including behavioral genetics and neuroscience.

The fact that the UK is also home to some of the world’s best psychologists reinforces the value of a degree from one of its internationally recognized psychology programs.

6. Fashion Design

A departure from the first five STEM-centric subjects on this list, fashion design studies in the UK — and in London, in particular — offer unparalleled opportunities for international students looking to better position themselves for success in this continually evolving industry. Haute hordes of top designers have called London home, including Mary Quant, Vivienne Westwood and Alexander McQueen. For these reasons and many more, The Telegraph recently declared, “Full of opportunity and inspiration, London has always been the fashion capital dream for designers.”

Popular programs include the MSc International Fashion Marketing at Coventry University London Campus, the MA in Fashion from Middlesex University London, the MA Fashion from Kingston University London, the MSc International Fashion Marketing Glasgow Caledonian University, London, and the MA Fashion Design Management at the University of the Arts London.

7. Law

Law studies in the UK are particularly popular with international students, and with excellent reason: Not only are credentials from the UK’s prestigious law schools valued by employers all over the world, but the 900-year-old UK law system offers internationally applicable knowledge. Those hoping to land legal jobs after graduation, meanwhile, will find plenty of opportunities thanks to the UK’s many international law firms.

Wondering how to choose between programs? Westminster’s Integrated Master’s in Law is just one of five such programs in the country, and not only confers the Qualifying Law Degree, but also exemption from the Legal Practice Course (LPC) requirement. For those looking to expand their expertise in the growing area of compliance, meanwhile,The University of Law’s MSc in Law, Governance, Risk and Compliance may be the perfect fit.

8. Public Relations and Communication

The UK and the organizations which call it home have many challenges to navigate in both the pre- and post-Brexit world. Communications and PR professionals will play a vital role in helping them deliver messages which protect, enhance and build their reputations through these changes. What better place to develop your public relation talents then where they’ll be most needed?

Leading degree programs in the field, meanwhile, add to the appeal of studying PR and communications in the UK.

9. Finance

In recent years, more and more international students have chosen the UK for finance degrees for reasons including its status as a global financial center; excellence in both teaching and research; numerous leading professional bodies in finance; culturally diverse environment; and exceptional employment opportunities. And the future may actually be more bright than bleak, according to Big Four accounting firm which recently named London as the top global city of opportunity — ahead of Singapore, Toronto, Paris, Amsterdam, New York, Stockholm, San Francisco, Hong Kong and Sydney. Says The Telegraph, “London has retained its crown as the leading global city of opportunity and will remain a top destination for years to come despite the UK’s decision to leave the EU.”

In other words, not only is eliminating UK studies due to Brexit a premature move, but it may also be an unwise one — especially for students looking to capitalize on upcoming economic opportunities. A finance degree from a UK universitymay be just what you need to make the most of it.

One last thing to keep in mind? Despite fears over the potential impact of politics on international higher education system, there’s also good news for the UK. PwC also cited the “agile and resilient” nature of London as a major factor in seeing it through the changes ahead. These qualities can also be used to describe the US — another historically hot international destination also facing cooling interest from international students due to election results of its own.