Archive for March, 2013

Traditional College: Do we get our money’s worth?

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There have been numerous studies equating a college degree with financial success. It’s true that the numbers bear this out: a person with a college degree makes substantially more than the person without a college degree over the course of their lifetimes. However, a case may be made that begs the question: is it the individual rather than the degree that is behind this financial success.

In other words, is the person who can afford college and has a keen interest in increasing their knowledge that much likelier to succeed than the economically challenged person who is struggling just to keep a roof over their head in any event. Would the financially successful graduate have been financially well off if they hadn’t attended college?

For every person who points to their college degree as the foundation of their success, there’s another highly successful person who didn’t attend college, didn’t finish college, or ended up doing something completely different than their college major.

In recent conversations with people who’ve changed careers multiple times as industries and economies and interests morphed and expanded and contracted there is a repetitious theme to be heard: it takes about three months to learn any set of job skills. What you make of your career after that is up to how you perform. And how you perform in the job world has no relationship with how you perform on written tests in college.

Books are fascinating and you can learn a lot from them. Mentors can provide motivation, encouragement, support and insights that college can never provide. But without street smarts, people skills and a sense of dedication a college degree can only do so much.

One area where colleges fail is in providing exposure to what the real world equivalent of your major is like. There are a great many cases where students have spent three, four, five, even six years studying until graduation, only to find out that they didn’t like the job. Medical students who found out they couldn’t stand the site of blood, lawyers who couldn’t stand the work load, film students who didn.t realize they’d have to start at the bottom…the list is endless.

Certainly, there are careers where a degree is necessary: lawyers, doctors, nurses, accountants among them. But there are also a number of careers that a degree is not a necessity for: in fact, the more creative and fun a career is, the less likely it will require a degree. Skill, absolutely; but a degree, rarely. Simply put, there.s no single answer to the question “Do you get your money’s worth out of going to a traditional college?” Just remember, your goal is not to get a degree, it’s to have a career in a field that interests you. Choose accordingly.

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Kristin Gabriel Biography and Photo

Writer Kristin Gabriel

Kristin D. Gabriel

Kristin Gabriel is a highly accomplished marketing communications practitioner with a solid track record of delivering outstanding revenue-driven results for corporations, agencies and small business clients. For the last fifteen years, she has been focused on strategic branding, integrated marketing and public relations for emerging high technology companies and consumer brands.

Gabriel possesses strong written and verbal communications skills and she has finely honed skills as an integrated marketing and PR strategist for B2B and B2C companies. Over the years she has placed thousands of consumer, trade and business stories in targeted print and electronic media. Her most recent knowledge includes cutting edge search marketing, SEO and social media practices.

In 2012 worked on strategy and branding for start-up encryption technology company SoftKrypt and its data protection software EasyKrypt, integrating IR, PR and product marketing strategies telling the company’s story; wrote all communications materials including: press kit, sales literature, executive PPTs , demos, speeches, and business plan leading to purchase offers for EasyKrypt.

Her skills managing an SEO reputation management and campaign for Fortune 500 global anti-virus company Trend Micro Incorporated was highly successful for the company’s 2010 Titanium™ product family roll-out.

Prior, Gabriel managed public relations positioning for iolo technologies as a leading provider of Windows-based utility software for home, business and enterprise-level PCs, garnering over $1.2 million worth of media exposure in one year.

Kristin’s corporate branding, marketing communications and PR strategy for publicly-held biotech company, Applied DNA Sciences (OTCBB: APDN), a provider of embedded DNA biotechnology anti-counterfeit solutions, led to significant trade/consumer press for the company, and a higher market-entry valuation upon going public.

Working full-time as a director of corporate communications, Kristin managed IR/PR working directly under the board for CyberMedia Corporation, helping double the valuation of company leading to acquisition by Network Associates in 1998.

Kristin’s creative skills were exceptional when she conceived and launched the Symantec Antivirus Research Center (SARC). Results from one consumer campaign for Virus Awareness Month at SARC achieved a total of 55,282,791 million audience impressions within print and broadcast media.

She also managed consumer PR for digital imaging software company MetaCreations, now Viewpoint Corporation, achieving outstanding press results during pre-IPO PR campaign just prior to going public -opened at $27 per share, $9 above initial IPO price.

Other projects included: reputation branding for CyberDefender Corporation, early detection security, managing PR for Webalo enterprise mobile application; View Systems, Inc.’s weapons detection technology, online marketing for Spain-based Panda Software U.S, and PR for India-based MicroWorld Technologies.

Kristin holds a B.A. from Mills College, California, and she is based in Los Angeles, California, where she works as an n integrated marketing and communications consultant.

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