How to Become a Web Designer

Aug
22

Web designers have a creative side to their job, but they also have technical skills that need to be mastered. They need to be able to build a webpage from scratch, or revamp a current webpage to their clients’ needs.  You will need to study the structure of web basics and how to design a functional and effective website.

 

Your day-to-day tasks will be:

• Meeting clients to discuss what they need and want
• Preparing a plan and looking into links and site structure
• Deciding on text, colours and backgrounds
• Working in a team with others to complete a project

What you will need to start with:
You, obviously, need an interest in graphic arts, websites, and design. An interest in advertising would also help, as you can learn how to use design to appeal to customers.

What you will need to study:
You will study the structure of web basics and how to design a functional and effective website.

What you will need to get started:
You, obviously, need an interest in graphic arts, websites, and design. An interest in advertising would also help, as you can learn how to use design to appeal to customers.

Where are the jobs?
There are a ton of agencies that offer web design, in any part of Canada or the entire world. Remember, self-employment is also a very viable and popular option.

Recent studies indicate that strong growth in Web design jobs, particularly in the consulting sector, is expected over the next few years. Careers that correspond with the skills learned in this program include:

Possible careers include:

• Web Designer
• Web Site Developer
• Internet Site Designer
• Intranet Site Designer

Get Started Now:

The Web Design program at Academy of Learning provides students with the necessary skills and knowledge required to create graphics and Flash animations for the Web, and to plan and design compelling interactive Web sites. It provides in depth knowledge of how to use Macromedia Dreamweaver and Notepad to create Web pages.

In addition, the program introduces students to HTML and JavaScript programming, and thereby provides them with a great degree of control over the appearance of their Web sites and skills that are in demand by Web design companies. Students also gain skills and experience in using industry standard graphics programs such as Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Illustrator, and Macromedia Fireworks to create, edit, and optimize graphics for the Web.

Do Smart Phones Help You Get Better Grades?

Aug
21

The debate rages on: Are smartphones clever enough to help your grades? Or are they making college and university students dumber?

The evidence has not changed. Point for smarter: a phone’s tools can be used for good and not evil. It can record your lectures, help you keep a schedule and be more productive. Point for dumber: making information too easily accessible can make students lazy.

So what do the people think?

Angus Reid recently conducted a survey on behalf of the mobile carrier Mobilicity. Their findings show that of 1,001 Canadian adults, 41 per cent of people recognized smartphones’ value for recording lectures and tutorial sessions. Another 46 per cent feel mobile apps are a way of keeping students organized. Another 42 per cent of respondents identified the devices’ capacity as a co-ordination tool for school activities.

Another study called Mobile Student 2.0 showed that 66 per cent of Canadians would use a mobile phone to conduct online research anywhere, anytime. The same survey also found that 42 per cent of Canadian students are coordinating school and social activities on their smartphone. As a whole, 56 per cent of respondents think that mobile phones are an invaluable tool for students.

It seems the country is still split on the issue of whether smart phones are good or bad. Maybe we can all agree that they make the smart student smarter and the dumb student dumber? Maybe not.

Read more >>

 

25th Anniversary Message to Our Students

Aug
16

As the President of Academy of Learning, I have the honour, on behalf of our entire organization, of conveying my heartfelt congratulations to you, our valued students, as I announce that Academy of Learning this week officially celebrates our 25th Anniversary.

In August 1987, Academy of Learning cut the ribbon on its first college in Thornhill, Ontario. Over the past 25 years, that modest beginning has flourished into a national network of more than 60 campuses stretched across the Canadian provinces and territories. From Victoria to Charlottetown, from North Battleford to Toronto, we have helped make the dream of a college diploma come true for hundreds of thousands of graduates who are now working in their chosen careers.

We are proud that you chose Academy of Learning for your education, and we take that responsibility seriously. When you entrusted us with your future by crossing the threshold into an Academy of Learning campus, you were taking the first steps toward changing your life, passing from where you were yesterday, to where you will be tomorrow. It is our honour to accompany you on your journey, and we thank each and every one of our students for this enormous accolade, which we will forever treasure.

Your admissions representatives, instructors, facilitators, managers, and all campus staff are devoted passionately to your education and lifelong career success. Our 25-year milestone represents the culmination of their passion, commitment and dedication to our students. Take a moment this week to celebrate together, as you and they, collectively, are the team that will fashion your future. Whether you are at the start of your program, still fearful and only just starting to build confidence, or at the end of your education, ready to face the world with renewed knowledge and energy, pause this week to appreciate where you are on your journey… because it will be over all too quickly.

Reaching our 25th Anniversary not only constitutes a remarkable achievement for Academy of Learning, but more importantly, it also represents the most valuable reward of all… the knowledge that we have earned the confidence and loyalty of our students, both past and present. Students over the decades have referred sons and granddaughters, friends and neighbours. They have entrusted to our care the people in their life whom they held most dear. This is the ultimate tribute, which 25 years of students have bestowed.

Our crowning achievement is you. And when you complete your training and wave farewell, clutching your richly-deserved diploma, another success story will unfold.

Thank you for giving us a reason to celebrate. Because of you, we will be here, united, making dreams come true for another 25 years.

Best wishes for your journey,

Derek Hamill President

How a new grad can research an employer

Aug
15

Companies check out job seekers prior to hiring them, and you should be checking out companies prior to applying for employment–or, at the very least, before accepting a job offer.

At Your Fingertips

Years ago, researching a potential employer required a trip to the library. Today, library information and more are available online.

… But where do you start?

The first destination is the employer’s website. It doesn’t matter if an employer is large or small; most organizations have an online presence.
Visit search engine Google, www.google.com, key in the company or organization name, and hit enter. This should return the website address you seek. Once at the employer’s website, it’s time to assume the role of Sherlock Holmes.

What You’re Seeking

What exactly are you looking for when at a potential employer’s website? Begin at the beginning.

Operations overview of the organization.

If you don’t already know, you need to find out what this potential employer does, along with its business approach.
Take a look at the “About Us” section of the website. Also look at its product or service offerings. In addition, check out its list of locations. Next, explore its list of clients, if one is provided, and/or a list of business partners.  If your potential employer is a public company you may want to look at its annual report as well.

Who’s at the helm.

Then look at the management team and board of directors. What kinds of backgrounds do these people have? Does your background (or aspirations) match theirs? Are there women in senior-level positions? Does the management teaminclude people of color?

Recent achievements.

What has the organization been up to lately? To find out, visit the “Company News” or “Press Releases” section of the site. Press releases that announce record profits suggest one kind of environment, while announcements aboutconsolidating operations and closing facilities suggest another.

Corporate culture.

Most organizations articulate their culture with a statement or even an entire section. Pay attention to how the culture fits, or doesn’t fit, with your own. Also take a look at photos. At Internet search giant Google, for example, people sit on colorful balls during meetings. This is a very different environment from a Big Four accounting firm where meetings are typically conducted around a conference table.

– Read the full article

25 Things List

Aug
08

I love making lists. They keep me organized, on task, and in the moment.  The thing is, life is short. College goes by fast. And if you don’t know what you want to do, there’s no way you can get it done. So combining two of my favourite things into a list of goals is the natural next step to make sure time doesn’t get away from me. Plus, it’s fun.

The “25 Things” List

One of the best things I ever did for myself was the creation of a list I wrote my freshman year of college called “Things to To Do Before I Turn 25″ (as 25 nears, though, I admit that I’ve let the number slip up to 30!). I knew there were some things I wanted to get done in my life, but for one reason or another, I hadn’t done them–so I decided to write them down and cross them off as I finished them.

Write Your List!

When you think of the things you most want to do, what comes to mind? Write these things down, and give yourself a deadline to achieve them. They can be big or small, easy or hard. For example, here are a few items from my list (which ended up having more than 25 things on it!):

1. GRADUATE FROM COLLEGE!

2. Stand in falling snow

5. Do a self portrait

13. Speak French to someone who learned it in France

15. See New York

25. Drive a really expensive car

So basically, your list can be anything you want to do; from riding a horse to building a house, write down your real goals!
If you’re having trouble getting started, try borrowing other people’s goals. One of my friends wrote a blog entry about how she wanted to read the same number of books as she was years old every year, and I loved that idea so much that I added it to one of my yearly goal sets.

Make it Happen

Once you’ve written down your list, post it somewhere you’ll see it often. The whole “out of sight, out of mind” works both ways–if you see your list often, it will stay on your mind.

The next step, of course, is to stop putting things off. When you get the opportunity to do one of the things on your list, take it! I can’t tell you how good it feels to cross something off–and so I’ve actually managed to finish 22 of my 25 things!

 

Source: survivingcollegelife.com

Balancing Work and School Life

Jul
27

You’ve found a great opportunity: you’re able to work and go to school at the same time to earn a degree or take courses for personal interest.  But once you’ve started, you can’t seem to find time to fit everything in.  Here are some guidelines for working students who can’t seem to find enough time in a day.

 

Be Organized: Keep your school materials organized and in one place.  Mark upcoming deadlines on your calendar and start school projects early to allow sufficient time to complete them in case other things come up in the meantime.  If you’re taking several courses at once, don’t spend all of your time on one course while other deadlines begin to loom on the horizon.

Create a flexible schedule: Some parts of your schedule are going to be inflexible, such as class times and work days.  Fit homework and studying in when you’re either not in class or not at the office.  Build a routine that you can stick to, but are able to adjust if other important things come up.  As a working student, you have to be ready to adapt to new assignments, unexpected errands, and sudden work crises that need to be addressed immediately. Make enough studying time in your schedule so that if something comes up, you can shift it into another slot during the week.

Communicate your schedule to your employers, friends, clients and family: Make sure the people around you know where you’ll be and when. Sign up for an online calendar and send the URL to the people who depend on knowing where you are and when. Not everyone you work with will understand the demands of being a student and, similarly, not all of your classmates will understand the additional responsibilities of working while in school.

Manage stress: Stress is an inevitable part of being a student and a worker — combine both together and you can expect to be stressed out. As much as you may try to preventstress, you’re going to have to learn how to relieve it as well.

  • Take those much-needed breaks. Give yourself time to collect yourself when you need it the most, so you can re-approach things with a clear head.
  • Be active. Stretch. Swim. Run. Lift. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle helps relieve stress and you’ll find that the more you get out and exercise, the easier work and school will seem. Exercising is commonly known to reduce stress.
  • Live. Don’t forget to enjoy life. Don’t get bogged down by nuisances of the demands of your academic and professional life. Take time to experience the world around you and appreciate your relationships in life. See movies, read books, watch sports. Don’t forget to squeeze in the things that make life worth living into your schedule.

Be realistic: There may not be enough time for everything, so get your priorities straight and don’t beat yourself up if you don’t accomplish every single task you’ve set out to do on a given day. Stay positive and be thankful that you have the opportunity to make a livingand get an education — two things many people in the world go without.

Know that it can be done! It may seem overwhelming at times, but remember that other people have gone through the same thing you are, and they have succeeded! You can too.

 

 

Source: WikiHow

 

8 Steps for Strong Time Management for College Students

Jul
20

Within the first few days of starting college, many students quickly learn that managing their time is one of the most challenging — and difficult — aspects of being in school. With so much to do and keep track of, strong time management skills can make all the difference.

1. Get — and use — a calendar. It can be a paper calendar. It can be your cell phone. It can be a PDA. No matter what kind it is, though, make sure you have one.

2. Write down everything. Write down everything in one place. (Having multiple calendars just gives you more to do amidst an already tight schedule.) Schedule when you plan to sleep, when you are going to do your laundry, when you’re going to call your parents. The crazier your schedule gets, the more important this becomes.

3. Schedule time to relax. Don’t forget to schedule in time to relax and breathe. Just because your calendar goes from 7:30 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. doesn’t mean you can.

4. Keep trying new systems. If your cell phone calendar isn’t big enough, buy a paper one. If your paper one keeps getting torn, try a PDA. If you have too many things written down each day, try color-coding to help simplify. Very few college students make it through their programs without some kind of calendaring system; keep trying until you find one that works for you.

5. Allow for flexibility. Things inevitably come up that you weren’t expecting. You may not have known that your roommate’s birthday is this week, and you certainly don’t want to miss the celebrations! Leave room in your calendar so that you can move things around a little when needed.

6. Plan ahead. Do you have a large research paper due the last week of the semester? Work backward in your calendar and figure out how much time you need to write it, how much time you’ll need to research it, and how much time you’ll need to pick your topic. If you think you’ll need six weeks for the entire project, work backward from the due date and schedule the time into your calendar before it’s too late.

7. Plan for the unexpected. Sure, you just might be able to pull off two papers and a presentation during midterms week. But what happens if you catch the flu the night you’re supposed to be pulling the all-nighter? Expect the unexpected so you don’t have to spend more unplanned time trying to fix your mistakes.

8. Schedule rewards in. Your midterms week is a nightmare, but it will all be over Friday by 2:30. Schedule a fun afternoon and a nice dinner out with some friends; your brain will need it, and you can relax knowing that you’re not supposed to be doing anything else.

 

Source: About.com

9 Keys to Business & Career Success

Jul
17

The most successful people in business approach their work differently than most. See how they think–and why it works.  I’m fortunate enough to know a number of remarkably successful people. Regardless of industry or profession, they all share the same perspectives and beliefs.

And they act on those beliefs:

1. Time doesn’t fill me. I fill time.

Deadlines and time frames establish parameters, but typically not in a good way. The average person who is given two weeks to complete a task will instinctively adjust his effort so it actually takes two weeks.  Forget deadlines, at least as a way to manage your activity. Tasks should only take as long as they need to take. Do everything as quickly and effectively as you can. Then use your “free” time to get other things done just as quickly and effectively. Average people allow time to impose its will on them; remarkable people impose their will on their time.

2. The people around me are the people I chose.

Some of your employees drive you nuts. Some of your customers are obnoxious. Some of your friends are selfish, all-about-me jerks.

You chose them. If the people around you make you unhappy it’s not their fault. It’s your fault. They’re in your professional or personal life because you drew them to you–and you let them remain.

Think about the type of people you want to work with. Think about the types of customers you would enjoy serving. Think about the friends you want to have.

Then change what you do so you can start attracting those people. Hardworking people want to work with hardworking people. Kind people like to associate with kind people. Remarkable employees want to work for remarkable bosses.

Successful people are naturally drawn to successful people.

3. I have never paid my dues.

Dues aren’t paid, past tense. Dues get paid, each and every day. The only real measure of your value is the tangible contribution you make on a daily basis.

No matter what you’ve done or accomplished in the past, you’re never too good to roll up your sleeves, get dirty, and do the grunt work.  No job is ever too menial, no task ever too unskilled or boring.

Remarkably successful people never feel entitled–except to the fruits of their labor.

4. Experience is irrelevant. Accomplishments are everything.

You have “10 years in the Web design business.” Whoopee. I don’t care how long you’ve been doing what you do. Years of service indicate nothing; you could be the worst 10-year programmer in the world.

I care about what you’ve done: how many sites you’ve created, how many back-end systems you’ve installed, how many customer-specific applications you’ve developed (and what kind)… all that matters is what you’ve done.

Successful people don’t need to describe themselves using hyperbolic adjectives like passionate, innovative, driven, etc. They can just describe, hopefully in a humble way, what they’ve done.

5. Failure is something I accomplish; it doesn’t just happen to me.

Ask people why they have been successful. Their answers will be filled with personal pronouns: I, me, and the sometimes too occasional we.

Ask them why they failed. Most will revert to childhood and instinctively distance themselves, like the kid who says, “My toy got broken…” instead of, “I broke my toy.”

They’ll say the economy tanked. They’ll say the market wasn’t ready. They’ll say their suppliers couldn’t keep up.

They’ll say it was someone or something else.

And by distancing themselves, they don’t learn from their failures.

Occasionally something completely outside your control will cause you to fail. Most of the time, though, it’s you. And that’s okay. Every successful person has failed. Numerous times. Most of them have failed a lot more often than you. That’s why they’re successful now.

Embrace every failure: Own it, learn from it, and take full responsibility for making sure that next time, things will turn out differently.

6. Volunteers always win.

Whenever you raise your hand you wind up being asked to do more.

That’s great. Doing more is an opportunity: to learn, to impress, to gain skills, to build new relationships–to do something more than you would otherwise been able to do.

Success is based on action. The more you volunteer, the more you get to act. Successful people step forward to create opportunities.

Remarkably successful people sprint forward.

7. As long as I’m paid well, it’s all good.

Specialization is good. Focus is good. Finding a niche is good.

Generating revenue is great.

Anything a customer will pay you a reasonable price to do–as long as it isn’t unethical, immoral, or illegal–is something you should do. Your customers want you to deliver outside your normal territory? If they’ll pay you for it, fine. They want you to add services you don’t normally include? If they’ll pay you for it, fine. The customer wants you to perform some relatively manual labor and you’re a high-tech shop? Shut up, roll ‘em up, do the work, and get paid.

Only do what you want to do and you might build an okay business. Be willing to do what customers want you to do and you can build a successful business.

Be willing to do even more and you can build a remarkable business.

And speaking of customers…

8. People who pay me always have the right to tell me what to do.

Get over your cocky, pretentious, I-must-be-free-to-express-my-individuality self. Be that way on your own time.

The people who pay you, whether customers or employers, earn the right to dictate what you do and how you do it–sometimes down to the last detail.

Instead of complaining, work to align what you like to do with what the people who pay you want you to do.

Then you turn issues like control and micro-management into non-issues.

9. The extra mile is a vast, unpopulated wasteland.

Everyone says they go the extra mile. Almost no one actually does. Most people who go there think, “Wait… no one else is here… why am I doing this?” and leave, never to return.

That’s why the extra mile is such a lonely place.

That’s also why the extra mile is a place filled with opportunities.

Be early. Stay late. Make the extra phone call. Send the extra email. Do the extra research. Help a customer unload or unpack a shipment. Don’t wait to be asked; offer. Don’t just tell employees what to do–show them what to do and work beside them.

Every time you do something, think of one extra thing you can do–especially if other people aren’t doing that one thing. Sure, it’s hard.

But that’s what will make you different.

And over time, that’s what will make you incredibly successful.

 

Source: Inc.

5 Reasons You Don’t Have a Job!

Jul
12

    1. You Have a Bad Resume or Cover Letter

Having a strong, professional resume strongly enhances your chances of being called for job interviews and is vital to increasing your career opportunities. Many resume services will provide you with free resume critiques and this valuable feedback can be used to improve your resume. If you are in school, visit your career services centre and get free resume advice from a career professional.

    2. You Are Engaged in Negative Social Networking

Your social networking profiles may be criticized by hiring professionals. According to a study conducted by Reppler, who provides social media monitoring services, more than 90% of recruiters and hiring managers have visited a candidates profile online during the hiring process. Research also determined that 69% of recruiters have rejected a candidate based on information found online. Check out the study’s conclusions below to see what might prevent you from getting hired: [Infographic.]

    3. You Are Not Following Up with Employers After Sending Your Resume or Completing an Interviewing

If you have not heard from an employer after sending your resume then it may mean they are not interested or that they never received your resume. A survey conducted by Robert Half International, discovered that 82% of executives say candidates should contact hiring managers via e-mail, phone or personalized letter within two weeks of sending their resume. In addition, after sending your resume, send a follow up thank-you letter after your interview to let the employer know you are interested in the job and really enjoyed meeting with them.

    4. You Do Not Know What the Employer Wants

If you focus on communicating what you want, for example on high pay, advancement opportunities and flexible work hours, you will NOT get the job. Instead, focus on what the employer wants, which may be things like; a team player, leadership ability, and/or communication skills. To know want the employer may want, do your researchbefore the interview. If you ask interview questions such as “What’s your biggest challenge”, “Describe to me your best employee and the skill sets they have” and by simply asking the employer directly “What is it that you need right now in a new employee”, you will increase your chances of getting the job. You must realize that after you have convinced the employer that you are capable of giving them everything they want, they will be more interested in giving you everything you want.

    5. You are Procrastinating

After a very long job search, it is normal to get frustrated and worried. However, you need to continue networking, applying for positions and following up with employers. If you do something to advance your chances of securing employment every day you will be more likely to succeed.

 

Source: Workopolis


10 Reasons to Have a Study Partner

Jul
11

One great way to stay on target and earn better grades is to pair up with a study partner. A study partner will help you in several ways.
  1. A study partner will help you remember a due date or the date of an exam. Never forget another test! Share calendars with your study partner and both of you will know when a big project or paper is due.
  2. Your study partner can share flashcards with you and quiz you before a test. Create your paper cards and meet up to study or use online flashcards together.
  3. Two heads are better than one, so your study partner may think of practice essay questionsthat you didn’t think of.
  4. Study partners can switch papers and pre-grade each other before assignments are turned in. Proofreadtogether and share your thoughts and ideas.
  5. A study partner can have your back if you get sick on the day when your paper is due. Arrange ahead of time to pick up and turn in papers for each other in the event of an emergency.
  6. A study partner will understand some methods or problems that you don’t. You will be able to explain some problems to your partner in return. It’s a trade-off.
  7. Your partner may be able to help you with your research skills. Meet your partner in the library and learn to use the resources together–then share what you know to help each other out. For example, one partner can learn to search databases while the other learns to find books on the shelves.
  8. You can benefit from sharing your strengths. One may be better with grammar, while the other is better with numbers.
  9. Study partners motivate each other and reduce the potential for procrastination.
  10. Study partners can be there if you forget important tools–like a calculator, dictionary, colored pencils, or notebook paper.

 

Source: About.com