Reaching higher, and achieving goals, with a postgraduate diploma from Boston.

Reaching higher, and achieving goals, with a postgraduate diploma from Boston.

Tomorrow’s leaders must be equipped with new-age competencies for successful careers.” So says Ari Katz, CEO of Boston City Campus & Business College. “This will ensure that graduates will be in demand by employers,” he says.

Accredited by the Council on Higher Education, at NQF level 8, the Boston Postgraduate Diploma in Management (PG Dip) provides prospective students who hold an undergraduate degree (and with or without work experience), with a unique postgraduate opportunity to gain advanced knowledge of business and general management.

Business, Management and related subjects (finance, accounting, management, and economics) are among the most popular fields of study at universities worldwide, particularly at graduate level. Business graduates are in high demand worldwide. “Business” is an all-encompassing word that involves pretty much every aspect of modern human society. Qualifying with a management qualification means you have diverse skills and wide knowledge and that you can operate on a macro- and micro-level. If you qualify with a business and management qualification you are likely to earn more and have diverse opportunities open to you.

At the postgraduate level, students are able to gain an in-depth understanding of many aspects of the corporate world. With a PG Dip, opportunities for students to carry on with a Master’s in Business Administration will open up.  Master of Business Administration and Executive MBA programmes are targeted at those who have already gained significant professional experience, and typically have more of a focus on professional development.

At whichever level you study business, you can expect all types of business qualifications to have a strong emphasis on the practical application of theory, through the use of case studies, problem-solving tasks, projects, and teamwork.

The combination of academic challenge and practical focus makes the prospect of studying the PG Dip very attractive for those attracted to the learning environment. “What is also hugely attractive is that this postgraduate qualification holds the key to a change in career for anyone who wishes to work in management. Whether you have a business-related undergraduate degree, a teaching degree, a Bachelor of Social Sciences or even if you are qualified as an optometrist – you can make an application to study this postgraduate qualification that hones your skills for management in the corporate environment” says Katz.

Katz explains how the PG Dip will offer students the skills required to be effective managers in business.  Students will engage in a challenging curriculum that develops a theoretical foundation for operations and enterprise-wide risk management strategy to improve services and products, enhance customer experience, strengthen corporate governance, and, ultimately, establish a competitive corporate advantage. In turn, these concepts are integrated into and underpinned by an applied appreciation for: global marketing techniques in the modern era, financial management techniques to realise strategic intent by steering corporate action, brand management of the self, and reputational management for SMMEs.

“There is an opportunity to specialise and create an area of expertise, giving you added value to your employer”, says Katz. “Candidates choose between entrepreneurship, project management, or supply chain and logistics management as elective modules to facilitate further specialisation in the field”.

“So if I already have a degree, why should I study further?” is a natural enquiry. “One of the big reasons we study in the first place, is not only to gain skills and embark on a career, but to ensure that the career will match our interest, and with the job satisfaction, bring us earning potential,” says Katz. “Taking qualifications to a higher level creates great opportunities for upward mobility, earning potential increases, and new job opportunities will open up,” he says.   “Perhaps you shouldn’t expect a huge salary increase as soon as you graduate, but the skills and knowledge gained from a postgraduate qualification will facilitate your career progression, making it easier to access management-level positions with higher salaries.”

“You’ll still need to prove yourself, show initiative, be a team player, and work hard if you want to reach your career and salary goals – and be prepared for plenty of competition,” says Katz.

 

Applications for the PG Dip are now open. Call 011 551 2000, visit www.boston.co.za, or email info@boston.co.za.

Interview with Nonhlanhla Dube – CRM (Social Media) Manager.

Interview with Nonhlanhla Dube – CRM (Social Media) Manager.

Career Compass Guides the way to Success

1. Why is it so difficult for school leavers to decide on a career to follow?

Recent research has indicated that prospective tertiary education students are not confident about their career choices.  Schools do not have the resources they need to assist learners with career investigation, and in addition, they have to focus their time and efforts on the academic material for exams –they don’t have the luxury of spending time advising on careers. It is in this environment that learners have to make a choice and finalise applications!  I can also say from experience – when you are in the first year you are overwhelmed, studies are very difficult at a tertiary level, and we land up questioning whether the effort required matches our passion for the industry we have selected!.

2. So Boston realized that there was a gap in career education at school-level, and addressed it with a computerized programme?

Well, recent research indicates that 73% of matric students believe they are still in need of comprehensive career guidance and 84% believe there are many career opportunities they do not even know of.  Sadly, only 21% believe they have the resources within their area to guide them towards their ideal career. Learners need clarity!

Boston invested in the development of a computerized assessment that can be delivered on a national basis and made sure it is offered free as part of our corporate social responsibility to education. A decision on careers is a life-changing decision and we have to keep in mind it involves a commitment to fees too, so we believe that we need to try and assist in matching the most appropriate skills and interests to studies. It is offered at no obligation or cost to any learner.

3. Tell us about the career compass assessment?

This is a hi-tech and brief career insight evaluation that is aimed to help students reach career maturity. It will help you explore things such as:

  • Do you want to work regular office hours or extended hours
  • work with numbers?
  • Work with people?
  • Work alone?
  • Work as a member of a team?
  • Are you creative? Do you wish to enter the working world as a technician, web designer, programmer or administrator?

The answers to these pertinent questions guide the student towards the ideal study programme.

4. And when the aptitude assessment is complete – what do you get?

Results are available immediately, produced in a graph that ranks the individual’s results from the most suited career options to the least, based upon the individual’s interests.

Appropriate career choice is important – it has been proven that students are more likely to succeed if they are studying subjects that they enjoy.

‘Statistics show that there is a 15% – 25% throughput rate at South African universities and colleges (Source: High university drop-out rates: a threat to South Africa’s future – HSRC, 2008).  This means that only about 1 quarter of all students who start a programme complete it. “This shows career choice requires research and self-evaluation with a consultant.  And if you start a degree and you are not happy –investigate your options!”

5. What other advice do you have for learners about to make a career decision?

Education is not static – which is why Boston maintains a liaison with various industries, updates course material, and introduces new courses such as Cloud computing to keep graduates in demand from the workplace. Our research, for example, showed that there was a gap for a qualification that covers skills such as skills in the social media and digital marketing fields and so the Boston BCom Management Marketing degree was introduced. Other degrees and diplomas available include the BCom Law, Bachelor of Accounting, Bachelor of Social Science, the Postgraduate Diploma in Management and diplomas in Networking and Systems Development, all designed to meet new skills demands in the industry.

Keep in mind if you choose something like IT it will involve lifelong learning as it is a constantly evolving field.

Another important aspect is to check that the right government and industry body accredits both the course you’re interested in as well as the college that is offering the course.

 

 

For more information, contact Boston City Campus & Business College on 011 551-2000, e-mail info@boston.co.za, visit www.boston.co.za, or Facebook.

Practical workplace experience gives Boston students the edge

Practical workplace experience gives Boston students the edge

Author Carol S. Dweck is known for her work on the mindset of psychological trait, where the ‘fixed mindset’ approaches learning from the point of view that you are born with certain skills and abilities. The other side of this coin is the growth mindset.  From this perspective,  skills are viewed as competencies which can be learned and further developed.

Boston City Campus & Business College embraces the growth mindset. Implementing the principle of subject-specific and soft skills development, Boston students engage in the academic institution’s programme of Work Integrated Learning.  Playing a key role in providing practical, on-the-job training in a student’s particular field, the programme provides skill learning in an actual work context.

“Our focus is on equipping Boston students with top workplace skills, as well as vital professional and interpersonal skills, in order to facilitate ease of employment on completion of their studies at our campuses,” says Boston CEO, Ari Katz.

“Work-integrated learning is the basis of everything we do.  Boston students are encouraged to get work experience during their degree.  This is done at companies who host a particular student, enabling them to apply the skills and competencies learnt in their degree,” says Katz who emphasizes the importance of harnessing industry-related skills in order to secure employment.

“We prepare our graduates with training and graduate competencies that put them in a position to walk straight out of their studies and into a job.  Our focus is on incorporating WIL into all degrees and higher education, ensuring that our students are work-ready,” says Katz.

The practical part of certain programmes is overseen by Jeannette Campbell who manages the work-integrated learning on a fulltime basis.  Providing a bridge between the host company and the student, an opportunity is created to harness key skills through experiential learning.  In this capacity, Jeannette further solidifies corporate relations, underpinning Boston’s pivotal role in supplying top graduates in various industries. This service is performed for students who require practical experience as part of their qualifications, such as the Media students on the campus where Jeannette’s office can be found. And in addition, Jeannette will assist graduates to find employment post their qualifications.

“Students are assisted with their CVs.  We play an active role in guiding them where to go and what to do, but the onus is on them to get the placement,” says Katz.

The WIL programme allows the host company to gain insight into the skill level of the student.  “Our programme has proved so successful that there are instances where the work-integrated learning has resulted in permanent employment at the host company,” says Katz.

Northern Cape graduate, Elton Kagisho is one such example.  “Boston goes all out to help students develop key skills through on-the-job training within qualifications.  In this way we are ready for the workplace from the day we leave,” says Kagisho who is now part of the prestigious State Information Technology Agency (SITA). “My lecturers at Boston gave me a chance to grow in the IT field, helping me to go beyond my self-imposed limitations,” he says.  “I was fortunate to receive an exceptional standard of education with internationally-recognised qualifications,” says the graduate who to this day believes in unceasing study and improvement of his technical qualifications.

 

 

“The current workplace environment demands a high level of education matched with a high skill level.  We believe that it is essential to provide our students with a balance of knowledge and skills complemented with the practical understanding of how to apply them,” says Katz.

 

“As educators, we are committed to ensuring that our graduates are equipped to make a valuable contribution to the workplace, while furthering their careers.  This means adopting a growth mindset, where developing and refining skills is a natural means to achieving competency in a particular industry,” concludes the Boston CEO.

 

To find out more about the qualifications offered by Boston, or to schedule an appointment with a career advisor, call 011 551-9000, e-mail info@boston.co.za, or visit www.boston.co.za.

Everyone should undergo a career assessment test before choosing a career path

Everyone should undergo a career assessment test before choosing a career path

According to research done by Accenture, it was found that only 41% of South Africans are actually satisfied with their jobs.  Yet, the same survey also shows that very few of those who are unsatisfied with their jobs take any steps toward a career change.

There are numerous reasons for this, some include job security, the years spent on a specific career path, the time spent studying for that career and the comfort of knowing one has already gained the experience and that there’s risk involved in opting for a new job which requires a new skill set.

According to Natalie Rabson, Skills Development Facilitator at Boston City Campus & Business College “One of the main reasons why so many South Africans are unsatisfied with their careers and now find themselves stuck may be simply because they made the wrong career decision initially. We often were guided by our parents who wanted us to have lucrative careers that were in demand at the time. In addition – careers and skills demands have changed and not everyone has kept up to date!”

“Career decisions are often based on unrealistic fantasies and idealistic views or influenced by friends, family, the media and misinformed perceptions of careers,” says Rabson.

Another problem arises when students pick a qualification without understanding what jobs it will (and, importantly, won’t) qualify them for once they graduate.  “We need to be realistic – while we may qualify in management –you can’t go out and manage a team in a business you don’t understand. You need to learn the business and understand the people you are managing first” says Rabson. In other words, Rabson advises to open yourself up to starting in an entry-level position.

For Rabson, the key to making the right career choice comes down to the kind of mentorship prospective students and job seekers are exposed to.

“Young adults need to be steered in the right direction and preferably by means of a structured process that helps determine what they really want from life, what their dreams are and what makes them unique.  There also needs to be a proper understanding of their strengths and weaknesses, their thinking patterns, personality traits, work style preferences, values, and interests.  These are the essential determining factors when it comes to making successful career decisions,” says Rabson.

Ideally one should already start thinking about which career path to take in those final school years.  Thinking about it is one thing; more importantly, there needs to be some form of guided introspection.  A structured, scientific approach is what’s needed.

Boston offers a career compass assessment where a prospective student meets up with a counsellor who will take him/her through a computerised process that aims to match the participant’s interests, skills, and personality through placing answers in suitable categories. This allows the counsellor to analyse the results and provide the prospective student with advice on possible course options and career opportunities in his/her recommended field.

“Making use of such a method whereby one’s interests, skills, and personality are aligned with a possible career path is a fundamentally important first step in the process of choosing the right career path.  That is why we encourage all prospective students, whether they will eventually register at Boston or another tertiary institution, to come in for this career assessment.  Too many students make a decision based on what friends are doing or what friends say or make impulsive career decisions and ultimately end up on the wrong career path,” adds Rabson.

“What we do know for sure is that your success in your qualification, as well as in your job, will be markedly increased if you choose something you love!” says Rabson. Seek professional guidance in making an informed career decision.  Your future depends on it.  Also, remember that more than a third of your life will be spent working – don’t waste it by being unhappy in your career because you made an uninformed or impulsive decision in your younger years,” concludes Rabson.

For more information on Boston’s Career Compass Assessment, please visit www.boston.co.za.

Time to take your music seriously – a career in the music industry.

Time to take your music seriously – a career in the music industry.

Have you considered a career in music? Many people have a passion for music but believe that it is a hobby and that they will not be able to earn a living from it. Boston City Campus & Business College believes that including your passion in your career makes you more successful.  Boston established a partnership with Soul Candi, who has been a success in the music industry for years. “Most budding musicians struggle to create a career in music. They simply do not know how to get from where they are to where they want to be. In order to create a music career, look into one of the qualifications available at Boston in the music industry”.  So says Blanka Mazimela, Head of Department at Boston.

With graduates of Soul Candi blazing music trails, they are showcasing their skills learned through Soul Candi qualifications. One of the budding graduates from the program is Dwson – who has recently released an album on Stay True Sound. “A former student who did the Digital Music Composition and Production course he’s currently getting loads of props from industry giants, “ says Mazimela.  Others include Vinny Da Vinci, DJ Christos and Liquideep just to mention a few.

Making Soul Candi more accessible, Boston launched an additional Soul Candi short learning programme to introduce graduates to the industry.  Available at all branches nationwide, it is called the INTRODUCTION to Digital Music Composition and Production.  In addition, courses such as DJ101 and Music Business are also offered. (The Digital Music Composition & Production qualification is offered at selected branches only where facilities are available).

What types of careers can you follow with a qualification in the music industry? While you may need to combine qualifications such as DJ101 and a business diploma, in order to also understand the full running of a business, these are the types of careers that will be open to you to explore in music: Performing & Writing,  DJ (Nightclub DJ) Recording,  Record Producer. Record Industry, Music Business, Personal Manager, Facility, Arena, & Club managers, music journalism and so many more!

Music Producers write, arrange, produce, and record songs, whether they are shaping the sound of another artist’s album or creating beats for their own projects. With the growth of home recording technology and boutique recording studios, many producers find themselves pulling double or triple duty as Studio Owners and Sound Engineers.  A music producer will be responsible for every aspect of his business and it’s definitely not all glamourous – one needs to note the amount of admin involved! A typical day will start with checking notes, prepping the studio, checking the functionality of the equipment.  If the studio is booked out it needs to be in perfect running order in order for studio fees to be charged.  While on recording breaks – a producer will attend to admin such as emails, orders, bookings, and accounting. There is a lot of work that goes into being a Producer outside of the studio such as attending rehearsals, meetings, writing sessions, and going out to shows.

Program Directors are in charge of what is produced by a radio station. They manage the station’s programming and oversee the different departments and staff at the station to ensure that the station always sounds its best and suits the needs of its listeners.

Says Mazimela, “As a program director or manager, your plate is full. At any given time, a Program Director’s duties could include organizing promos, making sure the DJs are informed about upcoming promos and station events, sitting in meetings, checking music logs to make sure they’re accurate, working with the music compiler to produce logs for the next day, coordinating interviews with industry influencers and Musicians, and managing and scheduling programming, “.

While the industry appears to be glamourous, there is still a fortune of admin work to be done such as returning emails and calls, dealing people, meetings with PR companies and more.

Whatever direction you choose in music, Boston’s collaboration with Soul Candi will ensure you gain the industry skills you require to start your career in this really exciting and happening industry.

“Music is currently one of the biggest industry worldwide with South Africa being the top destination to some of the world’s biggest DJs and musicians. The industry has a variety of offerings. With some of the world’s biggest festivals annually collaborating with South Africa you’d swear that South Africa is the next Ibiza” says Mazimela

 

 Contact Boston on 011 551-2000, e-mail info@boston.co.za, visit www.boston.co.za, or Facebook.