Facebook Camera Gets Its Own Animated GIF Image Creator

When it comes to communication on social media platforms, animated GIF images are perhaps as important as emojis. These two have in a way managed to carve a language for its own and are at times the preferred form of expression than having to type long sentences. GIF images are already popular on Facebook, which just recently added a GIF option in the comments section. Now, the social networking giant is letting you make your own GIFs with the addition of a GIF mode in Facebook Camera.

The new GIF mode in Facebook Camera was discovered by The Next Web’s Director of Social Media Matt Navarra, who reported seeing a new GIF option on the top of Facebook camera. Notably, the feature was found only on iOS and could not be seen on Android, suggesting that it could be rolling out just for iOS as of now. We couldn’t see the feature on iOS either, which means it is yet to roll out to everyone.

fb camera gif creator the next web screenshot fb

As the feature rolls out, users will find the new GIF option when they swipe right to open camera. TNW’s report says that the GIFs created through the feature are short, lasting only a few seconds, which is pretty much how GIFs are meant to be. You will also be able to use Facebook’s effects and frames that were normally available in the camera. The GIF images you make can be saved to your device, posted on your profile or to your Facebook story.

Facebook last month introduced the GIF option in the comments section as part of the 30th birthday of the GIF format. You can already send GIFs on Messenger and Facebook-owned WhatsApp, but the ability to make your own GIFs now means you’ll have more creative freedom in expressing what you what without having to rely and search through existing GIF images. It also means that you won’t have download third-party apps to make your own GIFs if Facebook is baking the feature right into its app.

6 Tips That Will Help You Take The Best Food Photographs

Do you wonder how some people always manage to ace their food pictures and the ones you click, in contrast, look all dull and boring? Social media platforms are now overloaded with pictures of food that are beautiful, tasteful, enticing and sometime just plain gorgeous. Food photography is a skill that can be developed over a course time with the right knowledge and know-how. Because, if you are not tempted while looking at your own food pictures, then something must be wrong, right?

It is essential to note that some of the most appetizing photographs of food across social media haven’t been captured using a high-tech, expensive camera equipment. Thus, while DSLR cameras may give you a slight edge over others, getting an aesthetic food photograph needs more than just hi-end gadgetry. You humble smartphone can deliver good pictures too if you follow a few important points. To begin with, a well-captured food photograph possesses the capability to reflect the inherent taste of the food item that is clicked. That is how powerful the photograph must be.

6 simple, and important, things to keep in mind to get the best food photographs.

 6 Tips That Will Help You Take The Best Food Photographs

1. Light will guide you: 

For any photograph, whether it’s a portrait of a person, a landscape view or a food picture, adequate light is the most important aspect that must be taken into consideration. Natural light beats any other source of artificial lighting. It helps capture the nitty-gritties of the dish thus making it more appealing. Light must always come from the front or the side and make sure never to shoot in excess light as it defeats the purpose of the photograph. Avoid using the flash mode while clicking pictures of food, as the flash tends to create reflections giving the food a different orientation.

2. Angle: Depending on the food item, the most suitable angle helps enhance the photograph. While certain items will look best when shot directly from top, others will stand out when shot from the side, for instance, a multi-layered cake.  Some items like a burger will look best when shot at eye level. The angle is a subjective yet an essential characteristic in food photography. Try framing the shot using a few different angles before you zero-in on your preferred choice.

3. Pick a point of focus:

Here, we mean the ‘hero’ of the shot and the part you want people to pay attention to most. This is especially helpful when shooting in crowded or cluttered spaces. You should be able to pick the dish/platter and make that the hero of your photo. If one is shooting on a dining table, for example, make sure you include only the essential items on the table in the photograph. Otherwise, the attention is diverted away from the dish. Decide what is significant for the composition of the picture and what is not. Focus on what will make the photo look complete and avoid over crowding the shot.

4. Close up or not?

How ‘close’ do you want to see the food in your picture? A lot of people like taking only close-up shots of food and ingredients, and in most cases this works. Plated dishes, with a play of colours could look good in a wider view too. Try a few and see what does justice to the dish you are taking pictures of.

5. Interaction is the key: 

Food photographs look a hundred times more appealing by adding a human element. It increases the level of engagement for the viewer, making it appear more real. Thus, while shooting, make it a point to hold the item in your hand, for instance. Compose the picture in a manner that incorporates some human element.

6. Props make all the difference: 

Even the most palatable dish can look unappealing if not presented well. Thus, props make all the difference. It is of paramount importance that the correct cutlery, utensils, mats etc be used in food photography. Use clean plates and try and make use of white cutlery, which enables the food colors to stand out.

Ansel Adams once said, “You don’t take a photograph, you make it.”, and with the essential steps mentioned above, you are sure to make the best photograph possible. Happy clicking!


Facebook Meets Pakistan Government After Blasphemy Death Sentence

A senior Facebook official met with Pakistan’s interior minister on Friday to discuss a demand the company prevent blasphemous content or be blocked.

The meeting comes after a Pakistani counter-terrorism court sentenced a 30-year-old man to death for making blasphemous comments on Facebook, part of a wider crack-down.

Joel Kaplan, Facebook’s vice president of public policy, met Interior Minister Nisar Ali Khan, who offered to approve a Facebook office in Pakistan, which has 33 million users of the network.

Khan said Pakistan believes in freedom of expression, but that does not include insulting Islam or stoking religious tensions.

“We cannot allow anyone to misuse social media for hurting religious sentiments,” Khan said.

Facebook called the meeting “constructive”.

“Facebook met with Pakistan officials to express the company’s deep commitment to protecting the rights of the people who use its service, and to enabling people to express themselves freely and safely,” the company said in an email.

Facebook Meets Pakistan Government After Blasphemy Death Sentence

“It was an important and constructive meeting in which we raised our concerns over the recent court cases and made it clear we apply a strict legal process to any government request for data or content restrictions.”

Pakistan’s social media crack-down is officially aimed at weeding out blasphemy and shutting down accounts promoting terrorism, but civil rights activists say it has also swept up writers and bloggers who criticise the government or military.

One of five prominent writers and activists who disappeared for nearly three weeks this year later told a UN human rights event in March that Pakistan’s intelligence agencies had kidnapped him and tortured him in custody.

Others’ families said right-wing and Islamist parties had filed blasphemy accusations against them to punish them for critical writings.

Anything deemed insulting to Islam or the Prophet Muhammad carries a death penalty in Pakistan, and sometimes a mere allegation can lead to mob violence and lynchings. Right groups say the law is frequently abused to settle personal scores.

In April, a Pakistani university student, Mashal Khan, was beaten to death by a mob after being accused of blasphemous content on Facebook. Police arrested 57 people accused in the attack and said they had found no evidence Khan committed blasphemy.

WhatsApp Recall Feature Launch Imminent, Spotted on Windows Phone Beta

There have been many reports this year suggesting that WhatsApp will introduce recall and revoke feature on its stable version. However, the company is yet to release the feature. The recall feature has now been spotted on WhatsApp beta version on Windows Phone which tips the launch may be imminent.

It’s also worth pointing out that new WhatsApp features usually arrive last on Windows Phones when compared to its counterparts Android and iOS. WABetainfo has reported that WhatsApp beta version 2.17.218 of Windows Phone has the much-anticipated recall feature. The leaked screenshots, however, don’t really show how the feature will work. WABetainfo has claimed that the latest beta version on Windows Phone has also added a “Learn more” button for the recall feature.

The recall feature on the latest WhatsApp beta version is said to be disabled by default, and is likely to be enabled in next major update.

whatsapp android wabetainfo whatsapp

Based on preliminary reports, the new recall feature on WhatsApp will let users edit or recall a sent message. It is said to work by long pressing a sent message. However, the WhatsApp feature to recall or edit sent messages will probably work only in the case if the recipient hasn’t seen the message from the sender. Currently, WhatsApp lets users delete messages on the device level and the deleted messages remain visible to the recipient.

The new WhatsApp beta for Windows Phone also adds select multiple chat feature to the app which will allow users to select multiple chats to perform actions such as pin/unpin and mute/enable notifications.

Don't limit your social media talent to just a talent, make it your career and your future

Well social media has become our favourite platform to share, to express, to stay in touch with old pals. This is something which is becoming famous day by day and yes there is no end to this craze as it has lot many benefits which other platforms don’t offer. Making a profession out of social media is becoming famous day by day with the rise in the demand of online platform. There are so many things which you can do which the help of social platforms in just few clicks and not with any other source.

Image result for Don't limit your social media talent to just a talent, make it your career and your future

Why social media platform is becoming famous?
Not only one or two there are multiple reasons behind this great shift towards social platforms and some of them are:
– Fast brand awareness: Although there are many ways to raise brand awareness like hoardings and banners but none of them are as efficient as social media. Almost every other person uses internet so it can be helpful in fast brand awareness. Other ways of advertising are also helpful but they are not as fast as social media.
– Make more and more new customers: A business is successful only when it is able to increase its customers at a constant rate. Social platforms help in doing advertisements in a better way like posting honest product reviews or by making a video of live results. This helps in attracting more and more viewers and when you are able to attract viewers then you will soon make quality customers.
– Lead sales for a business: If you have taken successful Social media classes then finding a job in the social sales department of a company won’t be difficult. There you will teach different ways of leading sales in order to be productive for a company. There are many things you will have to keep in mind while leading sales to make it successful and all this can only be learnt after doing successful training.
– Increase traffic: Promotional knowledge on social media includes knowledge of ways of increasing traffic over social platforms. More traffic means more number of people is viewing your product and your business is doing well in promotion.

Every social media user is not aware of the skills which are required as a social media professional. Then how all these skills can be obtained to become a pro? With the help of Social Media course Torontoone can pursue a career as a social media professional. There you can learn about different ways of social marketing like inbound marketing which is famous amongst all social media professionals.
Although there are less courses that offer training for being a social media professional but yes you won’t find much difficulty in finding one. There are many online courses so that you can learn while sitting at your home or office at your own suitable time. You can also make it an extra source of income by being a freelancer.

Instagram affect marketing: What college scholar tasks Taught Us

The smorgasbord of socializing options is considerable in the digital cafe, however after I communicate to college students these days, not anything gets devoured up pretty like Instagram. sure, it is able to be a cruel area, shallow, selfie-focused and a worrisome mixed bag for frame photo. however few apps can have interaction and encourage, and as a consequence, trap influence advertising like Instagram.

Influencer marketing, which leverages the social networks of incredibly-networked person in social platforms, is turning into increasingly vital on apps like Instagram. because brands themselves cannot be assured that their very own accounts can sustain engagement and few brands can create the type of loyalty that a popular Instagrammer organically built thru their photographs and motion pictures.

a number of my savvier students are doing more than just scrolling thru the app. they’re searching at Instagram influencers as signifiers for his or her professional futures. perhaps not as influencers themselves (although that’s a possibility), many students consider getting to know Instagram influence can deliver them a strategic advantage.

The even savvier students have questions, such as: How does Instagram affect begin and what’s the social value of permitting brands into an otherwise natural feed?

This beyond semester, students asked the ones very questions. you could examine their thoughts underneath, but the upshot become quite clear: impact marketing works, due to the fact in contrast to most traditional marketing, the audience isn’t so much captive as they may be caring. (One ethics word: i am no longer paid via the college for running with students on these impartial tasks.)

Sady Swanson desired to begin an Instagram account from scratch, and had an interesting twist on the way to construct a brand new voice round an established brand:

“I created an Instagram account for a filled ram, the Colorado country university mascot,” Sady says. “My aim become to discover ways to manage a expert social media account and take on a voice and individual outdoor my personal, much like how a brand has it’s own online voice.”

Lucas Hyce has earned an Instagram following of 15,000+ and had a very distinctive question: what is the fee of bringing manufacturers into your feed? He researched the query with the aid of posting an informal survey earlier than and after introducing a logo into his feed (every other ethics note: He became not compensated by the logo).

“certainly a hit social media performers latch onto a topic of their existence: a few pick out a colour in a panorama — other, a particular window lighting and room,” Luke says. “those consistencies in their narratives pressure their testimonies past the dime a dozen photo that get’s scrolled past. Harnessing that visual talent in a way that makes your international recognizable is likewise critical for branding. on this manner, I suppose Instagram used a advertising platform can be extremely a hit.”

8 Steps To Teacher-Led, Digital PD

Professional development for teachers is a beautiful thing. While many professionals work either in isolation or total stagnation, educators are constantly given new tools to become better at their craft. National-level conferences like ISTE and ASCD, district PD, school PD, professional learning communities, data teams, “PD-style staff meetings,” books, blogs—there are so many incredible resources being updated literally as you read this, that the challenge is more about knowing where to start than finding suitable content.

But beyond any isolated parcel of teacher improvement lies social media. Long the plaything of adults and teens alike, social media has matured to become an incredible learning tool as well, connecting educators to ideas, tools, resources, and most importantly, each other.

Most certified teachers have some amount of formal professional development time they must achieve per semester or year. So, we wondered, why couldn’t “off the clock” PD via twitter, your RSS feed, or your favorite pinterest peers count towards fulfilling this requirement? Especially as districts struggle to finance more expensive forms of PD in the wake of budget cuts?

Do you want your PD effective, credible with staff, or affordable? Pick two, because finding training that fits all three is a tremendous challenge.

Of course, the idea of rewarding teachers with official PD credit for their time on social media and blogs is naturally disruptive. Schools or districts will seek to “policy” it up to the point where it is indistinguishable from what you do on your own on a nightly basis. (Kind of like formal learning environments tend to do to learning for students.)

You’ll also likely hear how much “garbage” you’ll find on the internet compared to a real PD (the Wikipedia effect), and out the baby goes with the bath water.

With these threats in mind, we wondered if we couldn’t find a compromise that gives schools and districts the kind of structure they need without neutering the experience for teachers. Here’s one take on how it could work.

8 Steps To Teacher-Led, Digital PD

1. Set the ground rules

You could probably call this a policy, but it’s the non-policy policy—just some basic rules and a common language to make sure everyone is starting and finishing at the same point.

For example, you might clarify how many hours of “official PD” “self-directed PD” qualifies for (similar to an elective credit hours). You should also explain how efforts will be qualified and quantified, and explain the big idea—personalizing educator training through self-directed and social media-based professional development.

2. Offer a starting point

Not all teachers will be chomping at the bit, so give them somewhere to start. Maybe a kind of scavenger hunt during a staff meeting (e.g., find 5 apps for struggling readers, two articles on better assessment design, and 10 tips for iPad implementation). Or a list of three blogs and two social media platforms to get started.

3. Turn over ownership

Pair them up, create competitions, publicize it in the local newspaper or school website, share it during conferences, let them speak at school or district PD meetings about their favorite sources, tips for efficiency, and so on. In essence you’re turning much of the ownership over to them–“teacher-centered” learning.

4. Start small

Pilot it in one department or grade level at first. Crawl before you walk.

5. Work together

Have teachers from different schools or districts—even in different states or countries—to not only improve the diversity of resources, but naturally expand professional learning networks in the process.

6. Quantify it—or have teachers quantify it

You could qualify it by hours spent (yuck), content curated (a little better), total resources shared (a tad bit better still), PD presented in person (not bad), alignment between content found and school and district needs (decent), impact on learning performance (nice), or some basic formula of several of these and more.

Then turn that process over to them—crowdsource the recording-keeping with the only expectation being that it’s visible to everyone and simple to update.

7. Focus on the effects

When celebrating effort, offering training, or discussing the process one on one, focus on the effects of the content rather than the medium or the source. The idea here hasn’t changed—improved learning for students via improved teacher efficacy.

8. Agree to revise

Whatever you do the first year will be a trainwreck (compared to the nice and tidy sit-and-get PD). So from the beginning, everyone should be aware that it’s all a work in progress—just like the profession itself.

Perhaps the greatest potential here is in the chance to personalize professional development for teachers. The above ideas are too vague to be considered an exact guide, but an “exact guide” really isn’t possible without ending up with something as top-heavy and standardized as the process it seeks to replace–or at least supplement. Instead focus on the big ideas–personalizing educator training through self-directed and social media-based professional development.

A New Social Science? Statistics Outgrowing Other STEM Fields


ALEXANDRIA, VA Statistics—the science of learning from data—is the fastest-growing science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) undergraduate degree in the United States over the last four years, an analysis of federal government education data conducted by the American Statistical Association (ASA) revealed.

The ASA analyzed data compiled by the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) on 160 STEM bachelor’s degree categories granted by U.S. public and nonprofit colleges and universities. Degree categories with a minimum of 200 completions in 2013 were included in the analysis.

The ASA analysis showed undergraduate statistics degrees nearly doubled (95% growth rate) during the period spanning 2010 to 2013. The significant growth of statistics outpaced that of all computer-related disciplines, environment and psychology (see following table for complete list).

% Increase          # of 2013
Field                                                                  from 2010          Degrees
Statistics                                                              95.1                1,656
Computer Info Tech Admin. & Mgmt.                  92.0                1,985
Health Engineering                                          86.4                1,195
Mathematics & Statistics, Other                          80.0                   216
Computer Programming                                      77.2                   466
Sociology & Anthropology                                   76.7                   454
Science Technologies/Technicians, Other          74.1                   484
Computer Software and Media Apps                  68.4                 1,160
Research & Experimental Psychology                66.1                 4,723

Source: Data from the National Center for Education Statistics; Analysis by the American Statistical Association

This news may be a surprise to many higher-education experts and business leaders who might expect a computer science-related area to be the fastest-growing STEM field. But the news did not come as a surprise to the ASA.

“The analysis confirms what the ASA has known for some time: Statistics is a hot career field that more and more students are choosing to enter,” said ASA President David R. Morganstein, vice president and director of the statistical staff for Westat, Inc., a statistical-services company based in Rockville, Maryland. “It’s also important to note that this growth is not a passing fad. Across the country, universities and colleges are dedicating new resources so their respective statistics departments can expand to meet this growing demand.”

The University of Minnesota–Twin Cities (UMTC) is a prime example of this phenomenon. Enrollment in its undergraduate statistics program grew from just 34 majors in 2004 to 224 currently. Overall, the number of statistics bachelor’s degrees has grown from 526 in 2003 to 1,678 in 2013.

This significant growth and interest in statistics can be attributed to factors such as a more quantitative society, emphasis on data analytics, the advent of Big Data and the corollary growth of the Advanced Placement Statistics program. However, the primary influencer is the job market and the resulting demand for workers with statistical and analytical skills, which LinkedIn ranked as the most important job skills in 2014 (link).

The Occupational Outlook Handbook, published by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, finds that the number of statisticians will grow by 27% between 2012 and 2022, far outpacing the projected 11% growth rate for all other career fields. Separately, McKinsey Global Institute, a global management consulting firm that serves leading businesses, governments, nongovernmental organizations and not-for-profits, predicted in a report on Big Data that the country will face a shortage of up to 190,000 people with deep analytics skills, such as statisticians, who are needed to manage Big Data-related projects and run data analytics and business intelligence operations in the private and public sectors.

“The main driver is the job market,” said Frederic P. Schoenberg from his frontline position as chair of the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) statistics department. “Our graduates are getting excellent jobs in industry with a statistics degree. Businesses throughout the country are forming analytics groups and seeing the value of data analysis. They are, therefore, hiring statisticians at a high rate and that is fueling our majors.”

Schoenberg and other leaders of college/university statistics departments said undergraduates of their programs are securing good-paying jobs at Internet, software and technology companies; finance and banking firms; analytics and consulting agencies; management and marketing organizations; biopharmaceutical and medical sciences companies; and government agencies.

To further meet this burgeoning demand, many colleges and universities are offering new undergraduate degree statistics programs. For instance, since 2003, the number of schools granting undergraduate statistics degrees has increased from 74 to more than 110 in 2013. Amherst College in Massachusetts, Arizona State University and the University of Chicago are just three of the 20 schools that recently unveiled new undergraduate degree programs in statistics (see the complete list). Additional new programs are in the works.

Another interesting finding from the ASA analysis of the NCES data is that more than 45% of undergraduate statistics degrees during the four-year timespan studied were awarded to women. Over the past four decades, women have earned more than 40% of math and statistics bachelor’s degrees. For comparison, in 2013, the share of women who graduated with an undergraduate degree in computer science was 18%; in engineering, it was 23%; and, in physics, it was 19% (see data here).

5 Social Networks For Students To Get Academic Help

With the growing use of social networking sites like Facebook and twitter, the methodology of education for students is finding new and improved ways. Students are getting more prone to the commodities these platforms offer. Therefore this advancement in social networking platforms is providing students with much better options to engage with their contemporaries, enhance their skills and access a wide variety of academic tools and resources which will most definitely add up to their convenience.

Enlisted below are a few social networking platforms that offer a wide variety of student friendly tools and assistance to help them academically.

1. Docsity

Docsity is a free social learning network for university and high-school students. It offers a platform for its users where they can engage in activities like sharing study related materials, counseling or simply connecting through a vast network of existing users from around the globe. Within the small timespan of two years, more than 600,000 students registered for the website and they use the website on daily basis. The website offers user generated contents in 7 different languages including Italian, English, Spanish, Polish, Russian, Serbian and Portuguese. The website is directly operated from its respective regional head offices thereby providing a direct approach to the users. Docsity also has its free application available for all android and iOS devices. The website also has a dedicated 24/7 support team to assist the students in their matters.

2. StudyBlue

Studyblue provides its student with a different approach towards studies. It offers an interactive way of studying where students get to create and animate flashcards. The website currently has about 1.5 million study content authored by the students. The website also conducts different quizzical campaigns for the students and tracks the progress of its users.

3. Chegg

If Mathematics is troubling you or you need a special assistance in any other course, or if you are just looking for some resource materials to gain more knowledge, Chegg is the answer to your queries. Chegg offers a very interactive way to the students looking for answers to the distressing questions. They can ask questions directly from the academic experts through their vast network. It also offers a unique service to connect its users to their friends on Facebook.

4. Lynda

Lynda is again a very renowned website worldwide. It offers a huge variety of study material and online video tutorials that help you learn different softwares, languages, business, creative skills and much more. Lynda’s tutorials are well known for their quality and are equally helping for the learners.

5. Sophia

Sophia offers its users with a unique way to have interaction. It builds a strong connection between students and renowned teachers from around the world. Sophia offers a number of free tools and services to the teachers, which literally transforms the way of teaching and helps in the provision of superior quality of services to its users. The website is suitable for students of all ages, either it be a student of middle school or an undergrad, Sophia has stored a lot more for its users to achieve their educational goals.

The advancements in technology have always proven to be beneficial for students. And with social networking platforms advancing, they are playing their role to facilitate the students with their needs.

[source : teachthought.com]

4 Questions to Ask Before Enrolling in a For-Profit Online Program

pretty african american college student wearing graduation attire in library
Prospective students can be forgiven for wondering whether they should enroll in an online, for-profit degree program. 

The industry went through a rough patch, enduring criticism for high student loan default rates, low graduation rates and dubious recruitment practices.

Yet despite the bad press, students shouldn’t discount online, for-profit programs. While the programs vary in quality, some provide an education that rivals their nonprofit peers, experts say. And new federal regulations, called the gainful employment rule, will kick in this summer, giving students more protection by weeding out for-profit programs that graduate students with high debt-to-income ratios.

Before students enroll in the programs, experts suggest they ask the below questions to determine whether enrolling is a wise idea.

[Learn three facts about for-profit colleges and student debt.]

1. How much will I be spending? “Make sure you understand the financial commitment you are making,” says David Deming, associate professor of education and economics at Harvard University’sGraduate School of Education. For-profit schools in particular can be really good at helping students get their financial aid packages taken care of, he says. “The danger is that you allow someone to help you so much that you don’t actually understand what is happening.”

10 Tools That Give You a Tailored Estimate of What You’ll Pay for College

Students should calculate what their student loan payment will be after graduation, he says. And then they should check the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ employment outlook reports to make sure they will be earning enough to comfortably pay back their loans. “Don’t count on the idea that these schools are going to watch out for you and only enroll students ​who are going to succeed – it’s not realistic,” he says.

The good news is the federal regulations, which kick in the summer, will require schools to release the debt-to-income ratios of their students. Those that don’t meet a certain standard will lose their federal aid.

2. Am I getting the right credential?​ Before students sign up for an online, for-profit program, they should make sure they know what kind of credential and accreditation they need to enter their job or profession, says William G. Tierney, professor of higher education at University of Southern California’s Rossier School of Education.

Not all online, for-profit schools have regional accreditation, which some employers may prefer over national accreditation, says Betty Vandenbosch, provost at the for-profit Kaplan University, which offers online and on-campus programs. Students may also want to look into whether their program needs programmatic accreditation from an organization, she says.

Programmatic accreditation from groups such as the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business can guarantee a level of quality in the eyes of employers.

Students can determine whether an accrediting agency is legitimate by ensuring it is recognized by either the Council for Higher Education Accreditation or the Department of Education.

[Discover how to vet a for-profit online program.]

3. What does the school’s job placement record look like for your particular field? If students are investing in online, for-profit schools with an eye toward joining a specific field, they should do as much research as possible into the school’s job placement rate within the industry, says Kevin Lang, an economics professor at Boston University who has studied for-profit schools.

Students should also ask about job placement rates in their specific community, not just nationally, Kaplan’s Vandenbosch says.

When the gainful employment regulations go into effect, schools will be required to release their job placement information. But for now, Lang says, it can be hard for students to get straightforward facts.

If an institution doesn’t provide that job placement information, Vandenbosch says students should ask why.

4. How will employers view my credential? Whether a student’s online, for-profit degree will be respected by employers really varies case by case, experts say. Some employers are more interested in whether someone has a specific skill set, Lang says. But still others may believe there is a stigma​ associated with the online, for-profit status.

According to Deming’s research, for example, applicants with a bachelor’s degree in business from a large, online and for-profit school are about 22 percent less likely to receive a callback from a potential employer than applicants with similar degrees from nonselective public schools.

“This is not the same thing as saying that the degree has no return in the labor market,” he says. The degrees can still give​ students advantages, he says, such as setting them up with internships or helping them earn a license.

[Explore why transfers to for-profit colleges earn less than others.]

Austin Mahoney, who got an online bachelor’s degree from Kaplan and started his online master’s degree in information technology there this month,​ says he’s not at all concerned about how his academic credentials will fare in the job market.

The Mount Pleasant, Texas resident works in Web​ development for a school district but hopes to do similar work for a major company someday. He stands by his education, which he says he chose for the course variety, the cost and the challenging academics.

[source : teachthought.com]