The Brandeis GPS blog

Insights on online learning, tips for finding balance, and news and updates from Brandeis GPS

Month: February 2019

The value of a master’s degree in 2019

In today’s competitive job market, the demand for candidates with advanced degrees is continuously rising. Particularly in high-tech fields, employers are increasingly looking for highly skilled workers. Professional master’s degrees in applied fields give employees an opportunity to demonstrate desirable skillsets  and a commitment to advancing within a certain career path or industry.

Some of the many benefits to a master’s degree include:

1. Greater confidence & mastery in your field

A master’s degree from a top-tier university allows you to delve deeper into your specialized field and take courses that directly correlate to your career. By taking courses in both hard and soft skills, you’ll be able to grow as a professional and ensure you’re staying up-to-date with the best practices your current industry requires.

2. Increased job opportunities

A master’s degree provides you with additional training and qualifications to pursue your professional goals, leading to job opportunities that would otherwise not be there. Having an advanced degree can open doors, oftentimes including those with higher salary prospects.

3. Ability to shift careers 

If you are looking to change careers, getting a master’s degree can provide you with the knowledge, skills and tools needed to switch your career path and enter into another field.

4. An expanded professional network

By entering a master’s degree program, students are exposed to a greater community of faculty, students and other top leaders in their fields. At Brandeis GPS, where courses average around 12 students per class, that community extends even beyond the classrooms; offering students opportunities to expand their professional circles through on-campus and virtual networking events, webinars, shared job postings, LinkedIn, and by building meaningful connections with faculty, program chairs, and advisory board members.

To learn more about GPS courses or graduate programs, contact gps@brandeis.edu, call 781-736-8787 or visit www.brandeis.edu/gps.

Communication for Effective Leadership

It may go without saying, but communication is a prevalent and critical component of today’s workforce. The skillset is especially essential for professionals seeking to excel in a leadership role. Regardless of industry, professional communications is imperative for leading effective meetings, mitigating crises, and navigating negotiations and conflict resolution.

“Communications is a critical part of doing business, especially in today’s environment. News travels fast. A bad customer experience can become a social media sensation before the CEO is even informed of the problem,” said Mary Caraccioli, Chief Communications Officer for The Central Park Conservancy. “On the flip side, you can use the power of social media to engage directly (and more deeply) with customers, employees and other stakeholders. You can use the power of the communications revolution to work for you by making communications part of your business strategy.”

Mary Caraccioli HeadshotCaraccioli is teaching a master’s-level course in Communication for Effective Leadership, a fully online, 10-week class that will help students build on their critical thinking skills and apply oral and written communication strategies to solve organizational problems and drive organizational change. Throughout the course, students will focus on topics such as negotiation and facilitation, crisis communications and public relations, virtual and global communications, and stakeholder management.

By the end of Communication for Effective Leadership, students should be able to:

  • Develop, execute and measure communication plans to manage stakeholders, solve organizational problems and drive organizational change.
  • Adapt communication strategies and use digital technologies to align with organizational, cultural, virtual, and global needs.
  • Build a portfolio of communication campaigns including crisis response, company positioning, and media statements.

This course is available for professional development or as part of several GPS graduate programs, including Technology Management, Information Security Leadership, Digital Marketing and Design, Strategic Analytics, and Project and Program Management.

At GPS, you can take up to two online courses without officially enrolling in one of our 12 online master’s degrees. This is a great opportunity to get to know our programs and approach to online learning. If you’re interested in exploring one of our graduate programs, or would like to learn more about effective communication for professional development, submit your information or contact the  GPS office for more information or to request a syllabus: 781-736-8787 or gps@brandeis.edu.

Faces of GPS: Meet Shannon McCarthy – Associate Director of Admissions and Student Services

Shannon McCarthy HeadshotIf you’re thinking about applying to a program at Brandeis GPS, you should have a conversation with Shannon McCarthy.

In her role as Associate Director of Admissions and Student Services, Shannon McCarthy works with applicants to our graduate programs, guiding them through the admissions process. Once they decide to enroll, Shannon helps them transition to working with a student advisor.

Born and raised in Taunton, MA, Shannon has stayed close to her New England roots. She received a degree in Sociology from Providence College before going immediately on to get her master’s in Higher Education Administration from Boston University.

As an undergrad, it was her internship in student affairs at Rhode Island School of Design that solidified her interest in higher education. After getting her master’s, Shannon worked first in admissions and then in academic counseling. She started at Brandeis GPS just over a month ago and enjoys her role because it is a combination of both.

Shannon wants students to know that she and the rest of the GPS team are available for any questions that they have. It can be challenging to come back to school after being in the workforce, all while juggling having a family and other personal and professional commitments. But the Brandeis GPS team is ready to work with you and help you succeed no matter what you have going on outside of school.

Shannon McCarthy HikingShannon is looking forward to working with students as they are applying and following up with them once they’ve started. She likes getting to see their next steps after they are accepted and continue to watch them be successful. She is also excited for her first graduation ceremony to see all the students get recognized for what they have achieved.

Outside of the office, Shannon loves spending time with her daughter, who’s almost a year old. She also enjoys taking dance and yoga classes and going hiking.

Faces of GPS is an occasional series that profiles Brandeis University Graduate Professional Studies students, faculty and staff. Find more Faces of GPS stories here.

Avoiding black hat marketing

From healthcare to insurance to local boutiques, most companies today use digital marketing to drive business. As organizations find new ways to target users online and face increased access to customer data, digital marketers often find themselves at an ethical crossroads.

Black hat marketing techniques

“Black hat marketing” most often refers to certain SEO techniques. According to Omnicore, search engines drive 93% of all website traffic. To get ahead, companies will sometimes use black hat marketing to trick search engines into awarding their website a higher ranking, and getting it on the front page of search results. Other types of black hat marketing really fall into more of a grey area, and today’s digital marketers should have a plan for mitigating the risk of inadvertently executing unethical marketing strategies.

Ethics in Digital Marketing and Design

Brandeis GPS will be offering Ethics in Digital Design and Marketing as a part-time, fully online course during our Spring 2 session beginning in April. During the 10-week course, students will be presented with ethical dilemmas in digital marketing and work through the implications of various actions, including tricking search engines, posing as customers in social media, making false or exaggerated claims and using questionable or sneaky channels. Throughout the course, students will develop a set of principles and values through dialogue examining multiple perspectives.

At Brandeis GPS, you can take up to two courses before enrolling in one of our 12 online master’s degrees. If you’re interested in exploring the MS in Digital Marketing and Design, or would like to learn more about ethics in digital marketing for professional development, contact the  GPS office for more information or to request a syllabus: 781-736-8787, gps@brandeis.edu, or submit your information.

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