Fantasy Commencement Speeches: Game of Thrones Edition 2017

Game of Thrones Grad - Commencement Speeches 2015

Game of Thrones Grad – Commencement Speeches

Imagine it:  you’ve done it. You’ve completed your college degree! Pop some bottles, take a selfie with grandma, and pat yourself on the back.

Now for the big question:  if you were in charge of the universe, who would be your commencement speaker at your graduation?

Welcome to DegreeCast’s Fantasy Commencement Draft:  Game of Thrones Edition.

You want advice about how to use your degree to carve a bloody path through the masses of your future?  There’s a GoT character who’s ready to drop some knowledge.

You choose…

Daenerys Targaryen

The Mother of Dragons would surely talk about seizing the day; she started at the bottom and now rules from the top of a pyramid.  Look for her, either to channel her inner Lena Dunham and talk about keeping it real in a man’s world or let her Beyonce spirit animal give advice about how to dominate the marketplace with shock & awe (and fire-breathing lizards—no offense Jay & Dr. West.)

Ned Stark

Capable of JFK-level barn-burner, the Lord of the North would deliver a “don’t be evil” speech that would make Google proud. Maybe the most honorable man in Westeros, the Stark clan patriarch would likely have a lot to say about integrity, loyalty, and the power of determination.  But would he keep his speech interesting for a large crowd or would he simply lose his head?

Cersei, The Queen Mother

If you think passive-aggressive moms know how to get things done, you’ll love Cersei’s advice about how to be aggressive-aggressive.  The Lannister matriarch isn’t afraid to break a rule, social norm, or the best wine glass in the house in order to get what she wants.  Her speech will scare you straight —not that there’s anything wrong with that.

The Hound

You want a quick speech than doesn’t mince words? Our guess: he talks for 1 minute and tells you to kill anyone who stands in your way. So it’d kind of be like a speech by Elon Musk, only shorter. And hairier and bloodier.



Tyrion Lannister

Let’s face it:  if you want wit, irreverence, and a great time, you have to pick the short man from King’s Landing. Tyrion not only knows how to party, he would probably give great advice as to how to do it for the rest of your life. Would he caution against the risks of letting nightlife overtake your job search?  Or would it be a seminar about how to turn your weaknesses into a boat launching success? Why don’t we just listen to Peter Dinklage himself?

It’s commencement speeches 2015 Draft season— so get inspired!  Discover who institutions have selected for their own Commencement speeches over the years. Some speakers are actually not even fictional– although how do you classify Ali G?

Your degree is an adventure.  Commence with your degree search now.

Paralegal Degrees: Always Trending, Especially Right Now

From our friends at

From our friends at

There are only two possible answers to the following question:

When will you need legal advice?

  1.     Now
  2.     Soon

Buying a house? Signing a contract for a new job? Starting a company, executing a will, getting a copyright…  If you aren’t right now, you will at some point.  And so will everyone you know.

The demand for paralegals and legal assistants is exploding and will be for the next few years, according the U.S. Department of Labor Statistics. Paralegals, under the supervision of a lawyer, are rising stars in the legal world, helping firms do things like write contracts and prepare cases for court.

Joseph Spada, Esq. Director of Paralegal Studies at Boston University

“You are looked at as a rainmaker …paralegals are becoming in more vogue,” says Joseph Spada.

While a paralegal cannot give legal advice, modern paralegals have become profit centers for forward thinking law firms. “You’re looked at as a rainmaker,” says Joseph Spada, Esq, the program director of Boston University’s paralegal certificate certification program. Spada adds, “paralegals bill for their time and are able to create revenue for a law firm…paralegals are becoming more in vogue.”

We live in a world that rewards those who know the rules—and punishes those who don’t.  That’s why people who work in the legal profession are always in demand. Think of training in the legal field as the little black dress of the professional world. The Rolex of scholarly pursuits. The red convertible roadster of academia. Paralegal study never goes out of style.

"a paralegal on the team"

“A well-trained paralegal can be a great asset to the team” according to Kate Kleba.

“Increasingly, paralegals are taking on a greater responsibility in cases and deals,” says Kate Kleba, Esq., a lawyer at a firm in Philadelphia. “A well-trained paralegal can be a great asset to the team.”

And the best news is some of these paralegal degrees and certificate programs can be done entirely online, even at top-rated, prestigious institutions like Boston University. You can be anywhere online improving yourself and your family’s lives.

Want to study coursework in Real Estate Law, Probate and Family Law, and/or Business Law?  Or is Litigation your game?

It’s time to catch this industry’s wave as it’s rising.  It’s your adventure. Begin your legal studies and launch your future… now.


Boston University Paralegal Webinar, July 2015.  time stamp 4:18-4:42 – Visit to watch this recent webinar recording or contact for more information on upcoming events.

– U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook Handbook – Paralegals and Legal   Assistants 

Independence Day 2015, A Holiday for Flip Floppers

What was your first act of independence?

For most of us in America, it’s going to college. Whether you are a high school student moving away from home for the first time or you’re an adult degree seeker, going for your degree is a bold act of ambition. It’s a choice to be stronger and more successful as an individual.

A degree is a declaration of independence.

             Independence Day 2015, Is a Day For Flip Floppers

The American Founders, responsible for that Declaration of Independence we just celebrated, were blindfold haters. And now for a DegreeCast History Flashback!

We Americans love to talk about how brave the colonists were for standing up to the strongest government (with the biggest army) in the world. England was terrifyingly huge, much like Google or the Kardashian/Jenner family. Jefferson, Franklin, and Adams knew that declaring independence from the British crown was a BFD. No one had ever done it before.

But what drove those early 4th of July partiers wasn’t the thrill of punching out the giant.  It also wasn’t the future promise of lawn chairs, barbecued meats, and Bruce Springsteen. The colonists were simply tired of stupid games.

The British had been forcing the Americans to play an international game of Pin the Tail on the Donkey. “Close your eyes and just trust us,” the Brits might have said.  “We have your best interests in mind. We’ll give you options—just let us point you in the direction.”

Tired of the control from across the Atlantic, the revolutionaries wanted to make their own choices and choose their own destinies.

And 225+ years later, we still celebrate the time the revolutionaries flipped the tables and called BS on the British blindfolders.  Sure, Americans might sometimes put the tail on the donkey’s nose, but since 1776 we do it with our eyes wide open.  It’s our choice and our (jack)ass—and that’s the way we like it.

It’s Independence Day 2015, so our question here at DegreeCast: how do you pick a degree program? Do you know the many options you have or do you trust junk mail, dated booths at college fairs, and online banner ads?

It’s Independence Day any day you want. Declare yours with DegreeCast.

Where’s the Beef (Science)?

Best SF Burger 15 RomoloInternational Hamburger Day is May 28th. So what if we are 25 days early. @DegreeCast we just love burgers. So we’ve got you 1 right over here. She’s short & savory.

Where’s the Meat (Science)?

What do you get when you combine a tasty taco ingredient and a nerdy subject from high school? What do you call the formalized study of arguments, fights, and bad blood between people?

Beef Science” might sound like something you’d draw in the game “Cards Against Humanity,” but Beef—and the world it comes from—can actually be a launching point for your future.

You can study everything from food science to veterinary science.  Want to learn the ropes of running a restaurant?  How about learning the ropes of a ranch?  You could study how to raise, nurture, sell, cook, or preserve livestock.

Are you a vegetarian/vegan?  There are degrees in the benefits of vegetarian nutrition. Or botany.

Ground Beef

Did you know that there are patents on cuts of meat? Food business can be pretty big business.  And did you know that animal husbandry isn’t only legal in all 50 states, it isn’t even considered weird?

Stick your fork into a search on DegreeCast.  Because even Beef can be an adventure.

Earth Day, Don Draper, and You

DC EarthDay Blog Post iPhone HomeThe origins of Earth Day are rooted in a terrific and familiar story: a person has a dream and changes the world with it.  The founder of the original Earth Day (45 years ago today) was Senator Gaylord Nelson. He left a legacy of political, ideological, and, of course, environmental change that has affected generations to come.

But that’s only half the story.

Earth Day is also a triumph of the power of marketing and branding. Enter Don Draper, and the Mad Men (and Women) of Advertising.

How do you get a movement? You need the idea, of course. But you also need a clear message. And that’s where Julian Koenig comes in. When he came up with the name “Earth Day,” he helped ensure that a great idea could live beyond its time.

Everybody knows that marketing is about selling a product or idea. But Koenig understood something more: marketing can be about aspiration, about hope.  Earth Day isn’t simply a day to think about recycling or the effects of pollution: it’s a day that reminds us that we can do better. We can BE better.

And that’s where you come in.

Where will you be in five years? How will you be a “better” you?

Interested in starting a movement?

How about a degree in Public Policy? Local, state, and federal policy very often gets started by those who work in the field.  Maybe you see yourself in Leadership.  Are there degree programs for that?  Um… have you tried clicking “Leadership” two sentences ago?  Do it.

Do you want to be an Ad Man (or Woman)?

Julian Koenig went to Dartmouth and Columbia, excellent schools to be sure. But, like Simon Sinek and his “Why” movement, Koenig had to learn the craft of how to tell a story. Does it surprise you that some advertising copywriters start in Communications and Creative Writing programs?  You might not have the same batting average as Koenig, but you swing at the same kind of pitches.

Do you want to cover the movements of our time?

Sarah Koenig, daughter of Julian, works in the media, most recently with her breakout hit Serial on NPR. How about a career in Broadcasting? Or maybe Radio, TV, or Film Production?  There are people spreading the word—you could get a degree in how to do it.

Are you a Tree Hugger?

Awesome.  Did you know that there are degrees in that?  Well, maybe not Tree Hugging, but how about Environmental Science, Environmental Engineering, or Environmental Technology?  The world is your sustainably harvested oyster.

Some look to the future… and make a wish.  Some look to the future… for an adventure.

It’s 11:11 on Earth Day.  Time to discover your future.



Make Money on Tax Day

1040’s = EZ$$$

People complain every April about paying taxes. But what’s it like to make bank in the spring while everyone else sends money to Uncle Sam? Did you know that there are degree programs out there that can lead to opportunities that turn Tax Day into Pay Day?

Discover MoneyBall Degrees

Level One:  Bookkeeping helps Small Businesses across the US

When somebody makes it rain, somebody has to count the raindrops. Everybody needs to keep track of money, whether it’s in a shoebox full of receipts or a ledger.  Did you know that there are 1-2 year degree programs in keeping small business books?  Did you know that the average yearly salary for Bookkeepers in the US is $34,000, according to You do now.

Level Two:  Public Accounting gets you into Big Business

Companies love a person who’s good with numbers. A degree in Accounting prepares you to get your business on. There’s a world to discover in programs around the country that teach you about how to be the numbers person for a company. Most programs are 2-4 years long and can be found in schools anywhere in the country.

Level Three:  Go Global with a Graduate Certificate in International Taxation

If you want to see yourself in pinstripes but you can’t make the Yankees, you might start by searching for Business programs that will take you the world over. Make your move to discover a career that might require both math and passport skills.

Level Four:  Tax Law

You want to go really hard with your MoneyBall game? Become a Master of Taxation Science. Discover programs that offer one of the coolest, nerdiest sounding degrees that anyone can earn in higher education.  Your search starts now.

And that’s DegreeCast this Tax Day.  Helping you discover a degree that could pay off in a job that makes tax season a time for profits for you.

Discover your degree. Discover your self.

Because a degree is an adventure.

New Year Kickoff

Hello DegreeCast Community,

It’s been an incredible 2013, so we wanted to fill you in on new partnerships, plans, and product features as we take 2014 by storm.

Here are a few things that happened just this month:
-We were invited to the White House by the Department of Education!
-We partnered with the largest poetry channel on YouTube.
-We were invited to apply for several exciting grants by some of the biggest names in education.

White House and the Department of Education:
Earlier this month, DegreeCast was invited to the White House to take part in the Department of Education’s 2014 Datapalooza. The event was a one-day symposium to showcase and discuss the uses of government data and big data statistics in the higher education marketplace.

We made friends with the teams of several interesting projects who presented at Datapalooza. While we met a lot of impressive people, our favorites were.

Christina Allen, LinkedIn University Pages (@ChristinaAllen)
Find out what’s happening on campus, what current students are studying, and what alumni are up to now.

Abigail Seldin – College Abacus (@CollegeAbacus)
Helps students and families learn what different colleges will cost based on individual student circumstances

Laura Perna – University of Pennsylvania Graduate School of Education –
Research/expertise in Access, choice, and equity in higher education as well as College finance and affordability (@lauraperna1)

Dan Tangherlini –
In his presentation, he used Trulia as example of a site which uses, which we particularly enjoyed, because DegreeCast uses government data as well! Think we could ask @DanGSA if the next White House hosted education #datapalooza example could be

Partnerships and Online/Offline Productions:
We’re really excited to announce a partnership with Button Poetry (YouTube’s most popular poetry channel). Like Button Poetry, our passion is to make new academic and intellectual experiences more accessible, so we invited them to join us on our trip to the nations capitol. Button Poetry and DegreeCast have been working closely to develop co-branded event productions and online awareness campaigns that will be scattered throughout the new year. Keep eye-out for some exciting offline event productions within the Web Tech and Digital Media Arts community already on the calendar for 2014.

IMG_4014 IMG_4018

Grants and Government Contacts:

With encouragement and network support for our advisors, DegreeCast began exploring public and private grant opportunities to help further our social cause. We believe our mission of organizing the all higher-ed degree information in the United States and making it freely accessible to all degree seekers is a social good that should be promoted and sustained. This belief was affirmed while in Washington DC. The Department of Education announced the issuing of a Request For Information (RFI) from members of the higher-ed community who can assist degree seekers in completing the FAFSA. DegreeCast plans to respond to this RFI with the details of our upcoming FAFSA submission feature set to be released in late 2014 on

We’re extraordinary pleased with the progress we made in 2013 and look forward to making 2014 another banner year. Look here for more frequent updates on our progress.



New Amazon Career Choice Program Pays Up to 95% of Education Costs

Image credit:

Amazon encourages fulfillment center employees to go back to school with their new Career Choice Program.

Amazon announced their new Career Choice Program this week. Amazon wants to help employees at  their fulfillment centers around the country pay for higher education. The program is aimed at Amazon Fulfillment Center employees with a minimum of three years of employment with the company. The remarkable thing about the Career Choice Program is that it does not require employees to study in an area that would further their career at Amazon. Further, it only pays for degree programs in higher demand areas that are known to pay well, like nursing, aviation science, and more. The company will pay, in advance, for up to 95% of the cost of tuition, books, and course fees for eligible fields of study. This is great news for the affected employees and for schools.  In fact, this sort of initiative is why DegreeCast.comexists. A large group of people, some of whom probably thought that higher education was a dream they couldn’t afford, now have funding but no idea where to start looking for eligible programs.

Dear Amazon (and especially you, Jeff Bezos) –

Here at DegreeCast we applaud your bold new Career Choice Program. Not only are you helping your employees better themselves, but you’re helping them in a way that does not necessarily help your bottom line, too.

The program looks amazing, and we would like to be a part of it. Our 100% free to use higher education search engine can help your eligible fulfillment center employees find a school that fits the guidelines of the Career Choice Program, matches their interests and is convenient to them geographically.’s in-depth search details over 10,000 certification and degree programs at more than 240 schools — and that’s just in the states with Amazon fulfillment centers.

We hope you’ll share our URL with your employees.  Even if you don’t, kudos to you for helping your employees fulfill their potential — and not just orders.


The DegreeCast Team

It’s Launch Day for!

Have you been wondering what DegreeCast is all about? is a higher education search engine. It’s the first search engine to help prospective higher education students determine tuition and other costs associated with their preferred degree or program of study. And it launched today!

DegreeCast offers comparisons between schools and programs and provides a comprehensive data set of degree offerings at all levels. It currently features over 60,000 degree program listings from 1,800 colleges.

What does that mean?

DegreeCast is the first specialized search engine created to aggregate degree-level information across multiple schools and programs. It gives prospective students information regarding tuition costs, book costs, and institutional affiliations for internship purposes. It even shows the potential salary for a specific degree. Before today, students researching degree programs had to rely on horizontal search engines (Google, Bing). DegreeCast’s vertical search engine delivers in-depth search results. The goal is to make selecting a degree and narrowing the list of prospective schools a simpler process.

Bonus: Thousands of new schools and programs are being added to DegreeCast’s data set every month.

There are several billion-dollar market cap companies (Princeton Review, US World & News Report, etc.) which aggregate higher education data at only the institutional level. DegreeCast goes deeper into the data,returning detailed information such as a description of the program, department chair information, acceptance rates, credits, and costs. Until now users have not been able to access information regarding programs, staffing, relationships with corporations, or specific information such as book cost, credit and total program costs for multiple schools from a single online location. DegreeCast also offers several useful filtering options to make the task easier.

“Our dataset didn’t previously exist,” says DegreeCast CEO and founder Caleb Gandara. “This is a multi-year labor of love. We’ve been working for several years to build a foundation. DegreeCast now offers students access to deeper level data. Searches are faster and more to the point. We focus on simplicity and function in an effort to help students find their best educational match.”

Spotlight: A New Degree Brings New Opportunities

A promising and exciting career awaits you...

Returning to school can unlock life opportunities and new career options.

Adults return to school for many reasons, such as new professional opportunities or for personal reasons like maintaining intellectual stimulation after retirement. For some people, finishing and old degree or adding a new degree can lead to better job prospects in their chosen field. For others, they feel a new degree prepares them for a career change altogether.

Meet Dale Blasingame, social media director at Beacon Internet Services. Dale worked for 10 years in traditional broadcast media. His original degree was in journalism, but after one year in radio news and nine years in television news, he felt he was stagnating. “I was not a happy person in my old job,” he tells DegreeCast. “My new career is a complete left turn.”

Dale returned to his alma mater, Texas State University, to pursue his Master’s degree in Journalism with a focus on New Media. He defended his thesis in the summer of 2011, and he has already reaped the benefits of this new career path. “I don’t regret it at all,” he says. “I’m glad I made the decision I did. I’m more relaxed now, and I think I’m a happier person to be around. I really like the academic environment, and now I think I’d like to get my PhD. Not immediately, but somewhere down the road.”

Dale says returning to school wasn’t a higher calling, but a practical decision. For him, it was the right time and he was in the right place to consider a career change. It also enhanced his personal life by offering experiences he didn’t initially consider. His intention was to write his thesis on crime news in broadcast journalism, but he realized the topic was overdone. And then opportunity knocked.

Texas State University was offering a course on the popular South By Southwest music and media festival in Austin, Texas. Dale was among the students sent to attend the festival, and it wasn’t long before he had an epiphany. “I turned to my instructor and said, ‘I’m changing my thesis. This is what I want to do.’ It was eye-opening. Now I cover SXSW for one of the TV stations in San Antonio. Going to grad school gave me the breathing room and the opportunity to do SXSW, and it changed my life.”

Given his previous life and work experience in traditional broadcast media, working on the thesis was perhaps easier for him than for a student fresh out of the undergrad programs. “I had connections. When it came time to write my thesis, I had interviews lined up in 20 minutes. I knew the relevant people.”

He also credits his previous work experience with helping him through grad school as a whole. “I wanted to go to grad school when I was an undergrad, but I’m really glad I waited those ten years. I was one of the few people in our classes who had real world experiences with the stuff we were discussing.For example, we studied the media reaction to 9/11. I was working in the newsroom on 9/11. I had something to share that was relevant.”

The idea of returning to school can be a daunting one. When asked about this, Dale responded, “The first test, I freaked out. We only had to write short essays, but it was a feeling I hadn’t had in a long time. I had a couple of classmates older than I, and it turned out that age wasn’t a big deal.”

Is returning to school the right choice for you? We cannot guarantee it is, but we can leave with you Dale’s final thoughts on the matter: “I got so much more out of it because I did wait.”

Have you returned to school to finish or add a degree? Leave us a comment and tell us what your experiences were.