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.

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 Indeed.com? 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.

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.