Friday - - Beauty -

Q I’m tal­ented, suc­cess­ful and in a se­nior po­si­tion in the cor­po­rate sec­tor. How­ever, I re­alise I can’t climb fur­ther up the ca­reer lad­der be­cause I don’t hold a uni­ver­sity de­gree. I’d like to do an on­line BBA and an ex­ec­u­tive MBA from an ac­cred­ited uni­ver­sity that has lo­cal pres­ence in the UAE. What are my op­tions?

AIt is great that not only have you recog­nised your short­com­ings, you’re also tak­ing ac­tion to over­come them.

De­pend­ing on where you stay in the UAE, you could opt for even­ing classes at var­i­ous uni­ver­si­ties in Dubai or Abu Dhabi. Credit will be given for your work ex­pe­ri­ence, es­pe­cially if you have shown lead­er­ship traits, been a suc­cess­ful en­tre­pre­neur or achieved sig­nif­i­cant re­sults in your work­place. The ex­tent of credit de­pends on the course and uni­ver­sity you ap­ply to.

Al­ter­na­tively you could choose to do an on­line course. Be­cause of the pro­lif­er­a­tion DR IKRAMULLAH AL NASIR and the rel­a­tive ease with which you could get an on­line de­gree, it be­comes all the more crit­i­cal you chose your ser­vice provider care­fully.

On­line de­grees tend to be less ex­pen­sive than tra­di­tional ed­u­ca­tion, but choose sensibly as there are lots of fraud­u­lent de­grees avail­able. While choos­ing the uni­ver­sity en­sure it is recog­nised by the ap­pro­pri­ate au­thor­i­ties, has been around for some time and is a name your em­ploy­ers and friends would recog­nise and ac­knowl­edge.

Com­pe­tency-based de­grees, es­pe­cially at the bach­e­lor’s level, are be­com­ing very pop­u­lar, wherein on­line stu­dents can take ad­van­tage of their pro­fes­sional knowl­edge while ap­ply­ing for cred­its in col­lege.

In the UAE, the Min­istry of Higher Ed­u­ca­tion has ap­proved 105 uni­ver­si­ties from over­seas that are el­i­gi­ble to offer their pro­grammes elec­tron­i­cally. This list could be a start­ing point for your se­lec­tion. In Dubai, the Ham­dan Uni­ver­sity is also ap­proved by the Min­istry to offer on­line qual­i­fi­ca­tions. On­line pro­grammes offer con­sid­er­able flex­i­bil­ity as all you need is a com­puter to ac­cess your classes any­where, any­time. Most uni­ver­si­ties also pro­vide ICT train­ing dur­ing the first semester to help im­prove com­puter lit­er­acy and con­fi­dence.

While mak­ing a se­lec­tion you need to be very care­ful and check who your tu­tors are and their cre­den­tials – for ex­am­ple are they the same who teach the stu­dents on cam­pus? What ac­cess do you have to aca­demic ad­vis­ers, ca­reer ser­vices, on­line tu­tor­ing and a li­brary?

Be­cause of its size and to­pog­ra­phy Aus­tralia tends to be at the fore­front of on­line ed­u­ca­tion and uni­ver­si­ties such as USQ and Deakin are es­pe­cially known for their on­line pro­grammes and the sup­port they offer stu­dents.

In USA the pres­ti­gious and com­pet­i­tive on­line providers in­clude Penn State, Florida Uni­ver­sity and West­ern Ken­tucky, among oth­ers. Al­ter­na­tively you could look at com­pe­tency-based uni­ver­si­ties like Capella, West­ern Gov­er­nors or Char­ter Oak State Col­lege.

is a lead­ing spe­cial­ist der­ma­tol­o­gist based in Dubai

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