Continually working to increase knowledge and skill sets is crucial to being successful in today’s highly competitive professional environment. This means that it is not enough to be well informed about the latest advances in a professionals field, the professional must attain acknowledgment, recognition, or peer-respected credentials about the knowledge learned or skill acquired. Gaining acknowledgment and recognition could be simply applying the knowledge or skill while performing tasks on the job. The application of knowledge and skills used while on-the-job will be recognized by an employer or clients as experience gained. This experience is an important credential along with acquiring respected educational degrees and professional certifications.

One of the best methods of discovering what knowledge and skills are important and recognized by experts in a specific field would be to review current job boards. Another method of obtaining information about a specific career would be to review journals and articles from respected organizations. Often a job listing will mention credentials provided by some of these respected organizations. For example, I am interested in the field of Information Security. A credential valued and respected by peers in the field of Information Security is known as the CISSP (Certified Information Systems Security Professional) Certification. This was made know to me by speaking with friends who work in the Security Information field and by reviewing job boards for positions in Information Security. The CISSP certification was developed and maintained by an organization called (ISC)2 (or ISC squared – Information Security Certification Consortium). A description of what (ISC)2 is can best be explained in their own words “We provide vendor-neutral education products, career services, and Gold Standard credentials to professionals in more than 135 countries. (ISC)2 develops and maintains the (ISC)2 CBK, a compendium of information security topics. The CBK is a critical body of knowledge that defines global industry standards, serving as a common framework of terms and principles that our credentials are based upon and allows professionals worldwide to discuss, debate, and resolve matters pertaining to the field. Subject matter experts continually review and update the CBK.” The mission of (ISC)2 is: “We make society safer by improving productivity, efficiency and resilience of information-dependent economies through information security education and certification.” The preceding information can be found on the About (ISC)2 Internet web page.

Besides providing the valued and peer-respected CISSP technical certification, (ISC)2 also has news and forums regarding the industry. It is also important to mention that the organization has the respect of industry leaders world wide. Viewing news and information from the (ISC)2 organization will enable me to gain insights into how different countries and cultures view the implementation of information security.

With any task done in life, the more an individual knows or experience that individual has acquired, the easier the task will be. This is especially true when working toward acquiring success in a career, because each successful task is a stepping-stone in an individuals career. Gathering knowledge from such organizations such as (ISC)2 can assist me in knowing the best tools available or possible do’s and don’ts when implementing information security. Acquiring knowledge is the first step to acquiring more skills than a competitor, and attaining more skills than a competitor can make all the difference between success and failure in a career.

In this fast pace of life and competition in job market, degree holders and skilled professionals are in demand. It does not matter if you are pursuing a regular course or not. The important is you have a degree or certificate in hand that can help you to succeed. Distance education are now becoming popular among professionals and dedicated students who wants to increase their educational attainments and qualifications. People now realized the benefits of online education courses. It gives you the opportunity to learn and enhance variety of skills needed in your chosen career.

With the help of new technologies, earning a degree has become easier. Online education is now offered by many accredited Universities and Colleges and ensures that education is appropriately conveyed to the students through the medium of web. All you need is a set of computer and Internet connection. Learning is now at your fingertips. Teaching and learning people is very convenient. You can choose from the list of degree courses, certificate courses and diploma courses of online schools. Actually, there are thousands of courses and hundreds of topics available online. It allows you to explore your area of interest that leads you to a better job, promotions or salary increase.

The goal of most schools is to match student’s personal goal to their educational goals. Graduates here can receive exactly as the same qualification as on-campus. They will become more flexible and many opportunity in gaining valuable work experiences. Employers got through the educational attainment and skills of their employees. They also give much attention and value the commitment made by an individual studying by online education. Same with the traditional way of learning, you can receive all the learning materials and tutor support you needed to succeed.

As an employed student or adult professional, you take most of your time and energy with your day-to-day operations. Add your financial statement as the reason why you cannot have an ongoing education. You can overcome all these challenges through the help of online education. It is highly flexible enabling you to maintain work commitments and family relations. Can provide you trainings and expertise you need to succeed at low cost.

Always remember that your potential to be employed is not limited to your graduation. In your future career, you will encounter many challenges as a college student. Acquiring a degree and certifications provides you the added edge for a particular career. Through online education you will enhance your skills in communication, decision making, trouble shooting and leadership. Upgrade your knowledge and skills with the courses offered by online colleges.

Whether you’re headed to Amsterdam or Zurich, here are ten tips to help you plan the perfect European vacation.

1. Pack Comfortable Shoes – Many of Europe’s most historical cities are lined with quaint cobblestone streets more apt for foot traffic than mass transit. If you’re planning on a lot of sightseeing, opt for the sneakers instead of the stilettos.

2. Be Smart with your Money – Carefully plan out your money options while traveling abroad. Credit cards are often the most secure method of payment since you can track purchases and quickly cancel a lost or stolen card. However, don’t put your all your eggs in one basket; having more than one money option (e.g. cash, credit cards, travelers cheques, etc.) will ensure you’ll always have a way to pay.

3. Outsmart Thieves – Certain European cities are known to be riddled with pick pockets who take advantage of unsuspecting (and arguably not so smart) tourists. Keep your money, passport, and other valuables in hard to reach places, not just your back pocket. In addition, travel experts recommend “splitting up” your money: putting your credit cards in once place and you’re cash in another. This minimizes your risk of losing everything if you have a bag or wallet stolen.

4. Lodging Expectations – Lodging in Europe can be drastically different than in the U.S. European hotels are rated and priced according to hotel amenities it offers, not room quality. Hostels can be an affordable option but expect modest conditions at best. Budget travelers should look into family-run hotels housed in older buildings with shower halls and stairs.

5. Flying within Europe – If you plan on visiting several different European countries, the most convenient and quickest way to travel is flying point-to-point. There are a handful of budget carriers that offer cheap flights but be aware of potential luggage restrictions and fees.

6. Make Copies – Prior to your departure, make copies of all important documents including your passport, flight itineraries, hotel reservations, and credit cards. You should also create a contact list with important phone numbers such as the hotel, airline, credit card company, etc.

7. Breaking Down the Language Barrier – A simple guide book of the local language can provide you with simple words and phrases to help you get by. Always speak clearly, slowly, and remember, hand gestures can work wonders! In addition, most people know the term “English” and will understand you are looking for an individual who understands the language.

8. European Tourist Offices – Since tourism is such an important part of Europe’s economy, most countries have a tourist office right in the United States that can help you with all your Europe travel planning needs. To find the contact information, simply Google the name of the country along with tourist office.

Well, summer is finally here, and for many people, that means vacation time! Whether you plan to drive, fly, or travel by other means (a cruise, perhaps?), planning ahead will help your travel experience go off without a hitch.

I not only love to travel, I love to plan to travel. I can spend hours researching locales and lodging choices, preparing itineraries, packing, etc. Therefore, it seems only fitting to share some of my well-honed travel planning tips so that you can benefit from my travel planning addiction, and enjoy an organized travel experience. The 11 tips that follow may be common sense, but are not always commonly applied.

Create a Personalized Packing List – Create a packing list on your computer so that you can revise it constantly as you travel and realize what you forgot and would have liked with you, and what you could have left behind. My packing list is organized into the following major categories: Essentials, For Business, For the Beach, For Overseas Travel, For Active Vacations. It is then further broken down into subcategories that are specific enough to easily grab and check off each item without too much forethought (and certainly without that nagging feeling of forgetting something). My list has been customized over years of traveling. Make your list work for you and your family by personalizing it to match your needs.
Freshen Up Your Suitcases – Air out your bags before you pack. There is nothing worse than putting clean clothes in a stale smelling bag. (Hint: A scented dryer sheet or lavender sachet can work wonders.)
Check Luggage Guidelines – Go online and check your airline’s luggage guidelines to ensure that your carry on will fit, and that you will not be charged extra if you exceed the weight restriction.
Pre-Pack and Weigh – Print out your packing list in advance, and start laying out items so that you can get a visual snapshot of what you are bringing. It is wise to pre-pack in advance, especially with today’s strict airline luggage guidelines. I even recommend putting the items in the suitcase and weighing it. Better to know if you will make the cut at home when you can still remove things than to suffer an unexpected luggage fee at the airport.
Pack Extra Storage Bags – Pack a few storage bags for small items, like shoes, etc. Make sure that one is waterproof in case you need to pack wet bathing suits on the trip back home.
Get Your Gadgets in Order – Empty memory cards, and charge your phone and camera before you leave home. Consolidate power cords, chargers and extra batteries in your carry-on.
Refill Prescriptions – Refill prescription medications in advance, and pack in your carry-on in their original packaging in order to pass muster with the TSA. This also provides you with an easy way to remember the exact specifications in the rare event that the medication gets destroyed (melts in the sun, gets wet, etc.) or you are delayed longer than expected, and need to arrange a refill while still away from home.
Copy Important Documents – Carry duplicates of your passport and visa (if traveling outside of the country), travel itinerary, and any other vital documents that you need for safe travel, and keep them in a different location than the originals while traveling. Consider also emailing electronic copies to yourself or storing at a secure online site.
Give Your Wallet a Diet – Pare down the contents of your wallet to only what you need during travel. Only bring essential documents, such as driver’s license, medical insurance card (check to see if you have coverage if going outside of the country), passport, and credit cards.
Alert Credit Card Companies – Contact your bank and credit cards companies before you depart and inform them that you will be traveling, so that they will not be alarmed by out-of-town charges and put a security hold on your account.
Inventory the Contents of Your Suitcase – Take photos of your clothes, shoes, and jewelry, which will serve as documentation if your luggage gets lost or stolen. Download the shots onto your home computer or upload them to an online site just in case. It may seem like overkill (don’t all insurance and risk management measures seem so unless you need them?), but it will save you a lot of stress and money if your luggage gets lost or stolen, as well as peace of mind while traveling.

Many people head out for vacation without doing any travel planning in advance. To them, spontaneity is one of the great things about traveling, and figuring everything out ahead of time takes all the fun out of it.

But most people invest quite a bit in their vacations, on several levels. And if you only get two weeks a year, you want to make sure that you enjoy every minute. A little pre-vacation trip planning can ensure that you get to stay where you want, spend what you want, and make the most of your time.

If you already know where you’re going, check out some travel websites that cover your destination. Fodors, Frommers, and Tripaddiction are all good sources of information. And in less than half an hour, you’ll have a pretty good idea of what you want to do.

Charming, inexpensive hotels in great locations are nearly always sold out during high season, so if you want to get the most value for your travel dollar, reserve your hotel well in advance.

The most popular attractions, like the Eiffel Tower or the Vatican Museum, often have long lines, sometimes involving several-hour waits. But now, you can make reservations for most attractions online in advance. It may cost a little extra for the convenience, but if it saves a few hours of your time, it’s well worth the added expense.

We usually prefer to do our sightseeing independently. But signing up for a group tour will often get you in and out of an attraction with no waiting. Most of the time, you can book these through your hotel concierge the day before, sometimes even the same day.

Even if you’re just traveling across the country or your home state, some travel planning leg work will still help you get the most bang for your buck. Restaurants in the areas most visited by tourists are often overpriced and mediocre. With a steady supply of customers, they don’t have to be good or a good value. But often, there are great restaurants just a couple of blocks off the main drag. If you know where to go, you’ll eat well and save money too.

The websites for local newspapers or weekly periodicals often have restaurant guides. And you can often search by neighborhood, cuisine, or price range. The information is usually up to date too.

Arriving in town and learning that something you’d love to see is sold out can be really disappointing. So check before you go to see what’s happening during your visit. Most area websites have a calendar of events. And these days, you can order tickets for virtually anything online.

A few minutes of travel planning before your trip can help you enjoy your vacation more, for less. The next time you’re going on vacation, do a little legwork in advance.

We all want to make our self demarcate from the rest in terms of job qualifications such as knowledge and skills. With the current economy we have now, there is a high demand in skilled people to work in different jobs. It means that people should have necessary qualifications in order to secure a good job and reach the success in life.

Obtaining a degree from accredited university or college is a great way in enhancing your skills. It’s a challenge to professionals and working young adults to continue learning because of their hectic schedules. Another reason why they have the doubt in enrolling to traditional schools is because it cost them thousands of dollars. It is where online education takes its place. Through this you will be more knowledgeable and skilled.

Online education or also as distance learning is perfect for people who have constraints in time, energy and difficulty in achieving education in traditional classrooms. People living in progressive countries such as Europe and USA understand the value of distance learning. This mode of education is best in terms of flexibility it offers. People who usually participates in this system of education are the ones responsibilities at home, workplace and society. Students who live in areas where colleges do not exists also study online. And only people who knows to manage their time well can further their education to reach their goals in life.

Online education is now widely accepted because of its advantages over traditional way of learning. Many people are interested in enrolling in online schools they want that makes the trend of online system of education constantly growing each year. Most of the recognized schools are offering hundreds of courses including certification and diploma degrees. Busy working people can now pursue their dream career and balancing a job at the same time.

With online education you can study at your own pace. You have all the convenience in terms of learning wherever and whenever you want. This mode of education is very economical because online schools do not have to pay for electricity usage and maintenance of university campus. You will save time, money and energy for the daily travel in going to school. All you have to do is set in front of your computer in your own choice of learning environment. You will certainly spend a little amount of your money in earning a degree from university with good reputation. Visit reliable and trustworthy websites that can guide you through the process of reaching the success.

As are the teachers, so are the students. The quality of the teachers does determine the quality of their students. If the teachers are highly knowledgeable, determined, and skillful in imparting knowledge to their students, it is obvious that the students too would become the highly talented citizens.

Based on the feed back from the students and their parents, the quality of the teachers can be assessed. The teachers are also assessed while recruiting in to any school or college by the managements of the institutions.

The educational institutions do make several efforts to enhance the quality of their teaching staff. The qualifications and experience of the teachers too would be thoroughly checked while recruiting them. In some instances, even the highly qualified teachers might be lacking in some or all of the required skills and thus need to under go some sort of coaching or training.

Some educational institutes do conduct teaching skills enhancement training at regular intervals depending upon the requirement. Such training sessions would be conducted by very well experienced teaching staff.

Guidance, counselling, seminars, workshops, symposium, visiting other institutions both local and foreign to exchange ideas, etc, are some of the methods to enhance the knowledge and skills of the teaching staff.

The teachers can also enhance their skills by reading the most popular research articles published in international and national journals, research thesis, watching the programmes on television related to educational development, listening to radio programmes, reading educational magazines, collecting and reading data from several education related web sites, leading news papers and the books related to the field of education.

The inter school or college or university teachers interactions to enhance the knowledge and skill levels are also being conducted professionally in several institutions.

To enhance the quality of the teaching staff, the management does guide and counsel the teachers by finding out their weaknesses.

Some educational institutions do supply soft ware and other useful materials to their teaching staff to encourage them to upgrade their knowledge levels related to teaching.

The heavy competition among the educational institutes has been responsible for finding out the innovative methods to improve the quality and thus the reputation of the educational institutes. This is evident by the fact that some institutes do not even hesitate to send their faculty to several foreign institutions for training in various teaching methods and thus facilitating the interactions among the teaching staff too.

Planning a trip to Laos? By now you might have done your research, and know a bit about Laos. You might already get excited and dream of the place you’re heading to. But wait! You need to plan your trip a bit before you go.

A careful planning plays an essential role in determining your travel experience (good or not so-good). Here are some tips to keep in mind when planning a trip to Laos.

If you plan to go to other countries in the region before or after Laos (e.g Thailand, Cambodia or Vietnam), at least determine where to go first, next and last plus the entry/exit points in Laos. It’s important to have a clear plan to avoid doubling back that can eat up your time and money.

Plan your itinerary carefully. It helps saving hassle, time and money if you plan your routs thoroughly.
Decide where and how to get your tourist visa. Tourist visas are now valid for 30 days. Here are two ways to get the Lao visa:
Arrange it with the Lao Embassy, either in your neighbor countries if there isn’t one in your own country or in one of Laos’s neighboring countries (Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam and China). Allow plenty of time if you chose this option.
Get it at Lao border or airport. Tourist visa is issued at most Lao ports of entry. Visa fee ranges from US$20 (China) to US$42 (Canada). Remember to take exact amount of money and 2 passport photos for that.

Please note that not everyone is eligible for Lao visa-on-arrival, you better checkto make sure you aren’t in the list of “not entitle” nationalities.

Get your passport ready. Make sure your passport is not expiring within the next six months. You won’t be given a visa to enter Laos if your passport has less than six months validity. It can be worse if you plan to get a Lao visa-on-arrival, and arrive at a Lao border or Airport only to find your passport is invalid.
If you consider taking anti-malarial drugs, take it well in advance because you might have awful reactions to anti-malarial. If you take it too close to your travel date, you may still feel awful on your vacation. It’s best to ask your doctor.
Sort out your traveler check or credit card(s) for use in Laos. Take some cash as well. Small notes make it easy when you need to buy things on the go like bottled water and snacks.
Book/buy your tickets early. Book your ticket as soon as you have a clear plan. You can save good amount of money by purchasing your ticket early. Stay with the same airline during your entire trip to receive round-trip or connecting fare discounts.
If you’re on medication ask your doctor for your prescribed medicine. Take enough for the period of your travel. It’s a good practice to keep them in their original packages (in case you have to declare at the airport security checkpoint). Putting them in your carry-on bag to ensure that you have your medicine whenever you need.

Oral and written communication
PMI’s Code of Ethics & Professional Conduct
Presentation tools
Prioritization/time management
Problem-solving tools & techniques
Project management software
Relationship management
Stakeholder impact analysis
Targeting communications to intended audiences
Team motivation methods

Cross-Cutting knowledge and Skills: Need for These Skills

Each item described on the Cross-Cutting Knowledge and Skills list can be its own study and discipline. Many of these skills, techniques, and methods are use in normal day-to-day business activities. Most are not exclusive to management. PMI Registered Education Providers providing PMP PDU training will include these concepts.

However, understanding the spectrum of knowledge and skills it takes to be a successful project manager helps to define the complex role of a project manager. A manager has to possess many of these skills due to the political and human nature of managing projects in an organization.

Cross-Cutting knowledge and Skills: Interpersonal Skills

Management in its essence deals in managing the human resources of a project. Without proper motivation and leadership, a project may suffer delays and setbacks. That is why many of the skills listed on the Cross-Cutting Knowledge and Skills list deal with the ability to interact with people.

The following are skills from the list that relate to dealing with and managing people:

Active listening
Conflict resolution
Cultural sensitivity and diversity
Leadership tools and techniques
Negotiating
Relationship management
Team motivation methods

A project manager lacking interpersonal skills may find it difficult to organize and lead a project. That is why seeking additional training in these areas is essential for the project manager.

Cross-Cutting knowledge and Skills: Analytical Skills

Management presents many complex situations. The project manager must possess analytical skills that enable them to study performance reports, assess risk and manage the interest of all primary stakeholders. PMI Registered Education Providers providing PMP PDU training will include examples of these. On the Cross-Cutting Knowledge and Skills list, there are several areas that deal in analysis-both numeric and political.

The following are areas from the list that relate to analytical skills:

Data gathering techniques
Decision making techniques
Information management tools, techniques, and methods
Prioritization/time management
Problem solving tools and techniques
Project management software
Stakeholder analysis

Cross-Cutting knowledge and Skills: Analytical Skills

Management presents both explicit and implicit data. The obvious data analysis work like cost and time performance metrics are skills the project manager must have in order to gauge the project performance. The implicit data like stakeholder interests and political issues are areas that, if not analyzed and managed correctly, could affect the project performance negatively.

Going to that special vacation is always a great time for fun. However without the proper planning and preparation, it can virtually spoil the fun in your trip. Therefore by following the below travel packing tips this will help you to avoid the three major travel mistakes that people make and help to make your trip stress free.

1.) Avoid not making a list of your items

A common mistake that most people make is that they do not make a list of all the items that they are going to be bringing to their trip. Having this list is important as it helps you to prioritize your items accordingly to ensure you remember to bring the important items. Also it acts as a checklist, so that you can refer back to it to ensure you have all your items accounted for during your travels. This is a good way to make sure nothing goes missing.

2.) Avoid having important loose items scattered everywhere in your bag

Having important items scattered everywhere in your bag such as cash, credit cards, medicine, and documents will cause unwanted confusion and disorganization when you want to search for those items throughout your baggage. A good system to use is to classify each important item and store them separately into plastic zip lock bags. For example, you put all the cash into one zip lock bag, all the credit cards into another zip lock bag, and so on and so forth. This way, it will be much easier for you to retrieve the needed items from your luggage, by quickly pulling out the desired zip lock bag that contains the items you are searching for.

3.) Avoid keeping all your valuables in the same place

A common mistake that people make is to put all their valuables, including, electronic devices, money and passports, into one single bag. By doing this, it is like putting all “your eggs in one basket”. If that single bag ever goes missing, or gets stolen, then all your valuables will go missing in one single shot. Therefore separate certain items into different places, such as putting your money in your wallet or zip pockets, the electronic devices in one of your hand carry bags, and your passport in your own handbag or purse. This will protect you from missing everything at once.