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Moving to a new neighborhood


Moving to a new neighborhood can be daunting. Here’s how to make it easier.

After moving into the neighborhood, get to know your neighbors. It can help you feel like you are at home and settled into your new space.

First, meet as many people as possible by introducing yourself and handing out business cards with your contact information or inviting them over for coffee or tea.

If you haven’t had an opportunity to meet everyone on your street yet, set aside a little time each week to drive around and introduce yourself, especially during the change of season (when moving is most common) and after moving trucks have been in the neighborhood for a few days/weeks.

As a first step towards community involvement, become a friend on Facebook and follow your neighborhood association online for newsletters and updates on what’s going on in the area.

In addition to being friendly to those you have met, take it upon yourself to welcome those moving into the neighborhood. Offer moving help as needed. The courage of offering moving assistance can lead to friendships with your new neighbors as well as opportunities down the road when they might need some help from you.

Next, find out about events and meeting dates for your neighborhood association and local watch group to keep up-to-date on what’s going on in the area (and join if possible).

Neighborhood associations are also great resources for learning about local resources that can help make moving easier, including utility providers, home delivery services, moving crates and boxes suppliers/schedules, furniture rental options for apartments, garage moving sales, moving help, and moving supplies.

Moving day

Make sure you follow neighborhood moving guidelines so that your neighbors aren’t annoyed with moving day. Here are some key moving tips:

When moving into your new place, tell every one of your move-in date & time to avoid traffic on busy moving days. Ask for at least four business days’ advanced notice before moving in so the community association can plan for approvals of parking permits if needed. If moving during peak seasons (trickier local moving timelines), ask for more than six weeks of advanced notice to be safe.

Some communities require residents to get written approval from the neighbors of your moving in and moving out dates to make sure you know what the moving guidelines are for your new place; don’t assume you can move in on a whim without telling anyone.

Don’t park moving trucks, vans, or storage containers in front of homes during moving days. Make sure that moving trucks fit within designated truck loading zones (marked with available permits) and aren’t double-parked. If they don’t fit, city services will unload them for you – at your expense!

Unloading moving trucks: try not to wake sleeping neighbors while unloading early morning or late night if possible. Use quiet voices and close car doors softly so as not to disturb them, especially during nap time! Be mindful of noise levels moving large furniture and crates – moving heavy objects can rattle the house, so be careful moving in during daytime moving hours when neighbors are home or moving out at night.

If moving a lot of items into your new place, consider using flatbed dollies to move furniture indoors for easier maneuverability. When moving inside, be mindful of where you’re walking (and how much noise it makes), especially if you’re carrying heavy objects up/downstairs. If moving valuables or fragile goods, ask friends or family to help carry them safely down the steps/stairs by holding gently on the sides (not top and bottom).

Remember: moving through communities is like driving a car; stay within the rules. Don’t follow too close (don’t double park)

Finding A Mover

Neighborhood moving companies can be found by getting recommendations from friends and family, local moving sales, or online moving directories. Check the moving company’s insurance records for any claims filed through them before hiring to avoid damage costs during moving day. Make sure moving quotes are guaranteed, so you don’t get stuck with hidden fees on moving day (or after). Ask how many movers/helpers will come on moving day (more support = faster move) and what types of trucks they’ll use (smaller trucks equal more trips upstairs!).

Moving Help

Make sure there is parking near your new place for all moving helpers! Figure out how many helpers you need based on the weight of furniture and other objects moving. If moving several items inside, consider using flatbed dollies to move furniture indoors for easier maneuverability.

Moving Crates & Boxes

If moving objects like glassware, dishes, books, or sensitive electronics, ask moving help about moving supplies (such as moving boxes) with moving quotes to avoid breakages on moving day. Ask about packing supplies (like bubble wrap) and transportation costs (unwrapped items are more expensive to transport). Try not to pack too many things in one box so that the weight of the packed box is evenly distributed along with other boxes using bubble wrap or dividers between each item.

Moving into a new neighborhood can be an easy transition if you follow some moving tips. Make sure to ask your moving company about the moving timeline and get written approval from neighbors before moving in or out, but don’t assume they’ll give it! When moving day comes around, make sure that all of your helpers know how much help is needed for carrying furniture and other items inside.

Ask them to stay mindful of noise levels while moving large pieces downstairs or when transporting delicate goods like glassware, dishes, or electronics on their own (consider packing these things in boxes with dividers). If possible, avoid waking up sleeping neighbors during early morning hours by unloading without making too much noise and try not to double park near houses where people live; city services will tow moving vehicles if found.

Be mindful of your new neighbors, plan your move, and embrace your new neighborhood community.

Good luck!

Seniors Downsizing and Moving Homes


Downsizing and Moving Homes for seniors

Most seniors citizens understand that there will come a day, probably soon, when they will have to downsize.  Whether it is to simplify their lifestyle, cut costs, be closer to their grandchildren, or address medical needs, the decision will need to be made.

It is often a stressful and tolling process, both physically as well as emotionally.  However, experts in this area suggest that it does not have to be an overwhelming experience. 

How to Downsize Your Home

  • Start Decluttering Early
  • Stage Your House Before You Sell
  • Bust Out the Tape Measure
  • Determine Your Lifestyle Needs
  • Create a Moving Checklist
  • Keep your insurance top of mind when you move

Things to Consider Before Moving

  • Are you willing and able to round up family members to help pack and drive a moving truck? 
  • Do you have the means to hire a full-service moving company to pack, ship, and unpack your things? 
  • Something in-between, with the mobile storage option, where you pack a container, and then the storage company does the shipping?

For seniors, there happens to be another option. Companies known as senior move managers are springing up all over the States that specifically cater to seniors moving. Whether they move to smaller homes or into senior living or nursing communities, they will usually do as much or as little as you want, from packing and moving to home cleaning and estate sales.

4 Reasons to Downsize Your Home

  1. Maintenance is too much 
  2. Retired or retiring soon 
  3. A lot of unused space 
  4. Desire to travel

A few more tips to make the downsizing process a little bit easier:

1. Start early

Plenty of time for this process will be needed because it will inevitably take longer than one would expect. Take time and do not try to sort through the entire house in one day or over a weekend. A few weeks to a month is a realistic timeline, taking it one room at a time with many breaks throughout the process.

2. Start small

Start in an area that has little emotional attachment, such as the laundry room or linen closet.  Take time to really understand what your future needs will be.  If you are moving into a two-bedroom house, four sets of sheets should be plenty; the rest can go.

3. Eliminate the rooms that will not be in your new home

These areas also might be good items for consignment or garage sales.  For example, nice office furniture and outdoor tools are more valuable than an old sofa or mattress.

Organize backward and try the opposite by packing the keepers. Then, what is left can be looked at freely to decide what will be donated or shared.

4. Eliminate duplicate items

This is especially true in most folks’ kitchens. So if you are feeling wary of handing off that second roasting pan because you use it every Christmas, consider handing it down to a family member who shared in those moments.

5. Yes or No piles only (leave out the “maybes”)

When going through years of belongings, some things are going to tug at your heartstrings. Many of us will be tempted to start a pile to keep just in case we have enough room. Try not to fall for it! Typically, we end up with more in that “maybe” pile than we do the other two.

6. Reduce those lifelong collections creatively

Sometimes it can be particularly hard to let go of those collectibles we found on vacations or received as gifts over a lifetime. Unfortunately, this type of item will take up more space than there is available. One creative idea would be to pick a couple of your favorite collectibles to keep and then take high-resolution photos of the rest, have them made into a photo book to share and view either on your coffee table or mantle.

7. Do not be scared to sell things on your own

Craigslist, Ebay, smartphone apps dedicated to this stuff, yard sales, and an overabundance of consignment shops make the sale of goods amazingly easier. However, it is probably not a huge money-making venture, so consider how much time you want to invest and do it ahead of time.  If that sounds like more than you want to deal with, hiring a firm to run an estate sale just might be exactly what you need.

8. Consider giving legacy gifts early

Certain heirlooms or earmarked pieces to leave to your family in your will; consider handing them down now.  This idea holds two valuable benefits: the items are out of the way, and you will have the opportunity to enjoy the feeling of giving those items to your loved ones now. Also, find out if there are any items anyone else wants.  You will get to make them happy as well as lighten your load at the same time.

9. Do allow some time for reminiscing

When you are cleaning and sorting, anticipate that some of those days, you will want to stop emptying the kids’ boxes and just look through those kindergarten drawings, baseball trophies, and once “can’t live without!” stuffed animals. It is OK to pause and let the nostalgia take over for short periods; just don’t live there.  Let the tears fall if you need to, or move on to something else and come back another day. This is why you started early.

“I always ask my clients how the item at hand makes them feel,” says a senior move manager. “If it brings up negative feelings, let it go. On the other hand, if it brings joy, then, of course, it is a keeper! The idea here is only to be surrounded by things you absolutely love. Now, doesn’t that sound like a great goal?”

10. Use this as a chance to bond

Try inviting the grandkids over for a few days. Talk to them about where you bought your favorite items. Share stories about the family heirlooms. Let them help pack, ask questions, and spend time with you. While they are there, have them help post items for sale online.

At what age should seniors downsize?

Wondering when to downsize? When your peers move may matter. According to recent studies, forty-two percent of Baby Boomers want to move or downsize.  This data shows that retirees are likely to change their living situation if they have not already. However, that does not mean that they are moving into senior communities. So where are they going?

  1. Twenty-five percent are moving to warmer climates
  2. Seventeen percent plan to move closer to family
  3. Six percent plan to move to a senior living community
  4. (the rest are still undecided)

What are reasons why older adults may be likely to move out of their homes?

Here are some main reasons seniors leave their homes for senior community living:

  1. Concerns about falls and accessibility issues
  2. Medical needs and help with daily living
  3. Isolation and socialization
  4. Cost

How do you know if a private school will be safer for your child?


There are many differences between the structure of a private and public school.  In the United States, public schools are a target for these incidents for a variety of reasons:  The number of students in each public high school is generally far larger than the number in each of their private counterparts. The vast majority of all school-age children attend public schools. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, roughly 10% of U.S. students, or about 5 million, attend private schools. This compares to over 50 million public elementary and secondary school students. Students from low-income families and children enrolled in urban schools did not benefit more from private than they did from public school education. They also make it clear that the assumption that public schools are inferior to private schools is wrong.

Parents choose a private school for a number of reasons including religion, a desire for same-sex education, flexible curriculum, and smaller class sizes. As a result, the mere statistical probability inherently makes it far more likely that a shooting would happen at a public school. Public schools are required to offer education to everyone within a certain geographic area and also offer enrollment to those outside the area as ‘schools of choice.’  As a result, those students with learning, emotional and psychological issues are included in the student population. 

Public schools are required to provide support services which many private schools wouldn’t even imagine doing so. Attempts to provide meaningful support by counselors, social workers, and school psychologists can have mixed results. Many parents welcome the third-party support and guidance which having such a support team offers. Other parents have great disbelief in the social sciences or feel that their children do not have the issues prescribed by these professionals. These households are less likely to implement the evaluations of the professionals. 

Private schools are able to be highly selective in their admissions. Many private schools have a profile of both the perfect student and the perfect family for their enrollment guidelines.  Athletic or academic prowess favors admission of students that can bring prestige and acclaim to an institution. But the best students are not the only reason someone is admitted to a private school.  Unrelated and outside influences such as a family’s station in the community, ability to contribute to fund-raising and endowments, and family members who are alumni also can weigh into the decisions whether to enroll a student or not.  

Public schools are paid for by local taxes while private schools cost an average of over $10,000 a school year. Because private schools are not limited by public funding, they often have access to different and more selective resources. This includes equipment for extracurricular activities as well as technology and other resources for the classroom. Because private schools are a service that is paid for by families or through scholarships, the administration can more easily dis-enroll students they think are a risk or have demonstrated behaviors that are undesirable. Parents and students have little recourse once a decision has been made. 

While every private school says they want to have the best possible faculty available, private schools also tend to exhibit far less diversity and teachers have lower requirements in terms of education and experience. Public school teachers are required to be properly licensed while private school teachers typically don’t require any formal certification or education. As a result, it is possible and reasonable to have public-school teachers with education and experience in your area that surpasses that of your private school instructors. Concurrence with the school’s educational vision or operating philosophy has a great role in which faculty may be hired or maybe fired as other factors. While public school teachers are more difficult to remove due to tenure, private school teachers usually have annual contracts or are at-will employees.  

Private schools often have a reputation for keeping strict standards for discipline and respect. This combined with a stronger sense of insular community and lower staff-to-student ratios make for the appearance of a safer school environment. When a troubled kid transfers into a private school for reasons such as a more structured environment, the school knows at the time of enrollment any problems which are in that student’s past. This means the private school has precedence to make a decision to disenroll. 

Public schools’ facilities are designed to also be community gathering places – many more public meetings and off-hour events happen at public schools. So, there are far more points of access to them. Private schools are generally designed and built in such a way that there are fewer public points of access.  

Families with sharply diverse political leanings and social groupings are far more apparent in public schools. The current wave of conservative anti-government sentiment has fed greater gun ownership within certain groups. So, while most of the shootings aren’t directly a result of demonstrating this anti-government sentiment, open and ready access to guns skews heavily toward parents with political and social leanings that favor gun owner’s rights and homogeneous social and personal beliefs. 

After careful review and analysis, the question of how much sense it really makes to compare private and public-school performance when the populations of students are wildly different. Scientific evidence can only go so far when it comes to evaluating and documenting the quality of a private versus a public-school education. There will always be many variables such as socioeconomic status and access to education that also come into play. 

As this relates to the idea of one being the safer choice, the ultimate perception of safety is simply a function of each type of school’s role in society. If Private schools were expected to fill the inclusionary mission and broad community role that public schools fill, then the statistical probability would definitely be higher for incidents of violence on the campuses of private schools.

Benefits of Community College Versus University


For many students, enrolling at a community college versus a university is a hard choice to make, with many details and implications to consider. 

If you are planning to pursue the path of higher education and do not know whether a community college or university experience is right for you, consider the following factors, including cost, class size, and overall academic value. 

Are Community Colleges Are More Affordable?

According to the Community College Review, the average tuition for full-time, in-state students in 2018-19 is $4,836. This is half the average cost of attending a public university as an in-state student. While this doesn’t cover the cost of fees and books needed, it is a smaller starting figure. 

If the option is available, you can also save even more money by attending a community college near home. This gives you the ability to live at home rather than spend more money on rent. For students that need to work while attending school, flexible community college schedules can make it easier to work part-time.

The variance between attending a community college versus attending a university can vary widely and is usually the biggest difference between the two entities. Across all areas, community colleges are less expensive to attend than universities. 

To put it into perspective, community college tuition can be as little as $3,500 per year, compared to upwards of $35,000 for out of-state-students attending a public university. While costs vary and depend on many factors, it is safe to say that community college is the lower-cost option for those who consider price a major determining factor. 

Community Colleges Have Smaller Class Sizes

You have probably seen they stereotypical large lecture hall freshman class in movies. It is not that from the truth for intro courses at large universities. In comparison, community college classes are generally much smaller. 

A smaller class size benefits both the students and teachers. Teachers can give more individual attention to students and customize the experience to fit the needs of a smaller group. Students will also have the opportunity to get to know their classmates, ask questions during the lesson, and have one-on-one conversations with professors in a smaller classroom environment. 

Because universities have larger student bodies, class sizes are significancy bigger compared to community college class sizes. This distinction is important to consider if you prefer and benefit from one-on-one learning or if you can handle a more hands-off learning style. Consider how essential this aspect is to your academic success and if you know you do better with personalized feedback in a smaller setting, you should consider the community college route

Less Strict Admission Requirements

Community colleges are ideally suited for students who want to earn a degree but may not have a competitive high school GPA for applications. By providing students an opportunity to improve their grades and earn credits towards a degree, community colleges are helping students become better candidates for university admission requirements. 

One important thing to remember if you are hoping to transition to a four-year school for your BA is how your credits will transfer. You want to make sure you don’t pay for a class you already took at a higher price tag.  

Improved Academic Quality at Community Colleges

In the past, community colleges were thought of unfavorably by some, and were not considered a solid academic experience. That has been changing, and while there is still variety in the student experience, community colleges are more generally accepted as a way to complete your gen ed courses before transferring to a four-year program. 

Community colleges have enhanced their academic standards to attract more students and meet the transfer requirements of large universities. This creates the opportunity for students already attending a four-year university to take summer classes at local community colleges for a lower cost. 

Easier Transition from High School to College

Typically, the transition to community college is easier on students leaving high school.  With smaller classrooms, flexible schedules, and entry-level courses, students who are worried about getting lost in a large school might find community college a better fit. 

It’s also important to remember the stress of leaving home and the newly discovered independence of living on your own that can be disruptive for students. 

Overall Academic Value

The difference between the kind of degrees and programs offered and the quality of those degrees and programs vary across community colleges and universities. In Many Cases, community colleges are known as ‘2-year’ colleges that offer associate’s degree programs that might be completed in two years or less. There are many jobs only require a two-year associate’s degree, rather than a four-year bachelor’s degree, including positions like an air traffic controller or a dental hygienist.

In many instances, community colleges are regarded as preparation for transfer to a more extensive university program, in which students can engage in more time-intensive educational options. 

A university offers lengthier programs: bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees, which take longer to complete. Universities generally offer a more comprehensive range of degree and program options for more specialized areas of study. Think about your career aspirations before committing to a decision, and decide the path that makes the most sense for you and your future.

Finally, it is essential to consider what you want to get out of your college experience, whether that be a community college or university. If you want to be medical doctor, you should follow a four-year university program that sets you and your resume up for success when you apply to medical school. The choice really comes down to what you want for your life and career, and there is no wrong answer.

Quarantine Birthday Ideas for Teens


Quarantine Birthday Ideas for Teens

In an era where theme restaurants and spectacular birthday events traditionally occur, being locked down for a teenager’s birthday could feel like a major disappointment. While another activity at home or on Zoom may initially receive a lukewarm reception, having fun and interesting things to do may make the kids forget for a moment they are in a situation like this. Here are some suggestions for activities and ideas on what to do when your teen has a birthday while under quarantine.

DRIVE-BY BIRTHDAY PARADE – If you’re far from ready to have outside guests over to your home, host a drive-by birthday parade. Ask your guests to drive by your place at the same time with decorated cars and homemade birthday signs. Have them honk as they go by, drop off gifts at a safe distance, or sing “Happy Birthday” out the vehicle windows.  Make this a total surprise, and your kid will be impressed.

MOVIE PARTY – Netflix now has a new feature called Netflix Party, where everyone can watch the same movie on Netflix and talk to each other in the group function. They can also watch a movie together using another streaming service and then chat over an app such as FaceTime.

VIDEO CARD – Challenge your guests to each makes a short video about the birthday honoree. Encourage each guest to make it something specific for the birthday celebrant. Please post it on any social media platforms like TikTok or YouTube, and don’t forget to create your own unique birthday hashtag to add in the comments.

KARAOKE SING OFF – Karaoke combines all the best things in life: music, socializing, and making a total fool of yourself with friends. You’ll want video conferencing software, so your child and their friends can all see and hear one another. The other tech application to consider is Watch2Gether, which enables users to stream videos at the same rate. If you type the song title plus “karaoke” into the search bar at the top of the page, it will then deliver songs to sing. 

A GOODIE BAG WITH AN ACTIVITY IN IT – A couple of days before, drop off a goodie bag at everyone’s place. When the moment comes, everyone can enjoy the same treats as if they are in the same room. Send out an appropriate task in the bag, such as a small Lego building set, so both parents and kids can get creative together during the event.

PAINTING PARTY – If your teen is into art, having a virtual paint night is a unique and fun way to celebrate their birthday while letting their friends join along. Invite all their friends to join the party over Zoom, and send the guests a week or a few days before the party a DIY Paint Night Kit for them to use. Then, when it’s time to get the party started, they can all paint together.

HIRE AN ENTERTAINER OR EXPERT – Think of a real-life activity you might have considered for an in-person party and now do it as an online group activity. Pick something your teen enjoys: a cooking class, magic lessons, a TikTok dance party, acting or improv games, or a small concert/sing-a-long.   The instructor will lead the activity while offering encouragement and feedback. The kids will end up with a fun new skill, maybe a souvenir, and some great memories.  It’s also a fantastic way to support small business owners, instructors, or entertainers who are getting creative themselves these days to stay in business. 

GIVING BACK – Take the moment to help those who may not be as fortunate as you and your neighbors.  Whether it’s writing letters of thanks to first responders, making masks for people who need them, or some other community service activity, take this opportunity to have your teen and their friends learn about being engaged in our area. This could start a habit of giving that could last a lifetime.  

SEARCH ENGINE SCAVENGER HUNT – Many teens think they know the Internet better than adults do, so let’s put them to the test. Pair up a series of teams and have each team find these on the internet. Once found, have them take a screenshot and report back. Use our suggestions or come up with your own: 

  1. Locate an online Earthcam that is at least 500 miles away from where you are right now. 
  2. Assign each team a specific food and come up with at least three pictures of different ways to prepare it. 
  3. Find out the names of the mayor of your current city and the city next door you where you are.
  4. Find pictures of items in exotic colors:  try colors such as Sarcoline, Coquelicot, Smaragdine, Mikado, Glaucous, Wenge, Fulvous, and Xanadu. 
  5. Identify someone with the same exact name as someone on their team. Where do they live? Tell us two additional facts about them.
  6. If it’s noon here, what time is it in England, Egypt, China, New  Zeeland, and Hawaii … or any other destinations you suggest?
  7. Plan a car trip starting at home then drive the most direct route to any five of these actual American cities and head back home again. How many miles did you travel in total, and how long did it take?

Bacon, Indiana Bad Axe, Michigan  Big Rock Candy Mountain, Vermont

Buttermilk, Kansas Cheesequake, New Jersey Chicken, Alaska

Dinkytown, Minnesota Dinosaur, Colorado Frankenstein, Missouri

 Fries, Virginia Horseheads, New York Normal, Illinois

Riddle, Idaho Sandwich, Massachusetts Soda Springs, Idaho

Zzyzx, California Whynot, North Carolina Truth or Consequences, New Mexico

  1. What is the most expensive item they can find? How much does it cost? Where can you buy it?
  2. The year they were born, what were the number one song, movie, TV show, and a championship team in a sport of your choice.
  3. Have the birthday guest or someone else come up with something for the teams to find. 

Cyber Security Degree Requirements


Once a specialty only linked with government agencies and defense contractors, cyber security is now in the mainstream. Industries like health care, finance, manufacturing, and retail all hire cyber security professionals to protect valuable info from cyber breaches. The demand for trained specialists in this field is high. A report by job analytics firm Burning Glass Technologies discovered job postings for openings in cyber security have grown three times faster than those for IT job overall, and cyber security professionals are earning nine percent more than their IT counterparts. 

What Does a Career in Cyber Security Involve?

From “ethical hackers” who look for and exploit security vulnerabilities in web-based applications and network systems to cryptographers who examine and decrypt hidden information from cyber-terrorists, cyber security professionals work hard to make sure data stays out of the wrong hands. Cyber security professionals work in almost every industry, responding quickly to real-world threats. While there are cyber security associate degree programs, high-level careers usually require an array of technical IT skills and advanced analysis capabilities found in graduate-level degree programs.

Cyber Security Degrees and Careers In-Depth

A four-year cyber security degree program concentrates on the variety of methods used to protect data and information systems. Students get training in technical and business skills like database applications, systems administration, and data recovery. Coursework mixes criminal psychology, digital forensics, and policy analysis to offer a complete perspective of IT security. There are hundreds of job titles in cyber security, and some of the top positions include:

  • Security Analyst
  • Security Engineer
  • Security Architect
  • Security Administrator
  • Security Software Developer
  • Cryptographer
  • Cryptanalyst
  • Security Consultant

Pursuing a Cyber Security Degree & Career

While it’s possible to find some entry-level cyber security positions with only an associate degree, most jobs require a four-year bachelor’s degree in cyber security or a related field like IT or computer science. Coursework in programming and statistics in addition to classes in ethics and computer forensics prepare students with the technical and analytical skills needed for successful careers in cyber security.

In an environment where data breaches are becoming more and more frequent, more cyber security degree programs are being added each year. Before deciding on a cyber security degree, students should make sure that it is not only accredited, but also supports their career goals.

 Associate Degree in Cyber Security

An associate degree in cyber security is a two-year program suitable for the following types of situations:

  • Securing entry-level work as a computer support technician or a similar position
  • An added qualification for those already working in the field
  • A step on a path to a four-year cyber security degree

Associate degree coursework includes the vulnerabilities of a variety of hardware and software systems, network technologies, and key cyber security concepts like security administration and intrusion detection. Many programs also prepare students for certification exams typically required for full-time employment, ranging from basic CompTIA Security+ to ISC2 Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP).

Cyber Security Certificates

Many colleges and universities offer certificates in cyber security for those who are looking to develop further expertise in the field or add credentials to their resume. Students study the principles of computer systems security, including attack protection and prevention. Courses delve into cryptographic techniques, legal issues in computer security, digital forensics, and designs for network perimeter defenses.

Most certificates are 12-18 credits and accessible online. In some cases, students may apply credits earned in a certificate program to a master’s degree in cyber security at a later date. There are a few types of cyber security certificates that cover cyber security technology, cyber security management and related areas.

Complete advanced training

Some employers require candidates to hold an advanced degree like a master’s degree in cyber security. Prospective employers can also offer tuition assistance to meet this goal. A master’s degree requires an additional one to two years to complete after the bachelor’s degree-level and delivers advanced instruction in protecting computer networks and electronic infrastructures from attack. Students learn the ethics, practices, policies, and procedures of cyber security as they examine how to tackle network security defense techniques and countermeasures. Cyber security professionals also pursue certification to boost their skills while working full-time to gain hands-on experience.

Pass security clearances (if applicable)

Security clearances are a requirement for those who want to work with classified information as part of a military of government agency. A number of agencies issue both personnel and facility security clearances, but for the most part they are issued by the Department of Defense. Each type of clearance requires its own procedures and paperwork. The process, which can take three months to a year, does not begin until an employer has hired you, at which point you be given a conditional offer of employment. The first step is to submit clearance documentation, which is then followed by a Background Investigation.

Find the Right Cyber Security Degree Program

The field of cyber security concentrates on network and data protection at various levels. Whether you are looking for an accredited online program or a traditional on-campus program, students have a variety options when it comes to cyber security degrees.

While it is still a relatively fresh field, cyber security degrees are available at all levels, from associate degrees to PhD degrees. Students can engage in cyber security degrees online or in a campus-based environment. Each degree-level preps students for specific opportunities, from entry-level employment to careers in academia. Before choosing a cyber security program, students should ensure it supports their long-term goals

Sound Recording Technology Major


Audio engineers are professionals who work in the production and/or recording of sound. To grasp just how vast the duties for audio engineering are, imagine any form of media which includes recording and working with sound. From podcasts to audiobooks, to the audio tours at museums, to the video games you play, to the sound from movies, television shows, and radio shows, all of these require the expertise of an audio engineer.

What jobs can I get with a degree in audio production?

The job titles for someone interested in audio engineering can be both varied and confusing. The term can be used interchangeably with a number of other job titles including “recording engineer,” “mixing engineer,” “sound engineer,” “studio engineer” “live music engineer” and many more. Your audio production skills will qualify you for a range of jobs and career positions, and you can narrow the search based on your interests and passions. 

Here are just a few examples of jobs and careers you might look for:

  • Audio engineer/audio engineering assistant. You can either try to land a job in a recording studio or if you’re the entrepreneurial type, start a studio of your own.
  • Live audio engineer. You can look for an audio production job in one of many live music venues, or if you like to travel, try to get hired with a touring act.
  • Music producer. You may want to dive into the creative and/or administrative side of recording, and start producing recordings for musical artists you believe in.
  • Video production-audio department. Films, videos, TV commercials, and web series almost always need audio production help.
  • Post-production expert. Post-production houses handle a lot of interesting projects, including voiceover, audio FX, Foley and ADR for film/TV.
  • Mastering engineer. You might choose to specialize in mastering, which is the all-important final step in preparing recorded audio for CD and vinyl duplication, as well as making music and other audio “broadcast-ready.”

In the world of music production or “making music,” audio engineers are often described as being on the “technical side” of the work while music producers, artists, and musicians are on the “creative side.” While creatives originate ideas about what’s to be recorded, the audio engineer is a conduit for the capture and management of sounds. The musician, vocalist, or producer decides what quality the sound should be while the audio engineer uses his tools and technologies to achieve that sound. Key to an audio engineer’s success is an ability to understand what the creative talent wants and then knowing how to deliver that result.  Since music is by definition a subjective art form, the terminology used to represent particular sounds and sound qualities can oftentimes be less than precise.  Terms including “grainy,” “booming,” “textured,” “layered,” and “rich,” are just a few. Audio engineers need the right balance of technical skills and a degree of creative sense. Another component is that audio engineers need to understand the elements of music theory; so they know the difference between dissonance and consonance. Basic song structures and terms should also be included in their wheelhouse. Artists and producers will often refer to a piece of music as the “bridge” “intro” “chorus” “outro” “drop” and while working in session.

Many music producers also serve as their own audio engineers when working with artists. Many future music producers started out their careers as audio engineers in order to build their knowledge base, experience, and industry connections before marketing themselves as music producers.

When an audio engineer is at work, they will responsible for perfecting, balancing, and adjusting sound through the use of equalization, audio technologies, and studio effects. They will also often be mixing, reinforcing, or reproducing sound and altering the quality of specific sounds through the usage of either analog (hardware) technologies or digital (software) technologies such as plug-ins and effects. Understanding signal flow, microphones, acoustics, signal processors, tape machines, digital audio workstations, sequencing software, and speaker systems are all basic requirements for those who choose this career.

Those interested in being an audio engineer must first get a certain cross-section of experience and exposure to various jobs and aspects of the industry to then know which path or paths they want to pursue. It is not uncommon for one audio engineer to have numerous specializations or niches. Before he became famous from working with The Beatles, Sir George Martin’s career as an audio engineer included producing both classical music and comedy records. 

With a variety of audio engineering careers available, you may want to start thinking about what part of the process excites you: audio, sound, or music. Do your research in advance. Read articles and interviews with professionals who actively work in one of the subfields, niches, or specializations. Conduct informational interviews with those who work in your region. Most professionals are willing to pass on hard-learned wisdom to those who aspire to follow in their footsteps. 

Two signature character traits of a successful audio engineer are an openness to learn combined with a sense of discovery. Careers in audio can change quickly in response to the development of new technologies, new forms of media, and changes in market demand. It benefits professionals in the field to stay current with the latest technologies and keep aware of trends in music, broadcasting, live sound, and various other fields. This agility and responsiveness are characteristics of audio engineers who can endure and even thrive when times change.

If you’re currently studying audio engineering and music production, don’t wait until after graduation. Start networking and researching now—and the sooner the better. The paradox here is that while your education and training in audio production will qualify you for a wide range of positions, the reality is that the industry is competitive and quite relationship-driven. Making cold-calls and emailed resumes rarely work, no matter how qualified you seem. Make the industry connections now that you’ll need in order to get hired later.

Financial Advisor For Retirement


Your dad tells you to spend less money and save for your future life, or your mom scolds you for buying a new car or your aunt living next door suggesting you invest in BitcoinDon’t mistake the wrong people for a financial advisor.

People are happy to tell you where and how to spend your money. Don’t let their advice be a huge mistake. They are not what we call a real financial advisor.

Do you wonder what a real financial advisor is?

A financial advisor is a well-educated, certified professional who helps people and families figure out their taxes, retirement plan, or help them to stay in control their money. A good advisor doesn’t randomly invest your money anywhere. They research and depend on a professional analyst to help find the best options based on your risk tolerance level.

You work hard to earn money, and earning lots of money can be even harder, however finding a good financial advisor should not be as hard. To find someone to trust with your money with the skill to earn better returns requires a little research.

But don’t worry! We are here to make the tough task easy for you. Below are some tips that will help you figure out what a good financial advisor is for you.

Here are the things that you should look in for a good financial advisor:

Qualifications and Education: 

In the world where skills have overpowered degrees, judging someone on the basis of their qualifications looks old school, right? Well not always, because education does matter a lot. Therefore, it is important to check the records of the person you consider for the role of a financial advisor. Look for someone who holds the proper certifications and has worked with various clients you know. Get referrals!.

Such advisors should have a lot of exposure to multiple options. Even as complex as a 1031 exchange. Therefore, they often come up with the best solutions and plans.  Also, based on their qualifications and achievements, you will get an idea of how much expect to pay for such financial advisor. Although, not all advisors change based on the same criteria.

Pay structure of Financial Advisor

As a new bee, looking for a financial advisor, it is better to go for a financial advisor who charges on an hourly or fee basis. These planners can be the best fit for you because they do not operate on a commission. These advisors are client-centric and give you genuine reviews of your options. Unlike other financial advisors who operate on a commission basis and might direct you to buy products which may be a more profitable deal for them. Besides, they are highly experienced and take their clients seriously because they know someone is counting on them for hourly basis. 

Know the background of your advisor

Do you like investigate? To find an advisor, you need to become a detective. Learn how they treaded their previous clients or how they handled their money. Details are important to uncover because you don’t want to risk your money with the wrong person. You should also get a sense of how trustworthy they are, for this, you can seek information about then from some sources like friends or family.

Try asking for referrals

References are powerful and can make an uphill task easier. As you hunt to find a good financial advisor, you can ask for help from people you know. Ask your friends for a good referral. You can seek information about various financial advisors or financial advising companies on Google. Read reviews to know what other people say about them. After a little research and brainstorming, decide on the financial advisor that feel right to you. 

Interview various financial advisors

“Hard work is the key to success.” This idea proves to be true to find a good financial advisor. In the world full of smart speaking people who can fool you easily, you need to find someone you can trust with your money.

This is a big deal, right? So, you need to interview multiple advisors. Weed out the worst to find the best among them. When you talk to advisors, you can ask them about the work they have done for their clients. Their approach to investing, how do they measure success.

These are some tips that can help you find a good financial advisor. Don’t forget to remember to include these points in your hiring checklist. A good financial advisor can make your income and savings work for you.

The person who understands the value of money and the hard work required to earn money is someone who can give you good advice. We hope by following these tips you find the best financial advisor who will make your life happy well in to your 90’s!

What Is A Culinary School?


Culinary School

What is a culinary school?

A cooking school — an institution devoted to education in the art and science of cooking and food preparation

One thing to know is Everything about a professional kitchen, including an educational kitchen, is amazingly intense. The fact is the Knives are much sharper, stoves are a lot hotter, shared space is tighter than your kitchen. Professional kitchens run at a fast-moving pace and you’ll be expected to figure everything out very quickly.

Is Culinary School Hard?

More people than ever are chasing a dream of running a kitchen or become a famous chef. Culinary school enrollment has increased in recent years. Yes, culinary school is and should be hard. The real world of culinary arts is hard. Long hours for low pay is common in the early years. It’s important to think about why you want to go to culinary school.

How much is culinary school?

Tuition Rates for Culinary Schools

In addition to traditionally high tuition rates, the costs of culinary schools are also rapidly rising. Currently, culinary school tuition typically costs over $30,000. That’s a steep price for most students to consider, and one that will force many students to utilize financial aid.

When looking at culinary school tuition, pay close attention to whether the dollar amount covers the whole degree program or only a portion of the program. In many cases, it isn’t the same as a yearly tuition fee that you’ll find at a four-year college. Instead, culinary school tuition typically encompasses the cost of the entire degree program. For example, the Arizona Culinary Institute has a nine-month program that costs $25,990. Meanwhile, The Culinary Institute of America charges about $12,950 per semester for a nine-semester program. The difference in total cost is significant, so it’s important to look into these kinds of details when researching culinary schools.


Is going to culinary school a good idea?


This is a question I hear often, between my educator hat and my columnist hat. Adding to the confusion is that if you look up the answer, you get a flurry of advice, much of it from culinary schools who have a horse in the race and argue that either:

  1. A degree is a waste of money—you just need to learn the cooking skills as efficiently as possible.
  2. A degree will better prepare you for long-term success and adaptability.

As usual with these questions, there is no single answer that will work for everyone.

My advice is to ask yourself a series of questions that may help you decide on the program to meet your needs.

First: What is the goal? If your goal is simply to get a job in a restaurant kitchen, consider learning on the job with a good mentor. I know that may seem like surprising advice from a culinary educator, but employers are desperate for talent, culinary school is expensive, and a popular misconception is that you need a degree to get a foot in the door. While that may be true for top kitchens, you can learn a lot from working full time in the right environment and supplementing your work with reading and classes.

Is Culinary a good career?

In the recent years, more and more people are gaining interest in culinary arts. Whether they want to be executive chef of the fanciest restaurant in town or own their own business catering to locals, lots of people are researching, learning, and consuming more fine food than ever before.

For those who want to make a career out of the culinary arts, this profession requires one to be highly educated. An individual has to know how to cook, but also how to manage a kitchen, restaurant, and about the food industry to keep up with trends and demand. Working in the culinary arts field is much more than preparing a tasty meal.

Let’s take a look at how to become a part of this exciting and fast-paced field. From your first day in culinary school to the day you are promoted to head chef, what does it take to make your mark in the field of culinary arts?

Can you go to culinary school with no experience?

How do I become a chef without culinary school?

Speaking from experience, you do not need any previous experience to get in to a culinary school. Like many schools, if you claim to have the passion, and are willing to pay the bills, you can get into a culinary school. I had no professional kitchen experience before attending Le Cordon Bleu, a few years ago. It is not easy to succeed, since many individuals will have previous experience and more knowledge. This should not not keep you from following your passion in the kitchen. Culinary school can either be a place to hone your skills in preparation for becoming a chef or it can be a place to start your journey in working in the food industry.Do I need to go to culinary school to be a chef?

You can also get a job in a restaurant kitchen or even a fast food restaurant with little or no experience so you can practice your newly acquired skills. All you need is a willingness to work hard and learn, as well as a passion for food. The first answer above is correct in the fact that it is not always glamorous. You’ll have to do a lot of things you don’t enjoy, and may not seem related to what you want to do in your career, but it is all important. If you really want to be a chef, and have a love for all things food related, it is worth it, because in the end, if you’re doing what you love, it doesn’t feel like you’re working. I still can’t believe I get paid to play in the kitchen every day.

How many years does it take to become a chef?

It usually takes only two years to complete and is offered by a variety of institutions, such as community colleges and culinary schools. During the two years of education, students should expect to gain an extensive array of culinary skills and knowledge that will provide the foundation for a career as a chef.What’s the difference between a cook and a chef?

The following are some schools to consider:

The Culinary Institute of America (CIA)
The world-renowned Institute of Culinary Education (ICE)
Kendall is the Accelerated Associate of Applied Science degree in Culinary Arts,
New England Culinary Institute (NECI) The International Culinary School at the Art Institute of Washington
San Diego Culinary Institute (SDCI)
Schoolcraft College Detroit Culinary Arts (Detroit)
St. Louis Community College (SLCC)
Delgado Community College (DCC)

Where Are Americans Moving? What You Need To know


A Prepared State of Moving

Moving long distances, like state to state or (gasp!) coast to coast can be quite the headache. However, if you stay calm and organized, what for some is often a colossal disaster for you can be a perfectly orchestrated adventure.

Your first task is finding the right moving company, particularly in the case of long-distance moves. Is the company big enough to get the job done? Small enough to understand your needs and pay attention to your individual details? These are the big questions you must ponder in order to get this done the right way.

Why, you ask, would anyone want to make such a move? Well, according to several travel bureaus here are some of the leading reasons people choose to move long distances:   

New Job: Most survey’s suggest work is the number one reason people move out of state. In many cases where a new job is involved moves often remain in-state, but often they are initiated in the hopes of landing a job that has yet to materialize. 

Education: Another popular motivation for people moving across state lines is higher education. College students off to school make up the largest demographic in this category, but it also includes students transferring from one university to another as well as families hoping to move their kids into a better school district.

Retirement: Ahh, the promised land of post work life! Warm weather for many is more than just a pleasure, as it can be vital to personal health, and many seek warmer climates for that reason alone. Many relocate to the northern climes as well, but that’s not a very sexy story. A lower cost of living and greater access to healthcare work also appears to make some states more attractive to retirees.

Amenity Access: All areas have something different to offer and moving closer to those you like can be a huge advantage. Access to healthcare (particularly research hospitals) is perhaps the biggest reason people move to another state. Better schools, more public park space and lower tax rates can all contribute to the decision to relocate to another state (although not likely at the same time!).

Needed Change of Pace: Not everyone has a solid financial or personal reason for relocating to another state. Often moving has less to do with needs and more to do with wants. When life gets a bit stale a change of pace or scenery can make all the difference. 

So just where are Americans moving to these days? Here is as short list of places recently deemed desirable in the 21st Century:

Rochester, Minnesota

Population: 110,275

Rochester’s rise to the top of many Best Places listings has been steady but not surprising. Praise for Rochester’s schools, civil engagement, available health-care and, most notably, its diverse range of affordable housing has given this northern midwest city quite an advantage. Home to the renowned Mayo Clinic, Rochester is experiencing an economic boom that is bringing in thousands of new residents and new businesses and giving those who live there an expanding assortment of entertainment options.

Bellevue, Washington

Population: 134,630

moving to minnesota

Lakes and mountains surround Bellevue, a Seattle suburb of more than 120,000, while a tapestry of lush parks provide residents with abundant outdoor recreation options. Bike paths and sidewalks make getting to and from the city’s many festivals, museums, restaurants and music venues easy. A population that is 40 percent minority provides a diverse range of lifestyles and ideas and Bellevue schools have been recognized to be among the top in the nation.

Madison, Wisconsin

Madison Capitol Building, Madison, USA

Population: 243,122

Not only does Madison have one of the top rated health-care systems in the country, it also has a high performing school system and strong economy. The University of Wisconsin (and a handful of other schools) gives Madison a large student population, but being the state capital also means this city offers some serious culture

Santa Barbara, California

Santa Barbara, California

Population: 90,401

A collection of beaches, mountain views and resorts help make Santa Barbara a popular tourist destination. Great schools, a highly ranked health-care system and strong economy make living in this California city feel like a dream come true. An abundance of farm-to-table restaurants, unique shopping experiences, plenty of outdoor recreation and fantastic weather keep Santa Barbara a top choice for relocation.

Boulder, Colorado


Population: 103,919

Known as one of the best cities in middle America, Boulder spoils its residents with pristine natural surroundings, a strong farm-to-table restaurant scene and dynamic arts and cultural attractions. Each season features plenty to do in Boulder. Many of the city’s highly active residents plan their days around hikes, rock climbing, mountain biking and fishing. Public Schools, too, are very highly regarded in this mile high city. 

Palo Alto, California

Population: 66,478

Those fortunate enough to live in Palo Alto enjoy a city that surpasses most quality of life standards. A long list of amenities starts with a 31-mile dark fiber ring around the city that provides ultra high-speed Internet. There are many things to do in Palo Alto, like playing in one if its many parks or dining in one of many unique restaurants. Palo Alto’s residents are politically active, socially minded and strongly support the city’s highly rated schools.

Bismarck, North Dakota

Population: 66,980

Located on the east bank of the Missouri River, Bismarck offers residents a large park system with walking and biking trails, a growing economy and attractions like the Dakota Zoo and the Kirkwood Mall in the downtown area. Newcomers find much to like in Bismarck’s affordable housing market and access to excellent hhealthcaresuch as Sanford Health, Bismarck’s largest employer.

Ann Arbor, Michigan

Ann Arbor

Population: 116,194

Local schools are a high point when it comes to the quality of life factors that make Ann Arbor among the top cities in the nation. The University of Michigan, with nearly 50,000 students, makes Ann Arbor a perennial candidate for top college town in the nation and plays a big role in the city’s economy and culture. More than 150 parks, the Huron River, a large assortment of restaurants and shops give those who live in Ann Arbor numerous options when it comes to available entertainment.

Iowa City, Iowa

Population: 71,832

Highly ranked schools and a strong health-care system have helped Iowa City become a highly desirable place to live. But to get the full story take a look at the University of Iowa, which helps set the cultural tone. The city’s large assortment of arts and entertainment options draw in new residents and affordable home prices keep them there.

Sioux Falls, South Dakota

 South Dakota

Population: 164,341

A range of neighborhoods, great schools and entertainment offerings routinely draw newcomers to a city that ranks high in health care and amenities. The city is defined by its spectacular Falls Park, the local economy is led by hospitals, banks and telecom companies and Empire Mall, a 1.3 million-square-foot shopping center, draws millions annually from across the Midwest.

As you can see, desirable locations abound all across the United States and the only obstacle keeping you from them is your desire to relocate. But be sure you plan well; choose your moving company carefully and be ready to reap the full benefit of a wise choice.