Learn More About Bacterial Infections

Bacteria are microorganisms that are not visible for naked eye. These small organisms form clusters to cause various infections. Good news for the mankind is that not all bacteria are harmful. Less than 1% of bacteria cause infections but these infections lead to malfunctioning of human organs. The main problem is that these bacteria reproduce quickly in your body under favorable conditions.

There are several varieties of bacteria that flourish well in certain parts of the body. The causes for these bacterial infections are not known and how they can affect people in urban areas is still a mystery. Thanks to medical science, there are antibacterial treatments for bacterial infections. By taking these treatments at right times, you can be sure that you are safe and healthy.

The three common areas that are prone to bacterial infections are the respiratory tract, urinary tract, and digestive tract. Several reasons may be given for each of these bacterial infections. However, irrespective of the health measures you take, almost every human being suffers from atleast one type of bacterial infections. Respiratory infections are sometimes unnoticed and the victim can recover easily with the help of the efforts taken by the self repair system in the human body. However, certain serious infections must be treated by appropriate person.

People who don’t eat foods in healthy environment are more prone to bacterial infections in the digestive tract. When you leave your cake under the sun during your picnic, you are exposing yourself to bacteria such as staphylococcus which is carried by flies. These bacteria emit toxins that damage your digestive tract.

As a result, you may experience vomiting, nausea and other symptoms. Sometimes, infection may be too heavy that peptic ulcer may be caused. Bacterial infections in digestive tracts are treated with the help of antibiotics.

Bacterial infections in urinary tract are highly found in women than in men. This is because of the female design in which anus is close to the genitals. Bacterial infections in the urethra directly result in infections in the urinary tract. Sexually active women catch this type of infection more easily by engaging with several men. Men are also prone to bacterial infections in the urinary tract because of not emptying urinary bladder completely.

There are treatments for this type of bacterial infections, but if you take proper personal care, you can avoid infection of urinary tract.

Bacterial infections in membranes that cover spinal chord and brain are most commonly found in children less than two years though bacteria can affect even older people. This infection leads to several deaths each year. Commonly called as bacterial meningitis, this can be prevented by proper vaccination during childhood. Bacterial infections in other parts of the body may spread to the bloodstream causing sepsis.

Curing Bacterial Vaginosis in 2 Ways

The First Way

There are several options to choose if you want to cure bacterial vaginosis; however, we shall be discussing the two most common treatment methods for this bacterial infection that affects millions of women worldwide. Vaginosis is an inflammation in the vagina which can be caused by an overgrowth of bad bacteria like gardnerella; that is why it is also known as gardnerella bacterial vaginosis.

The vaginal area generally has a normal flora of good bacteria. If you get a deficiency of good bacteria – which could be due to several reasons, bad bacteria fills in the gap – causing bacterial vaginosis or BV. This is usually marked by an awful vaginal odor, especially (and embarrassingly) during and after sex, as well as itchiness, and sometimes pain.

If you experience any of the above signs of bacterial vaginosis then you need to immediately consult your doctor. You should get a proper diagnosis so that suitable treatment can be started to cure bacterial vaginosis, and also so that you known how urgent it is or whether you need something more (bacterial vaginosis can cause pelvic inflammatory disease). In most cases, doctors usually prescribe the use of antibacterial drugs, like pills or topical creams, to treat the infection. This is very effective for immediate relief of symptoms and signs of bacterial vaginosis. This is one way of curing bacterial vaginosis- and thankfully this is all that is needed for some women.

One Major Flaw With The Medics

However, one major flaw of this treatment method is that there is high likelihood of recurrence. This is due to the fact that the normal flora is completely disrupted since antibiotics totally wipe out both good and bad bacteria. Once they are totally eliminated, there is greater tendency that the bad bacteria will grow faster than the good ones – causing the recurrence of bacterial infection vaginosis.

Another alternative to cure bacterial vaginosis is to use some home remedy techniques to treat this condition. There are numerous natural resources that can significantly treat the inflammation – one of the most common home remedies for bacterial vaginosis is the use of tea tree oil.

Tea tree, or Melaleuca Altemifolia, is an Australian tree famous for its numerous herbal features that offer many health benefits. Tea tree oil is used as suppositories or douched in the vagina. Make sure to mix tea tree with water or vitamin E; and avoid using it without mixing it with other substances like water because it may cause blistering and irritation if applied directly (ouch!).

Other home remedies for BV include use of apple cider vinegar, consumption of live yogurt, and use of other herbs like garlic, tracheal, and goldenseal among many others. Bear in mind that use of natural treatment methods and home remedies to cure bacterial vaginosis may require use of the right mixture and dosage to ensure optimum effects.

Watch Out – Make Sure There’s Some Good Research

Improper use of some natural herbs might cause some nasty adverse side effects; that is why you need to use correct mixtures and dosages so that you will be able to achieve success in treating this condition without encountering any further problems.

There are some programs and books available in the market that detail various natural treatment options and how to prepare and mix herbs properly when treating BV. It is best to get one of them to ensure your safety and to effectively manage the vaginosis bacterial infection.

Many women feel much happier dealing with the medical profession – science has taken us a long way and medical professionals are good researchers. The only drawback at present is that there is a risk or getting recurrent bacterial vaginosis and some drugs have harsh side effects. But other treatments do need to be fully researched!

Complexity Science in Cyber Security

1. Introduction

Computers and the Internet have become indispensable for homes and organisations alike. The dependence on them increases by the day, be it for household users, in mission critical space control, power grid management, medical applications or for corporate finance systems. But also in parallel are the challenges related to the continued and reliable delivery of service which is becoming a bigger concern for organisations. Cyber security is at the forefront of all threats that the organizations face, with a majority rating it higher than the threat of terrorism or a natural disaster.

In spite of all the focus Cyber security has had, it has been a challenging journey so far. The global spend on IT Security is expected to hit $120 Billion by 2017 [4], and that is one area where the IT budget for most companies either stayed flat or slightly increased even in the recent financial crises [5]. But that has not substantially reduced the number of vulnerabilities in software or attacks by criminal groups.

The US Government has been preparing for a “Cyber Pearl Harbour” [18] style all-out attack that might paralyze essential services, and even cause physical destruction of property and lives. It is expected to be orchestrated from the criminal underbelly of countries like China, Russia or North Korea.

The economic impact of Cyber crime is $100B annual in the United states alone [4].

There is a need to fundamentally rethink our approach to securing our IT systems. Our approach to security is siloed and focuses on point solutions so far for specific threats like anti viruses, spam filters, intrusion detections and firewalls [6]. But we are at a stage where Cyber systems are much more than just tin-and-wire and software. They involve systemic issues with a social, economic and political component. The interconnectedness of systems, intertwined with a people element makes IT systems un-isolable from the human element. Complex Cyber systems today almost have a life of their own; Cyber systems are complex adaptive systems that we have tried to understand and tackle using more traditional theories.

2. Complex Systems – an Introduction

Before getting into the motivations of treating a Cyber system as a Complex system, here is a brief of what a Complex system is. Note that the term “system” could be any combination of people, process or technology that fulfils a certain purpose. The wrist watch you are wearing, the sub-oceanic reefs, or the economy of a country – are all examples of a “system”.

In very simple terms, a Complex system is any system in which the parts of the system and their interactions together represent a specific behaviour, such that an analysis of all its constituent parts cannot explain the behaviour. In such systems the cause and effect can not necessarily be related and the relationships are non-linear – a small change could have a disproportionate impact. In other words, as Aristotle said “the whole is greater than the sum of its parts”. One of the most popular examples used in this context is of an urban traffic system and emergence of traffic jams; analysis of individual cars and car drivers cannot help explain the patterns and emergence of traffic jams.

While a Complex Adaptive system (CAS) also has characteristics of self-learning, emergence and evolution among the participants of the complex system. The participants or agents in a CAS show heterogeneous behaviour. Their behaviour and interactions with other agents continuously evolving. The key characteristics for a system to be characterised as Complex Adaptive are:

  • The behaviour or output cannot be predicted simply by analysing the parts and inputs of the system
  • The behaviour of the system is emergent and changes with time. The same input and environmental conditions do not always guarantee the same output.
  • The participants or agents of a system (human agents in this case) are self-learning and change their behaviour based on the outcome of the previous experience

Complex processes are often confused with “complicated” processes. A complex process is something that has an unpredictable output, however simple the steps might seem. A complicated process is something with lots of intricate steps and difficult to achieve pre-conditions but with a predictable outcome. An often used example is: making tea is Complex (at least for me… I can never get a cup that tastes the same as the previous one), building a car is Complicated. David Snowden’s Cynefin framework gives a more formal description of the terms [7].

Complexity as a field of study isn’t new, its roots could be traced back to the work on Metaphysics by Aristotle [8]. Complexity theory is largely inspired by biological systems and has been used in social science, epidemiology and natural science study for some time now. It has been used in the study of economic systems and free markets alike and gaining acceptance for financial risk analysis as well (Refer my paper on Complexity in Financial risk analysis here [19]). It is not something that has been very popular in the Cyber security so far, but there is growing acceptance of complexity thinking in applied sciences and computing.

3. Motivation for using Complexity in Cyber Security

IT systems today are all designed and built by us (as in the human community of IT workers in an organisation plus suppliers) and we collectively have all the knowledge there is to have regarding these systems. Why then do we see new attacks on IT systems every day that we had never expected, attacking vulnerabilities that we never knew existed? One of the reasons is the fact that any IT system is designed by thousands of individuals across the whole technology stack from the business application down to the underlying network components and hardware it sits on. That introduces a strong human element in the design of Cyber systems and opportunities become ubiquitous for the introduction of flaws that could become vulnerabilities [9].

Most organisations have multiple layers of defence for their critical systems (layers of firewalls, IDS, hardened O/S, strong authentication etc), but attacks still happen. More often than not, computer break-ins are a collision of circumstances rather than a standalone vulnerability being exploited for a cyber-attack to succeed. In other words, it’s the “whole” of the circumstances and actions of the attackers that cause the damage.

3.1 Reductionism vs Holisim approach

Reductionism and Holism are two contradictory philosophical approaches for the analysis and design of any object or system. The Reductionists argue that any system can be reduced to its parts and analysed by “reducing” it to the constituent elements; while the Holists argue that the whole is greater than the sum so a system cannot be analysed merely by understanding its parts [10].

Reductionists argue that all systems and machines can be understood by looking at its constituent parts. Most of the modern sciences and analysis methods are based on the reductionist approach, and to be fair they have served us quite well so far. By understanding what each part does you really can analyse what a wrist watch would do, by designing each part separately you really can make a car behave the way you want to, or by analysing the position of the celestial objects we can accurately predict the next Solar eclipse. Reductionism has a strong focus on causality – there is a cause to an affect.

But that is the extent to which the reductionist view point can help explain the behaviour of a system. When it comes to emergent systems like the human behaviour, Socio-economic systems, Biological systems or Socio-cyber systems, the reductionist approach has its limitations. Simple examples like the human body, the response of a mob to a political stimulus, the reaction of the financial market to the news of a merger, or even a traffic jam – cannot be predicted even when studied in detail the behaviour of the constituent members of all these ‘systems’.

We have traditionally looked at Cyber security with a Reductionist lens with specific point solutions for individual problems and tried to anticipate the attacks a cyber-criminal might do against known vulnerabilities. It’s time we start looking at Cyber security with an alternate Holism approach as well.

3.2 Computer Break-ins are like pathogen infections

Computer break-ins are more like viral or bacterial infections than a home or car break-in [9]. A burglar breaking into a house can’t really use that as a launch pad to break into the neighbours. Neither can the vulnerability in one lock system for a car be exploited for a million others across the globe simultaneously. They are more akin to microbial infections to the human body, they can propagate the infection as humans do; they are likely to impact large portions of the population of a species as long as they are “connected” to each other and in case of severe infections the systems are generally ‘isolated’; as are people put in ‘quarantine’ to reduce further spread [9]. Even the lexicon of Cyber systems uses biological metaphors – Virus, Worms, infections etc. It has many parallels in epidemiology, but the design principles often employed in Cyber systems are not aligned to the natural selection principles. Cyber systems rely a lot on uniformity of processes and technology components as against diversity of genes in organisms of a species that make the species more resilient to epidemic attacks [11].

The Flu pandemic of 1918 killed ~50M people, more than the Great War itself. Almost all of humanity was infected, but why did it impact the 20-40yr olds more than others? Perhaps a difference in the body structure, causing different reaction to an attack?

Complexity theory has gained great traction and proven quite useful in epidemiology, understanding the patterns of spread of infections and ways of controlling them. Researchers are now turning towards using their learnings from natural sciences to Cyber systems.

4. Approach to Mitigating security threats

Traditionally there have been two different and complimentary approaches to mitigate security threats to Cyber systems that are in use today in most practical systems [11]:

4.1 Formal validation and testing

This approach primarily relies on the testing team of any IT system to discover any faults in the system that could expose a vulnerability and can be exploited by attackers. This could be functional testing to validate the system gives the correct answer as it is expected, penetration testing to validate its resilience to specific attacks, and availability/ resilience testing. The scope of this testing is generally the system itself, not the frontline defences that are deployed around it.

This is a useful approach for fairly simple self-contained systems where the possible user journeys are fairly straightforward. For most other interconnected systems, formal validation alone is not sufficient as it’s never possible to ‘test it all’.

Test automation is a popular approach to reduce the human dependency of the validation processes, but as Turing’s Halting problem of Undecideability[*] proves – it’s impossible to build a machine that tests another one in all cases. Testing is only anecdotal evidence that the system works in the scenarios it has been tested for, and automation helps get that anecdotal evidence quicker.

4.2 Encapsulation and boundaries of defence

For systems that cannot be fully validated through formal testing processes, we deploy additional layers of defences in the form of Firewalls or network segregation or encapsulate them into virtual machines with limited visibility of the rest of the network etc. Other common techniques of additional defence mechanism are Intrusion Prevention systems, Anti-virus etc.

This approach is ubiquitous in most organisations as a defence from the unknown attacks as it’s virtually impossible to formally ensure that a piece of software is free from any vulnerability and will remain so.

Approaches using Complexity sciences could prove quite useful complementary to the more traditional ways. The versatility of computer systems make them unpredictable, or capable of emergent behaviour that cannot be predicted without “running it” [11]. Also running it in isolation in a test environment is not the same as running a system in the real environment that it is supposed to be in, as it’s the collision of multiple events that causes the apparent emergent behaviour (recalling holism!).

4.3 Diversity over Uniformity

Robustness to disturbances is a key emergent behaviour in biological systems. Imagine a species with all organisms in it having the exact same genetic structure, same body configuration, similar antibodies and immune system – the outbreak of a viral infection would have wiped out complete community. But that does not happen because we are all formed differently and all of us have different resistance to infections.

Similarly some mission critical Cyber systems especially in the Aerospace and Medical industry implement “diversity implementations” of the same functionality and centralised ‘voting’ function decides the response to the requester if the results from the diverse implementations do not match.

It’s fairly common to have redundant copies of mission critical systems in organisations, but they are homogenous implementations rather than diverse – making them equally susceptible to all the faults and vulnerabilities as the primary ones. If the implementation of the redundant systems is made different from the primary – a different O/S, different application container or database versions – the two variants would have different level of resilience to certain attacks. Even a change in the sequence of memory stack access could vary the response to a buffer overflow attack on the variants [12] – highlighting the central ‘voting’ system that there is something wrong somewhere. As long as the input data and the business function of the implementation are the same, any deviations in the response of the implementations is a sign of potential attack. If a true service-based architecture is implemented, every ‘service’ could have multiple (but a small number of) heterogeneous implementations and the overall business function could randomly select which implementation of a service it uses for every new user request. A fairly large number of different execution paths could be achieved using this approach, increasing the resilience of the system [13].

Multi variant Execution Environments (MVEE) have been developed, where applications with slight difference in implementation are executed in lockstep and their response to a request are monitored [12]. These have proven quite useful in intrusion detection trying to change the behaviour of the code, or even identifying existing flaws where the variants respond differently to a request.

On similar lines, using the N-version programming concept [14]; an N-version antivirus was developed at the University of Michigan that had heterogeneous implementations looking at any new files for corresponding virus signatures. The result was a more resilient anti-virus system, less prone to attacks on itself and 35% better detection coverage across the estate [15].

4.4 Agent Based Modelling (ABM)

One of the key areas of study in Complexity science is Agent Based Modelling, a simulation modelling technique.

Agent Based Modelling is a simulation modelling technique used to understand and analyse the behaviour of Complex systems, specifically Complex adaptive systems. The individuals or groups interacting with each other in the Complex system are represented by artificial ‘agents’ and act by predefined set of rules. The Agents could evolve their behaviour and adapt as per the circumstances. Contrary to Deductive reasoning[†] that has been most popularly used to explain the behaviour of social and economic systems, Simulation does not try to generalise the system and agents’ behaviour.

ABMs have been quite popular to study things like crowd management behaviour in case of a fire evacuation, spread of epidemics, to explain market behaviour and recently financial risk analysis. It is a bottom-up modelling technique wherein the behaviour of each agent is programmed separately, and can be different from all other agents. The evolutionary and self-learning behaviour of agents could be implemented using various techniques, Genetic Algorithm implementation being one of the popular ones [16].

Cyber systems are interconnections between software modules, wiring of logical circuits, microchips, the Internet and a number of users (system users or end users). These interactions and actors can be implemented in a simulation model in order to do what-if analysis, predict the impact of changing parameters and interactions between the actors of the model. Simulation models have been used for analysing the performance characteristics based on application characteristics and user behaviour for a long time now – some of the popular Capacity & performance management tools use the technique. Similar techniques can be applied to analyse the response of Cyber systems to threats, designing a fault-tolerant architecture and analysing the extent of emergent robustness due to diversity of implementation.

One of the key areas of focus in Agent Based modelling is the “self-learning” process of agents. In the real world, the behaviour of an attacker would evolve with experience. This aspect of an agent’s behaviour is implemented by a learning process for agents, Genetic Algorithm’s being one of the most popular technique for that. Genetic Algorithms have been used for designing automobile and aeronautics engineering, optimising the performance of Formula one cars [17] and simulating the investor learning behaviour in simulated stock markets (implemented using Agent Based models).

An interesting visualisation of Genetic Algorithm – or a self-learning process in action – is the demo of a simple 2D car design process that starts from scratch with a set of simple rules and end up with a workable car from a blob of different parts: http://rednuht.org/genetic_cars_2/

The self-learning process of agents is based on “Mutations” and “Crossovers” – two basic operators in Genetic Algorithm implementation. They emulate the DNA crossover and mutations in biological evolution of life forms. Through crossovers and mutations, agents learn from their own experiences and mistakes. These could be used to simulate the learning behaviour of potential attackers, without the need to manually imagine all the use cases and user journeys that an attacker might try to break a Cyber system with.

5. Conclusion

Complexity in Cyber systems, especially the use of Agent Based modelling to assess the emergent behaviour of systems is a relatively new field of study with very little research done on it yet. There is still some way to go before using Agent Based Modelling becomes a commercial proposition for organisations. But given the focus on Cyber security and inadequacies in our current stance, Complexity science is certainly an avenue that practitioners and academia are increasing their focus on.

Commercially available products or services using Complexity based techniques will however take a while till they enter the mainstream commercial organisations.

Career Information for Animal Science Degree Online

What is Animal Science Degree Online?

Animal science is a diverse field of education which studies the biology of different animals that are under the care of humans. Traditionally the animal science degree online consisted the study of farm and livestock including horses but eventually pets have also been included in this degree program. According to the American Society of Animal Science there are more than 400 job titles in this field making it one of the biggest providers of employment to people.

Programs Included in the Animal Science Degree Online

Professionals in this field along with the biological study pay emphasis on the growth, reproduction, nourishment and health of all domestic and pets. There are three animal science degree programs you can pursue.

  • Associate Degree in AS
  • Bachelors Degree in AS
  • Graduate Degree in AS
  • Doctoral Degree in AS

For anyone interested in getting any of these degrees online you will have to start with enrolling into an associate degree program first and after its completion progress into the other programs.

Students follow a different course work in every degree program i-e in an associate program the basic business and scientific studies about the upbringing of livestock and study about the production of foods the major courses students need to take are:

  • Agricultural economics
  • Livestock production
  • Organic chemistry
  • Organic biology
  • Agricultural statistics

After completing the associate degree students can then further continue their education with a bachelor degree and later go on to the graduate and doctoral fields.

Careers included in the Animal Science Degree Program

It takes an individual approximately 2-4 years to fully complete any training program in this field. The animal science degree online is directed towards three main sections that are production, range study and general sciences. Students can choose their desired field of study as each field leads them towards different careers. Below are mentioned three of the most common careers which people pursue are.

Animal Scientist

The main emphasis of the animal scientist is towards the domestic animals, at times they also specialize in a specific type such as pets and livestock. Animal scientists study the reproduction, genetics, development, nutrition and breeding of animals. Few scientists cross-breed animals in order to create a new species and thus carry out many tests and researches. The job outlook for an animal scientist is fair and a qualified individual would easily earn about $49000 easily.

Farm Manager

The complete operations and management of farms are carried out by farm managers who mostly likely choose animal care or finance as their specializations. As a farm livestock manager you will be directing the breeding and transportation of animals along with the feeding, they also offer guidance and tips to farm owners in how to function their farms in a more efficient manner. This profession does not pay much but is an ideal profession for an individual who loves animals and has a deep bond with the farm life.

Veterinarians

Veterinarians in short vets are animal physician who maintain the health of household pets to zoo animals by offering medication, identifying diseases, dressing wounds and providing aid to animals suffering from various illness. Vets also offer advice to pet owners in how to manage with their pets. All vets need to hold a license in order to practice their profession, they earn around $34000-$50000 annually.

Store for Students Who Take Up The Science Stream

Exams are coming to an end. It’s time to relax and have a little fun before the results are out and you starting running around colleges for admission in the stream of your choice. “What to choose after 10th?”, comes the next question. This is by far the most asked question by many students. This is the most common question found in many forums and discussions. Choosing a stream after 10th is not an easy task. There are so many questions which are to be asked, answered and then a student agrees to make up his/her mind in taking up a certain stream.

Our Indian Education system follows 10+2+3 pattern, in which 10years of schooling followed by 2years of pre-university education (also known as foundation course) and later 3 years of graduation is followed. After class 10, you are given 4 options from which you can choose. They are Science, Commerce, Arts and Diplomas (JOC). Since there are many choices, let us explore each stream individually. Since the science stream is considered as superior(which is not true) to the other available streams, we shall start with it first.

Subjects:

The subjects which a student can choose in science stream are – Physics, Chemistry, Mathematics, Biology, Computer Science, Zoology.

1. Physics, Chemistry Mathematics
2. Physics, Chemistry, Biology
3. Physics, Chemistry, Computer Science
4. Physics, Chemistry, Technical Drawing(new subject being introduced).
5. Physics, Chemistry, Zoology

These are the combination’s which are available in many schools/colleges, in the science stream.

Career options:

So, what after choosing the science stream? What can you achieve? What are the options available after your 12th to help you build your career? Well, the career options available for students in science stream are given below:

1. B.Sc – Bachelor of Science (3yrs program). You can choose a specialization, such as Biotechnology, Chemistry, Biochemistry, Statistics, Banking and Finance, Nursing, Information Technology, Computer Science, Clinical Research. There are many new specializations offered, for which you must check with your college.

2. B.Tech – Bachelor of Technology (4yrs program). This course is offered by any colleges with specializations such as ECE, EEE, Computer Science, Information Technology, Biotechnology, Civil engineering, mechanical engineering, chemical engineering. The subjects concentrate on imparting practical knowledge to students, than only theoretical knowledge.

3. B.E – Bachelor of Engineering (4 yrs program). This is considered as a professional course and specializations are the same as in a B.Tech course.

4. BCA – Bachelor of Computer Application (3yrs program). This course offers students an opportunity to various areas of computer science, programming, database designing, software engineering and networking systems.

5. M.B.B.S – Bachelor of Medicine/Bachelor of Surgery (4yrs). This is a professional course, which one can take up to become a general physician, dentist. You can also chose to do your Bachelor’s in Unani medicine(BUMS – 5yrs), Homeopathy (B.H.M.S – 3yrs), Ayurvedic/Siddha Medicine (B.A.M.S). After completing your basic course in medicine, you can diversify to being a surgeon in heart, eye, general surgeon, orthopedic surgeon, neuro surgeon etc.

For professional courses, one needs to appear for a Common Entrance Test (CET) conducted by their respective States to seek admission to the colleges. There will be a counseling session, where you will be given your options and the list of various colleges from where you can complete the course. Once you have completed any of the above courses, you can apply for a job in your related field or continue over to your Masters for better prospects.

What Can You Do With a Bachelor of Science Degree?

Choosing your college major may have seemed like the most important decision of your life, but believe it or not, choosing to pursue a Bachelor of Science was actually the easy decision in your educational journey. It’s what you choose to do with your degree that is the real challenge.

While you may be intimidated by the important decisions ahead of you, this is actually the exciting part! What you choose to do with your Bachelor’s degree in Science is completely up to you. Base your choice on your interests, strengths and experience.

Management

A manager is an expansive career opportunity available to students that pursue a Bachelor’s degree in Science. It is usually the role of a manager to collect, analyze, record and present market data that assists in the corporate decision-making process. Some of the industries a manager is essential in include:

• Healthcare
• Hospitality
• Telecommunications
• Finance
• Marketing
• Government
• Non-profit

A career in management is ideal for someone that enjoys taking a leadership role and is confident in their abilities to manage, coordinate, schedule and organize.

Information Systems

A Bachelor’s degree in Science can help you pursue your interests in computer science. Professionals in the information systems field are responsible for managing the diverse information resources of a business or organization. By understanding both the basic and in-depth fundamentals of information systems, you can succeed in diverse roles within this field.

International Business

Business is a major industry, allowing professionals to focus in a broad range of areas. A Bachelor degree in Science can help you pursue your interests in international business through the study of various topics including international affairs and information technology. Some of the fields you can pursue with a degree in Science include:

• Global firms
• Private firms
• Government
• Nonprofit organizations

A career in international business is perfect for someone that is intuitive, strong-willed and confident.

Accounting

If you work well with numbers and enjoy problem-solving, you may want to pursue a career in Accounting. With a Bachelor’s degree in Science, you can pursue a variety of careers in the accounting field, including:

• Auditing
• Cost accounting
• Individual taxation
• Corporate taxation

Careers in accounting are perfect for individuals that are self-motivated, intelligent and flexible.

While you may feel like choosing your major limits your choices, by pursuing a Bachelor of Science degree, the opportunities are endless. By enrolling in a focused degree program in an area of study that suits your talents and interests, you will know you made the right decision.

Potomac College proudly offers career-oriented programs leading to the Associate of Science and the Bachelor of Science degrees in a variety of high demand fields. Potomac College is unique in its commitment to fulfilling the needs of working adults. Because of this, Potomac College offers both traditional and online degree programs with flexible learning options. With degree programs in business management, accounting, international business, information systems management and network security management, there is something for everyone at Potomac College.

Basics of Accounting and Personal Finance

In today’s financial climate, personal fiscal responsibility is more important than ever. Knowing how much money you have, the liquidity of your assets and being able to successfully manage you assets is essential. However, it seems that these are not skills that our educational institutions place much value upon. While math and science courses are staples and graduation requirements in our high school curricula, arguably more applicable personal finance courses are not. Perhaps that is why many students are feeling increasingly unprepared to make the crucial financial decisions that they face upon graduation. A key aspect of understanding personal finance is comprehending the basics of accounting. Therefore, it is my opinion that at least one basic accounting course should be a requirement for all high school students. Below I will briefly outline several basic concepts that should help give interested readers an overview of accounting.

The most fundamental tenet of accounting is the concept of debits and credits. Every company (or individual) tracks their flow of assets and liabilities through the use of debits and credits. When cash is involved in a transaction, a basic rule of thumb applies. If the amount of cash on hand is increasing, then the cash account is “debited.” Likewise, if the amount of cash on hand is decreasing, the cash account is “credited.” It is that simple. The concept of a “journal entry,” is also essential in understanding the mechanics of debits and credits. Simply put, whenever a transaction takes place, a corresponding journal entry, or written record of the transaction must be completed. Journal entries spell out in prose which account is being debited and which is being credited. To further illustrate this concept, consider the following example:

A business (Company D), purchases 20 tickets to a local sporting event at $10 each for a grand total of $200. Therefore Company D has spent $200 of its cash on hand. Company D’s “Cash” account would be credited for $200. Likewise, one of Company Ds “Expense” accounts would be debited for $200. A corresponding journal entry would be written to notate this. While this example has been greatly simplified, the conceptual aspect is sound.

Keeping track of your personal finances may only require a few entries per month, depending on the number of significant financial transactions you perform. However, businesses are in a much different scenario. Due to the scope of their operations and the sheer number of different accounts they maintain, it is vital they organize their transactions in an easy-to-view format. The format of choice is a “T-account.” A t-account looks just as its name may indicate – a “T.” The name of the account serves as a header while debits occupy the left side of the “T” and credits occupy the right. This allows auditors as well as company accountants to quickly find transactions and follow the flow of money throughout the company. For every account that a company maintains, a corresponding t-account is created.

These t-accounts are then grouped into three major categories; “assets,” “liabilities,” and “stock holders’ equity.” These categories make up a fundamental equation that all accountants must know; ASSETS = LIABILITIES + STOCK HOLDERS’ EQUITY. Accounts that are grouped under the “assets” label include cash, accounts receivable and equipment. Accounts payable, accrued expenses and wages payable are some of the “liability” accounts, while retained earnings and capital stock are the main “equity” accounts.

The final piece of the accounting puzzle for a company is the preparation of financial statements. These statements are made up of every account and calculation that has been previously mentioned. A balance sheet is specifically comprised of the “assets = liabilities + equity” equation. An income statement contains information regarding the revenues and expenses of a company. In short, every financial statement builds on the data contained in the previous one, just like accounts and journal entries are derived from each other. If you are looking for visual examples of these statements, I highly recommend searching for them with “Google Images.” While perhaps an obvious answer, a visual aid is often crucial in truly comprehending a subject.

In closing, I am hopeful that this overview has given you a basic understanding of some of the building blocks of accounting. As I have demonstrated above, a basic grasp of accounting is essential, not only to understanding the functions of modern day businesses, but to understand personal finance as well. Finally, if this piece has inspired any of you to seek out further education in the accounting field then I have fulfilled my purpose.

How to Earn an Online Computer Science Degree

Have you always had a secret hankering to hunch over PC peripherals while performing complex calculations to your heart’s content? Do you yearn to discern how to convert complicated computations into solid solutions for concrete problems? Maybe you have a fatal attraction for incessant figuring that looms large in your life.

If you fit any of the above slots, you have the perfect makings for major success in a myriad of computer-related careers. As you undoubtedly know already, computers are the wave of the future. This future is definitely now.

Take a momentary respite from your perpetual ponderings and complex contemplations. Give your brain a much-needed rest as we proceed to present a simple solution to your mental meanderings. Class is commenced for the revelation of the best academic algorithm for earning an online computer science degree.

Easier now than ever

As in virtually all endeavors, education has undergone major technological evolution of late. More stick-and-brick schools are increasingly employing computers in administering academic curricula of all sorts. The logical progression of all this progress is the possibility of earning an online computer science degree without darkening the door of a single classroom.

Online computer science degrees are now available for the earning at all levels of learning. Associate’s, bachelor’s, and doctoral degrees in this dynamic discipline abound around cyberspace. You may study at your own pace and submit assignments and exams electronically. These features make earning your computer science degree while maintaining other obligations a veritable breeze.

Seven Steps for Success

Following is a fantastic formula for successfully attaining an online computer science degree from the comfort and privacy of your own home:

Prior to applying:

Accurately assess your study habits. Unfortunately, not everyone can make the grade in distance learning, class. Much self-discipline and organization are required to complete assignments on time. If you are prone to procrastination or distractions, improve these habits before commencing online coursework.

Research which online schools offer your chosen specialty

You must first locate a school that offers exclusively online programs. Conduct some research. A search engine query will reveal many such institutions. Do your homework to identify the ones that fit within your price range and career goals.

Analyze your schedule to allocate sufficient study time

Students who excel at online studies maintain regular schedules. Find some free time on a weekly or daily basis to devote to your studies. If you cannot find sufficient time for even part-time studies, it is probably best to wait until your other commitments reduce to permit sufficient study time.

Applying to and Completing the Program

Submit multiple admissions applications

Distance learning is a competitive industry, so you should not have any difficulty locating a suitable program. Many Admissions Advisors will work with you to modify standard parameters to permit your enrollment. Virtually all virtual study programs feature websites that contain electronic applications that may be completed and submitted online.

Plan Your Course load

Determine what courses will be required for degree completion. All computer science programs entail certain basic computer literacy classes after initial enrollment. Advanced classes in a broader range of subjects will occur during subsequent study.

Complete all coursework in a timely manner

Be sure to submit all assignments and exams within applicable deadlines. Most online computer science programs feature a range of days that specific assignments must be submitted, rather than a single fixed date. Consistently tardy submissions can result in point penalties that lead to poor grades. Expulsion from school could even occur, if the problem persists.

Submit all exams and final projects

Many online programs require physical on-campus attendance for final written or oral examinations. Online institutions that have multiple campuses nationwide typically allow you to choose the location must convenient for you. Others may arrange for local Notary Publics or junior college staff in your locality to administer these services.

Insure that your schedule and finances will permit travel and short-term lodging, if any. It is important to at least attempt every exam and project required for a particular class, even if you are not as prepared as you would like to be. One or two isolated low grades is much preferable to receiving an “incomplete” or “failure.”

Conclusion

In summary, the above pointers provide the basic roadmap for your journey to career success and enhanced professional achievement. Remain focused and don’t detour from the proven path. Your arrival at the destination of success and professional desirability will be assured. Class is now dismissed.

My Colleges and Careers helps students connect with the best schools to earn their college degree and embark on a rewarding career! A powerful resource for individuals of all walks of life, My Colleges and Careers connects people with the programs that help them earn degrees on campus or online.

The Idea of Laboratory Equipment Financing

Developments in the field of science and technology have brought about considerable improvements in human life. Since time immemorial, people have tried to invent methods which can improve the quality of human life. Ancient Greeks and shamans also contributed towards this cause. However, with the progress in medical science and treatment, we are closer to that dream than ever before.

Nowadays, modern and progressive instruments are used to treat patients. But the newer and more advanced the instrument, the higher its price is going to be. Therefore you need financing to get hold of these advanced and expensive instruments. Laboratory Equipment financing thus tries to provide these instruments which are necessary for the diagnosis and subsequent diagnosis of diseases.

While Laboratory equipment may be of many different kinds, the ones which are listed below are particularly significant.

o Analytical instrument: Every medical instrument requires this instrument for detecting pathological problems. It is capable of producing results efficiently and within a short span of time thus allowing the treatment to start immediately. Unfortunately, they are also expensive and so might require financing if you want to obtain them.

o Dental Laboratory equipment: The technological developments in dental science have boosted these products. They could include facilities like cavity filling and imaging of the entire oral cavity. But these too are quite expensive, and often have to be procured through financing.

o Common pathological instruments: The X-ray and CT scan machines form a part of this category. Needless to say, they are an essential part of modern medicine for their diagnostic capabilities. While these machines are less complicated than they others, they too can be quite expensive, so opting for financing may be a good idea.

o Other instruments: The list of useful instruments that one may require are endless, so some of the basic forms of the more essential instruments are listed below for your convenience.
1. endoscope
2. ultrasound equipment
3. oxygen tanks
4. optometry equipment
5. orthopedic instrument and more.

All of the devices are quite expensive and so anyone wanting to use them will have to get aid in the form of financing. Thus, it is the job of Laboratory Equipment Financing to bridge the gap between an individual and these modern equipment.

Like everything else, the price of laboratory equipment has increased with time. Thus, financing is often required if they are to be obtained for the use of the common man. There is a demand for these instruments in every pathological laboratory and this is where the idea of financing and leasing come in.

You might wonder how you can get the financial aid that you need in order to obtain such equipment, and the answer is quite simple. All you have to do is choose one of the reliable companies which provide such financing keeping in mind the benefits of the common people. These companies give you loans much faster and at lower interest rates. The many advantages offered by these companies allows professionals and medical institutes to obtain all these devices without having to worry about finances.

The Art and Science of Independent Film Financing

I believe there is an art and science to dealing with independent film financing. The art is being able to find money to make a movie and the science is being able to use that money wisely.

It’s a tragicomedy of sorts when a filmmaker is able to secure money to make their movie only to burn through it before they can finish their movie. Running out of money can happen during filming or post production.

The art of film financing can be difficult for some filmmakers because they are looking at their potential movie from a creative perspective. Making movies is a business. Filmmakers need to package their movie with investors in mind. Unless you’re totally self-funding a movie you’re going to need to apply standard business principals to attract other people’s money (OPM).

Movie investors by nature are risk takers because it’s not like they are putting money into a blue chip stock. They are investing in a screenplay, director, cast, and film crew. What motivates movie investors to put hard earned cash into financing a film vary. Most common motivations I’ve experienced are they want to make a profit, they just flat out want to be involved with the making of a movie, or they believe in you as a filmmaker (that’s the best in my view). Or all three!

Before you begin approaching investors do a few things first. Get a website or blog up about your upcoming movie. Post what the movie is about, who is involved, and how movie investors can contact you. It does not have to be flashy. Basics are good. A movie poster, full synopsis of what the movie is about and any other information you want people to know about your movie.

Prepare an investor pitch package and save it on PDF to email out. I like to include a mock movie poster (always smart to have artwork), a killer tagline (snappy slogan used to hype a movie), a brief concise synopsis (summary of the plot), and any letters of attachment from key cast and crew. When people get serious you can send them a full version of the screenplay, rough budget and what compensation you are offering (potential return on investment stuff).

The science of independent film financing is how to budget money once you get it. It’s a lot harder then it might sound. Sadly, many indie movies go unfinished because the filmmaker runs out of money. Sure, there are times a “Force Majeure” (superior force) comes into play stopping a movie from ever getting finished. Most of the time it simply boils down to poor budgeting. A film budget in my opinion is as important as the screenplay.

Film financing is much more detailed then I can share in this short post. I recommend you join MovieBizCoach.com (it’s FREE) to hear how industry professionals handle film financing. I also recommend reading The First Movie Is The Toughest: A Filmmaker’s Story Of How It Was Done cover to cover (shameless plug for my own book). You would be amazed that budgeting begins before you type one word of your screenplay. Budget first, screenplay second. This is indie filmmaker Sid Kali typing FADE OUT.