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The 15 Most Underrated Colleges In America

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The 15 Most Underrated Colleges In America

chWhen you think of colleges in America, a few heavy hitters probably come to mind. Something along the lines of Harvard, Yale and NYU. Sure, these are great schools, but there are so many awesome underrated colleges throughout the US. Here are just a few of the best of them:

1. San Diego State University: Graduation is here

San Diego State has a ton of benefits. For starters, you get to live in beautiful San Diego, California. This school is one of the few to actually have its graduation rate increased by ten percent over the last decade. Plus, the median income post-graduation is around $85,000, so your education investment is likely to pay off.

2. Rutgers University at Newark: Hands on Training from Day 1

This university knows the value of hands on education. This program is designed to get students learning by doing. Although this tactic is well known to help students absorb more information, few universities today provide as many opportunities as this one.

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3. University of Missouri at Kansas City: Bang for your Buck

This school has consistently ranked as Princeton Review’s Best Value College. Here you can get the education you need without breaking the bank.

4. University of Maryland, Baltimore County: Where Innovation Lives

The University of Maryland in Baltimore County is known for its innovative take on education. Its an honors university with high quality students learning exactly how to adapt to today’s workforce.

5. University of Colorado at Denver: Making Bank

The median mid-career salary for graduates from this fine institution is $116,000. That will do you just fine as you study in beautiful Colorado.

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6. University of San Francisco: Service Learning for all

USF specializes in bringing service learning to their student body. These specially designed learning experiences not only enrich the lives of the students, but also enrich the surrounding community.

7. University of Houston: Become an Entrepreneur

The University of Houston’s entrepreneur program is consistently ranked as one of the best in the country. Combined with their outstanding business school, you’ve got all the resources you need to make your dream come true.

8. Michigan Technological University: Start off Strong

This university features some of the highest starting salaries for its graduates. If you are considering the value of a public school, but would like to make bank starting immediately after graduation, Michigan Technological University has much to offer.

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9. Widener University: Civic Engagement for Everybody

Located in Chester, Pennsylvania this campus is perfect for those looking to get involved in their civic duties. Students here are encouraged and frequently take advantage of the numerous internship opportunities located a mere twenty minutes away from campus in Philadelphia.

10. Florida Institute of Technology: International Students Succeed

This university was originally founded as a place to further the learning of those working on the space program in Florida. Today, US News reports that it ranks number one in foster international student experiences.

11. University of Alabama at Huntsville: Landing those big name jobs

Since this university is conveniently placed near several big name federal institutions, including NASA, Redstone Arsenal, and Cummings Research Park students are well placed to land some of the best jobs at these institutions. By mid career, graduates from Huntsville make around $90,000.

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12. Pace University: Learn by doing

This university is located in the heart of New York City. It emphasizes the importance of hands on learning and offers a wide array of degree programs.

13. Missouri University of Science and Technology: Ladies in Tech

This school boasts one of the largest female populations for any technology school in the country. Additionally, students on average spend 16 hours in their labs and classrooms. This is a sure sign that they are dedicated and have been encouraged to excel by their professors.

14. New Jersey Institute of Technology: Get that Job!

Located in Newark, this university is ranked as one of the best schools for job placement. This means that students from this school are more likely to land the jobs they want as they graduate.

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15. Clarkson University: An excellent value

With the cost of education on the rise, its important to find schools that offer the most bang for their buck. Clarkson University is consistently ranked as one of the best value schools in the country. Some of this school’s strongest programs include biotechnology, environment and energy, entrepreneurship, and global supply-chain management.

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Published on September 21, 2021

How Remote Work Affects Your Productivity And Wellbeing (Backed By Data)

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How Remote Work Affects Your Productivity And Wellbeing (Backed By Data)

The internet is flooded with articles about remote work and its benefits or drawbacks. But in reality, the remote work experience is so subjective that it’s impossible to draw general conclusions and issue one-size-fits-all advice about it. However, one thing that’s universal and rock-solid is data. Data-backed findings and research about remote work productivity give us a clear picture of how our workdays have changed and how work from home affects us—because data doesn’t lie.

In this article, we’ll look at three decisive findings from a recent data study and two survey reports concerning remote work productivity and worker well-being.

1. We Take Less Frequent Breaks

Your home can be a peaceful or a distracting place depending on your living and family conditions. While some of us might find it hard to focus amidst the sounds of our everyday life, other people will tell you that the peace and quiet while working from home (WFH) is a major productivity booster. Then there are those who find it hard to take proper breaks at home and switch off at the end of the workday.

But what does data say about remote work productivity? Do we work more or less in a remote setting?

Let’s take a step back to pre-pandemic times (2014, to be exact) when a time tracking application called DeskTime discovered that 10% of most productive people work for 52 minutes and then take a break for 17 minutes.

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Recently, the same time tracking app repeated that study to reveal working and breaking patterns during the pandemic. They found that remote work has caused an increase in time worked, with the most productive people now working for 112 minutes and breaking for 26 minutes.[1]

Now, this may seem rather innocent at first—so what if we work for extended periods of time as long as we also take longer breaks? But let’s take a closer look at this proportion.

While breaks have become only nine minutes longer, work sprints have more than doubled. That’s nearly two hours of work, meaning that the most hard-working people only take three to four breaks per 8-hour workday. This discovery makes us question if working from home (WFH) really is as good a thing for our well-being as we thought it was. In addition, in the WFH format, breaks are no longer a treat but rather a time to squeeze in a chore or help children with schoolwork.

Online meetings are among the main reasons for less frequent breaks. Pre-pandemic meetings meant going to another room, stretching your legs, and giving your eyes a rest from the computer. In a remote setting, all meetings happen on screen, sometimes back-to-back, which could be one of the main factors explaining the longer work hours recorded.

2. We Face a Higher Risk of Burnout

At first, many were optimistic about remote work’s benefits in terms of work-life balance as we save time on commuting and have more time to spend with family—at least in theory. But for many people, this was quickly counterbalanced by a struggle to separate their work and personal lives. Buffer’s 2021 survey for the State of Remote Work report found that the biggest struggle of remote workers is not being able to unplug, with collaboration difficulties and loneliness sharing second place.[2]

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Buffer’s respondents were also asked if they are working more or less since their shift to remote work, and 45 percent admitted to working more. Forty-two percent said they are working the same amount, while 13 percent responded that they are working less.

Longer work hours and fewer quality breaks can dramatically affect our health, as long-term sitting and computer use can cause eye strain, mental fatigue, and other issues. These, in turn, can lead to more severe consequences, such as burnout and heart disease.

Let’s have a closer look at the connection between burnout and remote work.

McKinsey’s report about the Future of work states that 49% of people say they’re feeling some symptoms of burnout.[3] And that may be an understatement since employees experiencing burnout are less likely to respond to survey requests and may have even left the workforce.

From the viewpoint of the employer, remote workers may seem like they are more productive and working longer hours. However, managers must be aware of the risks associated with increased employee anxiety. Otherwise, the productivity gains won’t be long-lasting. It’s no secret that prolonged anxiety can reduce job satisfaction, decrease work performance, and negatively affect interpersonal relationships with colleagues.[4]

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3. Despite everything, We Love Remote Work

An overwhelming majority—97 percent—of Buffer report’s survey respondents say they would like to continue working remotely to some extent. The two main benefits mentioned by the respondents are the ability to have a flexible schedule and the flexibility to work from anywhere.

McKinsey’s report found that more than half of employees would like their workplace to adopt a more flexible hybrid virtual-working model, with some days of work on-premises and some days working remotely. To be more exact, more than half of employees report that they would like at least three work-from-home days a week once the pandemic is over.

Companies will increasingly be forced to find ways to satisfy these workforce demands while implementing policies to minimize the risks associated with overworking and burnout. Smart companies will embrace this new trend and realize that adopting hybrid models can also be a win for them—for example, for accessing talent in different locations and at a lower cost.

Remote Work: Blessing or Plight?

Understandably, workers worldwide are tempted to keep the good work-life aspects that have come out of the pandemic—professional flexibility, fewer commutes, and extra time with family. But with the once strict boundaries between work and life fading, we must remain cautious. We try to squeeze in house chores during breaks. We do online meetings from the kitchen or the same couch we watch TV shows from, and many of us report difficulties switching off after work.

So, how do we keep our private and professional lives from hopelessly blending together?

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The answer is that we try to replicate the physical and virtual boundaries that come naturally in an office setting. This doesn’t only mean having a dedicated workspace but also tracking your work time and stopping when your working hours are finished. In addition, it means working breaks into your schedule because watercooler chats don’t just naturally happen at home.

If necessary, we need to introduce new rituals that resemble a normal office day—for example, going for a walk around the block in the morning to simulate “arriving at work.” Remote work is here to stay. If we want to enjoy the advantages it offers, then we need to learn how to cope with the personal challenges that come with it.

Learn how to stay productive while working remotely with these tips: How to Work From Home: 10 Tips to Stay Productive

Featured photo credit: Jenny Ueberberg via unsplash.com

Reference

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