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Sunday, September 20, 2009

The Future of Work???: RE: U.S. Career Institute

U.S. Career Institute

So, the weekend has rolled around and I'm feeling guilty that I've failed to post something for ... no ... it couldn't be... A WEEK! This morning I thought, what else do I have to say about this work thing? After 10 seconds of brainstorming, I was exhausted. But I discovered a nice little solution. I would type, "work" into the browser's Universal Resource Locator aka the, "URL" (you know the search engine at the top of the monitor's window) and MAKE THE COMPUTER DO THE BRAINSTORMING.
I quickly came across a couple of different sites about work, which I have decided to review for you today. The first is regarding the US Career Institute (linked above for reference), which purports to offer a variety of distance learning courses, aka: virtual courses, including: Accounting, Business Management, Entreprenuership (their misspelling not mine), Fashion Merchandising, Financial Services Management, Health Information Management, Human Resources, and Marketing.

Now I can not claim to have tried these services; but allow me to share my impression of the site & related offerings.

The first thing that I noticed is that the site is exactly ONE PAGE!!! Pretty lazy for a company offering a virtual university. The course offerings, which are posted as categories don't link to additional information about the individual courses. There is not much elaboration about the school, its history, its organizational structure (e.g., list of board of directors, instructors, advisors, affiliated/accredited brick & mortar institutions of education etc.).

The next thing that I noticed about the site for the US Career Institute is that its central feature is an alternating flash ad, which displays some of its career training categories along side a salary amount that one can earn after completing a given course at the Institute. Interestingly, the site subtly clarifies that one can earn, "up to" the designated amount. This is a coy way of saying that one may earn less than the salary advertised. However, I can't criticize the institute too much for this, since there is never a guarantee of how much one will earn by following a given career path.

What does BUG ME, is the addition of the words, "with experience" to the description of the salary one may earn after completing the virtual coursework. To be clear, the US Career Institute should advertise its site as one for mid-career professionals, if the only way that one can earn the amounts posted on this site is to have experience.

The third thing I noticed was that the site offers two forms of credibility: 1) Two sample testimonials; and, 2) A few un-clickable/non-linked logos to the Better Business Bureau; Distance Education, and Training Council; the State of Colorado, and the CPSA/GPSA??? Why are there no links to click through to these references/credentials?

Further, the meat of the website is a form that takes up 1/3 of the page, which the visitor may use to, "request more information". In reality the visitor is just giving out his/her own information in this step. (Sorry, I'm not willing to provide my info to them to find out what one gets in return.).

Finally, I'll reiterate that I can't attest to the worth(lessness) of the program or offerings of the US Career Institute, but I can say with authority as a web-watcher that its website looks like a front, for a CROCK. My guess is that there may be something a little less synister here than what my tone may reflect. The institute is probably just selling books that very disciplined people may use to get certain certifications. (I doubt that one can get a real degree of any kind from here.)

If you have tried their services, and know something different... please add your comments below.


Anonymous said...

This blog is not critiquing a website but advertising methods. The site he is talking about is a "Lead Generation" form which is designed to capture contact information for people interested in pursuing their education. If you were to do a search for U.S. Career Institute and go to their actual site you would see a thorough description of themselves, their credentials, and all of their programs. Don't get confused here. Having separate lead generation forms are standard practice for ALL businesses.

AJAB said...

Duly noted. I took the approach that you stated, and came to this link: Whereas the link that I followed yesterday was Interestingly, this is how the latter of the two appeared,
"Work at Home
Medical Billing, Coding, Transcript. Accredited Degree - Enroll Today."
Anywho, today, I went to the actual website, and was much more impressed. The site links through to information about certification, and associate degree courses that the institute offers, as well as to sites that authenticate the US Career Institute. One of the links takes you to the Better Business Bureau, where it is made clear that the institute has its accreditation. The link provided for the BBB, on the institute's site takes you to:
If you go directly to and type in "US Career Institute" you will ultimately arrive at:
where you will find the full report on US Career Institute by the BBB.
Finally, if you type into your browser, "US Career Institute" and "complaints", you will be brought here:;_ylt=A0geuyymnbdKeYcA9dBXNyoA?p=US+Career+Institute+complaints&fr=yfp-t-701&fr2=sb-top&sao=2
Now, I could elaborate on these complaints quickly, and flippantly, but I won't. I've provided the links, so that they can be taken together as a whole for the reader to derive his/her own opinion of the institute. As far as the official site goes... it is a darn sight better than what I thought a day ago, while perusing the, "lead generation sheet". Thanks anonymous.

Anonymous said...

I'm impressed - the website indicates they are a fully accredited school that's been around since the early 80's. If they were a scam they would have been shut down years ago.

AJAB said...

The conclusions that you have drawn are reasonable. This link provided on the U.S. Career Institute website lends credence to your suggestions that the school is accredited, and not a scam:

However, that does not mean that the institute is giving people an accurate picture of what one may derive from participating in its distance learning courses.

Consider the following dialogues about career institutes in general, many of which have "legit" sites: .

Now consider the following discussion that is specifically about U.S. Career Institute, discovered on the same site as above:

"Has anyone completed an online course thru US Career Institute for Medical Transcription ?
Q. If so, was it a positive experience and are you working ?
Asked by Stefanie - Sun Jan 6 18:24:33 2008 - - 2 Answers - 0 Comments"

"A. I understand the appeal of courses such as this. Very low down payments and monthly payments. Promises of $50,000 a year starting out. Traditionally, education clearinghouses, which are businesses that offer training in 100s of different programs are not the best for training medical transcriptionists. I used to assist with hiring for an MT service and I looked for graduates from top schools and those with some experience. I would not consider graduates of educational clearinghouse businesses. Best wishes to you.
Answered by Homegirl - Tue Jan 8 16:38:28 2008"

I consider the advice above by the answering party to be sound. Finally, even students who graduate from widely accepted accredited universities discover that they may have had an easier time attaining good careers, if they had gone to one of the Ivy League schools. Ultimately, many universities graduate students (broke, or indebted from the experience), who either will have to present stellar transcripts from a school with AT LEAST a very good reputation, or network, using their GOOD connections/references to secure a GOOD job. However, if one is not concerned about obtaining a high-paying or prestigious job, then one should simply choose the school or program that seems like the best fit given one's circumstances, and lifestyle. Finally, if attending one school or another doesn't work out, then one can chalk up the experience to fate, or a life lesson well learned, and become stronger from the experience.

The following questions are not just directed at Anonymous, but at everyone:

Have you attended US Career Institute?; Are you considering attending?; or, Do you work there? I am not hell-bent against the institute. I am merely noting my at-a-glance assessments of it. If you have had a particularly good experience with this school please let me know. I may make your more informed assessment a primary post on this blog.

A Jab At Work Poetry (Poetry about Work)

“Work” by AJA-B, 08/30/09

The life I live is full of Joy,
But fool of sadness have I been,
If rumblings uttered prove us coy,
Then, truth be told both where, and when,
Was once a pair that teetered then,
O’er brinks or hills,
That they could scarce,
Find liquid, bars of salt, but bills,
And toil, though notice paid none dare’st,
To sweat, and pack, and tape, and wrap,
To call, and quest, rebuffed for cost,
To drive five states, and back, for gas
Traverse, from here to there to drink,
While aching back, and sweat-soaked shirt,
Proved naught the laborers’ worth, but stink,
And why should hecklers, wreckers blurt,
And hurl insults until they hurt,
While hypocrites sit conditioned in,
Till out a pair sent all they’d earned,
To others seeking extra, win,
‘gainst those that taught themselves, and learned,
Volumes, nearly choked and burned,
As plumes of hate, and stacks of smoke,
Sparked flames, which brinksmanship, did stoke,
Hellacious fires that GOD awoke,
& Smote the devils’ flames whose’ fire,
Could not the heights of clouds aspire,
& Up the pair in now a shell,
found seeds to plant that vines did swell,
Fat, filling, fruit and tasty cheer,
Revealing teeth, “from ear to ear,”
Now brimming, happily forgiving, hope,
Refilling cranial stores to find,
Surviving, counts for little more than sustaining life, and wasting time.

Digressing now though more is there,
I advise you work, but ne’er care,
Hard work, and success are not the same,
But without the first you’ll reap the blame,
For being weak, and seeming lame,
To end I wish you all the best,
Catharsis exhausts, I needs must rest,
Good luck, “You’re hired” I hope you’ll find,
To ease your cares, and soothe your mind.

© 2009 AJA-B

A Jab at Work Survey

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