Associate Degrees

Associate Degrees are playing their role in streamlining the skill sets and providing jobs to hundreds of thousands of young and talented individuals in the United States of America. Associate degrees in the States have an extensive array of specializations as well as sub-specializations. Hundreds of community colleges and private organizations are further developing their labs, increasing their teaching staff and enhancing the overall curriculum to address the ongoing demand for specialized labor. Associate degrees fill the requirement of hundreds of thousands of jobs ranging from dental hygienists to culinary art specialists. The associate degrees are typically less than 2 years and have a lower ranking as compared to the bachelor degree but have a wide range of selective professions to choose from and immediate job placement in all different segments of the market.

One of the fast growing degrees has been in the domain of fashion design and visual and performance arts. The world of multimedia media has changed manifold due to the easily available software applications that drive the dynamic features of advertisements, audio clips and even multimedia projects. Associate degrees in digital audio production and graphic designs have been increasingly popular among art majors. Associates in video and motion graphics provides students with a more robust and calculated understanding of media and graphics. The colleges in the eastern states focus more on multimedia technologies and give students an opportunity to work on current projects. Associate degrees in radio, television broadcasting as well as in visual communications and advertisement communication are now the current needs of the market. Associate degrees are also available in audio and sound recording, fashion merchandising, film and video, animation in art and design, drafting and design, computer aided graphic technology, and digital media design and production. All of these associate degrees play an important role in improving the overall standard of the multimedia and fashion industry.

Another thriving degree has been in the culinary arts and food industry. Various colleges and universities now specialize in teaching their staff about hotel management and chef course work. Specialized degrees are now available in understanding how to manage restaurants and food chains. Associate degrees in food management, hotel resource infrastructure, and customer service management are all available for students interested in pursuing careers in culinary and hotel management.

The last decade has seen a significant increase in the overall number of teachers that are required to educate students across the nation. One of the reasons behind the surge for teachers is the ongoing increase of specialized fields of study and understanding of new international courses readily available for learning. Students are now willing to learn more and the overall percentage of research done in the field of education has increased exponentially. Associate degree in education can range from specialization in early childhood education all the way to elementary education. Some of the colleges in the east coast also provide general education associate degrees that give a general perspective to all the different tools and methods for all age types.

The field of law has also benefited from the short courses and associate degrees available in their line of work. Hundreds of processes and policies have now standardized in this particular field and it is extremely conducive and efficient to hire individuals with talents and skill sets that cater to the demands and needs of the profession. Associate degrees in legal office technology, paralegal technology, paralegal studies and legal assistant management are all available through out United States. There are other associate degrees within the realm of paralegal studies that further specialize in criminal and civil procedures.

Another fast and growing arena has been the automotive industry. United States is home to several of the great automotive giants in the region. Ford, GMC, Buick are all the name brands that have been built in the States and sold all over the world. Each year these manufacturing giants come up with new models, features and value added services in their line of vehicles. To cater to the demands of the market, various associate degrees have been crafted and further honed to keep up with the pace of jobs and employment opportunities available in the automotive industry. Electronic technology associate degree teaches a wide array of tools and applications that assist in improving the electrical gadgetry of cars and other units used in the manufacturing plants. Associate degrees in Automotive Technology, AutoCAD development, Automotive Service Management, Auto and Diesel Technology, Steel and Rod Customization, electronics engineering have all played its due role in improving the industry as a whole.

Another similar story lies with the medical profession. Hundreds of jobs are available that assist nurses, doctors, medical devise specialists in further improving the health care industry for millions of patients in States alone. Ample research, analysis and topics are added each semester to align the associate degrees with the demands and requirements of the industry. It is imperative that the colleges and institutions that cater to the requirements of the medical institutions and hospitals keep a strong affinity with doctors and professionals so that the learning is gradual and up to date. One of the most successful associate degrees in the medical arena has been that of the medical assistant associate degree. Associate degrees in respiratory therapy, medical assisting, Physical therapy, Radiological technology, Nursing, Message therapy, clinical medical management, health information technology, medical assistant technology, occupational science and IT health care informatics have all extremely useful in the development of the field. Similar degrees are available in the dental field. Associate degrees in dental assistant management and dental healthcare management are courses and degrees available in almost all the colleges of United States.

Accounting and financial management segment also has a plethora of associate degree offerings. Their degrees specialize in general accounting, business administration, and office administration, accounting technology, science in accounting, and applied business in accounting, business and computer specialization in accounting and accounting and taxation. All of these degrees provide students with a general understanding of accounting and the importance of numbers in the business world.

Supply Chain and the Dental Industry

The Dental Industry business that I am pursuing is using an online auction for selecting a provider of services, and it is reasonably high in importance to the buying company. My company sells solutions that are varied with many value added features when compared to the competition. Is this online auction a benefit or hindrance to the both the buyer and seller? Why?

The answer? This auction is a benefit to both the seller and the buyer. This is because the business that we are looking to win is high in importance. Though our solutions are varied and offer a lot of added value, we clearly need a provider of services if we want to take the next step in revenue earnings. The fact that they have importance in the Dental Industry indicates to me that there is true brand recognition associated with this business. Brand recognition is a benefit because it brings validity to all companies associated with it, including ours, in this case. When a brand is well known in and good standing, being seen as a partner to that brand can build increased awareness and understanding.

The auction is also beneficial because of its platform – it’s an auction. We can go in with a set price floor and ceiling in mind. Typically, auctions tend to work out better for the buyer (they usually get something at a lower than retail rate), and even if this auction doesn’t, we can pack up, move along, and find a different business to win. All in all, I think this is beneficial to the dental company as well, since they are auctioning their service, and can always use the option of a “reserve price” to get the amount of money that they are hoping to.

Long Term Agreements

A dental or orthodontic company’s purchasing manager can decide to enter into a long term agreement for certain purchases. What factors are to be considered in this decision? Is this always a less expensive way of buying?

A purchasing manager might decide to lock into a long term agreement due to pricing. Typically, the longer the business contract, the lower the unit price will be in the Dental Industry. Also, sometimes locking in a low price is crucial, since all prices tend to go up over time. The factors to consider here would be the pricing tears based on the length of the agreement, the projected sales of the items into the future, and the ramifications for breaking the contract if necessary.

Though a long term agreement in dentistry is typically a less expensive way of buying, it can sometimes cost a business more in the long term. For instance, if a product is unsatisfactory, if shipments are slow, and if quantities are unstable, a business can actually lose money with long term pricing agreements. This is why it is sometimes necessary for a company to release itself from the restraints of a contract.

Supply Chain Management

Companies are always looking for a good deal on purchases. They tend to focus on price only and ignore other factors. What impact can Supply Chain Management have on prices and what is the business value proposition in the dental and orthodontic world?

Supply chain management can impact prices in many ways. Firstly, supply and demand can and do alter prices all of the time in the marketplace. Manufacturing lulls, recalls, and even defects on less expensive items can actually end up costing a company a lot more long term. Even though they are spending less up front, they could be dishing out a lot more to recall items or create make-good opportunities. Just look at Topps, a hamburger company who filed bankruptcy after a hamburger meat recall in 2007.

The business value proposition is typically one of “the lowest pricing” available when we talk about buying items based on costs alone. Since many companies research and buy on price, this can be beneficial. When we look at value, however, the business proposition can be rendered into something more along the lines of “the only solution you’ll ever need” for a specific industry; or more, it can give birth to an opportunity to price your products at the industry ceiling, rather than the floor. Higher ticket items usually yield higher profits in most industries, including dentistry; just look at invisalign braces and professional teeth whitening procedures as examples of this.

Cross-functional Sourcing Teams

Cross-function sourcing teams are typically a good idea. This is because they can go in a look at things that can make or break a business. Choosing suppliers, negotiating contracts, and enforcing contract commitments are all tasks handled by these teams. Thus, the pros for having them include a vast amount of research within the Dental Industry, the ability to buy at lower costs based on negotiation and manipulation, and the confidence that a contract will remain in place until all requirements have been satisfied. Some of the cons could be seen as missed opportunities with single suppliers who could offer substantial value and frustrations within client relations due to past agreements and forfeitures.

Corporate Purchasing Units – Dental Purchasing

How do the concepts of centralized corporate purchasing units differ from decentralized corporate buyers in the dental world? Is this an important concept for the marketer to understand? Why?

With centralized corporate purchasing units, a central department controls all of the purchasing which occurs inside of a business. This tends to reduce the duplication of effort, enables more effective inventory control, and purchases in volume for discounts. It can also consolidate transport loads for reduced costs and develop stronger business relationships with clients.

Decentralized purchasing units tend to be much of the opposite. The purchases are managed from more than one location, and it is much more difficult to save money via load consolidations and load volume discounts. Inventory control is also not as efficient with this model, as inventory is being placed and pulled by several parties at the same time. Without a proper ERP solution, this can prove problematic. This is important for a dental industry company to understand, because they must know how to promote the product. Knowing whether purchasing units are centralized or decentralized can dictate the difference in marketing in bulk, and based on geography.

The Different Types of Personal Dental Insurance

Everyone in the world needs dental care, but unfortunately not everyone has the money to afford to go to the dentist. Thankfully there is personal dental insurance that is available to everyone at a very low cost. Whether you are choosing individual dental plans, personal dental insurance, private plans or you are looking for low cost dental plans for your business, you need to know the different types of insurance plans that are available to you.

Typically there are two major types of dental plans available. The first is the indemnity dental plan and the second is the managed care plan. Whether you select individual dental indemnity insurance or you are choosing a managed dental insurance remains largely a personal decision so you need to make sure you are informed about which one is best for you.

Dental indemnity insurance is for those individuals who want a dental care plan that allows you to choose which dentist you want to go to and which kind of dental care you want to receive. These affordable dental plans are fee for service dental plans in which you pay for the dental service upfront and then file claims that allow you to get reimbursed. In some cases you will receive full insurance that pays for the cost of everything including orthodontic work with only a small deductible or you the personal insurance plan may only pay part of the services you receive which may only include the basic dental costs associated with normal dental care such as cleanings. This type of personal insurance will all come down to what type of agreement you have with your dental provider.

Managed dental care plans may be referred to as PPO dental insurance, HMO insurance or POS dental insurance. These types of dental plan insurance are low cost dental plans in which you select your dentist out of a list of providers that are listed in the PPO, POS or HMO program. You will not have to pay for your dental visits up front; rather you will pay a small deductible or fee and the insurance will pay for the rest as part of a discounted service for choosing that plan.

The PPO dental insurance uses a specific group of dentists that are part of an overall network. If you use those dentists you will have a lower cost than if you go “out of network.” HMO insurance is considered to be a cheaper insurance because you go to dentists only within the network who again offer discounts to that type of individual dental coverage. In the case of HMO dental insurance you will not be covered if you go out of network. Finally you have the POS insurance which gives you a broader choice of which dentist you want to see and also gives you the flexibility to change your mind at any point and as long as they are in the dental insurance plan you will be covered.

When you compare personal insurance take the time to figure out which dental plan best suits your needs so that you can get the best dental plan available.

Dental Assistant Salary and Duties

As a dental assistant, you are going to be working alongside a dentist and helping with various activities and duties. These duties include things such as sterilizing instruments, assisting with procedures, and also preparing charts and taking X-rays. You also may be responsible for updating patient charts and keeping a patient’s mouth dry. However, depending on what field of dentistry you are in, there are plenty of opportunities that can be a great way to excel in the field of dentistry. There are some places that will ask you to do more than you typically would, and therefore you may or may not need additional dental training and schooling.

Duties of an Assistant

You are typically going to be responsible for assisting the dentist with things such as keeping the patient’s mouth dry while the dentist works on their teeth or gums. You will be working with restoration and decay removal as well as other things. There are several doctor offices that utilize a dental assistant nowadays, so the job expectancy is in demand. Your duties can vary based on the location you are working in and what specialty the dentist is. Your job duties are going to be rather expansive and can even include things such as scheduling appointments and follow-ups. You could be helping with bookkeeping and offering health advice to patients who need it. Explaining a procedure to the patient before the dentist does anything is important as well.

Licensing and Education

If you are interested in becoming a dental assistant, there are classes that you have to take and a license you have to have in order to be work as an assistant. There is a certificate program you are going to have to enroll in and it typically lasts from 6 months to a year. You will find that many community colleges offer this course as well as other educational institutes. There are some places that you can get this certificate from that can be completed at home. You can aim higher and earn an Associate’s degree in dental assisting and this will take an average of 2 years to obtain. Some of the courses or classes you are going to have to take include radiology, dental materials, dental morphology, oral biology, and also dental management. An expanded assistant need certain licenses to work in some states and need to have this before working. You are going to have to pass the Certified Dental Assistant exam and meet the criteria before getting licensed.

Salary

The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that the average salary of an expanded assistant can earn $34,000. The lowest 10% made about $47,000 and more than 90% worked in an office and their salary was matched with a national average. However, assistants who were employed by a federal sector earned an average of about $38,000. Your salary is based on where you work and what state you are working in.

Working as a dental assistant can be rewarding and helps you get further into the dental industry. A dental assistant is there to help the dentist and you will have various duties based on where you work.