I’ve been teaching a long time and I really, really have a passion for teaching. UAB just seemed to be a really good fit for me. At UAB, we still get involved with the students and to me, that’s just a lot of fun. I get a lot of satisfaction from that. And at UAB we do a lot of research and we’re involved in that, but it doesn’t get in the way of our time with students. And I like that personally, because that’s my favorite part of the whole faculty experience, is doing the teaching. I try to teach our students to think. I don’t require them to memorize anything for exams, no lists, no formulas, none of that. I want them to know where to find the information they need, and then after they find that information, how do you analyze it and come to a good decision.
I started teaching online years ago. When I got to UAB it was like an entire new world because UAB, number one, requires that teachers that teach online provide a really, robust, high quality product and they help you to develop that. They got a whole support infrastructure here that helps you to turn out a good product. And it ends up being a really good experience. And, as far as the interaction, I think the first place you start, is the students get to interact with each other a lot. We typically have group or teams assignments and they can interact and network with each other. We also have a go to meeting product, where we actually have technology that allows us to speak to all the online students at one time, or we can do it individually.
We got a great discussion board environment too. They can post questions for each other, and for me too. Got multiple ways that I can interact with them and they can interact with each other. I personally think that our online students have just as good of an experience as the face to face students do. If you’re looking at the value of a degree in finance right now, all you have to do is go online and do a little research and you’ll see U.S. News and World Report published a list recently of the highest paying jobs that are in business, and four of the 12 are finance positions. There are so many different ways you can go in finance. We tend to think of working for a bank but it’s a lot broader than that.
Even if the economies down, people need their portfolios managed, maybe when the economies down they need financial advise more than ever. Not only have you got the traditional financial jobs, but you’ve got a lot more investment related jobs coming along in real estate as well. You can do everything from being a broker, so you can be an investment analyst, you can be a portfolio manager, you can be an investment analyst and help companies decide what types of investments they want to put their money in for their portfolios, you can actually manage properties. If you’ve got a mall, or you’ve got a lot of office properties, or whatever, those things have to be managed, and that’s a very high level of professional job that provides good income.
If you’re a good student and you get a good background, you can expect to get a good position. And the middle level finance jobs typically are in the $120,000 range in a lot of markets, so you have to be willing to apply yourself and learn the skills that you need to learn, and then just keep improving yourself as you go along.
I think having a degree, specifically a finance degree from UAB is very valuable. UAB to me is like the perfect combination of size and knowledge, because the faculty are very qualified and we have faculty that specialize in all different areas of finance. You’re going to get the actual professors teaching you and those are very highly qualified professors and I like that a lot. There’s going to be the same thing when you’re on an online program. But I think it’s the perfect environment for somebody to get a very high quality degree, and still have all those internet connections and deal actually with the professor themselves. And I think it’s a good quality program.