An Academic conversation with MYSELF

Projects

Person A

So what are you doing these days?

Person B

Well, a bit of this and that.

You know, I completed my Masters a while back and sometimes I feel like I should be learning something new to keep current.

So I’m studying again. I’m also working with my website; just writing and creating stuff.

Person AFormal study right?

Person B

Define that please.

Person A

Formal as in university.

And even before you do that, have you narrowed down your options on what to study? I would:

      • list my interests
      • match those interests with the job market i.e. is there demand for those skills?
      • If there’s some demand for it then by all means.
      • But if there’s not a lot of activity, then I might want to rethink that..

Person B

Yes I’ve been doing that. I am quite aware of the demand and where the world is headed.

I can see a lot of activity within online space; web development, editing, writing content, designing etc. Thankfully, the subject matter interests me and I enjoy learning.

Besides, sooner or later we all have to be quite literate with technology.

Person ASo what have you done about it?

Person BWell first I did my research; you know – talk to people about what they’re doing and stuff. And I looked at options myself.

Person AGood idea.

And?

Person BBasically I had 2 options: I could either do formal study again and pick up a diploma through the traditional route of university,

OR

I can do some self-study online. There are these things called MOOCS which are basically open online courses. It’s as easy as sign and study at your own pace.

Person A I can see where this is going.

There are so many of these services out there. And a lot of employers are quite traditional in terms of hiring from certain schools.

Person B

Well you narrow it down to the top providers out there by doing your research.

And well I cannot remove that perception so I’m not worrying about it.

My thing is: I study, I learn, I practice and I will implement what I learn along the way. Boom-boom-boom snapshot post in the blog of “This is where I’m at”.

Person AHow can someone verify your skills?

Person BFor web tech stuff, there are so many resources like  Codepen and JS Fiddle out there. And of course there’s more bigger sites for sharing your work like GitHub or you can even implement your designs in Behance.

Once you implement, it is tracked and it’s your work history. And you can start a portfolio after that by creating sites for others.

I suppose technology is one of those areas where they take your online work as proof.

I’m sure other industries having something similar online.

Person ABut on the flip side, if you go traditional university route, you’ll have to take time on campus, meet with groups of people for group work etc. So time is dictated by outside forces.

And there’s nothing like implementing your ideas on the web for others to judge themselves.

Person BNow you’re feeling me.

Person A But how do you keep track of your schedule?

Person BDiscipline and Time Management.

Set time to study, time to practice and do challenges in the end of a module. Really it’s mimicking what you would be doing in university anyway; state your learning outcomes upfront, study, test your knowledge, then practice practice practice.

And of course, a peer group helps if you can find one.

Person AYou know I’ll play the devil’s advocate here and say “some employers out there still won’t buy it”

Person BAnd once again I’ll hit replay and say That’s beyond my control”. I’ll focus in on helping myself develop and push out my status updates online.

Besides I already have my Masters and I’ve been working in the industry for x years. What’s another one going to do? Is that really going to guarantee a better paying job and a more rewarding career? You know this is probably not for everyone but it works for me.

And at the end of the day I value time. With this approach, I can control where my time goes.

And I have focus. The focus at the moment is learn to code and get some real today-tomorrow skills.

When I implement something – I’m showing the world where I am at. It’s no different to the concept of mark-to-market i.e. I am showing my fair value to the world out there.

And can I remind you the cost of academics these days? And then there’s house prices. Did I mention that we are still living in uncertain times? Where would you rather invest time and money given all this?

Person A Sold! You got me sold my man.

Person BCan I just add one last point. I am part of an alumni group and on the odd occasion, I help other students with their studies. It proves that I keep up to date with the latest info through interaction.

And I’m surrounding myself with other like-minded people and enjoy reading the latest news. It really helps in the learning process and keeps your mind fresh.

Person AYou have just shut me down completely.

Note: B-Side Wins.

Do not overlook the B-Side again.

PC

2 thoughts on “An Academic conversation with MYSELF

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