Getting a college degree is a rite of passage for many young people- and for the right reasons. To get a decent job, you must possess a certain skill set to make you “hirable.” That is, being the best candidate for the job in a world full of paper resumes and repetitive cover letters. College is a great- you earn your freedom, you take classes, you develop a social network, and finally, you get a certification proving you went through the college experience. However, what they don’t tell you is that your college education, or time spent at college, is an arbitrary piece of paper that states you passed all your courses. What you don’t realize is that….
- Most college graduates end up working in a job unrelated to their original area of study.
- Students borrow money at the ripe old age of 18-21 in hopes of earning a stable career, but end up in tremendous student loan debt.
- New majors, including “gender studies” and world history, and for my financial- guru fans, the infamous Dave Ramsey “left-handed puppetry” studies, shows you that college is so focused on mass recruitment they forget about real skills.
- Overall, college is more concerned about their “income” than their “impact” on the future of the world.
- The only way to rise above is to become aware of all of this.
Now don’t get me wrong- I am not anti-college or trying to bash college, or even dissuade any of you from attending college or university.
But what I am saying is that college takes advantage of the younger population by letting them choose whatever they want from a wide range or irrelevant but seemingly sophisticated majors that sound amazing, but don’t add value to practical daily living skills and situations.
There I said it.
Again, it’s its not that I’m anti college- If you’re reading this, chances are you WANT your life to head in the right direction.
For example, there are skills that are not taught in college that can earn you a six-figure salary, working wherever you want from your computer.
This is possible through certain skill sets, these include:
- Digital Marketing
- Freelance Writing
- Information Systems
- Project Management
- Graphic Design
- User Experience (UE) or User Interface (UI) Design
- And many more…
I don’t mean to rant, but what I have seen is that college has failed many of us (except medical staff, engineers, and lawyers), and the solution lies in what has NOT been taught at college.
This information is widely available on online learning platforms that specialize in specific skills that are NOT taught in a university setting, but are profitable and can be learned online from experts in the field.
This is the information age, and people are waking up and catching onto this trend quickly.
In turn, businesses are being directly improved from the skills learned online.
As previously stated on other articles I have written, copywriting is what gets the audience to take action, and when applied to the thousands of online courses in the internet marketplace, a revolution can occur with more people learning these forbidden skills.
Let’s look at how the power of the written word can shift the economy into struggling with menial jobs to thriving with the skills people need to make the world around them thrive.
Remember- I am not against formal education- I happen to have a bachelors in communications- but I have used this to my advantage for digital marketing and business writing, which was not directly related to my courses of study bit which I choose to study outside of college to supplement my studies.
The purpose of this article is to show how specific skills that are not formally taught can be learned via online courses so more students can learn more in-demand skills that businesses need and will hire you if you can provide.
1. Everyone Is Online- and will respond accordingly
Most of the population own smartphones and have access to high speed internet. When they are browsing the internet, they are most likely not reading academic articles and journals written in APA and MLA format. They are most likely reading materials that sounds like you are talking to THEM, as opposed to someone in a chair with weird glasses.
What they are really reading is materials that have a friendly demeanor and conversational tone, which is both engaging and captivating, and is more memorable and relatable than the academic content found in scholarly articles and nerdy websites. This is why you must talk like a human being- because most people browsing the web are just trying to go about their lives and are avoiding the long exhausting ads distracting from what’s happening around them.
If you want to get through to someone. talk to them in their language.
If you want to promote a product your target audience will want, such as an online course, talk to them in their language.
If someone is browsing YouTube or Facebook, and they see an add of a course about Facebook Marketing, and the copy talks about the “entrepreneur lifestyle” and working from home, that personal is more likely to buy into it than a boring Craigslist add.
This is not manipulation, bur rather direct-marketing to someone who os already likely to purposefully search for this product on their own but find some suggestion about the topic they are already considering.
Online course platforms are abundant in 2020.
Here is a list of several of them…
- Udemy (the NetFlix of online education)
- Udacity (online courses with a more technology focused approach)
- LinkedIn Learning
- And YouTube
These online “e-learning” platforms offer an abundance of information in virtually every topic from technology, to marketing, to personal development.
And most of all….
You can learn on your own terms.
This article is not intended to persuade anyone from formal education or certification, but rather show how these online courses can fill the skills gap.
This also ties in the mindset concept of being an e-learner.
If you are here reading this, chances are you don’t have yo be average like 99% of people.
You WANT to be better and fill in society’s gaps that are currently lacking.
Lets put it this way. Take a look at viewpoint.
Digital marketing for example,
The article “College graduates in 2019 face higher unemployment, slow wage growth” analyzes government labor data from 21 to 24 year-olds (typical college aged).
The article tells us how recent college graduates are finding themselves unemployed after years of study, more than in previous years.
The answer? There is a massive skills gap between what traditional college teaches you and in-demand skills in 2020.
College is not bad, but it IS outdated (for the most part).
The first 2 years (or half your college degree) is typically a repeat of high school stuff (history, math, science), and then gives you just 2 years to learn your major.
But, chances are, your major is outdated.
Philosophy, psychology, drama, gender studies, are nice in theory, but they do not teach you the HARD skills that are in demand in 2020…
In-Demand Skills for 2020
As we move into 2020, and more college graduates are still without a steady career in hand, we start to question the world around them.
What did I just do in college?
Why am i in debt?
I thought I was supposed to have a job after I graduate?
The problem is that unless you went to school for medical, engineering, or a specific trade, you learned more about ideologies (politics, culture, beliefs) than you did about business.
This is why people are taking to online courses to learn what they wish they learned in college.
WITHOUT the high feeds and compounding interest of massive student loan debt.
College makes you feel like you have a huge choice, and you do for the most part, but it typically revolves around that aren’t skill specific.
E-learning however, offers an array of learning topics that are instantly accessible and you can go at your own pace.
The above image shows you the range of topics you can select to learn from on the website, udemy.
Lets say you click on marketing.
You get this.
A list of the top courses, with quick access to user reviews, and more popular topics within that category.
So, lets say you want to learn about SEO.
You arrive to even more usueful information, with a user-friendly interface that allows you to refine your results to exactly what you wanted to learn.
You can now select by category, video duration, price, skill level, and features.
Not to mention, the 30-day money-back category as advertised on the website.
And this doesn’t just apply to digital marketing (although I like to use this as an example as it’s my field).
This can and often applies to:
- Machine learning
- Computer science
- Information Technology
Basically, its a platform for innovative learners who can learn whenever they want and not be chained to the confines of a classroom.
With e-learning, all you need is Wifi and you are set to go.
In college, you go at the professor and the other students pace and do not finish until a few months later at the end of the semester.
The skills gap doesn’t wait and the only way to beat it is to take action now.
Enough positions, but not Enough Qualified Applicants
If you want to stand out in a sea of applicants, you cant be like most applicants.
You have to stand out.
You have to be better than them… by doing what they don’t. Continuously learning marketable skills.
So let’s look at digital marketing as out example.
Promoting goods and services online through various online channels.
This includes Social Media, SEO (search engine optimization), SEM (Paid Ads), content marketing, mobile marketing, and Analytics.
Digital Marketing is in the innovative sphere because it is measurable and based on results.
That’s why it’s the way to go in 2020.
No more holding up a billboard that doesnt get looked at.
Now you can choose your audience, calculate how much you will have to spend, craft personalized marketing campaigns to reach your target audience, and follow up with potential buyers through retargeting.
However, traditional college focuses on tradition outdated marketing methods (because much of college is outdated) and doesn’t teach you how you can be an asset to the (digital) marketing industry today.
Most college courses do not teach you about SEO, paid ads, managing a social media page, or the art of copywriting.
Most people don’t know what copywriting is.
Most people think it has to do with law.
But it is writing, but far from academic writing.
It is sales in print with persuasion.
Very few master the art of copywriting, which is hardly heard of in college, but is fundamental to the sales of online products and services.
It’s the glue that holds digital marketing together.
But it is seldom taught in college.
You have to read about it and do it yourself to learn about it.
This is true for the other aspects of digital marketing like SEO and SEM.
You have to look for it to find it and learn your skills through online courses and other mentors in the field.
You have to be innovative.
College doesnt teach innovation or leadership.
It teaches you to follow the heard and think like an employee, not a boss.
This is where you have to use your head and determine what you really want out of life.
Not just what will make your parents, your friends, and your teachers happy.
These skills are not taught in college because not everyone is ready or wants to learn them.
They are for the few who seek knowledge and a want to hold the keys to success.
And one more point…
I am not anti-college or regret going to college.
I am saying there is a digital skills gap and those skills are not taught in traditional colleges, but are taught on modern e-learning platforms with other innovative thinkers.
You have to really think about what you want.
AND GO GET IT!!!!