I caught the bug for effective learning during the Quantic MBA✅. Quantic is a business school built for the 21st century. Low acceptance rate, results on par with top schools that charge 20x the price. I graduated in Feb 2020. (Here’s a Poets & Quants article for more).
A fire of self-improvement was lit underneath me. Kaizen personified, in small chunks of constant progress.
I realised I wanted to focus on a further program of study which applied the best parts of Quantic, that was not too long in duration (relatively) and not too costly (again, relative to ‘normal’ alternatives) such as another degree (3-4 years and 20k+) by creating a bespoke curriculum based on in-demand tech skills.
Things can be efficient if you choose to make them so.
At the start of the year, I took this type of study one step further and did the Executive Data Science Specialization ✅ by Johns Hopkins University on Coursera. I was hooked. It was high-quality content that had the matching branding to go with it.
So, after much research, I decided to teach myself the top tech skills.
A quick caveat: The phrase ‘self-taught’ is a bit of a myth, IMO. You learn from somewhere, and one definitely doesn’t just stumble upon the knowledge by oneself unless you’re inventing or pioneering something entirely new.
That disclaimer aside, I’m focused on self-directed learning courses which are highly regarded and taught by world-class professionals… And that place is found on Coursera.
You Have to Reverse Engineer the Process
If you want to achieve something in life, you don’t have to discover it by yourself, instead, be smart and look at people who have already gone there and attained what you are striving for.
Looking through the top 25 in-demand jobs in the UK was the inspiration for me. It’s about finding (or creating) a job with high autonomy (you set your day to day workflow, largely), high job satisfaction (you like what you do, for the most part), and high availability (lots of open jobs and high demand in the market).
The process is simple: Look at a selection of these jobs. See the required skills. Then build those skills.
Action plan: I signed up to Coursera and set about to design a bespoke curriculum which would improve my existing skills and enable me to prove it through projects and certifications.
By focusing on specializations and a stack of courses built on top of each other, I created a modern tech curriculum. You can take it too! Modify it, do what you like but this is my list (and progress so far!)
Without further ado here’s the list of courses I am taking:
- Agile with Atlassian Jira ✅
- Digital Product Management Virginia ✅
- Software Product Management Intro Alberta ✅
- Project Management UCI
- Managing the Company of the Future LBS✅
- Full-Stack Development with React: Hong Kong UoT
- UI UX Design: CalArts
- Search Engine Optimization: UCDavis
- Programming with Cloud IoT platforms: PUST
- Developing Applications with Google Cloud Platform
- New Product Development – Technion
- Creating and Developing a Tech Startup – HEC Paris
- Start Your Own Business Specialization – Michigan State
These skills are highly employable because they are highly valued in the marketplace and are needed in a bunch of tech jobs. Front End, Full Stack, Product Management, Project Management, SEO, UI/UX, etc. Any business with a digital presence needs these skills… and in the 21st century, every business needs a digital presence.
Along the way, I am building out my own projects and websites with the skills I learn, so expect updates to my site, and to others I own. The goal is to get and keep tech jobs, but I figure why not also just create your own tech job and start your own startup at the same time!