Everyone Can Benefit From Being Current and Savvy About New Technologies, Business Practices, and Other Learning Trends
Technological change demands stronger and more continuous connections between education and employment. –Andrew Palmer, The Economist
As technology advances, it’s no longer enough to rely solely on formal education and college degrees when seeking employment. We need to be learning all the time as we adapt to changing conditions in our jobs, careers, and business markets.
The Economist recently published an article on the importance of lifelong learning in the modern age. The industrial revolution has been replaced by the information revolution and the knowledge economy, and jobs are changing: the jobs of the future will be less repetitive, more centered around technological innovation, more creative, more challenging — and more rewarding.
So how can we prepare for these changes in how we work? The answer is lifelong learning, which continues over the course of a person’s entire career.
“A college degree at the start of a working career does not answer the need for the continuous acquisition of new skills, especially as career spans are lengthening,” says The Economist. “Vocational training is good at giving people job-specific skills, but those, too, will need to be updated over and over again during a career lasting decades.”
Understanding the importance of continuous learning is essential to success. And the younger you are, the more obvious it is. Those who rely heavily on the Internet are learning all the time — they’ve developed the key skill of learning to learn. Even in the age of Internet, though, there’s still a place for classes, workshops and bootcamps that boost learning to new heights. Companies now spend less money on training and professional development, so it’s important for employees to have their own continuous learning strategies.
“According to the Pew survey, 54% of all working Americans think it will be essential to develop new skills throughout their working lives; among adults under 30 the number goes up to 61%,” The Economist tells us. “Another survey, conducted by Manpower in 2016, found that 93% of millennials were willing to spend their own money on further training.”
Connect2Classes wants you to find success in learning and in your career. We offer thousands of classes to help you boost your skills, keep your knowledge up-to-date and stay afloat in a competitive workforce. Regardless of your field, skills like software knowledge, social media know-how and graphic design are incredibly useful. And life skills like project management, team leadership and conflict resolution are critical to any successful career.
It’s time to get ready for the future with Connect2Classes and our wide array of online and in-person classes in Seattle and the San Francisco Bay Area. Start your lifelong learning now, and invest in your career.
About Connect2Classes — We are a marketplace for professional and life enriching classes, workshops, and learning immersives — connecting voracious learners with the best local expertise. In Seattle, Online, and soon in San Francisco!
With the rapid pace of technological and societal change, it is no longer sufficient to rely purely on formal education and college degrees when seeking employment. We all need to be learning all the time as we adapt to changing conditions in the job, career, and business markets. The Economist just published an article on this topic.
Technological change demands stronger and more continuous connections between education and employment. – The Economist
Many people are concerned about the advancement of robotics and automation that appears to be replacing jobs, especially in the manufacturing space. But the industrial revolution has now been replaced by the information revolution and the knowledge economy. As such, jobs of the future will change and many new opportunities will arise. Jobs will be less repetitive, centered around technology innovation, more creative, and more challenging and rewarding.
So how do you prepare for this sea-change? The answer is lifelong learning, which continues over the course of a person’s entire career. Keeping up with professional and technology trends will help light the way towards the learning that is most important in the new economy.
A college degree at the start of a working career does not answer the need for the continuous acquisition of new skills, especially as career spans are lengthening. Vocational training is good at giving people job-specific skills, but those, too, will need to be updated over and over again during a career lasting decades. – The Economist
Many successful people understand how important it is to be continuously learning. The younger you are, the more obvious it is. Those who rely heavily on the Internet are learning all the time. A key skill they develop is learning to learn, but there is still a place for classes, workshops, and bootcamps that will boost your learning to new heights. Unfortunately, companies now spend less money on training and professional development, so it is important for employees to have their own continuous learning strategies.
According to the Pew survey, 54% of all working Americans think it will be essential to develop new skills throughout their working lives; among adults under 30 the number goes up to 61%. Another survey, conducted by Manpower in 2016, found that 93% of millennials were willing to spend their own money on further training. – The Economist
We are so passionate about helping our learners succeed and offer thousands of classes. both in-person and online. It doesn’t take much time or money to boost your skills to make you more competitive. You just need to have a strategy for ensuring that your knowledge and skills are always up-to-date. Even if you aren’t in a technical job, technical skills like software and social media help everyone. Creative skills like graphic design and photography are also useful in a variety of jobs. Skills like project management, team leadership, and conflict resolution are critical to anyone’s success.
Vocational training is one way to get yourself into the job market quickly. 4-year degrees and even certificate programs take a lot more time than is needed to learn the skills necessary for particular jobs, like culinary professionals, creatives, and software development or data science. Even then, a commitment to continue learning is how you will rise to the top. What is really important is what you know how to do and how you can express those abilities through a portfolio of work.
Vocational training has a role, but training someone early to do one thing all their lives is not the answer to lifelong learning. – The Economist
It’s time to re-think our approaches to career training and professional development. College is very, very expensive, but it is possible to learn critical skills and build a portfolio of work in a short time taking individual classes targeted at your career goals. Maybe you want to start your own business, in fact, which is another trend that is really taking off.
So, are you ready for the future? At Connect2Classes, we offer a wide array of online and in-person classes to prepare you for all of the most exciting jobs of the future.
With technology advancing so rapidly, we know that the next 10-20 years will be full of changes to how people work. This means changes, as well, in how people educate themselves and how they find work. For one thing, the rapid advancement in technology will reach exponential proportions and along with it, the changes needed in the workforce.
Increasing automation is also looming on the horizon, but what it means is that some types of jobs will wane. Over the long term, technological innovation creates more new jobs than are lost through obsolescence. And some industries will continue to thrive, including healthcare and retail.
Earlier this year, the World Economic Forum reported that humanity would be out 7 million jobs by 2020 due to automation—with admin and office jobs taking the brunt of the blow. – Monster.com
We are also coming upon a new era of human potential, with robotics, human augmentation, space travel, virtual reality, holography, self-driving cars, and sustainability/permaculture innovations creating entirely new industries. It’s the stuff of our futuristic dreams, and you can be involved.
The best way to predict the future is to invent it. – Alan Kay
A lot of new career choices are also emerging, some of which would have seemed inconceivable just a couple of decades ago. So, how best to prepare for this shifting career terrain? For one thing, becoming a lifelong learner keeps you current, and that keeps you competitive.
Free agent culture thrives in the film, media, and music industries and is beginning to spill over into the other creative and tech industries. With many freelance marketplaces available, professionals can gravitate towards project-based work. It’s not for everyone, but if flexibility and novelty drive you, becoming a free agent can be a great lifestyle choice. It also means that if you have several unique skillsets, you can work on projects in a variety of roles.
Free agents are:
Graphic designers and illustrators
Digital and traditional artists
Film and video crews
Bloggers and podcasters
Web and application developers
Writers and journalists
Teachers and instructional designers
Speakers and coaches
Special needs and occupational therapists
Entrepreneurs and Small Business
Becoming an entrepreneur has never been easier, given the technology, fund-raising, and marketing tools now widely available. Even if you are just in the idea or prototype phase, crowd-funding your endeavor is a real possibility. How do you know if your idea will appeal to modern consumers? Novelty, life enrichment, efficiency, and convenience are major drivers.
Food-based businesses – artisanal food products, food delivery services, special diets, and health & wellness.
3D printing – buildings, household items, organs, and even food!
Robotics and artificial intelligence – robots for manufacturing, caretaking, and dangerous jobs. AI and machine learning for better prediction and personalization.
Renewable energy and sustainability – solar, wind, and green building practices.
Urban, hydroponic, and vertical farming.
Cannabis businesses – growing, distribution, equipment, and edibles.
Online sellers – handmade items or small manufacturers selling through sites like Amazon and Etsy.
Lifelong learning providers – for in person and online learning.
Bio-medical devices – health and wellness monitoring and tracking, body augmentation.
Space exploration, mining, and tourism.
Citizen journalism, social activism, and education.
Jobs of the Future
How do you prepare for jobs that don’t exist yet? With more exciting developments on the horizon, the jobs of the future will spring out of today’s innovations in bio-tech, climate adaptation, personal care, and a wide array of technological innovations. Future jobs will require more complex and specialized skills; things that robots and automation aren’t great for.
It’s going to take a long time for robots to be good at soft skills, like social and emotional intelligence and cross-cultural competency. – Fast Company
We can all use more things in our life that make us feel happy and fulfilled. There has been a cultural renaissance these last few years as we learn more about what really motivates people. It’s something we nearly lost in our manufacturing-heavy culture: the pleasure associated with making things and sharing one’s creations with others. This is also a business opportunity, so read on if you are intrigued by the idea of turning your passion into an enterprise.
Why does making and sharing things feel so good? It begins with creativity, one of those things that spurs us on to ever greater accomplishments. There is nothing quite like creative experiences to throttle our brains into happier brain chemistry by putting us into the flow states associated with positive psychology. And creative thinking also has benefits in other parts of our lives: it improves problem-solving, big picture and design thinking, as well as collaboration with others.
It doesn’t matter whether you are into art, crafts, DIY, or tinkering, your brain loves to create and rewards you for doing so. The process of creating and sharing your creations releases dopamine, a natural anti-depressant in your brain. Dopamine is the brain chemical associated with reward and the pleasurable sensations that come from it. It’s like we are wired to create. But legions of artists, crafters, do-it-yourselfers and makers could tell you that!
There’s survey evidence to support crafting’s dopamine effect. In one study of more than 3,500 knitters, published in The British Journal of Occupational Therapy, 81% of respondents with depression reported feeling happy after knitting. More than half reported feeling “very happy.”
The positive effect of creative activities is well-documented in the scientific literature. Creativity and the novel experiences associated with it keep the brain agile and also motivate us. Things as simple as coloring or doodling encourage this effect, but the most benefit comes from ongoing creative pursuits:
Crafting can help those who suffer from anxiety, depression or chronic pain, experts say. It may also ease stress, increase happiness and protect the brain from damage caused by aging. – CNN
Do Schools Kill Creativity?
The following talk by British educator Sir Ken Robinson is one of the most popular TED Talks of all time. He argues that creativity is more important than literacy and that traditional schooling kills creativity. This is especially true now that home economics, woodshop, arts, and music are disappearing from schools. Less young people are learning how to cook, sew, and build via formal education, although classes, camps and after-school activities are filling the gap. Robinson says that our innate drive to create and to embrace trial and error are not valued in an educational system that tries to minimize failure. Creativity also tends to be multi-disciplinary, which is not widely embraced in our siloed educational systems.
DIY & Maker Culture
A major trend the last decade or so has been a shift towards people becoming more and more creative and leveraging that creativity to explore new interests or even launch new businesses. We’re creating handmade and one-of-a-kind items that stand out in the world of mass manufacturing. Some of us are launching businesses on sites like Etsy, an extravaganza of novel items launched from creative brains (which boasts 25 million shoppers). This has been fueled, as well, by the recession economy that has turned so many people into entrepreneurs:
In a world of mass-produced products, modern technology has made it easier than ever for a single individual to create and distribute items that are customizable and unique without having middlemen like manufacturers. This growing shift will continue to affect the economy and will likely have big implications on large retailers. It is a special time in history that will have a transformative impact on our future. – Huffington Post
You might have heard about the Maker movement, a grassroots movement based on the emergence of consumer-level tools for design and manufacturing. It’s reported that 135 million Americans are makers, which is nearly half the population. The maker manifesto calls for making, sharing, giving, and learning. It’s making a difference. MakerFaires are popping up everywhere, and there are other maker-inspired communities and events, as well:
Craft nights are replacing book clubs. Libraries and museums are being turned into “Makerspaces,” physical locations where people can come together to make. The sale of sewing kits in Walmart stores has recently gone up 30 percent. And just last year, someone created Christmas cookies using a 3D printer. – Huffington Post
This has become a major economic phenomenon because of a perfect storm of conditions:
Access to increasingly sophisticated tools to create, like 3-D printers.
The ability to find inspiration online.
Crowdfunding to make your idea reality.
Online marketplaces and social channels to get feedback and distribute creations.
Inexpensive and effective tools for branding, marketing, and promotion.
Learning opportunities provided by other creators.
Boosting Your Creativity and Learning DIY Skills
Albert Einstein said that creativity is intelligence having fun. At Connect2Classes, we are committed to helping our learners explore their creative potential. Creative businesses can be some of the most fulfilling, as well as being lucrative in a world of people looking for unique and one-of-a-kind items. We’d love to hear about how your creative endeavors affect your life – please comment!
Digital and social media are an important part of any marketer’s toolkit, but it does tend to be a bit confusing for the uninitiated. In reality, however, it isn’t that much different from traditional marketing. The goals are the same (raise awareness, convert potential customers, promote advocacy and word-of-mouth sharing), and social interactions online offer some great benefits and allow you to scale your marketing efforts beyond your current capacity. It’s also about being where your target markets are and social media offers great ways to connect with customers as they explore their interests. Facebook alone has 1.6 BILLION users so it is a huge opportunity to augment your marketing efforts.
A few important reasons to take digital and social media marketing seriously, especially if your customers are avid Internet users:
Raise Awareness and Keep Your Brand Top of Mind
Building and maintaining awareness of your brand, products and services is a constant challenge. By having a robust presence on social media, you can promote your brand and offerings and make sure they are available where your potential customers already are. Read about the most popular social networks worldwide.
Social media is a great way to establish your credibility in a space. You also demonstrate knowledge and credibility by connecting with and promoting others in your space. This means following influencers and commenting on or sharing their content. ‘Stand on the shoulders of giants’ is a good way to think about it. You can align your messaging and content with popular activity in the social sphere.
Your digital marketing and social media efforts keep you involving customers and allow you to respond to questions or comments in real-time. Your customers can be huge advocates for you and will happily share your content across social media if you involve them.
Internet users tend to gravitate towards content that has value, meaning old marketing messages don’t work nearly as well as sharing tangible knowledge about things people care about. Social media can also be a great vehicle for customer service, if you make a point to respond quickly to customer questions and feedback. The more you respond, the more customers will gravitate towards those channels.
Penetrate Your Target Markets
Social media preferences tend to vary quite a lot by age and gender, and some social media sites (like LinkedIn) are centered around professional connections. You can also schedule content to be published and use hashtags and boards on many of the services to keep your messages aligned with broader trends.
Respond In Real-time
A major area of value for the wired generations is the ability to conduct business in real-time. Social media is a great way to ensure your availability whenever someone has a question or feedback. You can also take it a step further by being available on chat networks (like Snapchat or Facebook Messenger) as well.
Be More Efficient (and Save Money)
Social media marketing is so important because it allows you to scale your efforts significantly and reaches a much larger audience. There are some great tools that allow you to post across multiple channels and set up automation so your voice is being heard even when you aren’t available. These are all really low-cost ways of getting your message out there.
Some Questions You Might Have
How can you align your digital strategy with your offline marketing efforts?
Which social media channels are best for engaging with your target audience?
What engagement and writing styles work best?
How often should you be posting to your blog or sending email?
Would social ads be a good investment for you?
How can you measure your success?
If you’re intrigued by these suggestions check out our social media and digital marketing classes or consider the following upcoming classes:
Digital Marketing Suite How to market your business on the Internet.
LinkedIn 101 Use this business-oriented channel to boost your career or business.
Achieving Top Search Engine Positions All about SEO and how to achieve great results.
Quick 1-day Classes
Digital Marketing Bootcamp How to tie your digital and offline campaigns together. An all day class on Oct. 21st.
Visual Design and User Experience for Email Email can be one of your most important digital marketing channels. Learn how on Nov. 9th.
Social Media Advertising Learn how to make paid advertising work for you with this class Oct. 22nd.
Blogging 101 How to create a successful blog and make money doing it. Oct 20th.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) for Non-Profits Get a real look under the hood with free classes beginning Oct 19th.
10-Week Digital Marketing Intensive A great place to start if you are wondering how digital marketing and social media can improve your business. Begins Oct 8th, Nov. 5th or Dec. 13th.
Site Audit Workshop This 6-week course will teach you the fundamentals of site analytics and improvement. Begins Oct. 20th.
What students say about our life-changing professional courses:
I attended the Web Development Immersive course. It changed my life. Within 1 1/2 months of graduation, I was offered a great job at a company that’s considered one of the top 5 to work for in the Pacific NW. Starting next week I’ll be a Software Engineer making more than twice what I made in my previous career, and I enjoy the work much more.
Back to school doesn’t have to mean math and history – that’s for kids! We’ve complied a list of classes you can take that include: coffee arts, burlesque, converting a gas vehicle to electric, coding for beginners, etiquette for board members and surfing behind tug boats! Have a look at these 25 fablous classes you can take this fall.
Be a goat-herder in the city. Learn what it takes to keep miniature goats for milk or fiber. This class will introduce you to the basics of keeping mini-goats, including city regulations, miniature breeds, yard and shelter requirements, feeding, breeding, milking and keeping your herd healthy. Jennie Grant, author of City Goats and founder of the Goat Justice League, will show you around her goat yard, so that you can see the “kids” in action!
For those who already hold an MFA degree in creative writing or for advanced writers. From community engagement opportunities to building your CV and finding ways to supplement your income, this session will help round out your writing career while managing time and ensuring that writing is your number one priority.
Have you always wanted to knit? Here’s your opportunity! During this two session class, learn the basics needed to start knitting. You will learn to cast on, bind off, knit and purl. These four skills represent the foundation of all knitting. Join us for this fun foray into an exciting new hobby, one that you will enjoy for many years to come!
Home Barista Course: Espresso Extraction 1/2 day: Morning or Afternoon You’ve taken the first step and purchased a home espresso machine. You’ve talked with the baristas at your local coffee shop, done research online, and found an espresso blend you really like. Now you have your friends over for dinner, and you’re about to wow them with some wonderful espresso shots. But instead of great espresso, the shots you are pulling don’t taste nearly as good as the ones you remember having at the coffee shop. What to do? In this 3 hour course, you will learn the basics of espresso and espresso extraction.
This workshop introduces students to the current social media landscape and explores how it can be used for maximum results (for brands as well as agencies). Participants will leave with a detailed understanding of both the current social media landscape and how to evaluate which tools or social platforms are the best fit for their organization’s strategic goals. Topics to be covered will include: an overview of social media platforms, current social media trends and their implications, how to tailor social media tools to your existing business strategies and social media tools for monitoring and ROI.
Lean Six Sigma is a business and data-driven, disciplined approach to reducing waste and minimizing defects in any type of process (be it manufacturing or services). Lean Six Sigma focuses on reduction of waste, increased profitability, and customer satisfaction. It is a method of integrated management used by organizations to more effectively and efficiently meet the needs of their customers and other interested parties. User Experience – Level 1
We want you to be a success in the bar industry and provide you a comprehensive education with hours of “hands-on” training, so that you feel confident in any venue setting. We are successful when our students are making it comfortably and securely in the bar industry. Our graduates enjoy a lifetime of “Post Graduate Benefits Package” as well. We do help you get a job locally (we always have more jobs than graduates) or nationally and you’re also entitled to free lifetime refresher courses. Welding and Fabrication
This class offers you an opportunity to learn how to weld and work with related tools and processes to make items in metal with both structured instruction and time for you to work on your own small projects. The class is designed to make learning to weld as fast and easy as possible.
Pinot Noir wines are among the most popular in the world. Most famous in Burgundy where it is the only grape permitted in producing the famous red wines of the Côte d’Or, Pinot Noir thrives in cooler climates. Other fine, well-structured examples of Pinot Noir can be found in Oregon and California.
This course explores how the concepts of governance today are changing with an increased emphasis on leadership in the face of rapid social and economic change. Learn to strengthen the efficiency and effectiveness of a nonprofit board as you establish board roles and responsibilities, governance structures, board recruitment, orientation and retention.
Zumba with a burlesque twist is coming to The Academy of Burlesque at Studio Blue! Join veteran burlesque and fitness instructor Elsa Von Schmaltz for this special version of Zumba. This class will have the great dance rhythms, party atmosphere and amazing cardio workout that Zumba provides, but with some added burlesque music and moves mixed in! One jam-packed hour of dance, bump, grind, shimmy and shake! The perfect way to workout and get your sexy sweat on!
One of the hottest styles on the social floor, this dance is full of dynamic motion and creative play. We will teach you the three basic patterns that underpin all other moves in this dance—the push, the pass, and the whip—and start to build on how those moves blossom into limitless possibilities. We will explore a different kind of communication where energy is at the core of connection and momentum, and how these elements allow for incredibly gentle, but truly exciting variations.
Electric Vehicle Intensive Conversion Workshop
Unique to this class will be the conversion project—a Class 6 Truck converted to AC drive with regenerative braking and a range target of 200 miles so it can be used daily as Farm-to-Table food delivery vehicle in Seattle. This workshop guides you through the complete process of converting a vehicle from an internal combustion engine to electric power. Lectures are combined with hands-on shop sessions. In 8 days you will be accelerated through the learning and building process that normally takes people months or years! Self Defense for Girls Off To College
Maximize the positive in your next four years: learn simple and effective ways to stay out of harm’s way on and around campus while still enjoying the full college experience. In this short seminar, we will address 2 ways to identify possible evil-doers, 3 strategies to evade them, and 4 techniques to neutralize their ill intent. Some of this class will be physical, some verbal, and all aimed at increasing your choices. EmPOWERment doesn’t get more fun!
Introduction to 21st Century Genealogy
With the advent of the internet researching your genealogy has never been easier or more convenient. Many online databases can be accessed for little or no cost from local libraries or even from your own home. This class will offer an introduction to basic genealogical techniques and will direct you to the most productive resources that are readily available. The course emphasizes internet searches of a variety of types. (Computer access will be provided in class.)
English Through Current Events
English Through Current Events is an upper-intermediate to advanced level class where students will discuss topics from articles from current newspapers and magazines, or questions generated by students. Each week, students will be expected to read two or three assigned articles and come ready to take part in discussions of those topics and related issues.
Learn how to surf Tug waves on Puget Sound.Many of our students have caught their first waves on a SUP in Seattle! Tug waves occur in deep water with no beach and requires paddling a half mile out. We surf the wave that spreads out in a V shape behind the tug, starting at about 50′ from the boat. Rides can last up to a half mile. The most reliable time for these waves are on Wednesdays during the day all year in calm conditions. Due to being in open water we require paddlers to be intermediate level or greater with previous surfing experience. Open to kayakers, surf skis, and OC’s.
Fall Adult/Teen Drawing
A strong foundation in drawing is so important for any type of visual art. Beginning to intermediate students will learn in graphite, ink, colored pencil, and charcoal. For students who are looking to create techniques to show reality, life, & emotion in their work. Projects focus on nature, the human form, landscapes, and animals. Techniques explored will include, but are not limited to shading, perspective, composition, tone, and texture.
This course offers a demonstration of various woodcarving techniques, as well as the selection, use, and care of tools and materials. Students have time to work on individual projects with an instructor nearby to offer advice and assistance.
The days when designers needed to know how to hand-letter type for layouts and comps is long gone. But if you’re interested in doing some of the gorgeous, organic, retro, hand-lettered type that’s a part of so many successful design projects, then this workshop will show you how it’s done. You’ll spend a day doing very hands-on exercises and amazing yourself with your newfound talents.
Kid’s Salsa & Spanish Language Immersion (ages 5-8)
Higher I.Q., better problem solving skills, and improved verbal and spacial ability are just the few benefits of learning a second language early in life. What a better way for your child to learn a second language then by doing what they naturally love? – Dancing! Our Salsa dance lessons for young children are specifically designed to teach kids both dance and language in a fun movement based atmosphere. While learning fun Salsa dance steps and Latin movement, kids are introduced to Spanish vocabulary including Spanish greetings, parts of the body, verbs related to movement, as well as nouns and adjectives. Parents will receive a full list of Spanish vocabulary and are encouraged to practice with their children at home.
The fastest-growing software market today involves mobile applications (or apps). In this course, you’ll learn to use the free Xcode compiler and the Objective-C programming language to program your own apps that you can sell through Apple’s App Store, reaching millions of potential customers around the world. You’ll start with the basic steps to writing any program, then progress to using Xcode—the same compiler that Apple, Microsoft, Adobe, and many other companies use to write programs and applications. Along the way, you’ll explore examples and perform simple coding exercises to build your confidence using Xcode and Objective-C. Even if you’re new to programming or have experience programming a different type of computer, this course will offer the guidance you need to build your own apps
Coding for Beginners: HTML and CSS HTML and CSS are the fundamental building blocks of the web. Whether you’re a beginner who wants to get started in web development, a designer looking to hand-code their concepts, or a marketer who wants a little more control over their CMS, you’ll need to know HTML and CSS to get the job done. This session, designed for the beginner programmer, will assume no previous coding knowledge. We’ll go over key coding terminology and principles, introduce languages like HTML and CSS—what their functions are, how they work together—and use that new knowledge to write our own code and develop our own simple site.