Master Classes in Leadership and Management, Process Improvement, Design and Creative, Strategic and Online Marketing, and Technology — Team Building Events From Local Master Talent, Too!
Connect2Classes is a local learning marketplace with master classes from our world-class providers, including The American Management Association, The Effectiveness Institute, The School of Visual Concepts, General Assembly, The UW Foster School of Business, The Sundust Oracle Institute, and The Project Management Academy.
We also offer custom, onsite training and learning events for groups, as well as team building activities from local master talent. We can organize all of the details, including venue and catering, or we can bring it all to you onsite. Our learning consultants can discuss your business objectives with you and offer the perfect mix of learning and motivation to prepare you for the future by transforming your organization’s knowledge, cohesion, and practices.
Team building and corporate events don’t have to be awkward and uncomfortable. If you want to be happy, learn something new; if you want your work team to gel, learn something new together. We guarantee it won’t feel like a day in the office!
Here are some ideas: Sushi, French cuisine, chocolate everything, paddleboarding, perfecting your batting average, over 21 activities like wine tasting, mixing cocktails, and brewing.
Contact us for more information or to brainstorm your learning and team-building needs!
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 San Francisco!
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 The industrial revolution has been replaced by the information revolution and the knowledge economy, and jobs are changing: the jobs of the future will be less repetitive, more centered around technological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.
We talk a lot at Connect2Classes about how so many things are changing when it comes to preparing for a career. With so many classes, workshops and online classes available, people now have more options than ever when it comes to developing their careers. For one thing, traditional college, or at least 4-year degrees, are becoming less important in some industries. What really matters is what you can do, which can be demonstrated via a portfolio of work. If you’re a developer, it’s working apps or games, or even code samples. If you’re a designer or artist, having a strong portfolio of game art is the way to get you noticed. There are other options, as well, like project management, writing, and customer service. You can even start your own business or game studio, or work as a free agent.
If you’re into games to any degree, then a career in the games industry might be for you. In this article we will look at the roles available in the game industry, as well as some of the skills you might consider developing if one of these career paths is of interest to you. If you’d like to know how much you could expect to make in any of these careers, check out the Game Developer Salary Survey 2013.
One thing to know is that people in the game industry tend to work very hard. and hours can be long, especially during ‘crunch’ time (when a title is about to launch). Still, game companies can be very fun places to work, especially if you enjoy spending time around other gamers in a highly creative setting.
Executive Producers might be responsible for a portfolio of games, and create budgets and launch strategies. An MBA or degree in business administration or management is helpful, and a wide array of experience in the games industry is mandatory. Producers are typically limited to one game and are responsible for project management, scheduling and budget. They guide the overall course of game development and make sure all the pieces come together adequately. Courses or certificates in project management or game production are nice to have, but not always required.
Market Research is where it all begins, by looking at the overall landscape, understanding competitors, and defining audiences for a game. It might also include making recommendations about launch strategy and may even affect the concept and design of a game. Market researchers typically have degrees in business, statistics or social science. Player Research is related to the experience of game play and might involve game usability testing or play-testing. Most player researchers have advanced degrees in psychology or the social sciences and may be experts in human factors research. Data Science is an emerging area related to data collected on players and game play. Data scientists analyze collected data and make predictions about future player behavior or help development teams with predictive models to accelerate game play. Most data scientists have backgrounds in computer science and are skilled with databases, algorithms and machine learning.
Game Designers are central to any game project and responsible for designing the overall story and game play elements. They maintain game design documentation and ensure that other elements (art, sound, writing, etc.) are cohesive. There are many professional programs available that focus on this area. Mechanics or System Designers are focused on specific game mechanics, which can vary according to the genre of the game. Level designers are responsible for designing specific tasks, missions or quests, and design both obstacle and reward systems to accompany them.
Concept Artists are responsible for conceptualizing the game’s story, settings and characters. A background in fine art is typical, but there are also programs available that focus on video game art. Character Design and Modeling (or Animation) is the field focused on developing characters and character detail and illustrating them in 2D or modeling them for 3D. Level Designers on art teams are responsible for implementing the overall look and feel of a game into individual levels. UI Design is responsible for the overall user interface including the HUD (heads-up display) and other status mechanisms.
Game Music and Sound Effects
Audio Producers and Managers are responsible for all audio content in a game, and may manage various people. A background in sound recording is useful, or a certificate in sound design for games. Composers write original music for games, much like film or tv composers write scores. Sound Designers are focused on all of the ambient sound in a game, and work to uphold the game’s vision through sound.
Game Storytelling and Writing
Narrative Designers are responsible for the overall story and for ensuring that the narrative plays out through all the various elements of the game. Any sort of creative writing background is useful here, and experience with games, in particular, is mandatory. Education in game design theory and game mechanics is also helpful. Writers are typically given projects to work on, like writing content for quests, or character dialogue.
Game and Systems Development
Game/Systems Architects are responsible for overall technical design of a world and may recommend or develop a game engine, as well. A background in computer science is typical for this role, and specific education in game development is also useful. Game Developers and Programmers are typically assigned to some aspect(s) of the game and may work on one or several components for a length of time.
Quality Assurance positions are not terribly well paid, but they are frequently entry level. You’ll be playing games to find glitches or bugs, or even issues with usability.
Character Models are used as a basis for concept art or 3D models. A standard modeling portfolio is just about all you will need, though games-specific experience is also appreciated. Voiceover Actors supply the voices for characters. Any voiceover experience could be relevant, but you will need a demo reel and will have to audition. Motion Capture Actors are agile and disciplined people who take direction readily.
Marketing and Advertising
Marketing roles in game companies can cover a lot of territory, from strategic planning to communications, event/trade show planning, marketing and advertising campaigns, and social media. If you have experience in other digital-related fields it’s possible to parlay that experience for the games industry, especially if you’re an avid gamer yourself.
Customer Support roles are some of the most important, and some of them are entry level positions.
Community Managers monitor and moderate social media, forum posts, knowledge bases and other locations where game information is shared. They help resolve disputes and often provide input on the player point-of-view to development teams.
It’s never been easier to educate yourself for a career in the games industry. Playing a lot of games is helpful, of course, but there are also many classes and workshops that will help you learn specifics. If you’re really serious, consider a degree or certificate from a school that specializes in game design and development.
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
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.
Is it time to spruce up your resume, learn a new skill, and get noticed at work?
Taking a professional development class looks great on your resume! Whether you’re currently employed or looking for a job, gaining knowledge through courses either online or in person is a great way to add to your skill set.
Forbes reports, Sixty-one percent of the hiring managers surveyed recommended taking a class during a period of unemployment.
“You never stop learning in your career, so the more technical competence you have, the better,” says Andy Teach, the author of From Graduation to Corporation: The Practical Guide to Climbing the Corporate Ladder One Rung at a Time.
We suggest taking any of the following five classes to improve your resume:
Technology is ever changing and can even be a little intimating to keep up with. But, it doesn’t have to be! There are a number of classes designed to keep you up to speed on what’s new in the tech world. From novice to expert, there are classes that are right for you. Spearhead a new marketing campaign at work or in your own business by learning how to effectively use social media to build a loyal customer base and gain exposure! Marketing classes can make you the idea person at work!
A writing class can help you achieve the edge in something simple like a well-crafted email or give you the confidence to put together that perfect cover letter and resume. Times are changing and the right communication is an important key component in helping you stand out, get noticed, and taken seriously!
Have you had challenges with relationships both personally and professionally? We’ve all been there! Taking a class in Relationship Building can make the all the difference in connecting with a difficult boss or even challenging interactions with your family members. Learn how to reach out and be heard!
Team Building classes are offered to help you create a successful supportive group of individuals to accomplish a common goal. There is an art to building a successful team. Learn the nuances of interpersonal relationships that inspire great work from your team. Learn problem solving skills and communication techniques for a triumphant group of like-minded individuals! Go team!
Have you been passed over for management positions at work? What if you did something about it? Leadership classes provide you with the ability to gain the respect of your peers and pique the interest of your superiors! Some of us are natural born leaders while most of us have to take that extra step to learn how to navigate the world of leadership. These kinds of skills translate into all areas in life. Go for it!
Be in control of your own destiny. Take a class to further your skills and confidence. Once you are in a cycle of learning you’ll ask yourself why you didn’t get started earlier! Why wait? Browse career advancement classes today!
“Everyone wants a website,” says Brandon Swift, co-founder of Santa-Barbara-based Yovigo.com. “As a web developer, you’ll never be short on work. I mean never!”
Websites have become a critical component for businesses to stay competitive. A company cannot simply utilize a generic online template if it wants to provide a custom, genuine experience for its consumers. This is why Swift says there will always be high demand for web developers who can design custom coded websites.
As a web developer you will create and maintain a business’ web site. We developers are responsible for ensuring the website meets the users’ goals in terms of function, performance, navigation and design.
Important skills are: the ability to communicate effectively, set goals and timelines and work as a member of a team. Most web developers have some creativity and understanding of design principles.
As promised, here are six reasons to consider web development:
Fast Growing Area
Employment of web developers is projected to grow 20% between now and 2022. That is faster than the average for all occupations according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics. The demand for web developers is driven by the growing popularity of mobile devices and ecommerce.
Potential for Self Employment
Roughly 25% of web developers are self-employed. There are some great perks to being self-employed.
No daily commute which is widely considered the least popular use of time.
Flexibility on hours, working condition and business location
Choosing the jobs that really interest you
Tax breaks for self-employment
Degree not Required
While some large companies require a degree in computer science, many web developers do not need a 4 year degree. In fact, assembling the requisite skills from a number of courses and online resources is a popular way to learn. Web developers are never done learning, according to Steven Collins, co-founder of New York City-based Webb Communications. New scripts, widgets and designs are released daily so developers must stay up to date to remain relevant in the industry.
Diverse Skill Set
Web developers need to learn both programming and graphic design. Creativity and technical ability are essential to web developers. Since these activities use both sides of the brain, the creative and the analytical, it may keep the job fresh and exciting longer.
Most web developers rate their job satisfaction very high. In fact on Payscale.com almost 2000 people have rated their job as extremely satisfying.
The median annual salary for web developers is $62,500, as reported by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. This is significantly higher than tan the average American salary of $44,321. Senior Web Developers can earn 6 figures in this market.