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Connect2Classes Visits The School For Visual Concepts (SVC)

How to Write a Brilliant Creative Brief workshop lives up to its name

Learning new skills is a great investment, but how do you know which classes are worth your time? The Connect2Classes team are helping you figure it out by trying out workshops from their top course providers themselves and seeing who earns their stamp of approval.

First up was Seattle’s School of Visual Concepts (SVC), an industry-leader in delivering classes taught by working professionals in marketing, branding, design and content creation.

Michael Duarte-Pedrosa, VP of Sales at Connect2Classes, recently participated in the How to Write a Brilliant Creative Brief workshop at SVC. If you work with any creative team, learning how to develop a quality creative brief is an indispensable skill. It helps define the problem and create the framework to solve it.

“SVC provided an intimate class of nine students made up of designers and marketers from the Seattle area. The experience was as brilliant as the course title would suggest,” said Michael.

“This particular course was led by Hillary Miller, a VP from a Seattle-based advertising firm. Her delivery was playful and the course content was practical,” Michael shared. “We all left with real world examples, along with simple tips and tricks to developing a great creative brief.”

“Hillary made her lessons relatable. She suggested that we approach each brief from the ‘right altitude’. It’s like reading with aging eyes — one needs to hold the passage at the correct distance allowing your eyes to focus on the letters and words,” Michael learned.

“If you or your organization have not used creative briefs previously or have lost sight of why you should, this workshop will equip you with the tools and motivation to do so.”

SVC has created an exceptional learning environment with a beautiful facility, a responsive administrative team, and professional guest instructors — all evidenced by the exceptional student reviews and enrollment in multiple courses.

Now is the time to springboard your brand or marketing initiatives to the next level by checking out current and future SVC course offerings on

Watch for our full series of Connect2Classes tested courses in the coming months.

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!

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Preparing For The 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. –

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.

With the world moving as fast as it is, we need to become a society of people who are always learning new things. – Julie Friedman Steele, World Future Society

The Career and Business Crystal Ball

Consider that many of today’s jobs barely existed 10-20 years ago, but are now commonplace and lucrative:

  • ipad-605420_960_720Mobile and tablet application developers
    Game designers and developers
  • Social media coordinators and managers
  • Web content developers
  • Big data miners and scientists
  • Personalization and automation specialists
  • Robotics and nano-technology scientists
  • User experience researchers and designers
  • Digital artists, animators, and illustrators
  • 3D printing manufacturers
  • Health, wellness and life extension practitioners
  • Life and career coaching
  • Renewable energy jobs

162 Jobs in the Future…

Free Agents

smartphone-1733892_960_720Free 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:

  • Project managers
  • Graphic designers and illustrators
  • Digital and traditional artists
  • Film and video crews
  • Bloggers and podcasters
  • Photographers
  • Musicians
  • Web and application developers
  • Writers and journalists
  • Teachers and instructional designers
  • Speakers and coaches
  • Special needs and occupational therapists

Entrepreneurs and Small Business

teens-629046_960_720Becoming 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.

  • Technology start-ups – cloud-based services, wearables, virtual reality, pervasive/ubiquitous computing, and artificial intelligence.
  • 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

blog2How 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



Essential Skills for Future Careers:

  • Digital and social media literacy
  • Adaptability and agility
  • Knowing how to learn
  • Networking and collaboration with others
  • Problem-solving
  • Critical thinking
  • Managing chaos
  • Simplifying and minimizing complexity
  • Entrepreneurial and creative thinking
  • Mentorship and coaching
  • Anticipating customer needs

Enter your interests and receive $10 off your first class!


Want to learn how to do something life-changing?
Check out thousands of upcoming classes on Connect2Classes.



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Embrace Social! Update Your Skills in Digital & Social Media Marketing

embrace social media and update your skills

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.

we are social Source: SmartInsights

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.

Demonstrate Credibility

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.

Real-time Engagement

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.

Share Knowledge

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:

Online Courses

  • 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.

In-depth Courses

  • 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.


Want to learn how to do something life-changing?
Check out thousands of upcoming classes on Connect2Classes.

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Natural Networking: Professional friendships are more than linkedin contacts!

networking at classes

A healthy professional network is a great source of future employees, employers, partners, mentors, and friends. Many people cringe at the idea of “networking”. The thought of forced conversation at an industry event designed for networking is just about the least exciting thing I can think of. But I value my professional network and fabulous things I learn from them. So where can you meet people in a more natural way?

Continuing education classes are excellent places for finding like-minded colleagues. Depending on the length of the class, you may have many weeks together and that kind of time can lead to real relationships and professional opportunities.

I used to teach a 9 month certificate program. In one of the seasons, a graduate hired seven of his classmates at the end of the program. Because I was interested in facilitating a similar experience in my other classes I asked why he did that. He said, “I know them better than anybody I could interview, and I know what they have learned over the last few months.”

In this program we had a number of students from different backgrounds and in fields that were unrelated. One of the Architects in the class said that the best part of the program was to hear opinions and have conversations with classmates outside of his field. He felt that what he learned from his classmates would make him a better Architect. Six years later I am still connected to many of these students and they still get together regularly.

The people you know can have a significant impact on your career. A recent article in The Wall Street Journal says that up to 80 percent of jobs are never advertised, either online or anywhere else; they are given to people known to those looking to fill the position.

If you’re thinking that taking a class to meet people is a good idea, think about who you want to meet. Maybe you are interested in meeting people likely to be customers, or competitors; perhaps you are thinking about changing jobs in the future. In that case choose a class in the field you would like to be in. Choose a course that is likely to have people you want to have conversations with. That said, I bet that any course you take will have a whole array of interesting people and you will come out of it with some professional and personal friendships.

When you meet people in a natural, unforced way they are likely to become true friends, not just contacts in your database.

We recommend looking at these business classes, these technology classes, and these web development and design classes.

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Classes as Gifts

classes as gifts

A few years ago I found myself working too many hours, feeling stressed out, and having very little down time to do things that I enjoy. To correct this, as part of my New Year’s resolutions, I bought myself a sewing machine. The problem is that as I approached July the machine was still in the box, completely sealed. This inactivity frustrated me, so on that summer evening I finally took the time to open the box, pull out all of the components, and commit to learning how to sew once and for all. This all sounded great, but as I fired up the machine I quickly learned that I had no idea how to sew, or use a sewing machine. Needless to say, the thrill began to wear off and that machine went back onto the shelf, although this time unboxed.

As we approached the holidays, my curiosity was peaked again and I mentioned to my husband in passing that I wanted to learn how to use my machine. Being the ever-attentive husband he is, he heard this plea for help and bought me an “Intro to Sewing Class” for Christmas.

The class description was just what I was after – “Not sure what to do when you pull your sewing machine out of the box? Than this class is for you!” …and it was. The class met three times and by the end, I knew how to work my machine, sew a simple line, and create a buttonhole. I felt on top of the world, and quickly became overly confident in my abilities. It was not until I tried to craft an eyeglasses case that ended up looking more like a mangled pencil case (see picture to the left), that I decided to take a step back. I had the tools…now I needed to practice.

I bring all of this up because I am a huge proponent of giving classes as gifts. As someone who has received a few different classes as gifts (sewing, composting, and surfing) I can honestly say that I find them refreshing, interesting, and a great way to continue to better yourself. Giving classes as gifts also allows you to join a friend in learning about how to do something you both want to try. Classes are a great way for people to try something new, and giving classes says to the recipient, “I get you, and I support you.” It is a fun way to have a some quality time with a loved one that you wish you could spend more time with, and it promotes doing something outside of your wheelhouse and succeeding at something new.

The range of classes you can give as gifts are endless. There are classes for boxing, cooking, songwriting, dance, pottery, photography, sushi, software training, parenting, baking, wine tasting, beer brewing, acting, biking, drawing, painting and so on.

Regardless of the class you decide to give as a gift, you can be certain that you are helping your loved one stretch and grow as a person. Sewing is something I never thought I would do, but now that I know how to do it, it has become a big way for me to relieve stress and do some creative things around the house. I am happy to report that I am much better since the mangled pencil case incident and now dabble in a bit of design work for kids clothing and household items. The picture to the right is one of several dresses I lovingly handcrafted for my daughter last summer.

So, if you are trying to figure out the perfect gift, but want to do something a little different, buying classes is the way to go…in many ways, it is the gift that keeps on giving.

About the Blogger: Erin Gibb is a 35- year old political junkie, new mom, blogger, and advocate for the environment.

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Six Reasons to Consider A Career in Web Development

become a web designer

“Everyone wants a website,” says Brandon Swift, co-founder of Santa-Barbara-based “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.

A good place to research web development as a career is

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.

Job Satisfaction

Most web developers rate their job satisfaction very high. In fact on almost 2000 people have rated their job as extremely satisfying.

Good Pay

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.

Here are some local courses that can lead you to a career in web development. Click here or a complete list of web design classes in Seattle.