Training & Education

In 2014, Nick Walter made $66K while he was still in college. He did it by creating a simple video course on how to learn to program an iPhone app. He literally recorded himself learning how to use Swift, a new iPhone app programming language. He then uploaded the videos to Udemy.com, and sold the course for thousands. In his own words, anyone can: Today, his newest course has over 6,000 participants and a 4.5 star rating. Having done a little online research on Nick, here's why I think he was so successful:

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What do Richard Branson, Alan Sugar, Philip Green, and Simon Cowell have in common? None of them went to university – indeed, none of them even have an A-Level. Related: Resumes When You Don’t Have A College Degree These are four exceptional figures who have a fierce drive for business, and lots of natural talent. It’s difficult to know what additional benefits a degree would have given them; indeed Sugar himself said in this interview with the Telegraph that university would have been a waste of time for him, particularly as he had already made £200,000 by then. Go to most job-hunting websites and you’ll find a section for graduates – there is no specific section for non-graduates. A degree offers a complete, over-arching study of a topic that a non-graduate will not possess. It encourages experimentation, collaboration, discussion and analysis, taught by experienced people, in an environment of people who are each passionate about that subject. But the curious aspect of university life is that the degree is sometimes less important than the additional factors which define student life. Once an employer has asked for a graduate, and received 100 CVs from graduates, then the subject and perhaps even the grade lessens in importance compared to the extra-curricular activities such as the clubs and societies an applicant joins. To take an example, which is most important in John Cleese’s student life – that he read law, or that he joined Cambridge Footlights? Universities provide a platform for a pupil to become an employee. A graduate learns to live independently, in new surroundings. They will be exposed to fresh views about life, from students from across the country and world, and will hope to gain improved confidence, communication, financial, and organization skills. The overall life package and people skills that university offers cannot be replicated. Life afterwards can be a massive hangover, in more ways than one. An average starting wage for a graduate of £18-24,000 cannot be sniffed at, but according to recent figures from the Higher Education Statistics Agency, which were analyzed in the Independent, 18,500 graduates from 2013 were still out of work six months after leaving university, and many more had taken manual jobs or roles in retail. The unemployment figure equates to one in 12 students, while another third (59,600) were in jobs that did not necessarily require degrees. But of course these statistics can be reversed – 11 out of 12 students finding jobs within six months sounds far healthier. For those who haven’t found the ‘right’ job, they can still apply for a far wider scope of job than those who do not have a degree. Sadly, the benefits of a degree for many will be outweighed by the costs. Student debt is now regularly in the tens of thousands rather than thousands, and you may need to look at loans to survive, but be careful of short-term fixes – click here for more. True, if you do not go to university you are likely to start on a lower wage, but the flip side is that you’ll be starting that working life three years earlier than students, and therefore gaining three years’ more wages. Some jobs just simply do not need a degree, and some students soon realize that their degree was wrong for them. Bill Gates and Steve Jobs both dropped out of university early, and didn’t do too badly in the end – here are Time Magazine’s top ten ‘dropouts.' At the end of university life you may not have the job you want, and snaring it might be a tough and frustrating journey. You might not be as financially happy as you expected. But your career options will be wider, your friendship circle will be more interesting, and your life will be richer, even if you are not. This post was originally published at an earlier date.

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Deciding a major can be a daunting task for university students — especially for those who have yet to identify their own personal skills and interests. Related: Resumes When You Don’t Have A College Degree In this article, I will share with your several factors that you should consider before deciding on your major.

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Congratulations, you have just finished your undergrad, tossed your cap, and checked a box off for completion of a major life goal. Now it’s time to head off to grad school, get your MBA and land your dream job, right? Well, that’s one option, but life doesn’t really follow a bullet point outline format. Instead, you’re living your very own ‘choose your own adventure.’ The bad news is, unlike in the paperback edition after you “die,” you can’t just flip back to the previous section and make the opposite choice to continue with the narrative. Related: Should You Go Back To School? 4 Factors To Consider College is glorified in many ways, perhaps none more so as being a place where you can find out who you are while making mistakes. This is only true to a point, though—you can also completely screw the pooch—what you do immediately after college, whether it is grad school or diving into a career, will shape the rest of your adventure.

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If the stress of juggling school, work, and family is making life difficult, you are not alone. In 2011, 71% of the nation's 19.7 million college undergraduates also worked while getting a degree. Two in five worked at least 20 hours a week. One in five worked at for least 35 hours. A quarter have dependent children. Related: 7 Tips For Juggling Work And Grad School Not surprisingly, time-shortage is one of the biggest reasons for students dropping out before completing their degree. So how do you make sure that you stay the course? Here are top five tips for managing your time for academic – and professional – success.

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Every single day, I receive an email, Facebook message, or blog comment from a high school or college student who questions whether or not there’s value in a college degree anymore. Related: How To Make The Most Of Your 20's To Advance Your Career In Your 30's This question is often asked from the angle of online education. It’s also asked because Millennials have been raised with examples of successful people who are constantly thrown in their face who either never stepped foot inside a college classroom or they dropped out shortly after attending. Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, Richard Branson, Mark Zuckerberg, Matt Mullenweg, Arash Ferdowsi, Aaron Levie, David Karp, Pete Cashmore, Daniel Ek. Need I say more? As it pertains to online education, there are so many viable paths for a person to educate themselves that weren’t available 10+ years ago, that have proven themselves to be effective forms of education. I myself am a living breathing example of this new movement in online education. I dropped out of college after my freshmen year in 2005. After attending one year of college, I realized very quickly that college was never going to properly educate me or prepare me for the future of business. It turns out that I was correct. Dropping out of college was the best decision I ever made. I self-taught myself everything I know using YouTube, Lynda.com, reading thousands of articles, dozens of books and taking dozens of online courses, all of which were not from accredited universities. Lynda.com as an example, has instructors who are Adobe certified. They also run successful businesses in their respective fields outside of their coursework on Lynda.com. How does this compare to your average college professor who has zero outside in the field experience? If trying to learn Photoshop and given the choice between an Adobe certified instructor and some inexperienced professor in a classroom, I’ll take the Adobe certified instructor anyday of the week. As a disclaimer, it’s important I stress that not every in-classroom teacher or professor lacks value or skill. Please do not misinterpret the point I am trying to convey. Despite not having a college degree, I’ve survived and thrived in my career reaching a position and salary in Corporate America that many people twice my age could only dream of. I don’t say that to brag. I say that to illustrate that the world has truly evolved. I also don’t recommend and prescribe the notion of dropping out of college or not pursuing a college degree in its entirety to everyone I come across. Here’s the bottom line as I see it: education has evolved. It’s no longer confined and defined as something that can only be obtained by an ‘accredited institution’ or inside of a classroom. An education is simply the attainment of skills for a person’s chosen profession. For some people, a college education is necessary for their career. For other’s, a self-taught education online is also suitable. It’s important for the individual to research their field and find out which path of education will be most suitable for them, as there isn’t a one-sized fits all approach.

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The Millennial Generation of college students/graduates has really gotten the short-end of the stick. For those who have already graduated from college or are close to it, they were likely unaware of the consequences of the degree they chose. Related: The Frightening Fact New Grads Should Know Before Entering The Workforce Just one generation ago (Generation X), there used to be a joke that you could get a college degree in just about anything and still get a high paying job. That joke was partially true. In the 90’s, America’s middle class and business sector was booming. Employers needed an educated workforce, and many of them didn’t care what degree you had, just as long as you had one. Not anymore. The gig is up. College students can no longer use the excuse that they didn’t know their degree was worthless. Throughout the past four years, there have been dozens of articles and talk show segments about the high percentage of Millennials who have graduated with degrees in fields that had little hope for high paying job prospects, if any at all. Don’t let this happen to you. Don’t become a victim. As a disclaimer, it’s worth noting that success and happiness isn’t just centered around monetary gain. If you happen to choose a career field that fulfills you, then congratulations. Just be sure you have a solid personal finance strategy to offset your low wages so that you’re properly prepared for retirement. If money is important to you, don’t say you weren’t warned. Here are the top 13 college majors you should avoid like the plague:

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For some college students, an educational major is more of a choice stemming from one’s personal passion and interest rather than what might be most practical for a traditional post-education career. This can certainly be said for the bold, brave, and visionary individuals who go into art education to expand their knowledge. Related: 6 Ways Recent Graduates Can Stand Out As Professionals And there certainly are career opportunities for those skilled in providing new perspectives. Those with creative vision can make extraordinary artists, authors, and inventors—but when that vision is applied recklessly or without focus, graduates can be burned by hiring managers like a fledgling Icarus flying too close to the sun. Art majors may not have as surefire of an employment rate as other fields. In fact, photographic art, fine arts, and graphic design all appear in Forbes’ “The 10 Worst College Majors” list due to higher unemployment levels than more traditional business-oriented degrees. However, bearing in mind the following food for thought can help you reach your professional aspirations. While statistics can be grim, the fact is that individuals with passion and an original vision are always in high demand in today’s workforce. So, before taking the college plunge, how do you find your footing in a real world career with an art degree in hand?

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