This past Christmas, I enrolled in a few courses at Parsons here in New York. It’s been about a year since my last course (at SVA), and thought it would be a good idea to pick one up again. It’s even funner doing it with a friend, but I have always been an advocate of learning via courses.
It started in my first 3 years of university. I took a few photography, design, and even art history classes. Then during my Master’s, classes turned to workshops and conferences. And ever since moving to New York, it’s become normality. I thought it would be a great place to meet new people and make some friends, and I ended up making one great friend at a workshop.
One thing that has always motivated me to take courses is the notion that you can constantly level up.
Regardless of what you’re working on, there’s always something to learn and more you can do. That willingness to improve is what drives me. Still not convinced? Here are 5 good reasons for you to take a course:
#1 Keeps you focused
When you’re taking a course, you’re required to listen, read, study, and research with your full, undivided attention. This teaches you how to focus. Since starting my course, I’ve spent my time more carefully, reading way more articles than ever before, watching a few amazing documentaries, and learning about things I never thought I’d comprehend.
#2 Helps you improve
There are aspects of everything you can improve in… If you have a blog and want to improve your photography skills, there’s a place to learn. Or if you’re looking to build a brand for yourself, there’s something for that. Even if it’s completely unrelated to work, like learning a new language or how to cook, the options are there. It’s also amazing what you learn about yourself in the process.
#3 Gives you an advantage
I remember a friend of my mother’s, a few years ago, telling me how doctors have to constantly be taking courses, attending conferences, learning about new procedures and so on. I thought to myself how great it is, that even after selecting a career, you’re still able to become wiser. And it certainly gives you an advantage when it comes to promotions, the next job, or working for yourself. Broadening your knowledge is never a bad thing.
#4 Sharpens and expands your skills
I can’t tell you how amazing my learning journey has been. I went from studying sciences in high school (I thought I wanted to become a doctor), marketing and advertising in college, communication design in my Master’s to becoming a blogger. But all the courses I’ve done in between – photography, web design and coding, branding, retail buying – have taught me a variety of different skills that I can quickly apply to my blog. Keep expanding your skill set because you NEVER know where it’ll take you.
#5 Keeps you in the game
Courses are updated every single year – especially fashion courses, which is what I’m taking. In the process of taking a course, it’s easier to apply what you learn to the world you live in today, meaning it’s RELEVANT and applicable information. If you think about marketing 5 years ago, there would have been less case studies and emphasis on social media, but in 2017, social media is essential. Courses throughout the year take you beyond real-time and into forecasting… You begin to play close attention and develop an innate curiosity about everything around you. My current course is teaching me to analyze everything in our society and connect it back to the fashion industry. This is constantly changing, so you can imagine how this course would evolve over and over.
So, invest in yourself – take a few courses or classes. Even if it’s just to figure out what you want to do in life.
Azalle is a great place to start – plus, you can try it free for 30 days. I’d love to hear your experience if you’ve taken any classes recently.