April 16, 2019

Would you trust an online course to get you hired?

Juan Bosnic @esejuan

There are some courses out there that look so complete, I sometimes feel all I need to get hired is spend $10 on an Udemy "masterclass".

How do you people choose a course? And more importantly, did any of them truly define your ability to get a job?

Thank you for reading this, my first post/question!

  1. 3

    No, I wouldn't and I especially wouldn't trust a Udemy course for it. If all it took to become hireable in a field were a single $10 course, nobody would struggle to find work and very few people would spend thousands of dollars to go to a 4 year university. Some would, but I'd say most are motivated by the fear of struggling on in the job market without a credential.

    That doesn't mean you can't learn a lot outside of formalized schooling. But it is going to take more time and more effort than one course, especially a purely video-based one. Note that I say this as someone who sells educational videos!

    @ naval's famous tweet put it well: "Reading is faster than listening. Doing is faster than watching."

    So, maybe spend that $10 on a book, watch some free video courses if you need it for what you're doing and use what you're learning while you're learning it. IMO regardless of whether you're learning sales, a language, math, or drawing, you'll learn fastest by staying in a LEARN->USE->LEARN->USE loop, not a LEARN->LEARN->LEARN->USE pattern.

    1. 1

      This is too insightful! And you are right, I would trust a pattern like LEARN>USE>LEARN. Thank you!

  2. 2

    While this forum isn't filled with too many job hunters (Probably the opposite: Those who want to leave jobs)... No course can get you hired. Subject competence gets you hired.

    It all depends on how you take the course. Are you 'using' the course as a tool to achieve subject competence and complete understanding? That often means using a course as a framework, while digging deep into lots of peripheral texts, sample code, Youtube videos and other content at the same time.

    1. 1

      True! A course might just be the starting point, to understanding your skills or a new one.

  3. 2

    My trust is two-fold. In some cases I trust the content, but what's more important is that I trust myself to follow through with the course or pivot if needed.

    For what it's worth, I don't think I would have gotten hired as a junior developer back in 2015, if it wasn't for Treehouse's JavaScript course. The portfolio I submitted to prospective employers was heavily based on some of the Treehouse projects I completed.

    1. 2

      Oh you brought back some memories. As a beginner those courses rocked, and truly added to my skillset.

  4. 1

    I don't really know, employers might find this light qualification, but I believe it stands a chance.

    1. 1

      A chance is all you need :)

  5. 1

    This question vary's greatly on the subject at hand. 9/10 times the course alone will not get hired in any field and you will require much more than a single master class. If you are looking to go into development for example there are courses that will baseline prep you with the framework you need to get started. As far as business and marketing goes this is a much more difficult thing to assess as there is so much contextual knowledge based around the field you are trying to start your business in etc. I feel like the online course area has been muddy with people that crank out "subpar" courses promising great success as their way to get rich.

  6. 1

    if you do wes bos courses a couple of times you're 100% good enough to get hired as a dev. I'm living proof. And there's tonnes of others I know.

    1. 1

      Good point: a handfull of them (good ones covering many topics precisely) are better than just one that looks complete.
      Didn't know about Wes Bos, good resource.