When Graduate School Doesn’t Seem Practical… For Me

Photo credit: albersheinemann from pixabay.com

A few months ago, I was sitting at my desk at a well-known tech company; 27 years old and working as a Creative Strategist in search and native advertising. I was feeling pretty good and having a standard weekday. At one point, I was talking among my peers when one of them made a pop-culture reference that I did not understand. I felt a moment of panic inside me, desperately trying to comprehend what they were talking about, but it never happened. I felt like I had become someone who was completely out of touch. After the few minutes of panic went away and I felt like I needed to constantly read Urban Dictionary or watch Netflix for the next 72 hours straight, my mind had another thought appear.

I started to think about the need to stay current in my career. That good feeling I had earlier in the day? Content. Not good. I don’t mean contentment in my job capability, but in my education. It’s something I had thought about off and on for a few years now but for some reason it was sticking with me this time. So later that evening I started to do some research. I wanted to find something that allowed me to expand my knowledge in the field I was currently working in. My first thought was standard graduate school. Not that there is anything wrong with graduate school, but it just didn’t feel right for me. It didn’t feel practical for what I was looking for at the time.

That’s when I came across Udacity’s Digital Marketing Nanodegree program. I came across a TechCrunch article that stated Udacity had expanded their Nanodegree programs to now include this new course. I looked over the syllabus, the price, and the time commitment. It was perfect.

By working with well-known partners such as Facebook, HubSpot, Moz, and others, Udacity had put together a 3 month course with content that focused on extremely relevant and practical topics today in Digital Marketing. Their topics include organic and paid search, organic and paid social, as well as display advertising and content marketing. This type of course would allow me to begin learning and understand parts of digital marketing that I already know about, but don’t have hands-on experience in.

After almost a month in the course and now working on my second project, I can say that I feel more prepared and relevant in my career than I ever have. The subjects I am learning about are actually applicable to what I do every day and I truly feel like I have gained valuable knowledge that will become useful in the future.

In case you were watching E! News or Game of Thrones and didn’t really pay attention… I am taking the Udacity’s Digital Marketing Nanodegree for me and my career. In doing so, maybe one day in the future I’ll be teaching the material rather than learning it.