Cultivating a strong network is critical when it comes to building a successful, fulfilling career. Things move quickly in the digital age, today’s most coveted skillset may be obsolete tomorrow. Even if you manage to stay relevant by continuing to develop your skills and adapting your career plans as you progress, you will fail if you lack a network. As co-founder and chairman of LinkedIn, Reid Hoffman states in his book, The Startup of You, “No matter how brilliant your mind or strategy, if you’re playing the game solo, you’ll always lose out to a team.”
For many, alumni networks can be the most valuable and underutilized networks we have. Your shared experience of attending the same the educational institution is powerful thread that ties you to thousands of professional contacts. At Startup Institute, we are building a powerful network of innovators, technologists, and startup enthusiasts— a network of individuals committed to helping one another navigate through (the sometimes turbulent waters of) their career. Making it easy for our alumni to connect and build relationships with one another is extremely important which is why we offer them EverTrue.
I have a Master’s in Higher Education Management, and I also work at a startup. It may seem a bit incongruous - or at the very least, an unnecessary pre-requisite to work for a startup in the tech world. Although I got value out of my grad school experience, here are a few reasons why I wish I’d pursued a more market-aligned education instead of a traditional one.
Grad school is singularly focused: Grad school provides a path to create future professors and researchers. Most grad students, myself included, apply and attend grad school uncertain that they wanted to commit to a life in academia For uncertain folks like myself grad school turns out to be the longest litmus test for interest in a field. There are definitely ways faster than 2 years to figure out whether or not you like a field.
Over the last four years, job-growth in the UK tech sector has outpaced job-growth in the rest of the private sector by a factor of four. UX/UI designers, digital marketing specialists and developers are now part of a long list of jobs which are in high demand. Jobs which barely existed 5 years ago are now critical to a company’s success. Tech City estimates that in the United Kingdom alone one million technology jobs need to be filled by 2020.
So, the future is bright, right? Well, yes. But let’s look at the situation more closely.
With so many jobs needing to be filled, the UK tech sector represents a world of opportunity. The UK has seen an incredible boom in startup activity over the last five years and people are finding the startup life appealing. Flexibility, creative input, and the ability to make a real impact are all traits which people are increasingly valuing in the work place. But what do you do if your existing skill-set doesn’t match the needs of a startup?
Want to switch careers? Improve in your current role? Get a promotion? Start with RampUp!
Today, it seems that every employer—regardless of industry—values technical skills in all forms. At the same time, learning these skills outside of the classroom can be a struggle. Startup Institute has created a program that exposes industry veterans and beginners alike to the most cutting-edge topics.
RampUp is a 2-month, part-time program that teaches introductory skills in three areas that are driving success in the tech and startup sectors. Classes simply meet once a week, in the evenings, giving students the flexibility to work on class projects on their own schedule. Class curriculum has been careful structured by leading professionals in Technical Marketing, Ruby and Web Design. One of our curriculum architects and instructors, Tom Benneche, reflected on the new Intro to Web Design curriculum:
There are good LinkedIn profiles, and there are bad ones. Basically, being a professional without a LinkedIn profile is like being a company without a website. LinkedIn has become one of the most powerful tools on the Internet for telling your story, and for creating a professional brand. Over 300 million people in 200 countries use LinkedIn today, and to have a profile on LinkedIn has become table stakes for anyone who works in the modern job economy….and certainly the tech economy.
Here are some tips to improve your profile - whether you’re a job seeker, an entrepreneur, or just someone looking to create more of a brand online - and make LinkedIn work for you.