Career and Money Advice At The Intersection Of Business And Technology

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Sometimes all you need is one class to jumpstart your career

December 24th, 2008 · No Comments

One of my favorite entrepreneur success stories is Ben & Jerry’s. In 1977, Lifelong, ex-hipper friends Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield took a correspondence course on ice cream making from the Pennsylvania State University. They then founded the Ben & Jerry’s ice cream shop, and the rest is history.

Think about it – all they did was to take one class to learn how to make ice cream before they got started. They didn’t think about how prestigious the school was, or what degrees they would be getting. Their goal was to acquire a skill that they were passionate about. The class offered exactly what they needed.

I have a college buddy who started as pre-med. He changed majors a few times, and eventually graduated with a social science degree. The job prospect was very bad when he graduated. But, he was resourceful enough to find a class at a local community college that taught Basic ID Layout Design. It was a 8-week class with $50 tuition. He then got a job with a large chip company. In the past ten years, he has built a successful career in IC design, and has started his own company.

Since I started this blog, I’ve received a lot of emails from folks who felt stuck in their career and looked for ways to break through. One common theme I heard from readers is to go back to business school, law school, etc. I think graduate school is great if you go back for the right reason.

But, before you decide to spend $100K+ (tuition, board, and living expenses) in business school or law schools, you might want to spend $500, $1000, or even seven thousands to take a few specialized training classes. You might be able to acquire the right skills that will jumpstart your career while saving yourself a lot of money by not going back to business or law school.

Tags: Beat Recession · Career Fast Track

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