Maximize your summer

By Jason Field, Founder & CEO of BrainStation

TORONTO, April 25, 2016 /CNW/ - With the academic school year drawing to a close, it's time to take a deep breath, and think about what you want to ask from the world.

Mitch Hedberg said, "I'm sick of following my dreams. I'm just going to ask them where they're going and hook up with them later." I'm someone that has always been drawn to maximizing my time, but there is something to be said for his approach. It has been my experience that the most obvious path to success isn't always the best one - I'm constantly amazed at how learning a new skill can enable and strengthen seemingly unrelated abilities. Certainly learning to code gave me a wildly different perspective on many of the digital tools I use every day.

Taking summer courses or workshops that take you out of your comfort zone is a great way to personally grow. Learning new (and highly relevant) digital skills is a great way to grow in ways you never expected. It's a way to change your routine, take an unexpected pathway, and to maximize your summer at the same time.

It's also a way to make your resume stand out from the crowd, supplementing your core skillsets with digital skill synergies. Here are some good pairings of digital courses to traditional disciplines that might give you some inspiration for how to do that:

English, Journalism, Philosophy / Digital Marketing
You're already a good communicator. Learn how to leverage those skills across digital channels. Not only does this give you the tools to work in tech, today every publishing house, theatre company, and news outlet needs digital media specialists in order to connect to their audiences. Social media internships are a pretty common way for young people to break into many industries, but good ones can be pretty competitive to land - make sure you're a shoo-in.

Drawing and Painting / User Interface Design
Understanding how colour, composition, and layout are used in graphical communication can deepen and strengthen visual artists regardless of discipline. You've probably already got a lot of the attention to detail drilled into you - broaden the appeal of your resume by adding digital qualifications that employers will understand and respond to.

Business, Marketing, Design / Web Development
There's a pretty good chance you're going to be working with developers at some point during your career. These courses won't necessarily put you on their level, but they'll give you the tools to communicate effectively with them, and to understand what is easy and what is difficult.

Marketing / Product Management
Ok, so this one isn't very far out of your way, but it is true you can increase your employability by doubling down on the most relevant mode of software development methodology today. Wow potential employers with your understanding of Agile development.

Architecture, Health, Urban Planning / User Experience Design
If the future of your industry is increasingly intertwined with tech (and most are), understanding how people intersect with technology, and how to best make technology work for people, is important. The methodologies and ways of thinking that you'll learn in this course are valuable for anyone, in any discipline, who wants to create things people will use.

Those are just some combinations - my whole message here though, is that you can and should defy expectations. Digital skills can be used in combination with any number of other interests, passions, or professional niches. Drop us a line at BrainStation and let us know what your goals are. Let's maximize your summer.

SOURCE BrainStation

Image with caption: "Make the most of your summer and learn how to stand out digitally. (CNW Group/BrainStation)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20160425_C4444_PHOTO_EN_673084.jpg

For further information: Trilby Goouch, tgoouch@brainstation.io

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