Spending my education allowance
December 18, 2017 2:38 PM   Subscribe

The company I work for offers a generous education allowance. Please help me figure out what I should spend it on. I'm looking for online courses relevant to my role as a digital strategist.

I work for a big huge company as a strategist who helps build (mainly) websites and other digital products and things. We have a $2000 training allowance each year. Last year I used it for an expensive online course from a major university that I didn't get much out of — very basic course material, very little constructive feedback — and I'd like to get more out of the opportunity this time around.

Basically, my role revolves around creating small-scale digital strategies for (mostly) websites or web experiences. I do a lot of facilitation, design-thinking-type workshops, needs gathering, stakeholder management, and presentations.

My formal training is in English literature (I have a PhD), and I've also worked as an editor for an online publication as well as as a business analyst. I can get by with JavaScript (self-taught) though it's not something I'd like to do every day (nor is it something I'm expected to know). I'm not a designer by any means, but again, it's not something that's expected of me.

I don't have much of a business background or anything, except for what I've picked up on the job. I do read about strategy and UX and content strategy and things like that but I don't know if a course would add much.

I think part of my problem is that I don't know what comes next for me career-wise (maybe that's another AskMe) and so I'm having trouble coming up with ideas for what I need to be learning. I don't really have a mentor (at work or otherwise) to provide me with guidance. There's no logical next step for me at the organization I work for, and I've never received any direction around what I should be learning or about any gaps in my current skill set. My dad keeps suggesting taking management courses but they sound dreary (and are they even a thing anymore?).

Other requirements:

1) Must be online
2) Must be available to Canadians

Other people on my team have taken courses like these IdeoU ones. I've also thought about getting Product Owner certification but I feel like that would just be another couple of letters after my name without actually learning that much.

Any suggestions, hive mind?
posted by synecdoche to Education (2 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
Not directly related, although digital strategy should include some thinking about it, but have you considered SEO training, such as Moz’s? I’d say to follow one (or many) of those workshops only if they tickle your technical bone (i.e., it interests you — otherwise could feel like a chore..?)

Also/otherwise, perhaps some more “design” training might be fun and give you a new vision/stream of ideas for future projects? For instance, an online typography class?
posted by vert canard at 9:29 PM on December 18, 2017

If you're interested in enhancing your facilitation skills, I've really enjoyed the training I've taken from the Toronto-based ICA Associates. Here are their courses that include a few online options.

Group Facilitation Methods
Meetings that Work
Transformational Strategy

While I can't speak to the quality of their online offerings, I've really enjoyed their courses, and I'm considering taking my first online course to use up a portion of my (much smaller!) training allowance.
posted by nathaole at 3:04 AM on December 19, 2017

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