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Learning New Skills? Sometimes You Just Get Stuck.

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With the multitude of online learning options, including a whopping 99 venture-backed education startups, you can find a class on almost any topic these days. From fashion design to the inner workings of Einstein to early New England poetry, the skill levels and content density you’re looking for are certainly out there. This too is true for some of today’s most sought-after skills: web development, web design, and technical marketing. The difference being, these 21st century skills are often sought after by working professionals — people who hope to use their freshly minted skills immediately in their current position or the job they’re aspiring to. They need not know how to do something, but have experience actually doing that something. That however, as you might have guessed, is more complicated that an 8 week pre-recorded class. Why? Sometimes you just get stuck.

Having completed a few online courses myself, I am certainly a proponent of information sharing and alternative learning. I love that I have the freedom to learn just about anything, but I know that it’s not always smooth sailing. If you’ve ever taken an online class, I’m sure you’ll agree. Inevitably an online class brings about questions that weren’t answered in the pre-recorded 1-hour video. Perhaps I pushed something to production, but it just didn’t work. Or maybe I have a specific question about the SEO strategy I’m working on. Emailing my instructor who may have hundreds (or maybe even thousands) of students will not give me the detailed answer I’m looking for. Posting on the student board will get me an overwhelming amount of responses, and it’s hard to tell the true from the false. The easiest and most reliable solution is to ask an expert.

That’s why I believe Startup Institute’s part-time RampUp classes are the perfect hybrid of high-tech learning with in-person instruction. Go to class once a week, after work, and learn in small groups with peers who have similar goals and ambitions. Classes are taught by professionals working in the field — with real experience that translates into more up-to-date and accurate information. You’ get access to online resources (after all, the classes are focused on online technologies) and be encouraged to work on projects outside of class.

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The downfall of online classes? Besides the inevitable “getting stuck,” there’s no one to hold you accountable (except yourself). Let’s be real. If you sign up for an online class, you’re probably going to “miss” 2 of the 8 classes because of the big game or a friend’s birthday celebration. Chances of you watching the class later… slim to none. I don’t know about you, but being accountable to a teacher is the only thing that is going to ensure I keep progressing.

So get unstuck! Register for RampUp now in Boston, Chicago, London, or New York City. New classes start every month. Here’s a look inside last month’s classes:

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There’s an open seat waiting for you.

This post was written by Emma Zimmerman, Digital Marketer at Startup Institute and current student in the Intro to Web Design RampUp class. She has a passion for learning, trying new things, and disruptive technologies.