If you want to get training or begin a career in the finance space, there are many options available to you for that training. I want to share with you the differences between traditional training opportunities and some of the modern day options that are available to you, because I think people don’t realize the differences there are between the different options available to you.
There is the traditional option, a college or university. Traditional schools can be great for community, for growing up and maturing, learning things and meeting people with similar interests to you in whatever type of schooling you are enrolled in, or have completed in the past. There are many downsides of traditional campuses as well. For example, most campuses are filled with professors who have very little, if any, real world experience in the area you are looking to focus in, and when you graduate, you will not be turning in homework assignments, you have to go out into the real world and know how to do real world functional things. If the person teaching you has never done those things or hasn’t done them in ten or more years, how can they really effectively prepare you for the real world?
To solve that obvious downside of being taught by people that don’t have that real world experience, there are often times career advisory centers. There is typically maybe one advisor for every 1000 or so students, and sometimes when you would try to meet with them, there was a huge rush, and a stressful situation for them because they are so overloaded, that you really wouldn’t get much help from them in most cases. In fact in my case, out of all of the advisors I’ve had in college, and all of the professors I’ve had, there was probably about three people, that had real world experience, and gave me real business career advice, strategic advice, for being successful in business. So even though I learned a ton at these traditional schools I attended, it was really just a machine teaching me standard text book information. Not very many people there, including the advisors, really took the time to give me practical advice, or mentor me, or give any real practical value to me.
I’d like to share with you the difference between that situation, and what’s available to you today over the internet. The main difference is how stale and unpractical information can be if you just learn it in a traditional school. If you learn something in school, over time the value of that knowledge will go down. They say that after 7 years, the value of your degree goes down in value drastically. That’s because what you learn gets outdated, that’s natural. Also, once you graduate, you slowly forget things. You may have a stellar alumni association and some great events, but most alumni associations don’t give you lifetime access to the video content of those courses you had taken over the years.
If you take a program online, many programs will give lifetime access the material, so that over time, you can increase your knowledge. They are always adding content to their video and audio archives. At the very least, you will be able to maintain the level of knowledge that you ended the program with, because the content is constantly updated. The big difference here is that it is very inexpensive for an online university, or online training institute, and online platforms to add more videos to your lifetime access of video content on a particular topic, like financial analysis for example. Over the course of even 10 or 15 years you can always go back and login and watch those videos prior to a job interview, or if you need to brush up on a couple topics before meeting with a client who specializes in a niche area, you can login and watch those specific videos. This is something that I think is revolutionizing online education, because what it is doing is making it so that after seven years you can have the same level of knowledge, if not twice the level of knowledge if your online education provider is constantly adding more audio and video resources to the platform that you have alumni access too. This might sound like a small detail, but to those of us that constantly want to push ourselves to learn more and increase our specialized knowledge in our niche area, it is very valuable and can make a big difference.
The last thing I want to discuss is alumni career coaching, and participant career coaching. If you go to a traditional university, often times the advice you get is kind of cookie cutter, not something that is specialized to your situation, and often times career advisors just don’t have much time to spend with you. In many cases with online universities, because they don’t have the high overhead costs, they can utilizing more of their resources in ensuring that they have great career advisors, with niche experience in the area your being trained in, such as financial analysis, financial modeling, investment banking, hedge funds, private equity, and have real world experience. That is really the difference between lots of online programs, and universities that try to hire people that only have PhDs and ten years of publishing research in scientific journals that nobody in the real world reads. In online education, most of the time it’s practical people being hired, it’s VPs from Intel or Microsoft, its people who actually work currently inside of hedge funds or inside of large leading investment banks, that’s usually who is recruited for online training programs in finance. When you go to a live, full-day workshop training program often times that is from somebody who has a lot of practical experience, not a professor, a PhD with no real world experience.
I don’t mean this to be a negative for professors or PhDs, I’ve learned a great deal from them, but I think when it comes to learning something that’s really going to make a huge difference in your career, and you’re getting down to where you know what you want to do with your life, you know you want to specialize in finance or financial analysis and you really want to move forward with niche industry specialized knowledge, you need to really look at online education options.