July 19, 2018

Bridging The Skills Gap For Veterans

Renée Hamilton-McNealy | GreenFig Student
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Renée Hamilton-McNealy | GreenFig Student

Our Student Stories blog series highlights the experiences of GreenFig students currently enrolled in our Digital Marketing Science course.  Here, we’ll introduce you to several current students, find out what drove them to GreenFig, what skills they’re developing right now, and what they aim to achieve with their microdegree from GreenFig.

Bridging the skills gap for veterans

As Renée Hamilton-McNealy began preparing for a career change after nearly two decades in and out of active military service, she knew she did not need another college degree.

After all, she already holds a bachelor’s in financial services and an MBA in finance, not to mention loads of management and leadership experience as a Master Sergeant in the Army Reserve.

Rather, she was looking for a targeted, focused program that could help her develop the up-to-date technology skills she needed to land a marketing position now, but was discouraged by other programs she researched.

“I was looking for more specialized education than what a general degree could offer,” explains Renée. “I wanted to prepare myself for life after I completely retire from the military and to feed my passion for marketing.”

Renée discovered GreenFig through The Paradigm Switch, a nonprofit that helps link military veterans and their spouses to prestigious skill-based training programs.

“I’m not afraid to start over,” she says. “I wanted to challenge myself.”

Renée explains that she wanted to gain skills in marketing analytics and become proficient with tools that measure the impact of a campaign’s effectiveness.

Renée enrolled in GreenFig’s Digital Marketing Science course remotely from the Bay Area and says that the program offered a healthy, collaborative learning environment where she felt supported.

“I learn best in my own environment and in my own space,” she says. “I liked not having to physically commute someplace. With GreenFig, the communications options are endless and there were always ways to connect inside and out of the classroom.”

Looking back, Renée says it was her instructors’ enthusiasm and ability to teach their craft that confirmed she had found the right program.

“I just love the fact that the instructors, who are accomplished and experienced, were just as passionate to share their knowledge with us as we were to learn it,” she says. “And they had more than just experience, they also know how to teach. Just because you are a subject matter expert doesn’t mean that you know how to transfer that knowledge so that someone else can comprehend it.”

Renée believes GreenFig’s training courses are ideal for veterans who are accustomed to targeted, hyper-focused skill development and who thrive in hands-on, real-world environments where those skills can be quickly applied.

Applying the digital marketing skills she has developed over the past 16 weeks to a real-world marketing campaign for a real-world company is an ideal application exercise for veterans like her, says Renée.

“In graduate school, I did case studies,” she recalls. “What we’re doing now is benefitting a real company.”

Armed with a unique set of skills — digital marketing, finance, and management — upon graduation, Renée is hoping to join a marketing team where she can specialize in marketing analytics and social media management.

“What GreenFig offers is what I needed,” she says. “To challenge me, allow me to get certifications, provide relevant and modern information, and give me the opportunity to immediately apply and exercise this knowledge in the marketplace.”

Advance your skills and set your next big challenge at GreenFig. Check us out at www.greenfig.com.

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Why GreenFig? The Value of a Microdegree in Applied Business Science

The World Economic Forum cites, “[the digital economy] is disrupting almost every industry in every country. And, these changes herald the transformation of entire systems of production, management, and governance.” Where land, oil, and capital drove the past three Industrial Ages, this new “4th Industrial Age” is powered by “digital oil” – data. Companies are building and deploying systems of intelligence to prospect, discover, and refine the digital oil of the digital economy. And, the miners of this digital oil are “business scientists”. Business scientists must understand how to capture, observe, and utilize customer, financial, market, and product data. They do not necessarily have to be technical – as in know how to code – instead, they must learn how to generate and review business data and use their creative skills to operate business application software. In the US, politicians, academia, and industry leaders are currently placing a tremendous focus on technical training, coding, and other STEM programs. However, the unspoken truth is that many of these positions will eventually be eliminated through advances in artificial intelligence and machine learning. Additionally, many people are simply not interested or well-suited for these technical programs, degrees, and jobs. However, people who are creative and critical thinkers – products of liberal arts programs – are ideally suited to fill the positions of the digital economy. All they need is some additional specialized training and knowledge. Micro Education companies and microdegrees are well-designed to provide such training.

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