Thursday, October 7, 2010

Phase 1: The Discovery Phase | Designing My Own Degree Program

In my pursuit of an independent lifestyle, I have put together a series of "development phases" as part of my Lifestyle/business plan. By securing these "stepping stones" or short-term goals, I will in turn make the river between corporate-life and freelance-life, much easier to cross.

Phase 1: The Discovery Phase | Designing My Own Degree Program

The fact is, I need to be better, faster, stronger in order to survive and create a well-informed business plan.

When I first sat down to consider my options, I really felt that I needed bulk-up my educational background and experiences. I feverishly researched options; from local degree programs, to online degree programs, to internships, to getting a computer-chip implanted in my brain. I waited impatiently as the mail carrier brought forth my admissions packets. Then frowned when they lacked information and cut straight to the part of me handing over my hard-earned money.

In the end, after crunching the numbers, hours, and unpredictable variables I decided to construct my own degree program. Why go the self-taught route? Here are my top reasons:

  1. My personal knowledge and experience with the education system. More often then not, education, when pursued through educational institutions, falls short of your grand expectations. You are essentially putting your money and time in the hands of an institution that thinks they know best (or at least they want you to think this). You will pay for a label that, depending on your end-goal, may bump-up your pay scale--but what does that teach you? The pursuit of knowledge is only worth the monetary benefits? I love to learn and I love the Motorcycle Maintenance mantra that puts you in the drivers seat

  2. Less money, more problems. Yes, I know that those aren't the lyrics, but you can't deny that it works both ways. As of now, my debts are nonexistent thanks to a well-planned college fund and a scrappy single mom. This gift give me the ability to really choose my areas of investment. Though money can't buy happiness, it sure can help you develop and establish a business. Ask yourself, am I a good investment? What about my lifestyle or my future career?

  3. Let me live my life. As a true multi-tasking-master, my time is always strategically divided. Yes, sometimes I run into the occasional metal pole while google-reading through the streets. But, I also know when to buckle-down and focus. I believe my generation likes to control their minute-to-minute (and have fun doing it). Sitting through a 3-hour lecture in a dim computer lab usually sends me to Snoozeville; and it's a known fact that I don't sleep pretty (think drooping-mouth and swift head-bobbing).

  4. A little thing called the Internet. Probably the pivotal reason for going the self-taught route is the fruitful and ever-expanding online environment. As we all know, there is a plethora of information out in cyberspace. When it comes to web design, web development, and anything business related, it is easy to discover enough information to fill a lifetime. From blogs to webinars; you are able to find and fill 60 credit hours in no time. Also, since these are fields of continuous innovation and development, it is wise to connect with this virtual world of web geeks and gurus.

Please be aware that designing a degree program isn't always the best fit for your lifestyle and career goals. Not only does it takes a specific mindset and motivation, but it also depends on your future career plans. If your goal is to be the art director of Big Ad Agency, you will probably need a masters degree to even be considered. I encourage everyone to empower themselves to design their own lifestyle; which means knowing your goals while establishing your strengths and weaknesses.

I will be covering this phase in future posts; from my syllabus to self-assessment!

1 comment:

  1. This is an amazing summary of reasons. I'm glad you are 'owning' the concept and really running with it. Good luck ahead!