We are already into the second month of 2017 and time isn’t slowing down. If you are at work thinking to yourself, “man, I wish I had a cooler job” or “man, this job is sucking the soul out of me”, maybe it is time for a change? If 2016 got you down, you probably made a resolution to make 2017 ‘your’ year. We can help make 2017 your year. Keep reading.

Here’s the thing: life is really short. Too short, in fact, to be wasting your time at a job that is getting you nowhere in life. What if you could have a job that can take you everywhere, or keep you in Cape Breton if that’s your dream? So many people want to stay in Cape Breton and earn a fair wage and have stability in their lives and it sometimes seems like a pipe dream, but it’s not.

If the idea of working in the tech sector seems like something that isn’t for you, I’m here to tell you there is a job for everyone in technology. So, forget about the idea of technology, it’s a big fancy word that is used to label an industry. Within the industry there are hundreds of jobs that need to be filled! The great thing about technology is that the spin off is incredible: sales, marketing, advertising, recruiting, human resources, networking, programming, product design, business, agriculture, clean energy, oceans, education, politics. As you can see, the list goes on and on.

It doesn’t matter what kind of job you have right now, you can work in the technology sector and support the efforts of those who fight the good fight to bring stability and innovation to Cape Breton. If you want to be at the heart of what is going on, UIT Startup Immersion is the path you want to walk to get you there. If you think you can’t learn to code, let me tell you: you are wrong. We are so good at teaching coding, product design, development, business skills and networking, that we can give you what you need to find your place in tech. We are helping people find opportunity in a community where opportunity is perceived as scarce and we are blazing trails faster than ever before.

Our curriculum changes rapidly because employers visit our campus and say they need a developed skill set that can change from year to year or even month to month. Our student success coaches wake up early and stay late to make sure our students are ready for community pitch days. Our facilities are open to our students 24 hours a day to give them room to get the job done.

If you’ve ever said to yourself, “I’ve got this cool idea for an app,” UIT is the place for you. If you’ve ever said to yourself, “man, I’d love to run a business but need money to get started,” UIT is the place for you. If you’ve ever looked at your boss and thought “I should be running this place,” UIT is the place for you. We will teach you to build that app, find money to start that business and show you how to be that boss.

Don’t wait. We have a few seats left for September. Make 2017 ‘your’ year.

Self-directed learning: It’s overused and underestimated at every turn. Sometimes, adult learners don’t quite understand how to be self-directed and confuse self direction with motivation and initiative. Trust me though, they are very different and self-directed learning – which probably needs an updated term – is one of the most important skills a person can develop.

Here’s why: if you can discover your ability to become self-directed, you can teach yourself virtually anything. Like, literally anything. When you unlock the door to your own brain and if are frank about your strengths and weaknesses, you can master what your heart desires.

Now, I’m not saying that teaching yourself to piece together a car or build a house will be an easy task, but I am saying you can teach yourself to do it. The trick is in identifying your learning style and working to improve your weaknesses, as well as your strengths.

If you are not “handy”, you can learn to be handy by starting with small, easily accessible projects. Build a square box. That’s it. Don’t do anything else. Learn what it takes to “square” two pieces of wood, and figure out how to make them level. Find sources to help you learn these things: identifying other people who have the skills already is a good place to start. Knowing where to look online or in a book is helpful too. It doesn’t matter how you  come to acquire the knowledge necessary to build the box; what is important is that you build the box no matter what.

Self-directed learning is about seeking out new knowledge and navigating your resources to make the most of your goals. Self-directed learning is not sitting at home studying for a test: while the act of directing yourself to sit and study is certainly noteworthy, it does not define the true power of self-directed learning.

UIT Startup Immersion encourages students to be self-directed learners. We give you the tools you need to succeed, but how you take those tools out into the world and how you use them is based on your drive, determination and curiosity about the power of your new found knowledge. What’s cool about our program is that we actually teach you to become self-directed. We do this by constantly asking you why, how, what, when, where, why, why, why? We do this by asking you what else is there? What else could there be? We send you out to find out for yourself what else is out there. The more questions you ask, the more informed you’ll be, and the better prepared you’ll be to take on your next project. Having the ability to filter through the crap and find the good stuff is what self-directed learning can help you achieve.

There are arguments for the pros and cons of both traditional learning classrooms and online learning classrooms but whether one is really better than the other doesn’t matter: what matters is a person’s ability to leave a learning opportunity armed with the ability to continue learning more about a topic or skill that they are interested in: and it starts with arming yourself with the ability to be self-directed. Want to learn how to unlock the power of self-directed learning and start working toward a career in tech and entrepreneurship – where learning happens everyday – then come check us out.