Office of Continuing Education

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Christa Sterling

April 5th, 2017

Resit Gulec is Founder & CEO of Master of Project Academy, the world’s No. 1 affordable and flexible online certification training provider.

We recently asked Resit about the benefits of continuing your education and getting advanced certifications through online learning. Here’s what he shared:

Can you tell us about the mission behind Master of Project Academy? How do you set yourself apart from other online education providers?

Master of Project Academy is the source of 100 percent online and self-paced certification courses for IT and business professionals. Our mission is to prepare and publish affordable and premium courses that professionals need for a better career. We have created a platform where professionals can improve their skill sets. We believe in extending knowledge sharing through our growing learning community. Our goal is to make premium and professional education affordable and accessible at professionals’ own pace.

Our biggest competitive advantage is that we are the most affordable and flexible certification training provider in the market. While many online education providers offer a fixed and flat fee, we offer monthly, annual and lifetime access pricing options at a fraction of the cost of other certification training providers.

We have a very strict process for selecting our instructors. We seek instructors with 10-plus years of field experience and significant teaching experience. This is the foundation on which our students achieved 99.6 percent success rate in their certification exams.

What types of courses do you offer at Master of Project Academy?

We haveproject management courses, IT service management courses, cyber security courses, quality management courses, networking courses and many more coming down the pipeline.

In terms of certification, we have over 40 courses for PMP certification, CAPM certification, ITIL Foundation certification, Agile, Scrum, CEH, CISSP, Six Sigma certification and Cisco certifications.

Briefly, we help professionals who have exceeded five years of experience in the industry. We help them to enhance their skill sets to advance their career and we prepare them for middle-level management positions.

What types of courses and certification are most in demand right now for adult learners?

This year is cyber security year. Recent hacks of corporate giants like Yahoo and LinkedIn increased the demand for cybersecurity certification and courses. Companies spend billions of dollars for their information security and cybersecurity certifications become a critical evaluation criterion when they are seeking employees for their vacancies.

Project management is an old but still popular certification. Considering that there are over 2 million PMP certification holders around the world, project management certifications will still be in demand for years to come. Based on a recent survey, PMP certified professionals command 14 percent higher income than their uncertified counterparts. This shows that project management certifications will be in demand for a long time in future.

For individuals interested in continuing education, what subject areas – particularly in tech – would you recommend they focus on?

Our courses are aimed at senior-level professionals and mid-level managers. However, when I looked at the trends and future of the tech, I see that big data, marketing analytics, machine learning, biotechnology and renewable resources will be the top tech areas for the following years.

Machine learning will especially be the area of the future. Many industries delve into machine learning to improve their quality levels and better serve their customers. I believe that the demand for the machine learning skills in jobs will increase significantly in the coming years.

Why should professionals consider getting advanced education? What are the long-term benefits to their career?

Education is a never-ending process. The world changes, industries change, organizations change, people change and generations change. Change is inevitable fact of life. To survive in a changing environment, you need to keep yourself up-to-date. As Charles Darwin stated, “It is not the strongest or the most intelligent who will survive, but those who can best manage change.”

Can you manage a millennial with the tactics you used for Generation X? Of course no. You need to study the trends, changes in the industry and enhance your skills to survive in the changing environment.

What do adult learners need to know about successfully completing online courses and certification? What tips can you offer?

There are several sources of online education in the market. I recommend a three steps simple process to learners for successfully completing online courses.

1. Evaluate Yourself. Find your weaknesses, what skills you need to learn and what skills you need to improve.

2. Find the Optimum Education Provider. Check the training providers that provide courses for the skills you want to improve. Note that a generic and well-known education provider might not be the best for a specific niche skill set. Therefore, check alternatives carefully.

3. Check Content. After you have found a good education provider, look at the reviews, student testimonials, education quality, course content, etc. Make sure it fits your needs.

What are the most common mistakes or oversights online learners make? What should they be doing differently?

The most common mistake online learners make is looking at the price of the education. We know marketplaces that show the list prices for hundreds of dollars and give these training courses at a great discount for only $10 as the final price.

Price itself is not the only criteria for choosing the right education. You invest in yourself, so you don’t want to make that investment with the cheapest course. I do not mean that students should spend thousands of dollars, but if you find a right online course, be prepared to pay for what it offers. As long as a good online course fits your budget and you think that it will improve your skills, do not hesitate to enroll.

Another common mistake of online learners is a lack of dedication. They purchase a course, and since they know that they will be able to follow the course on their pace, they do not spare enough time to complete the course. A self-paced feature of online education does not mean you follow the course whenever you wish. You should be able to commit enough time each week to follow the course.

Therefore, we recommend preparing a study plan for online learners. For instance, our PMP study plan for working professionals shows guidance on how an online PMP certification aspirant can prepare for the PMP certification exam step-by-step. Online learners should prepare and follow similar steps to get most out of the online courses they follow.

What trends or innovations in online education are you following today? Why do they excite you?

Online education is becoming more and more important in today’s world because of the fast pace of technology and harsh competition in the market. Therefore, there is a huge shift from traditional classroom training to online education in corporate companies.

Not more than a decade ago, corporations were asking their employees about what kind of training they would be interested in. Then, the human resources department of the company would look for education providers and organize classroom training for their employees. This process could take at least six months in many companies.

Can you consider a software developer who is interested in latest trends of web development waiting for six months to attend a training? With the pace of technology today, what he was interested in six months ago might now be outdated.

Another flaw of the traditional classroom training is that the employee has to adhere to the schedule of the training. Since he needs to attend the classroom, this means a workforce lost from the employer’s point of view.

When I was working for Ericsson, I wanted to enroll in a Six Sigma training. My company arranged everything for me and scheduled the training in a classroom in Saudi Arabia. It was four months later when HR contacted me. Just two weeks before the training, I was notified that the class has been canceled due to a low number of attendees. I waited for more than six months for training, and just two weeks before the training date, I learned that it was cancelled. Can you imagine the demotivation that these kinds of issues can cause in employees? On the other hand, if I had gone, I would have had to leave the company for one week and there would have been travel and accommodation costs for the company as well!

But now, many  companies like Google and Sales Force encourage their employees to enroll in online courses. Employees choose what they want to learn and enroll in the course in minutes. No travel, no accommodations, no HR bureaucracy. This is the biggest trend in online education, I believe.

For the moment, more than 90 percent of corporate training is organized in classrooms around the world. I expect that it will shrink down to less than 20 percent in the next five years.

Looking to advance your career on your time? View open courses.