Last year, nearly 90 million learners joined massive open online courses (MOOCs) offered by the top 5 providers alone. From Harvard and MIT to Google and IBM, everyone wants to put a stake in the ground of online learning. Yet, for most learners, MOOCs are less than perfect. For instance, in most MOOCs, there is little or no interaction with the instructor — learners are expected to engage with the community on forums and answer each others’ questions. As a result, learners end up feeling lonely in a crowd. Student success and success story are minimal — in fact, 80-95% don’t complete their online courses.

On the other hand, for learners seeking a specific career transition, this ‘access to great material’ isn’t enough. If the career transition you’re seeking is in future technology — say machine learning (ML), artificial intelligence (AI), data science, etc. — volatility is even higher. Student success in online learning needs guidance, mentorship and industry exposure.

Data science learner Aritra’s career transition success story

“When you’re a fresh graduate wanting to build a career in data science, you have a lot of options — machine learning, NLP,  deep learning, etc. and it tends to get confusing,” says Aritra Chattaraj, a learner at the Springboard data science program. Aritra is a graduate in liberal arts with an ambition to build a career in data science. Even while in college, he had spent a significant amount of time exploring online courses in data science and related areas across MOOCs, etc. He had been learning a lot, but he couldn’t find the right way to apply it in his career and make the transition he dreamed of. 

In fact, that was his first question, during his pre-enrolment sample mentor call, to Chirasmita, a data science mentor at Springboard. “And my mentor explained to me that there will be guidance, throughout the course, which put me instantly at ease,” he says, in his testimonial. For Aritra, the ‘job guarantee’ that Springboard offers was certainly attractive. “But having mentorship and guidance means much more than that — it helps you get to know yourself, your strengths and your weaknesses. This helps a lot in finding the right job,” he says as his main reason for choosing Springboard.

Mentorships for learning success

In fact, this is a direct result of Springboard’s strategic focus on mentorships. We believe that ‘we learn best by interacting with other humans’ and that ‘great mentors can play an invaluable role in finding and developing a fulfilling career’. This is why we have mentors from some of the most cutting-edge technology companies onboard our programs.

Aritra’s mentor was a data science professional who had a good understanding of the industry and the career opportunities it provides. Understanding Aritra’s skills and ambitions, he helped him set learning goals and achieve them which helped his success story; he “bailed him out” of technical problems when he felt stuck; conducted periodic reviews and even shaped his career trajectory. 

“Data science is a rapidly evolving domain, and it’s easy to be swayed by buzz words, you know, say neural network or deep learning. My weekly call with my mentor helped me keep my learnings aligned to my career goals, interest, passion, and abilities. In fact, while exploring opportunities, my mentor helped me identify which ones are right for me and which ones are not, and this is extremely important,” he says. 

Coaching for career success

While mentorship provides the right guidance for pursuing one’s career in the right areas, real career transition comes from also having job-hunting skills, which several professionals lack today. Springboard has best-in-class career services included in every program to help their success story. There are eight calls with career coaches scheduled in pivotal points throughout the program, to help learners take action towards career growth, covering a wide range of skills like negotiation, interview coaching and practice, job search strategies, etc. 

“Sometimes the right path for you could be joining an MNC, sometimes it’s to work as a consultant. Springboard’s career coaches knew the differences and they walk the journey with you,” says Aritra, who learned during his course at Springboard that being an independent consultant is the right path for him. He also learned how to make that career path work for him — developing a portfolio, writing his resume, updating his LinkedIn profile, building his networking skills, and even structuring his job hunt.

In a world where information is available in plenty, for free, at the click of a button, education should be more than just a good curriculum. It needs to be the support a learner needs to advance their career. It is precisely this that we offer in our mentor-led, project-based programs in future technologies such as data science, data analytics, and machine learning

Try Springboard. It’s more than just self-learning online. It’s world-class curriculum, 1:1 mentorships, unlimited 1:1 career coaching, and a job guarantee. Springboard is online learning, just the way you need it to be for a smooth career transition.