April 25, 2019 | 60° F

Rutgers students can access design training and hundreds more free courses online

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As a way to stay updated on new technology and build versatility into their resumes, students in the School of Arts and Sciences can log onto one of the hundreds of tutorials available on Lynda.com. 

In a highly competitive job market, the School of Communication and Information provides its undergraduates with free access to a website called Lynda — an online resource that teaches students supplementary computer skills. 

The Lynda website is an online platform where specialized professionals and industry experts teach users the skills, software and essentials of a particular field. 

Video tutorials are available for beginners and more advanced students in hundreds of topics. Engaged learners can submerge themselves in their curiosity and leave the website having achieved personal and professional goals, from leadership training to 3D animation. 

The school maintains an academic subscription every Rutgers student has access to these videos, can expand their knowledge and gain technical skills that help attract potential employers. 

“You can just throw any kind of software into the search box and often there’s a beginner, intermediate and advanced level course, and you can, in a matter of hours, move yourself to a position where you could at least say, ‘I understand what that software is about and I have some basic skills and I’m working on training myself in that,’” said Hester Coan, the assistant director of Student Services for Career Services.

The website, popular with more than 1 million subscribers, adapts to rapid changes in today's technological environment. 

This comes in handy when schools either do not have the time or funds to keep students up to date with the newest version of a program. Students eager to race with constantly changing, cutting edge technology can learn about software like Final Cut Pro or Adobe Premiere, without worrying about learning a version that could become obsolete the next day. 

“Technology is constantly changing to the point where you learn something today, it’s gone by tomorrow ... With a Lynda.com, they’re the ones that are upgrading. They’re the ones who are getting the sessions. They’re the ones that are coming up with the instructionals on it and we, who are in the classroom and may not have the time or the money to upgrade or something like that, can say, ‘If you want to find out what the newest upgrades are, go over to Lynda.com,” he said. 

Coan explained that in addition to navigating the site for specific language development skills or HTML-coding training, its advantageous to log on, explore, open doors and discover new areas of interest.

“I think one of the most difficult things about choosing a career is that people don’t know the range of possibilities that are open to them. They have narrow experience in the working world and are not prepared to imagine all the places they could go. Something like Lynda allows you to wander around in different worlds and see what you might be interested in,” she said. “... Try new things all the time, because you never know when you’re going to just trip over your own passion.”

Steve Miller, director of undergraduate studies in Journalism and Media Studies, echoed similar sentiments and said that students need to always maintain the mindset of being hungry for knowledge and break the pattern of learning material just to pass an exam. 

“One of the great benefits of being at Rutgers is a liberal arts education, because you learn so much ... You have to be willing to learn something new every single day. Go and find it. The day you stop learning is the day that you stop. Period. Just because you’re a student in college and you get your diploma, doesn’t mean you’ll stop being a student of life,” Miller said. 

Erica D'Costa

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