Yellowbrick Founder on Career Path Trends, Benefits of Online Courses

Fashion Styling Foundations, the five-module course created by Yellowbrick in partnership with the Center for Continuing and Professional Studies at the Fashion Institute of Technology and WWD, helps participants reinvent themselves by learning new skills and taking new paths. professionals.

But what drives this desire for change?

No more WWD

Here, Rob Kingyens, Founder and CEO of Yellowbrick, shares his perspective on the “Great Quit” and its impact on careers, as well as the evolution of online courses.

WWD: What were some of the factors behind “The Great Resignation,” which saw people reprioritize their lives and careers?

Rob Kingyens: When the pandemic hit and the lockdowns started, it forced millions of people into a hiatus all at once. I think for many of them it served as a wake-up call as they found their jobs either in jeopardy or gone completely. Even after years of loyalty and hard work, one thing was clear: anything can evaporate in an instant.

A lot of people started wondering what it was for. If it’s all so tenuous anyway, shouldn’t they take a chance on something they’re passionate about? Shouldn’t they try their luck? Could they restructure their lives to focus more on what matters and prioritize friends, family, and the experiences they love?

In response to these questions, millions of people have decided to quit their jobs. Many have chosen to go it alone. In 2020, 4.4 million Americans filed with the IRS to start new businesses. It was a record leap – that is, until the following year, when an additional 5.4 million Americans took the leap into entrepreneurship.

WWD: What role does e-learning play as people seek to rethink their careers? What are the benefits for consumers who want to take online courses?

RK: Online learning has evolved rapidly over the past decade and is now driving all kinds of career changes. At no other time has it been easier to train for a new trade or a new career path. Online programs allow people to learn essential knowledge and skills without having to travel to, from or to physical classrooms, and offer a wide range of options that would not be available if learners had to stay put.

Many programs, like FIT x WWD Fashion Styling Foundations, also allow you to hear directly from experts in a given industry, when they might not be able to participate in a more traditional course. Armed with industry-based degrees or certificates from these online programs, learners can show new employers that they have the skills and knowledge to succeed. And for those with more entrepreneurial goals, they can hang their shingles with more confidence after hearing the success stories of those who came before them.

WWD: What is the value proposition for consumers taking Yellowbrick courses? And how does Yellowbrick differ from other e-learning companies?

RK: Yellowbrick courses, such as Parsons x WWD Fashion Business Essentials, are unique in this space. Most other career-focused programs assume learners already know what they want to do and then teach the granular skills needed for those roles. But this degree of certainty – especially for people starting a new career – is almost always the exception, not the rule. So many career changers have only a vague idea of ​​what they could do or where they would excel in a new industry. Often they have no idea where to start.

This is what our courses are designed to do best: they offer a more holistic view of the creative industries. Yes, learners will come away having acquired important skills and will have completed projects that exemplify their talent. But more importantly, they will have gained a fundamental understanding of a complete industry and can go on their way with their eyes open. It’s a kind of education that isn’t really offered anywhere else.

About Rob Kingyens:

Rob Kingyens is the founder and CEO of Yellowbrick, a global leader in online education for the creator economy and career exploration in the arts, media, sports and entertainment industries. The company develops exciting and accessible online programs in collaboration with top brands and world-renowned universities. Prior to launching Yellowbrick, Kingyens held various leadership and founding positions in the online education space, including COO, CTO, and CMO – Business Solutions. learning for global brands and educational organizations including Cornell University, Global Learning Systems, Discovery Education, Intel, Red Cross, GE, Microsoft, McDonald’s, Goodwill, Boston Consulting Group and others.

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Karen O. Fielding