Let's say you are my age, about to turn 50, and you want to make a career change. You want to get into the Internet business. But you don't know anything about programming, user experince, ad sales, community management, legal issues. What do you do?
For too long there haven't been good answers for people looking to learn this new industry. But that is changing. One of the more ambitious projects is General Assembly, at Broadway and 20th St, in NYC. While most people that know of General Assembly think of it as a coworking space, the founders think of it as a campus environment for all things Internet. I was over there yesterday and got a sampling of some of the courses you can take there. There are courses on HTML & CSS, Android Development, Internet Ad Sales, User Driven Design, The Digital Learning Market, Startup Law, and more. The current class list is here. Class prices differ but for $100 you can generally take one of these classes.
I love this idea. I have friends who find themselves at this place in their career, who are starting Internet based businesses but they don't have the background and experience to make the right choices. Classes like this can help and they don't cost that much.
I've blogged before on the value of coworking spaces. I'm a big fan. Many of them offer classes and meetups and talks from industry leaders in addition to the ability to rent a desk for the day, week, or month. I know that New Work City, the grandaddy of NYC coworking spaces also has classes, including the awesome Girl Develop It program which sometimes takes place there. I believe that the Hive at 55 also hosts classes.
I'm wondering if anyone in the NYC tech community has aggregated all of these classes into a single searchable database. If so, leave a comment and I'll update this post with a link to it. If not, someone really should do that. There's a lot of great learning opportunities out there.