When the university team communicated with the students of the first groups, they asked them what they wanted to know about when they were looking for information about changing their profession and a career in IT.
One of the girls shared her question:
Now everyone is teaching something: unmarried people how to get married. The poor – how to get rich. Lots of info fraud. We need some guide: what to look for when choosing courses.
That’s why we decided to write this guide. Let’s find out step by step: what are the bright signs that distinguish information scammers?
If you want, you can check our university directly from the checklist.
“Lecturers will check homework and give feedback.”
This is what all courses promise.
There is a lot of information available on the Internet. But people pay money to save themselves from clearing this landfill. And for an experienced person to tell them – in your particular situation, do like this, but don’t do it like that.
But more often, it turns out that course lecturers are busy and reluctant to check homework.
Why does it come out like this? As a rule, the expert invited to the course is already working somewhere. And when he is offered a “nice part-time job” in the form of teaching, many people at first think it’s easy.
But then it turns out that communicating with students and reviewing homework is also a difficult full-fledged job that takes a lot of time. Moreover, not only professional but also teaching skills are needed.
It is good to do something on your own and to teach another person this subject so that he understands – unfortunately, different things.
Therefore, lecturers avoid students whenever possible until it comes to outright scandal.
If you carefully study the calm negative reviews on the Internet about different courses: many have a common feature just about feedback and homework.
Here is an excerpt from such a public comment:
I realized that my hopes to grow professionally did not come true. I’m tired of begging for advice and webinars (teachers are not very willing to do this), and I’m tired of trying to do what I don’t know.
- Refrain from believing the promises of feedback. Ask for evidence: is there feedback? How detailed is the lecturer explaining something, and how often does he do it?
- See if there are regular QA sessions (online meetings with a lecturer for questions and answers) in the course program. There should be at least a one-hour meeting per week.
Black Friday! Huge discounts!”
There’s nothing wrong with the idea of a Black Friday sale as long as it’s honest.
For example, in the world’s largest digital store Steam, which sells computer games, there are transparent discounts of up to 90% several times a year.
Sometimes, these discounts cannot be obtained, and games are sold at regular prices.
But in Eastern Europe, Black Friday has long been a pretext for trumped-up promotions.
So, in November 2020, one of the users conducted an investigation and wrote an article, “How online education services are deceiving us .”
He found that several businesses raise prices so much during Black Friday that they sell courses even more expensive than before the sale – but they do it under the guise of “promotions.”
If you like a course and want to take it on sale, make sure it’s a real discount, not a fake one.
“This course helps! Your friend’s friend is already making money!”
Information scammers love to give inspiring examples. They do it flashy and emotionally to keep your critical thinking from working.
These two screenshots show how a certain girl joined the telegram chat of entrepreneurs and is trying to convince them that they urgently need to sign up for a course on creating auto funnels.
Her description looks tempting. The logic is already turning off because you want to believe that you can make sales easily.
Our brain often looks for an easy way, and various deceivers exploit this. However, deceivers can be caught – they give their super-examples without specifics, names links to real cases.
The girl advertising the “magic car funnels” did not answer these questions and disappeared.
If someone colorfully convinces you that this or that course has already helped many people earn money, ask him for links to objective results that you can check.
Promises like “Become a CMO in two months.”
There is a recognized gradation of “levels” of specialists in the IT market. For example:
- Junior – a beginner, works under the guidance of a mentor for six months to a year and a half;
- The middle is the next step, an independent fighter. He also has a leader, but he solves 90% of the tasks and problems himself; he does not need to be led by the hand. Usually, middles have 2-5 years of work in their piggy bank;
- Senior or team leader, or the same marketing director – these designations are slightly different. Still, they have a similar essence: this is a former middle who knows how to work with his hands perfectly but rarely does it because he brings several times more results when he manages people and deals with strategy.
The timing for each step is arbitrary – different companies have different processes.
But in any case, the marketing director, in addition to technical skills, must also develop the so-called soft skills (personal skills):
- project management;
- work in the mode of uncertainty;
- market knowledge;
- and other qualities.
They cannot be pumped in a swoop in two months.
Such moral maturity develops only through the successful passage of the entire career ladder, from junior to the manager, over several years.
- Honest courses will promise beginner-only training up to the junior level.
- Course organizers and speakers should have a transparent “development map” of a specialist so that students understand which path they must follow in advance. Here, for example, is the SEO specialist knowledge map compiled by the Netpeak Group, which formed the basis of the Choice 31 course.
Constant demonstration of “beautiful life” instead of useful information
The favorite technique of info-scammers: they constantly show their expensive watches, and cars, maintain a beautiful Instagram and tell what successful people they are friends with.
But a closer look reveals inconsistencies.
One of the funniest living examples of this inconsistency: world the famous rapper 50 Cent. He did earn millions of dollars early in his career. But because of the love of living in a big way and their inattentive attitude to savings, the musician went bankrupt, creditors began to regularly sue him.
Already under investigation, he posted a post on his Instagram in which he collected the word “broken” (broken) from bundles of money. But, as it turned out later in court, it was souvenir money.
If the descriptions of the beautiful life of organizers and lecturers interrupt useful and specific information about training, there may be better courses.
“We have leading experts from a super cool company.”
The topic of new professions is very hype; it can be challenging to understand. Therefore, scammers often use this, exaggerating their fame and expertise.
For example, a lecturer who appeared five years ago with a commentary on Internet marketing in the business media may end up on the promo page of the course as a “Forbes expert.”
On this occasion, there is a good comment:
When you dive into a hype topic, it is important to be able to formulate a query (as when working with a search engine). Otherwise, you can get a completely arbitrary result. A huge responsibility falls on a person – to include critical thinking.
If the goal is to become familiar with robotics or machine learning, this is one acceptable level of immersion. If you want to develop and make a career, this is a completely different level; teachers have more requirements for their success and connections with some serious guys. All this needs to be checked.
The advice is the same as in the previous paragraphs: be active in checking the details and ask questions about the course organizers that interest you.
“Having mastered this profession, you will be provided with a job for life.”
Such promises are, at best, a delusion of the organizers and, at worst, a deceit. The world is changing too fast for anyone to be able to make accurate predictions.
We live in a world where more than 70% of the professions in demand for the future still need to be created, and 50% of the professions that exist today will soon become freelance. Everything is changing too fast. For example, the social media industry, which did not exist a decade ago, now employs 21 million people.
Georg Leonhard, CEO of the Futures consulting agency, is one of the top 100 influential Europeans, according to the technology magazine Wired.
Many people think that their education begins after purchasing a particular course. Not really.
Even when choosing a training, you need to learn to analyze, compare, ask questions and look for honest reviews and other useful information.
We hope our checklist has helped you. If you have any questions – discuss them in the comments.