Not all edu­ca­tion is cut from the same cloth. This is why Loud­er Than Ten is one of the best.

When we design our cours­es, these cri­te­ria are baked into our method­ol­o­gy. They are crit­i­cal for a suc­cess­ful edu­ca­tion pro­gram that ben­e­fits both the learn­er and their orga­ni­za­tion, and by exten­sion, the tech­nol­o­gy indus­try itself.

BenefitLouder Than TenVideo coursesPM certificationsConferencesBoot campsContinuing ed

Customization

High Small class sizes, human trainers, and the opportunity to learn while fully employed means every topic is backed by theory, but applied and adapted to each participant's experience, learning style, and organization needs.

None Video courses use one-way communication and must be one-size-fits all, regardless of skill or organization type.

None/Minimal Certifications are designed for a prescriptive set of rules that must work for all companies and industries. Often not relevant to our technology industry.

Minimal Participating in workshops or break-outs can offer some customization, but the main programs are typically set in stone and rely on the selection and knowledge of speakers.

Minimal Bootcamps must follow a one-size-fits-all curriculum and must be completed while unemployed which puts a huge strain on underrepresented or underprivileged folks.

Minimal Courses are delivered from a standardized curriculum which means that individuals don't have the support to personalize and apply learning to their own situation.

Financial burden

Minimal/None We train people who are fully employed and encourage their employers to cover the training cost. We then train the student how to earn back their tuition to their company.

Minimal Most video courses are relatively low cost if paid for by their organization, but can be a big investment for individuals.

Medium General certifications have low-to-medium initial costs, but most require yearly fees from the individual to keep their credentials.

Medium When you factor in conference fees, accommodation, travel, food and beverages, and time off work, conferences add up quickly.

High Boot camps are expensive, the cost burden is almost always put on folks while unemployed, and there's no guarantee of a job when you're done. Many students must rely on predatory loan or repayment schemes that can have catastrophic financial consequences for years.

Medium There are often scholarships, bursaries, and student loans available for university courses which can offset the student debt load, but then students are usually attending part or full-time and unable to pay down debts while looking for a job.

Financial return

High 93% of grads earn their tuition back for their organization before the end of the course. On average, they are getting promoted and earning higher salaries, and their organizations are making dramatically more money.

Minimal For the student, video courses have minimal impact on career advancement and salaries. For the organization, it's not hard to earn the course cost back, but long-term structural returns are minimal.

Minimal Students may be able to negotiate a higher salary at some organizations in our industry. For the organization, there's not a lot of practical info that applies to the nuances of digital client work and how to have those conversations.

Minimal Most financial return from conferences comes not from content, but from networking and relationship building.

Negative/Medium (if hired) A student can make a big financial return if they are new to the industry and get hired. However there is a big risk and will take time to make tuition back. For organizations, they may save money on hiring a new junior employee who has minimal applicable skills and experience because they are not practicing in a real world setting.

Medium The financial return from university courses can trickle up to the agency environment if a student is empowered to know what conversations to have and how, but the focus is not on changing the processes of the org (which improve efficiencies and save money), it is on the actual management of the projects. We see a lot of the breakdowns happen between project and higher-level process systems.

Financial return

High When we teach theory, we also teach how to adapt and implement it, then actively support students as they do it. In addition, we train them how to teach concepts and run workshops with their teams, so the whole organization benefits and gets better. Our goal is to train organizations, not just individuals. We also provide support to apprentice sponsors and custom consulting to organizations when they need a little more hands on.

Minimal Typically only the student benefits from the material presented in a video course. Sometimes students may introduce some new documents and practices, but ultimately, if they leave, the knowledge (and course material) leaves with them.

Minimal The concepts and practices taught are often divorced from the reality of digital client work. The student may have an impressive library of jargon and documentation, and even a few great skills, but little of this knowledge is of practical use in small-to-medium agencies.

Minimal The attendee must come back to work after being bombarded with a variety surface-level ideas and concepts of varying quality over 1-3 days, pick out the relevant bits, share findings, and figure out how to implement things with minimal reference material and guidance. Not to mention, they must create buy-in for these ideas.

Minimal If an organization hires a boot camp graduate, that graduate is going to be missing key experience and will have beginner level knowledge and context. It's a big commitment for an organization to continue training and supporting the junior.

Minimal The organization will likely not feel the same level of impact as the individual since the focus is on the individual's learning, not a work experience apprenticeship where knowledge is regularly encouraged and transferred back to the organization.

Impact on careers

High From your first day at Louder Than Ten, we're going to train you how to track your progress and impact on your organization. In addition to materially improving the financial health of your organization, you'll be actively building your case for promotions, salary increases, and career advancement. Not to mention the fact that we get requests for highly-coveted Louder Than Ten-trained PMs from agencies every single week.

Minimal Video courses are going to have minimal impact on hiring decisions, promotions, and salary negotiations.

Medium Certifications can have an impact when folks who are applying for jobs and negotiating salaries, but the knowledge itself may have limited long-term impact as it goes out of date and cannot keep up to technology changes.

Medium Conferences are great for networking and can lead to new employment opportunities for attendees. Unfortunately, they won't have a big impact on hire-ability, talent retention, promotions, or salary negotiation.

Potentially high When boot camps work, they present a major impact on the careers of people new to the industry. Even with issues around companies being averse to hiring juniors, this can be a major first-step into our industry.

Medium Continuing education can support career transitions and growth as long as there is real project practice happening; otherwise agencies expect that you have a little experience under your belt before wanting to hire you on. We see this time and time again.

Addressing a variety of learning styles

High We use a combination of written curriculum, templates and tools, video conferencing, real-time exercises, at-work assignments, community discussion in Slack and video to address all learning styles. In addition, we record our video sessions for future reference and give your team lifetime curriculum access.

Minimal When you take a video course, you're stuck with one medium. You must scrub through a series of videos, figure out how to apply the knowledge on your own, and find ways to stay engaged and accountable to your own learning. If you're not a visual/auditorial learner, this is not ideal.

Minimal/Medium (depending on course) Most certifications rely heavily on reading and leave it up to you to figure out how to adapt the knowledge.

Minimal/Medium Workshops can provide opportunities for hands-on learning, but aside from that, you are relying on someone talking at you using minimal visuals. There are also few opportunities to review concepts and get one-on-one support.

High Boot camps have the opportunity to address a variety of learning styles dues to their immersive, on-site nature.

Minimal Curriculum is usually delivered in one format, with one style, and is either an in-person classroom or a learn at your own pace course. The expectations for deliverables and outputs are not customizable for the student and they're expected to follow the rules instead of learning them and then breaking them so they work for that individual.

Community support

High Our community is core to Louder Than Ten. We have a full Slack service that is included with your tuition, which means we have a small, but very active and helpful community of current students and alumni that will be there (and the the content will remain, too). In addition, we run regular community video chats and AMAs, and occasional in-person meetups where we can talk about what's happening in real time on projects.

Medium A lot of video courses offer a free community platform like Slack, but due to the large amount of people, these communities can be overwhelming and knowledge gets lost as old messages are deleted due to account limitations.

Medium Depending on the program, some certifications can include local meet-up groups and online communities, but with the amount of people, variety of backgrounds and industries, these communities aren't as helpful when it comes to getting support in our industry.

High We love conferences for their community-building potential. Seeing peers in person is a big deal and some of the better ones even maintain year-round Slack communities that have a good balance of activity.

Minimal Boot camps are great when you're in them, but once you're done, they often don't offer connections with a community of more experienced people in the industry.

Medium Students can meet great friends during their training and work on group assignments, but the camaraderie is often limited by strange forum conversations, or one person dominating conversation. Psychological safety and bias awareness is not often a part of the conversation. These courses often overlook the vulnerability people have when they dealing with project or people conflict.

Depth of topics

High Every module we teach requires a combination of about 30–45 minutes of reading, at least one 3-hour video session, exercises, assignments where concepts are applied at work, community discussion, and the opportunity for one-on-one support from trainers and peers.

Medium Even if a video course contains several hours of video content, because of its one-size-fits-all nature, there's no opportunity to dig deeper into any topic. And the longer they are, the more difficult it is to find and reference material.

Minimal Some certifications feel like they go deep, but its depth is rarely applicable to our industry.

Minimal Conferences are designed to deliver a wide variety of topics given in 20–45 minute presentations. It's difficult to go deep on any topic even in a workshop or hallway conversation.

Medium Boot camps can go deep in certain areas, but the high concentration of content in a short period of time makes it difficult to spend enough time on any given topic.

High University courses can go deeply into topics like scoping and estimating, but often they must cater to a range of industries and so the depth is often countered by a need to cover more industry related ground.

Breadth of topics

High PM and operations are extremely contextual skills. To be a good PM, you need the basics, but to be great, you need to understand how your organization works, how it makes and spends money, how to work with people, and how to be a leader.

Minimal Most video courses are limited to a single topic that has to work in a variety of organizations and contexts.

Medium Certifications must include a variety of topics to address all the different industries and practices it must address. Unfortunately, only a small sliver applies to our industry.

High Conferences are great for getting a variety of introductory topics delivered in short snippets. You'll learn a little about a lot of things.

Medium Boot camps do a good job of preparing someone for all the essentials of doing their job, but rarely include the contextually adjacent topics required to work in our industry like people skills and communication.

Medium University courses may tackle a gamut of topics, but will often leave out essential business skills (soft skills) or oversimplify them and weight hard skills more heavily. They wouldn't teach students how to run workshops on ways to get stronger team alignment for example.

Retention of concepts

High We designed our courses with retention in mind from the start. Spacing our sessions out over several months allows students to dig in, ask questions, try things out, get feedback, and internalize each topic. In addition, we use a spiral curriculum, so that each topic builds on itself and reinforces previous teachings.

Minimal On its own, video lessons are extremely inefficient means of encoding information. Aside from a high rate of attrition (~90%), video lessons provide little means of accountability, practice, peer review, and evaluation.

Minimal Most certification requirements just include writing a test. Testing alone doesn't demonstrate understanding, and virtually no programs have mechanisms in place to build and ensure retention.

Minimal Conference talks rely on the attendee taking notes and relying on memory with few opportunities to check for understanding without being able to vet how it might apply to their own work context.

Medium With a boot camp, you get immersed in a topic, and plenty of opportunities to apply your learning, which is great for retention. Unfortunately, there is such a high concentration of content in a very short period of time that it's difficult to internalize the nuances of each topic.

Minimal Most university course requirements include writing a test or an essay. Standardized testing alone doesn't effectively demonstrate understanding, analysis, or synthesis, and virtually no programs have mechanisms in place to build and ensure retention. Retention happens through ongoing application.

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