We’ve all had those phases when we’re not satisfied with where we are, or what we’re doing with our lives. When you’re in that situation, it’s easy to feel frustrated, and those negative feelings can have a ripple effect, impacting those around you. As hard as it can be sometimes, the solution is to make a change, pursue a new opportunity, and start on a new path. The transformation can be remarkable.

Michael O - New Career - UdacityMichael Overman spent fifteen years teaching percussion in rural, central Virginia. Music was his passion, but the lack of career advancement opportunities was increasingly getting him down. He knew he needed to adjust course. Admitting this to himself was the beginning of a year-long effort to explore new career options.

“I was exploring computers and remembering some old Java I had learned in the late 90s. I discovered that Android is Java-based, so I began learning Android as a means to dig into the tech world until I figured out something permanent.”  

Michael worked his way through some free online courses, hoping to build upon his existing knowledge, and start establishing the foundations for a tech career. Money was an ongoing concern, as was time. Plus, his professional objectives were serious; he wanted a new career, not just new skills. That’s when he discovered Udacity:

“The thoroughness, depth, and self-paced aspect of the Udacity courses immediately appealed to me.”

Michael’s existing Java knowledge, combined with the free courses he’d recently taken, qualified him to enroll in the Android Developer Nanodegree program; ultimately, he enrolled in the Nanodegree Plus version, as he wanted to take advantage of the job guarantee.

He completed his course work in six months, and earned his Nanodegree credential. Through the Plus program, he received support on improving his resume and LinkedIn profile, and he gained valuable new interview skills. His job hunt took a quick turn for the better:

“Within a month of completing the program, I received a full-time job offer from ATIV Software. It is a remote position, so I don’t have to move my family! I will be “The Android Guy,” working primarily with an iOS and a web developer.”

Michael experienced something we all encounter at one time or another; he felt stuck, frustrated, and unsure about his future. But Michael took it upon himself to make a change. He took inventory of himself and his past experience, identified elements of his existing skillset that could be leveraged to future benefit, and slowly but surely developed a way forward. Once he’d committed, he dove in full bore, and his efforts paid off. He’s starting a new career, and he’s excited about his future. Michael is a perfect example of why embracing the ideal of lifelong learning is so important. Because you can change, and things do get better!

Congratulations Michael, and good luck, from all of us at Udacity!