Education/Upskill budget ideas

Paul Giovacchini
Paul Giovacchini Member Posts: 7 Seeker
Second Anniversary
edited August 14 in CS Conversations

Hi Team,

I have an education/upskill budget of $500/quarter and would like some ideas on how to spend it. I've been a CSM for 7 or 8 years now and would consider myself a high performing IC with leadership ambitions.

I've taken SQL lessons, public speaking, read a number of business books, and writing classes. My initial thought was to take a CSM math class, but I couldn't find a course that was focused on CSM data. 

What have you read/learned that has stuck with you?




  • Kevin Mitchell Leonor
    Kevin Mitchell Leonor Member Posts: 249 Expert
    100 Comments Second Anniversary Name Dropper
    edited June 2020

    Data Analytics. There are plenty of certificate programs from universities.

    That would be a good one to do for a math class. Math doesn't get overly complicated in CS world. No calculus, no trigonometry. Algebra 2 and Statistics at most.

  • Kate Current
    Kate Current Member Posts: 9 Seeker
    edited June 2020

    A teammate of mine joined Toastmasters to enhance her leadership & public speaking skills. It's also helping with her swagger!

  • Jeff Breunsbach
    Jeff Breunsbach HLAdmin, Member Posts: 277 Gain Grow Retain Staff
    Third Anniversary 100 Comments Photogenic GGR Blogger 2022
    edited June 2020

    Something that has stuck with me recently is Chris Voss Masterclass around Negotiation. I've heard from many at how valuable these concepts are, even outside of sales.

  • Shaun Porcar
    Shaun Porcar Member Posts: 18 Thought Leader
    Third Anniversary 10 Comments Photogenic
    edited July 2020

    Here's a few ideas

    +1 Negotiation and Sales - Especially if your business model is land and expand and you routinely participate or support commercial conversations. I've taken a variety of sales leadership courses and developing these skills has been invaluable to virtually every CS role I've had.

    Industry related certifications. For example, if your platform integrates into a large platform or ecosystem such as Salesforce, AWS, Netsuite, etc — obtaining more structured or comprehensive knowledge in your space is always beneficial and helps accelerate your path to becoming a trusted advisor with new customers.

    Consider pooling your edu budget with colleagues to bring in someone to run or create more personalized professional development to address some specific gaps or challenges you're currently facing or anticipating.

  • Brian LaFaille
    Brian LaFaille Member Posts: 10 Contributor
    edited July 2020

    +1 to negotiation 

    +1 to a project management certification 

    And one that I'm taking right now is the Cornell Change Management certification:

  • Paul Giovacchini
    Paul Giovacchini Member Posts: 7 Seeker
    Second Anniversary
    edited July 2020

    Thanks for the suggestions (and keep them coming). @Brian LaFaille I haven't thought of a PM cert, but it makes sense. I appreciate the link too. 

    I love negotiations and have taken a number of courses in it. I highly recommend working on your negotiation skill as well (if anyone has a team member looking for ideas).

  • Tatyana Ventura
    Tatyana Ventura Member Posts: 5 Seeker
    Second Anniversary
    edited July 2020

    @Brian LaFaille Completely agree on Change Management as I think it is a vital but often overlook skill that CSMs need to have. How is your experience with the Cornell Change Management course? I was thinking of taking it in the Fall.

    +1 for Project Management as the vast majority of CSM job description want that skill

    Since you've mentioned math, I would also look at this Udemy course by Ed Powers:

    My personal educational path is Level 2 CSM Certification (through SuccessHacker) next week, then the above mentioned Udemy class, then Change Management certificate through Cornell, followed by CCXP certification and Digital Marketing certification and then, at some point Project Management certification (I hope).