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How She Got There: From Operations Support to Business Analyst


Courtney, an employee with an associate’s degree, saw a strategic shift at the truck driver services company she worked for and knew she needed to take action to update her skill set. After determining what skills her organization needed, Courtney completed a MicroBachelors® program on edX. Gaining a new credential and taking on increased responsibilities at work earned her a promotion.

How She Did It

Courtney was working in an operational support position when she realized her company was moving towards using database technologies like Power BI and SQL. She had to decide what type of role she wanted to take on in the future to stay relevant. After looking at different career paths, Courtney determined that she wanted to move into an analyst role. To get there, she needed to learn skills like SQL and Power BI. However, as a single mom who had never been an academic, going back to school for a bachelor’s degree wasn’t the right path. Her boss recommended edX and when she found the Introduction to Databases MicroBachelors program from NYUx, she decided to give it a try. After she completed the program, she had the confidence at work to speak up and prove that she had developed new skills. Since then, her hard work has paid off and she was promoted to Business Analyst.

Watch more of Courtney's story:

Courtney’s Toolkit for Success

Explore Courtney's must-have skills, tips, and recommendations to guide your own journey. 

Courtney's Must-Have Skill

SQL: “The SQL and database queries I learned in my program were really fun, but I chose to look into SQL because of the direction my company was moving towards. I was working in operations support and my primary focus was reporting. When I saw that my company was moving towards using Power BI and SQL, I had to choose the path I wanted to go down. For me, that meant asking myself if I wanted to be the behind-the-scenes database person. I started looking into what going down that path would include and for my company, that was learning SQL and database queries. That’s the path I chose and I knew it was time to look into doing it.” 

Courtney's Top Online Learning Tips

Just try it: “I’d say just try it and audit it. Audit it for a week or two and see if you dig it, and then if you do, dive in. I was very hesitant to start because I just wasn’t sure if I was going to even understand. I did the very first course in the program and actually started by auditing it. I got about a week or two into it and I said, ‘No, I’m digging this. I think I can handle it.’ I went ahead and paid for the course, got it done, and really enjoyed it. Once I was on board with the first one, completing the second and third courses in the program came naturally.”

Break up your learning into time blocks that make sense for your life: “The courses are set up so that you can watch the videos and then go back to do the hands-on activities. I was doing my work on nights and weekends, and it was nice that I didn’t have to necessarily sit down and focus for an extended period of time.” 

Courtney’s Recommended Courses & Programs

Introduction to Databases from NYUx

  • Why she recommends it:

    “I looked at going back to school and getting a full bachelor’s degree, but I just couldn’t do it. I’m not a school person and I wasn’t ready to commit to going back to school. This MicroBachelors program was really great because it gave me the experience and the skills that I needed to learn without doing that full commitment to a degree program.”

How far can one program take you? See what courses and programs other learners have taken to achieve their career goals.

Last updated: April 2021