Vancouver Community College Continuing Studies provides social-media instruction at convenient times

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      Social media and analytics are transforming the business world. 

      Fortunately, Vancouver Community College is making it easy for entrepreneurs and their staffs to make use of these applications at affordable prices.

      This year, VCC Continuing Studies has launched four introductory courses offered at times that won’t intrude on the 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekday work schedule. And they all take place at the downtown campus, which is easily accessible via the Expo Line and various bus routes.

      Social Media: Marketing and Branding is a one-day course being offered on two Saturdays: September 29 and November 24.

      Program coordinator Sid Khullar says that it will touch on major social-media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, Pinterest, and Instagram.

      “It helps people learn how to create consistent messaging for your brand promotion,” he explains. “It’s well suited for individuals who have their own business who want to expand into the social-media realm.”

      The second new course, Google AdWords Training, is offered over five consecutive Wednesday evenings from 6 to 9 p.m., starting October 24.

      “It’s a pay-per-click model, so anytime somebody clicks your advertisement, then you pay,” Khullar says. “It also provides geographic controls, so you can have your advertisements targeted to a local area or you can make it available across the globe.”

      The third new course, Visual Analytics With Tableau, takes place on five consecutive Thursday evenings from 6 to 9 p.m., starting on October 11. Tableau enables users to create interactive dashboards, graphs, and illustrations.

      “You can produce meaningful visualizations,” Khullar says. “You can quickly navigate into the details within that big picture.”

      He points out that Tableau is quite heavily used in marketing, journalism, health care, geography, and other fields.

      The fourth new offering, Introduction to Python Programming, takes place from 6 to 9 p.m. over five Tuesdays, starting on October 23. According to Khullar, Python is relatively easy to learn in comparison to other programming languages, and it can be used on social-networking sites.

      A fifth course, SEO and Google Analytics, has been offered before. SEO stands for “search-engine optimization”, and this course takes place on five Wednesday evenings from 6 to 9 p.m., starting on September 19.

      Khullar points out that all the instructors are working professionals in the fields in which they teach. He adds that students' evaluations have been positive and they enjoy face-to-face interactions with the faculty.

      "We try to keep the courses affordable so that anybody—whether it's a personal hobbyist who wants to expand in knowledge or somebody who is being sponsored by an employer or Work B.C.—is able to engage in this learning," Khullar says. "We want to make sure it's accessible to a wide segment of the population."