The Remote Skills Academy at 8 Months: Numbers, Stories, & Reflections

“Why 8 months?”, you might ask. It’s an unusual timeline to refer to, indeed.

But this is 2020, and everything is unusual 😊

Back in May, the Cambridge Dictionary coined the term coronnial: noun [C] UK /kəˈrəʊ.ni.əl/ US /kəˈroʊ.ni.əl/: someone who was born around the time of the covid-19 pandemic.

And yes, Remote Skills Academy is a coronial, as old as the pandemic: we launched the registrations to our first course in mid-March 2020, as the world was proceeding to turn upside down.

As we wrote here back then, the Remote Skills Academy was born out of our frustration with the huge disconnect between the “Instagrammable” digital nomad side of Bali and the reality for the local population.

Over the last 5-7 years, Bali has become a huge hot-spot for digital nomads, remote workers, freelancers and location independent entrepreneurs, who take advantage of all these new ways of working and live as they please thousands of kilometers away from their employees, partners, clients or providers.

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Source: Unsplash

They get to surf and have a tropical smoothie before plugging in for a few hours of productive work from a coworking space, their villa or a cafe; then easily squeeze in a yoga/gym session and end their day watching the sunset over power bowls and inspiring conversations on the beach.

At the same time and around the very same epicenter of the work revolution described above, many of the Indonesians and Balinese around us are left behind. They work long, inflexible hours, 6-day weeks, and depend on largely hospitality-based, low-paid, often seasonal jobs that fail to offer a high quality of life. And above everything else, these jobs are incredibly vulnerable to the whims of the tourism industry.

So, the question was, how do we ensure they, too, have the opportunity to step into the future of work together with the many foreigners they host on their island? How does one acquire these ‘special’ remote work skills, which are not usually taught at schools or universities?

Enter the pandemic, remote work has emerged as equally a necessity, as well as a super-power: it’s the one differentiator that has allowed some of us to keep our livelihood and careers.

So, for the past 8 months since we launched the academy, we’ve been busy: we’ve experimented a lot, we’ve learned a lot, we’ve achieved a lot.

Though perhaps numbers are not the best way to showcase the impact of the academy, here are some:

Year end Reunion final
  • We’ve organised so far 8 courses lasting 2-4 weeks
  • 6 different types of certifications: Virtual Assistance, Remote Work Basics, Online Business Management, Project Management, Scrum Master, No-Code Web Design and 3 subtopics (shorter one-week courses able to be taken on their own, or as part of a longer course): Basic Remote Admin, Digital Marketing, (Remote) Career Planning.
  • 27 different teachers and mentors – most of them fully voluntarily, we thank you all for your dedication and availability, and we couldn’t have done it without you!
  • 165 applicants, 100 students enrolled
  • 86% of the students got certified, which means they had a 90% active score: attended the classes and completed the assignments
  • 29 students received scholarships from Livit and 8 other private sponsors – thank you Charlotte, Kelli, Rina, Yuni, Alissia, Sisi and Jamie for supporting these wonderful future remote workers!
  • 2 former students are now supporting current students (paying it forward!) and 3 former students are now mentors, teaching the next “generation”– Sisi, Gina and Adinda, we are so incredibly proud of you!
  • Average rating: 9/10
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Above all the numbers, the success stories of our past students are beautifully evolving every week, and our hearts are full seeing them build on their promising remote careers!.

Here are 2 examples:

Screen Shot 2020 12 02 at 14.27.35

Screen Shot 2020 12 02 at 14.27.52

Current status?

Last week we wrapped up the last course of the year, we’re currently planning a Year End Reunion with all the cohorts, teachers and speakers, and we’re gearing up to take the Academy to the next level in 2021.

Have you got any ideas on how we can best take this to more people?

Do you want to contribute, as a mentor/teacher, or support a scholarship?

Let us know, we’d love to hear from you!

We hosted a virtual Year-End Reunion with the Remote Skills Academy students, teachers, guest speakers, sponsors and team yesterday – check out our social media to see how it went!


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