Leaders Voice; Words to Inspire | Nikkei special edition

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Yuki Sako(Skill Hacks K.K.)

*Information accurate as of time of publication.

Raising individual skill levels to work with greater freedom.

Yuki Sako,
Representative Director,
Skill Hacks K.K.

If you have skills, your work style will change.

In the current age of rapid changes in things, services, and work styles, acquiring skills that are matched to the times, becoming the kind of human resource the age demands, is key to flexibly catching the waves of change. Another demand is for speed, and I feel it’s important to take on many learning challenges in a short time. If you take up three new challenges in a year, in ten years you will have accumulated thirty challenges. Life comes at you only one time. In the limited time we have, I want to increase the number of people who are willing to take on many challenges, and obtaining wisdom and advice from trailblazers, are able to work in more fulfilling ways.

Currently at Skill Hacks we offer three online courses, Programming, Movie Editing, and Blog Administration, for raising individual skills. Looking back, it all started with a programming course in my student days, which I offered for 50 yen for two hours of lessons. As word spread and the number of students grew, I was unable to keep up with the demand, so I hit on the method of online video courses. As the service evolved, the price went up, but by market standards it was still a bargain for those viewing the courses. It pleases me no end that, thanks in part to the low barriers for participation, we have won favor with people across a wide range of ages, from students to those in their 30s looking for a career change, to housewives in their 50s, all with the desire to change their own work style.

Yuki Sako(Skill Hacks K.K.)

The “discovery of a new way of working” I myself experienced

My initial encounter with programming was when I was in high school, influenced by my teacher. It was in university that I really started learning how to program. Even then, there were early setbacks, as joining a programming club did not turn out as hoped; so in the summer break of my freshman year I attended classes at a programming school. The studies paid off, as the skills I learned let me sense the joy of creating the kind of program I wanted to. In a quest for real-life experience, I went around to companies asking for work. As a result, I landed a mobile application development job, winning high praise for the program I turned in. Work came in constantly thereafter, causing me to learn first of all how to work in the free time between classes, and second that having a skill is a way to earn more money than a part-time job. What I discovered was that if you have a highly marketable skill, you can provide equivalent value, and work with a high degree of freedom regardless of constraints such as age or time. Feeling that there must be many others like me who would be happy with such a work style, I started reaching out through blog posts and SNS. Along with the widely favorable response, I received requests to give lectures on programming.

Yuki Sako(Skill Hacks K.K.)

For people who have acquired skills, a new world of opportunities

Use of online videos has advantages for conveying subtle nuances, and lets viewers practice by imitating as they watch, so it’s an approach that leaves few people behind. Even so, there are individual cases that it can’t cover, so we also provide a chat service for such support. This raises the appeal of our services. There are times when this chat service provides a lift to the spirits of students. We try to gear the service closely to each student, based on their progress. Thanks to this kind of personal care, we hear from students who dropped out of other schools that they are truly glad to have found our courses. Moving on from here, I would like to go beyond online courses to create an environment for offline teaching, in brick-and-mortar facilities. Learning how to study at a young age gives you a skill that can be used to open up new paths in your lifetime thereafter. Now I have acquired a prep school and begun spreading out from there.

The demand for people with specialized skills, not just programming, is rising dramatically; and those who attain them are able to gain a highly free work style. Now more than ever, as the opportunities for people with skills are expanding, I want to support those, regardless of age, who are interested in the challenge of acquiring skills in new fields.