- Gjensidige found it very exciting that I wanted to combine design and development, which allowed them to accommodate my needs as a student.

Maria Eilertsen (28) had been working in the advertising industry for four years when she applied for online studies in front-end development.

Like many others, Maria's workplace was hit by COVID-19, which meant employees were laid off. The 28-year-old saw this as an opportunity to develop her skills and take them in a new direction. During her studies, she also started a new job as a designer at the insurance company Gjensidige.

Gjensidige found it very exciting that I wanted to combine design and development, which allowed them to accommodate my needs as a student. I juggled 100% online studies and 100% work. When I completed my education, I switched positions from designer to developer, she says.

Maria now works as a developer in a team called «Builders». This multidisciplinary team consists of both designers and developers, who work together to build and implement Gjensidige's design system, called «Gjensidige Builders».

- They continuously adapted to our needs

The former Noroff student says that the study program takes into account that students have different starting points when they begin. She found that the introduction was very manageable, which contributed to a large number of students completing the course.

Online studies turned out to be much more social than I had thought. Maria Eilertsen

It was a safe and open environment where we could ask and talk about anything. In the second year, we organized social gatherings in the cities we live in, so studying online turned out to be much more social than I thought it would be.

The program keeps up with an ever-changing industry. I have friends who started the program after I graduated, and I can see that already one year later, Noroff has updated much of the curriculum based on changing practices, she continues.

Maria says that several of the assignments on the course involved practicing working as a developer in a team. The course also dealt with realistic scenarios that students are likely to encounter in the workplace.

The teachers were engaged in the developer community and often shared news about changes in the industry. They were also easily accessible if we needed anything and continuously adapted to our needs, even on weekends, she says.

Sense of Achievement and Inspiration

Maria has tried both traditional on-campus bachelor's degrees and online vocational schools. She has found that the most important factor for success is to study something you find fun and exciting.

The syllabus was structured in a way that gave me a sense of accomplishment. Maria Eilertsen

The threshold is then much lower for starting early on assignments and reading the syllabus. I think what's a bit scary for many people when it comes to online studies is how they talk about self-discipline and how to avoid "falling behind". Motivation will always vary a little over the course of two years, but I always reminded myself that studying was something I had voluntarily returned to, she says.

The former online student believes that Noroff has structured the semester in a way that helps students not to "fall behind". "You work week by week, starting on Monday and submitting assignments every Sunday in the form of practical tasks or tests with answer options.

The syllabus was laid out in a way that gave me a sense of accomplishment and inspiration to get up early every Monday when the week's assignment was published. Several of us online students talked a lot together and helped each other, so I don't feel that I lost anything as an online student, says Maria.

Front-end Development is a technological education where visual design meets coding, web and UX design. The great need for front-end developers provides you with excellent career opportunities after your studies. The next start up for online studies is January 9, 2024.

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