Whether you are looking to re-enter the workforce, escape from a dead-end career, or leap several rungs up the career ladder online learning is a great place to start. Every so often I'll bump into someone who has won the career lottery, they figured out what they wanted to do at an early age, still love it, and can't imagine doing anything different. Unfortunately, career stalls, missteps, stagnation, and monotonous job misery
are a lot more common than fifty-year careers that leave you jumping out of bed each Monday morning. Sticking with a dead end job that gives you no joy can be soul crushing. Even for those lucky lottery winners continuing education is an important way to keep your credentials up to date, stay on top of innovations in your field, and move up the next rung on the ladder.
Do you need a career boost? An additional degree? Or perhaps a full overhaul?
Online learning is a good place to start for all three of these situations. We support taking big risks, but at Project Eve we also always advise folks to be as prepared as possible. When you are summiting Everest, we want you to train and pack some crampons! Preparation is where online education and courses can at a ton of value.
Using Online Learning for a Career Boost
For those of you looking to position yourself for a promotion or land a new job, online learning can be an ideal way to add new skills and expertise. Adding an additional course to your resume is a great way to signal employers that you are committed to advancing and acquiring the skills to get to the next level. If you are a recent college grad, employers would love to see some qualifications on your resume that demonstrate specific skills in a way that a degree in French literature or forestry might not. Courses in programming, communications, data analysis, and presentations can demonstrate your ability to hit the ground running on day one.
One of our favorite online learning services is Coursera. With Coursera you can choose from some of the top online courses offered by leading universities around the world. Take an entry-level class in financial modeling from The Warton School at the University of Pennsylvania or learn to program from the experts at the University of Michigan or data analysis from professors at Duke. There are hundreds to choose from and you'll never have to hop on a plane. At nights and on weekends you can beef up your resume and add new skills. At your next review, you'll have more than just your job performance to discuss. If your current employer doesn't appreciate those skills you will be prepped to hit the job market and find an employer that does.
Using Online Learning to On Ramp
For those folks looking to re-enter the workforce online learning is a great way to demonstrate that you are committed to getting back up to speed in your field and are current on changes that have happened since your break. Online courses are a great way to brush up on what you already know and importantly banish any insecurities about your time out of the workforce before you start interviewing.
It almost goes without saying that folks that are balancing family or health issues will appreciate the ability to access top quality online courses while maintaining a flexible schedule. Online courses can even help you position yourself for a job that offers flexible hours. Coursera even offers a Masters in Innovation and Entrepreneurship if being your own boss and making your own hours seems like a better idea.
Using Online Learning to Start a New Career
Do you dream all day of chucking it all and doing something completely different? Before you put in your notice or commit to a multi-year advanced degree some online learning might be the best way to try things out. Finding a career that can help you upgrade your lifestyle is certainly a valid ambition. Stop yourself before you decide to do something you dislike just for a financial payoff. It is very hard to skyrocket to success if you aren't interested in what you are doing. If you find yourself bored in a financial modeling class you've saved yourself from committing to a job or career where that will be a day to day part of your life. For creative fields, we like the amazing experts the folks at Master Class have partnered with. If you want to be a writer or write for t.v. who would pass up the opportunity to learn from James Patterson or Shonda Rhimes? The video below offers a great taste of how motivating a class with Ms. Rhimes might be. We loved learning how she became the powerhouse she is today!
For anyone in need of a confidence boost before signing up for heavy duty courses, online learning can be a low-risk way for you to get your head back in the game too. If you are super intimidated by becoming a student again why not start with a class in something unrelated to your chosen field? You will remind yourself what a great student you can be and explore a new interest. Take an online course in wine tasting or a cooking class. You, your friends, and family will all benefit as you learn tips and tricks from a world-class chef like Gordon Ramsey then you can move on to online classes in game design, Python programming, or data analysis.
Now, go forth find a course that will excite your mind, feed your soul, that may help you put food on the table or money in the bank. I think I may just need to learn how to write a best seller!