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Why Studying Online is a Great Way to Upskill

Job competition is stiff all around – and that means your current skills and capabilities may no longer be enough to meet the growing demands of the evolving marketplace.

But is this really such a bad thing? Coinciding with the emergence of  new industries is a growing supply of career development opportunities – most notably - the rise in online education. The increasing numbers of online learning providers is a needs-led response to the ongoing demand for new skillsets and knowledge. Online learning has proven itself to be an excellent alternative to on-campus education, as it offers you the flexibility to study on your own schedule at the location of your choice.

Studying online gives you the opportunity to develop new professional competencies in areas such as finance, business, management, marketing and more. Many professional bodies also offer the option to obtain qualifications online, including the globally recognised accounting organisations ACCA, CIMA, and AAT.

There are many advantages to developing your career via online study. You can:

-          Enjoy complete flexibility, so you don’t have to worry about interrupting your work schedule

-          Acquire new and relevant competencies that will impress potential employers

-          Enhance your CV with in-demand skillsets

-          Gain more professional opportunities to change your career path

-          Develop your soft skills, such as public speaking, team management, and negotiation

-          Find new networking opportunities by interacting with your tutors and academic peers

-          Save money, as online short courses are considerably more affordable and often offer flexible payment options

The amount of courses available online can be daunting. That’s why it’s important to ensure that you enrol on a programme that is accredited by a respected university and that will also be appreciated by your employer.

So, how do you choose which online short course to study? It’s important to keep in mind the following:

-          Choose something you’re actually interested in, as even with online short courses, you will need to allocate at least a few hours per week and remain committed and motivated to successfully complete your programme

-          Find out what’s missing: stay alert and keep informed on new job openings within your company to get a feel for what kind of new skills are being sought after - this will help you choose a programme that is directly applicable to your current job  

-          See if your employer is willing to finance all or part of the cost of your certificate or qualification course. If it is directly applicable to your job, your employer may be willing to put up the costs if they can forecast a return on investment

-          Speak with people in your field for advice on what courses to pursue, and contact people who have completed courses you are interested in to see if it will be a right match for you

-          If necessary, enquire to your employer ahead of time to see if they will authorise time off or flexible scheduling for your studies

Remember that today, remaining complacent in your current job is a major risk. The good news is that despite the increasing number of graduates entering the growing workforce, it is never too late to acquire the tools you need to secure your employment and enjoy new lucrative professional opportunities.