21 July, 2020
Should I Join an Online Course in this Pandemic?
Economic downturns have historically been a popular time to acquire new skills. History says during the last recession in 2008, students who acquired new skills or join in higher education after being in the workforce grew by about 30%.
Economic downturns have historically been a popular time to acquire new skills and further your education. History says during the last recession in 2008, students who acquired new skills or join in higher education after being in the workforce grew by about 30%.
With the world now in a recession, enrolling for online courses for acquiring new skills could improve your job prospects significantly.
Industry experts say, those with at least a certification on new skills over and above their bachelor’s degree have far lower unemployment rates when compared to those without additional skill sets.
COVID-19 poses unique health risks associated with in-person classes. However, many institutions and startup like entuze.com offering online learning opportunities at an affordable cost to minimize those risks. The current environment may allow you to advance your education from home. Of course, physical tuition and books add up.
Search for a Job or Enrol for a New Course
Should you keep looking for a job or sign up for a new course? Recessions usually extend unemployment periods, and getting hired also requires more flexibility—including a willingness to shift to new industries
Assess carefully how many available jobs you qualify for without acquiring new skill sets. During recessions, you will face tougher competition for the few available positions. If you find you are likely to have few opportunities or do not have the required skills to compete, acquiring new skills may be the ideal option.
Use this time productively by learning something new and positioning yourself for your next career move for when the economy opens up more. Additional qualifications can fill the gap on your resume as well, if you can’t find a suitable job now.
However, as COVID-19 ushers in a new normal, acquiring a new skill without doing the diligence may bring risks of its own.
You may not know what skills will be required as new jobs and industries take the forefront during this unique time
For instance, certain industries have been hit hard by the recent COVID-19 shutdowns, like travels & tourism, bars, hotels, services, automotive etc. However, companies also announced millions of new jobs too, mostly in retail and e-commerce.
How to Choose the Right Course for Future Career Prospects
Any courses or future degree should help you find a new career or advance your current career after the recession ends. Reach out to experienced people in your chosen field to research job prospects and investigate the long-term outlook for the field.
Gather information about what it takes to get an entry or to transition into the field of your choice. Engage with an informal conversation with someone in the field of your choice, to get career tips, experience, and advice. This conversation can tip you off as to what type of skill sets serves your long-term career goals.
Research salary data and probable demand for your chosen profession or industry through sites like Glassdoor.
Working Part-Time as a Student
Deciding to join an online course does not need to be an either-or-proposition. You can still conduct a job search or do some part time job while taking online classes.
Taking classes that fit into your work schedule could be easier than ever before, due to the rapid growth of online courses that can be taken anywhere, in a variety of time zones.
Acquiring a new skill always pays.
However, engaging into a course for full time or part time during a recession depends on your situation. If further qualification could advance your career prospects, go for it. You may find that joining a full-time degree course is right for you or might opt to seek work while attending online classes part-time. Assess your options and do what's right for you over the long-term.