People make a fuss about learning online where they post their finished online courses and certifications. What’s relevant and important about all these in the workplace and within our social circles?
Today, skills learning becomes accessible, flexible, and self-paced. However, distraction and information overload are everywhere that it’s hard to keep up with career changes.
But in this blog post, we focus on the why’s of learning effectively today in the workplace. We’ll talk about why and how this is relevant now and onwards.
1. Learning and upskilling online for career survival
Whether you’re an online freelancer or an employee working for a big company, learning new skills relevant to your field is tantamount to career survival. SEO, website development and app development, and even content writing have evolved over the past few years. New technology such as artificial intelligence and machine learning paved the way for breakthrough applications in these fields. Digital literacy today in itself is not enough to just keep up.
SEO, for example, has gone very technical because it now involves some programming and A.I. to work effectively in a very crowded web space. Work becomes easier because billions of data are analyzed through intelligent algorithms. Competitor analysis, keyword research, and keeping up with Google’s rules are now within your reach.
But how do people in these evolving careers catch up with all these demands and competencies? Knowledge workers are those who think heavily and solve problems at work. On the other side, thousands of routine jobs might not even exist in the future – thanks to technology and automation. Only certain types of jobs will have that preferred level of stability and profitability.
If you want to survive and thrive in your career, then learning effectively is your best friend. There’s no other way.
2. Online learning is affordable – free at its best with added value
Courses and certifications online have appeared like wildfire for the past few months. From top-rated sites like Coursera, Udemy, and more, courses are offered for free for a limited time. Beyond that trial period, you have to go through a paywall before taking more courses. On the other hand, some instructors offer free certifications upon completion. Platforms like Google Digital Garage, Hubspot, and LinkedIn are popular ones. Examples of these featured certifications are Fundamentals of Digital Marketing (Digital Garage), Inbound Marketing (Hubspot), and many more you can enjoy posting in your LinkedIn or freelancer profiles.
Have you ever seen courses where such learning value is offered for free? The internet is a treasure trove of valuable information and skills to learn, only if used correctly. Since learning isn’t limited to educational institutions or conferences, you get the added value of saved time and money. You can even share your paid courses with your friends! Most importantly, your energy is focused to dwell on the topic, rather than with distractions or noisy people around you.
Additionally, you can also ask questions to the instructors from top universities around the world in these courses. You can always get that useful piece of advice which made them known or successful in their field.
3. Online Learning is more accessible with no commitments – take advantage of it
What I like most about taking courses online are the benefits of flexibility and pacing. With a busy schedule at work, it helps. A lot. But most of all, you can take advantage of the right timing. Why? Even if you’re on a different path, you can still enjoy learning from other seemingly ‘unrelated’ courses. You can take your time to learn additional or transferrable skills. Once you find that golden opportunity where a certain skill becomes relevant, you take advantage to learn about it. This hit me most after discovering that adult learning is mostly grounded in the practicality and usability of the skill. If you can relate it to your experiences and work, the skill becomes much more useful.
In short, learning becomes a wider path for everyone to enjoy. No commitments needed at all – online learning at your own pace and discipline. You’re not limited to the confines of your own work.
Key Takeaway: The Only Skill that never changes
From all courses I found online, there’s one skill I deem the most valuable. What we weren’t taught at school was how to learn effectively. I discovered a couple of courses online that offer great advice about effective learning strategies and skills, which is the most important and relevant skill in the 21st century. Concepts like diffused and focused modes of thinking, habit loops, interleaving, and Einstellung, and much more are discussed in great detail. Dealing with procrastination and career changes are also explained. These courses are Mindshift and Learning How To Learn, both by the same instructor, Barbara Oakley.
Technology in itself is a cause and effect of rapid changes and evolvements in our work. New technologies and more complex concepts imply to us new things to learn. New things to learn means new methods by which we access and analyze information. There’s no other way around but to make effective learning as a habit.