Accreditations earned through online courses and programs are gaining widespread acceptance throughout the world. This trend is not only being driven by traditional educational institutions transitioning to the virtual space, but also by vendors providing various other courses such as wine tasting, culinary classes and horticulture workshops.
Online Study Australia
Australia faces no exception to this sweeping wave of change, with some platforms specially offering online courses provided by Australian organizations. Online study in Australia is quickly becoming a viable alternative to attending brick and mortar schools and with a large number of providers operating in this space, you are almost guaranteed to find a course that suits your interests. However, if you are just browsing catalogues, the range of courses found online can be staggering! In addition to the various diploma, graduate and post graduate programs that can be completed by coursework and assignments, here is a list of possible domain specific courses you can also take up online:
- Improving IELTS speaking
- Drafting and negotiating contracts
- Psychology and learning
- Data Analytics
- Educational Neuroscience
Aspiring learners should note that the course delivery mechanism for all courses are not always fully online. This is true even if the course is being heavily marketed as being web based. Certain programs may require the candidate to attend practical sessions, complete outdoor projects and/or attend examinations in person. However, it must be noted that many service providers are starting to opt for proctored examinations in lieu of examinations conducted in classrooms. Even for courses that are offered completely online, the methods of delivery can vary significantly.
This is an important consideration for working adults who may find that some courses do not allow the complete flexibility with time and commitment that they were expecting to enjoy.
For example, a course provider may require the student to attend live webinars and tutorial sessions via teleconferencing instead of watching pre-recorded videos on their own time. Some courses may still require group work, where students have to organize group meet-ups and discussions on their own, which need not necessarily be online. Other courses may require the student to complete internships that they will need to source out and secure on their own. Hence, it goes without saying that course brochures must be carefully studied and all expectations understood before any decision is made.
What does this mean for industry?
Increased ratio of job matches to qualifications.
Depending on the requirements of a role, an employer may be more inclined to hire someone with a technical qualification that was previously unavailable in the local talent market. For example, if a manufacturer is looking to hire a project manager, they may be more inclined to hire someone with an accredited qualification in project management that he/she attained online while in the past they would have tried to sieve out a suitable candidate from a pool of process engineering degree holders who graduated from a local university.
Diversification of academic qualifications
Many employees today hold portfolio expertise. Absolute specialization is becoming a privilege reserved only for a small handful of professionals. It is not uncommon to see Finance Analysts holding additional qualifications and even holding responsibilities in areas such as Anti Money Laundering or cyber security. In some companies, product quality managers may now also be expected to hold certifications in corporate communications and manage the company’s service hotline and social media accounts. In some countries, medical professionals are expected to constantly upskill themselves to stay relevant with changes in medical treatment methodologies.
Increased opportunities to improve one’s skillset to remain employable
Changes in technology has created jobs that never existed before. For example, with social media gaining undeniable traction as a viable advertising platform for all brands big and small, companies have started hiring in-house Search Engine Optimization experts, Social Media Marketing experts, web site designers and social media focused graphic designers. These skills are offered by various course providers online and can lead to lucrative second careers or secondary sources of income.
In many developed nations, a basic degree is no longer sufficient to gain competitive advantage. Post graduate qualifications are also fast becoming common place and it is not uncommon to find colleagues holding multiple post graduate qualifications in some industries. On the bright side, by leveraging online studying options, individuals can continue building their careers while enhancing knowledge and future proofing their resumes. Moreover, as more service providers enter this virtual teaching ecosystem, the cost of such programs is expected to decrease, making access to new knowledge more affordable to many.
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