Making time to expand an existing skillset or to explore a new one may be just a few clicks away on a computer or taps on a mobile device.
One of the most common reasons people give for not pursuing additional degrees or a professional certification is the lack of time in their already busy schedules. With a scarcity of time available to complete a class in a traditional setting, many are turning to the Internet to continue their education when it’s convenient for their schedules.
Whether it’s working more than 40 hours per week, raising a family, or other obligations, it may seem impossible to gain a competitive edge and increase your value to a current or potential employer due to a lack of expertise. Your employer may even understand your plight, and provide some of the funds needed.
As more people explore ways to gain technical and professional experience and secure an edge over their competition, turning to online resources for a variety of training offers the opportunity to fit education into any schedule as well as into nearly any budget!
Previously, attending web-based classes may have seemed as if they were for lazy or for those who were unable to function in a traditional environment. Now, many well-known colleges and universities offer online certificate programs that allow students to attend classes, including the taking final assessment, completely over the web. For example, Oregon State University offers a certificate in Digital Brand Management that offers students training in the latest digital marketing trends and requires a commitment of just four to six hour a week for class assignments. In less than a year, students are able to obtain training that can get them a promotion or make a change in their current career path.
If a fee-based online option is not feasible due to current financial constraints, there are many free programs where a certificate can be earned. Google Analytics, for example, offers an academy where after reviewing a series of modules users complete an assessment to earn certification.
Similarly, Coursera offers a number of courses provided by top-tier colleges and universities in a variety of categories such as economics, nutrition, and statistics for no cost to end users.
For those who may not have time to sit down in front of a laptop to complete a course, there are also a number of free mobile apps offering courses that can be viewed during the morning and evening commute to work.
Udacity provides users to take advantage of technical and non-technical courses curated by Google, Facebook, salesforce.com, and many other top companies in the software and tech industry. Many of the courses are free and provide students to start at a beginning level and progress to more advanced levels over time.
These are just a small sample of the reputable and recognized web-based courses available. Additionally, many employers now see the benefit of keeping their employees educated and may subsidize the costs of courses. It’s an opportunity to not only attract talent but retain talented staff with the latest knowledge in their industry.