How to Leverage Online Courses for Professional Growth

Jun 5, 2021

5 minutes

With the digital age, many people have probably interacted with online courses whether for professional growth or just self-development. Online courses have over time been adopted significantly into education systems and also by professionals around the world looking to upskill, gain further knowledge and advance their career so as to distinguish themselves in the job market. To reap the full benefits out of online courses, here are few tested tips used by professionals in various fields and levels.

Narrow down your research

Having a clear set plan on what you want to study and why will give you so much more perspective as opposed to just choosing a random course program without a plan. There are millions of professional courses out there from different learning institutions and private educators, therefore choosing to narrow down on a brand that best suits you and your goals will set you apart. 

Evaluate different websites offering online courses from learning institutions and professional educators and experts in the fields you endeavour to be a part of. Allow yourself some time to research and understand their teaching methodologies and how they apply to your goals. Lastly, you can never go wrong with reading reviews from other professionals who have undertaken that particular program.

Time matters

Knowing and being completely honest with the time constraints you might have will ultimately allow you to get maximum benefit from your online course programs. How much time do you have after work hours? How can you integrate online learning to your daily schedule? Does the learning process allow flexibility?

You should internalize all these questions before signing up for any professional course. Luckily learning programs are structured differently therefore, you can choose what works for you while having a balance between your work, life and career goals.

Put your knowledge into practice

Practice makes perfect right? So why go through a whole online course only to leave it at that? You can only consider it a successful endeavour if you put what you have learnt into practical knowledge by integrating it into your personal and professional life.

Practicing what you have learnt is a great incentive to keep learning and developing yourself. One of the best steps any professional can do is to get ahead of the curve and anticipate skills they may need in the future, acquire the experience and make it count.

Think strategically

Many people fail to achieve professional growth because their focus is on the qualification rather than the skills acquired. Having a clearly spelt out plan for your life and career is very crucial to making your study count. When you understand why you study and how it fits with your life goals and career development, then you have the strongest possible motivation. 

Finally, with a constantly evolving world e-learning is slowly but surely taking center stage for many people around the world. Despite a few pitfalls, online learning has  translated into more educators exploring online solutions for training as well as students and professionals keeping up with online learning in a fast-paced world. 

Online professional learning is indeed accessible, flexible and efficient but keep in mind that you have to be smart in your selection. Make sure you are going for something legitimate and worth your time and money. The qualifications you seek whether to learn new skills or develop your career should significantly align to your study. 

When you choose to invest in your future, choose to do it the right way!

Certification in any given professional course is greatly satisfying but being able to apply that knowledge into real life situations is ultimately your biggest win. Not all courses offer certification but that doesn’t mean you cannot list them on your resume. Here are a few bonus leads to courses that may spark your interest.

Introduction to Computer Science by Harvard University

As a working professional whether having previous experience in the field or not, this course is dedicated to walking you through the basics of understanding computers. This is an entry level course from a top tier university and the best part is that it’s free! unless you need a certificate of completion.

Fundamentals of Digital Marketing, Google

This particular course examines how digital tools are revolutionizing marketing. It is proving to be a necessary skill on your resume because marketing is an all rounded phenomenon and to stay ahead of the curve you have to understand marketing strategies that work for your career.

Advanced Google Analytics

This course offered by Google gives you the opportunity to learn how to collect website and application usage data, analyze and process it into reports for business decision-making.

Business English: Networking, University of Washington

Whether we like to admit it or not, communicating effectively is a key aspect in networking. For any business minded or career oriented person this course will enhance your business communication and how you present yourself professionally in any setting, be it on the phone, over email or in person.

Introduction to personal branding, University of Virginia

In this day and age personal branding is the only way to curve out a niche for yourself in a very competitive job market. Therefore, this course demystifies how to go about personal branding and make it specific to your career goals and aspirations.

Rhetoric: The Art of Persuasive Writing and Public Speaking, Harvard University

In a contentious world, acquiring skills in persuasive writing and public speaking is especially crucial. Being in a position to sell a product, service or idea while conveying a well curated and convincing message is a special skill that professionals could tap into to benefit their personal brand and professional lives.

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