The views of this article are the perspective of the author and may not be reflective of Confessions of the Professions.
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The employment landscape has changed significantly in the last decade or so. One of the primary elements here is the attitude to skills and education. Businesses have begun to recognize the value of workers who have developed their skillsets independently. This may have been through personal projects or utilizing the growing range of learning courses.
That said, we are still very much in the early stage of these changes. You may not be fully aware of the types of careers you engage with through your self-driven online skills building. Indeed, it’s not unusual for some e-learners to experience impostor syndrome because they feel their online experience doesn’t have the same status as their university-educated counterparts.
As such, it’s worth exploring some of the careers you can access through online learning.
We’re going to look at real estate first as it’s not something many people associate with online education. This path is usually associated with on-the-job education or mentorship and taking licensing examinations. Yet, the real estate industry is increasingly influenced by online protocols. Agents can conduct viewings and sales remotely. The education for these roles has developed in step with this.
This doesn’t mean the process is necessarily easy. Real estate professionals are expected to have a range of technical and soft skills bridging entrepreneurialism, marketing, and social connections. You must learn how to develop a disciplined approach to lead generation. You’ll also need to stay on top of the current market knowledge that is essential to success. Organizational prowess and a talent for networking with other professionals can boost your efficacy. Online real estate courses will guide you through these elements. They’ll not only make you a competent professional but also a valuable resource for buyers, sellers, and employers.
Most of the courses available are considered to be pre-licensing programs. This means they prepare you for the rigors of a career alongside the legal and regulatory knowledge required to pass exams. However, licensing exams can vary from state to state, so you’ll need to do a little research into the protocols for registration and test-taking.
We live in a technologically enhanced world. Our dependence on digital tools has placed individuals, businesses, and governments in a position of significant vulnerability, though. Data leaks, disruption from viruses, and other threats are ever-present dangers. As such, cybersecurity experts are in high demand. Indeed, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) has predicted job growth for information security analysts at 33% during this decade, which is much faster than average. The good news is, these lucrative and fascinating careers can be reached through online learning.
This training can take a variety of forms. Universities are increasingly offering online degree programs geared toward giving students a range of security skills. However, a degree isn’t necessarily the preference for most positions. Rather, employers tend to look toward professional certifications. These indicate the approach most relevant to their needs. This might include a qualification in ethical hacking. You could follow a course in systems and network auditing. Systems engineering certification is also attractive. As with any online course, it’s important you take the time to research what programs and certifications best match the cybersecurity career you’re targeting.
Visual media is among the most important tools for the way we live today. It is instrumental in building brands, efficiently expressing ideas, and showcasing products. With the advent of social media, the creation of eye-catching image and video content is a primary focus for many businesses. This has developed into a lucrative career path for many and it is one you can effectively learn online.
There are formal qualifications available in these areas. But this often isn’t necessary as employers are more likely to focus on your portfolio rather than your qualifications. As such, many people choose to self-learn through a combination of e-learning courses, YouTube tutorials, and personal projects.
This has certainly been helped by the accessibility of easy-to-use editing software and the widespread sharing of techniques and standards to create professional images and videos. Many software packages also come loaded with templates and creative effects to give learners tools to creatively explore. These experiments and personal projects can become part of a rich and impressive portfolio to submit to employers or clients.
We are living in a thriving entrepreneurial landscape. There are new startups being created each day with a range of goals and industrial focuses. One of the things many of these have in common is the need for professionals who can take their projects and teams through to success. Project management has become a popular career to learn online, too.
This can be an effective approach whether you’re targeting a promotion within your current company, looking for a new employer, or setting up a consultancy business. There are e-learning courses that introduce you to the basic principles of project management. Other programs are geared toward refining your management agility and business analytics skills.
However, it’s wise to adopt the relevant tools you need along the way. Get into the habit of utilizing collaborative software platforms. Virtual whiteboards and online sticky notes can help ensure all members of a team can contribute during brainstorming sessions. They’re also vital in keeping asynchronous ideation organized at a time in which many companies are using remote teams. Therefore, it’s wise to take courses on managing projects executed across multiple time zones.
It’s no secret the digital landscape is key to almost everything we do now. As such, those with the skills to build and maintain website infrastructure are expected to be in high demand for the foreseeable future. Web development is a career you can learn through a combination of methods. You can take degree courses online or even experiment on your laptop in your spare time. It is one of the most accessible careers to learn in this way. Employers will be focused on seeing a portfolio demonstrating your skills within the context of projects.
Your learning will most often come down to where you want to specialize. Front-end developers are focused primarily on the user-facing part of the website, dealing with the appearance of the pages, navigation, and user experience (UX). Back-end developers are tasked with designing and maintaining the networks, servers, and databases that enable the website to keep functioning. They may also have to ensure compatibility with new applications and technology like virtual reality (VR). Full-stack developers have expertise across the board. You can find e-learning courses that provide skills and certification in all these areas.
Our rich digital landscape can empower you to train for a wide range of careers with little more than a computer and internet connection. Some — like real estate and cybersecurity — will have a more formal approach focused on certifications and licensing. Others will be more self-driven, allowing you to use a combination of methods best suited to your personality. The range is growing all the time. It’s worth exploring opportunities you’ll find enriching.