During the COVID-19 quarantine days, career professionals wrote a lot of articles about using one’s available time to build up and learn new business skills, and many people did just that. But this is a valuable activity to consider anytime, not just during a global pandemic.
So, where should you start? Although completing an internship is a great way to develop skills and gain exposure to new ideas, you can also expand your knowledge through online courses.
Check out the low-cost—or in some cases, free—opportunities available through the following online learning platforms:
- Class Central
- LinkedIn Learning
- General Assembly
- Google Analytics Academy
- AWS Training and Certification
Other platforms offer certifications that might be even more relevant for your industry or function but might require more of a commitment of time and money. Additionally, many universities offer access to their online courses, such as UCLA Extension.
To find the right course or program for you, reflect on your goals and do your research, then consider these criteria:
Why are you interested in enrolling? What do you want to learn? What skills do your target companies seek? Do you need a certificate of completion? Do you want to take one course or multiple courses?
Industry or functional standards
Ask current and former colleagues, friends, mentors, and others for recommendations. Look at the LinkedIn profile of people in your target role to see what types of certificates and/or coursework they completed.
Quality of content
What do the course reviews and ratings say? Who is the instructor, and what is their level of expertise? What are the learning outcomes?
Will you need to purchase any materials? What is the price of the course? What is the class size? What is the format of the course: asynchronistic or synchronistic? What is the duration of the class/required commitment (i.e., number of hours)?
Finally, once you select and enroll in an online course, maximize your learning opportunity by approaching it in the following way:
- Treat it like a “real” course. Show up! Have the discipline and dedication to listen to classes and complete your homework.
- Hold yourself accountable. Set goals at the beginning of the semester, and check in with yourself weekly. Allot sufficient time to complete the required work.
- Create a regular study space, stay organized, and avoid distractions.
- Figure out how you learn best, and actively participate.
- When completed, add the course/certification to your resume and LinkedIn profile.
What is the best way to showcase your accomplishments or mitigate your weaknesses? Start getting answers to all your questions by taking advantage of a free 30-minute consultation with an expert from mbaMission’s team of consultants.