Last year, about one-third of all US college students took at least one of their courses online, while 15% took online classes exclusively. These figures are bound to skyrocket in the coming months as mandatory COVID-19 lockdowns force learning institutions to suspend, and in some cases, cancel, their on-site classes. But why should college students limit themselves to traditional online skills courses offerings?
They shouldn’t. With no need to commute and with fewer opportunities to socialize, this is a good time for students to acquire badly needed technical or functional skills that can bolster their resume and make them more employable after graduation.
Most of these supplemental classes have been available all along but many students were too busy keeping up with their daily schedule to take advantage of them. What kind of online training courses are available? They fall into four main categories:
1. Computer courses. Computer literacy is a must in today’s job market, with advanced fluency yielding increasingly large dividends. There remains a persistent digital gap in IT proficiency based on age, income and ethnic background. Older students especially may need advanced computer courses to compete with younger entrants in the job market. Courses in basic programming techniques, graphic design or search engine optimization can be especially useful. Various companies offer free courses, some that provide a printable certificate.
2. Language courses. In today’s increasingly global multi-cultural market, English reigns supreme but those with additional language competency still have a big leg up. Spanish is the most important second language for Americans to master but those with Chinese or Russian fluency can also find themselves in growing demand. Translating and interpreting, on-site or on-line, are growing occupation niches; the work is often performed on a part-time, as needed basis. Having a second language can add significantly to your income stream, especially as you search for work in your chosen field. In fact, a growing number of jobs require Spanish language competency, at the intermediate level and beyond.
3. Art and music courses. Online education is also an opportunity to explore new passions, or to revive old ones, especially in the arts. Aside from their intrinsic satisfaction, being more rounded in one’s life pursuits can make for a more attractive job candidate. In some cases, it can lead to part-time teaching or tutoring opportunities. Studies show that pursuing an artistic avocation in a dedicated fashion outside an office work setting is good for one’s mental and emotional health.
4. Health education courses. Naturally, with the spread of COVID-19, health and health education courses are increasingly in demand. Simply learning CPR and other emergency life-saving techniques can make a student feel more useful in the world. Health and hygiene, food safety and substance abuse awareness courses might be especially helpful to those seeking to work in the public health field. As with other courses, simply demonstrating your commitment to self-initiated on-line learning beyond established curricula will mark you as a self-starter and the kind of job candidate employers will want to talk to.
Finding the right platform and provider is essential for ensuring that online courses offer high value content in a targeted user-friendly fashion. Coggno offers an entire universe of online training courses created by industry experts that are delivered in an intuitive learning platform. Our online language courses emphasize business language skills, the ones most needed in today’s competitive workplace. For example, our business Chinese course is taught by Hong Zeng, an award-winning professor with 16 years of experience at prestigious American universities, including the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, College of William and Mary, Swarthmore College, Carleton College and Hamline University.
Zeng’s instruction goes far beyond basic grammar and vocabulary to encompass language issues that arise in negotiating and concluding business contracts. Successful graduates can interact effectively with their Chinese counterparts in the field or on-line or can be placed overseas to supervise the training of Chinese employees.
Another example is Coggno’s general business management and administration courses that can assist college graduates to become more competitive entry- or mid-level hires. MBA students might find special benefit in Coggno’s advanced sales and accounting courses Other Coggno classes offer professional development and management training that can equip new graduates to become more effective team leaders.
Finally, it’s important to note that today’s COVID-19 environment is rendering job fairs and face-to-face interviews unfeasible for most companies. Many are struggling to transition to online recruiting and interviewing techniques. Coggno offers courses on how college students and businesses can navigate this new social media landscape to streamline the hiring process. Companies prepared to claim this space will be better positioned to recruit the top talent they need to remain competitive in today’s global marketplace. Students will discover how best to approach and respond to companies that may contact them on Facebook, LinkedIn or more specialized sites about their availability for a position.
The spread of COVID-19 offers challenges as well as fresh opportunities. Students looking to get ahead should seize these opportunities. Coggno, a pioneer in business-friendly online business training courses skills worldwide, is ideally suited to match student desires for promising careers with the demands of today’s global marketplace.