Upskill for a changing world12/10/2020
The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the way we live and work. Develop your skill set to keep up with changes, invest in your financial security and take advantage of new opportunities that may come your way.
In this new normal, remote working is becoming increasingly common and digital skills are becoming more essential. It doesn’t mean you have to learn to code – it could simply mean learning how to use the Microsoft suite more expertly, how to manage a team remotely, or familiarising yourself with remote working and project management tools and software.
Whether you are employed or looking for work, free online courses can open up a world of opportunity. While formal qualifications are useful, success at work is about what you can do – if you’ve learned to do something that adds value, a qualification may not be necessary. You may be surprised at the opportunities that adding basic digital and computer literacy skills could open for you.
Not sure where to start? Here are 5 online platforms you could use. While many online platforms and courses are free, some course options may require a low fee to complete or to get a certificate of completion.
If you’re looking for a broad introduction, or detailed how-to on something quite specific, don’t forget YouTube! There's a video for just about everything – and often they are detailed, easy to follow and you can learn something new quite quickly.
Offering a wide range of virtual courses hosted by some of the world’s leading universities, FutureLearn courses are free, diverse, interactive, and useful. Some of the most popular courses focus on digital skills in the workplace as well how to write job applications.
Local online learning platform WitsX offers self-paced courses from the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg. The courses are created by industry professionals and university lecturers, so they are formal and academic in nature. Each course takes about 3 weeks to complete and requires 2 – 3 hours of self-study, which makes it easier to structure around working hours. Participation is free but a certificate of completion does cost a small fee.
Alison is one of the world’s largest online platforms for education and skills training. It's a non-for-profit social enterprise dedicated to making it possible for anyone, to study anything, anywhere, at any time, for free and at any subject level.
You can choose from thousands of courses in 9 categories: IT, business, language, health, humanities, science, marketing, lifestyle, and mathematics. You can even filter your search to look for courses specific to a certain role.
5. Harvard University
Want to go to Harvard for free? The Harvard online portal offers a wide variety of free courses in everything from data science to history. You can filter your search according to duration, difficulty and start date.
Embrace the digital life in this ‘new normal’
The shift to decentralise and remote working doesn’t just affect where we work, it also changes how we work – and this can open new opportunities for jobs and work that may not have existed before.
Micro-jobbing, for example, is a trend that could grow as a result of these changes. It works very much like Uber, only this time, company’s log on and book professionals for short stints of work, as opposed to car rides. This allows a business to employ extra staff during busy periods (like at month end or Christmas) or for specific projects to assist on jobs such as data capture and call centre operations.
Money for Jam (M4JAM) is a South African micro-jobbing platform that connects jobbers with micro-jobbing opportunities, and companies with potential jobbers.
Not only will micro jobbers benefit from the paid work, but they will also have the opportunity to gain exposure and experience with a number of different organisations which will looks great on a CV.
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