Wanna Be #Winning At Your Career? Online Degrees The Way.

17:59 13 November in How To's, MOOC Trends, MOOC's, Thoughts

You already know that in today’s economic climate, there’s nothing employers value more than a well-educated, flexible individual that is willing to go the extra mile to get things done. Being multi-talented and skilled in many different disciplines is a huge bonus. More and more, employers are looking to promote the individuals who show initiative and who are continually developing their skills, even the skills that don’t necessarily have to do anything with their everyday tasks.

As an example, consider the following example: your boss needs a new graphic. If you’ve taken an online graphic design class, you could have one worked up for him in a couple of days, instead of having to go outside the company to find a contractor who could charge thousands for that same task. You’ve not only saved your company money (which makes you look great to the boss), you’ve gotten to exercise your skill and made yourself indispensable.

Professional certificates in a range of industries make you more valuable to your employer, and getting one, without having been asked, again, shows that initiative that the muckety-mucks love. Plus, it can prevent you from becoming redundant or outsourced. Let’s look at the top five online classes and certifications that can help you improve your career.

  1. Executive leadership programs: Lots of companies now want anyone applying for leadership positions, and especially for top level executive positions, to have leadership training, particularly if they do not have any or very limited leadership experience. These programs not only outline how to work in these high-powered situations, but provide the leadership theories and knowledge that someone who is going to be in charge of others needs to know.
  2. Business communication: Unfortunately, most of us have learned how to communicate online from the school of YouTube comments and Facebook posts. Incoherency and text speak has no place in professional business communication. Even if you’d never write “u” for “you,” you might still be making some mistakes when addressing your superiors or employees that you might not even realize. If you’re not understanding or not being understood, a business communications certificate is a great program for you.
  3. Management & Team building: Did you ever take home a report card (report cards: so 1997, am I right?) with the words, “Does not play well with others,” scrawled across the front. As much as group projects throughout school taught us only that we should never, ever trust someone else, working in teams is an integral part of just about every single business. If you have trouble working in the group format and need a refresher, a team building course could be great for advancing your career and making sure you are a positive part of teams, and not a drain.
  4. Accounting: Anyone looking to climb the ranks of their own career needs to understand at least basic accounting practices. Taking a certificate or online course in basic accounting will likely bring back flashbacks from freshmen algebra, but once you’ve got the certification under your belt, you’ll be much more attractive when it comes time for promotions.
  5. Industry-specific topics: Every industry is in flux. From professional writing to engineering. If you’re not up on the latest advancements in your chosen field, you’re in danger of becoming irrelevant. If you’re in marketing, for example, and you don’t know anything about marketing on mobile phones, it’s time to take a class because you’re going to be left behind.


Btw, How Can Those in the Armed Forces Benefit You Ask?

Being in the armed forces doesn’t leave a lot of time to get a degree. Even if you’re not touring, for many soldiers, traditionally school is just not viable, even if the military has offered to pay for it. For those who are looking to climb the ranks, however, online and professional certification courses can be seriously helpful. For example, if you are a program analyst and want to enter leadership, a leadership program is right up your alley. Advancing in your field of the military in your free time is a reality—that sounds like an advertisement, but really, you can do it.

The Big F Word, Financial Aid?

If the main thing standing in between you and going back to school, either for one class or for lots of new skills is money, there are lots of ways to get financial aid. The government is basically giving away money to those looking to go back to school. Look into FAFSA payments and how much they’d be willing to give you.

Here’s a bonus tip: If you are applying to online schools, don’t apply early decision. You might be slightly more likely to be accepted, but you’re less likely to get a scholarship. Instead, as soon as you know what class or program you want to take, start looking for funding options offered by the school and by the government.