12 Ways Online Courses Can Boost Your Professional Skills
In our quest to understand the impact of online courses on professional skills, we posed a question to a diverse group of professionals, including Marketing Managers and Human Resources Managers. We received twelve insightful responses, from boosting career progression through distance learning to finding aid in a global business. Dive into their experiences and remember how you can capitalize on online learning.
- Boost Career Progression Through Distance Learning
- Master AI Prompts
- Enhance Digital Marketing Skills Online
- Streamline Your Career Transition
- Leverage Reference Materials
- Fuel Your Career Advancement with Data Analytics
- Build Team Skills with Skillshare
- Open New Opportunities with Technical Writing
- Grow Your Business Growth by Specializing
- Foster Career Advancement with Leadership
- Triples Job Offers from Copywriting
- Find Aid in a Global Business
Boost Career Progression Through Distance Learning
Years before the pandemic, before “upskilling” was a buzzword or “remote learning” was the norm, I completed both a Master’s in Translation and my Career Guidance Postgraduate Degree online.
I specifically chose the universities because they offered online accreditation. I wouldn’t have been able to complete these courses, as I lived at the time in a very rural community. It’s hard to imagine what my career progression would have been if I hadn’t been able to learn online!
Back then, it was called “Distance Learning,” it felt very novel and niche. We communicated through Blackboard, which now is far more interactive and engaging than it was. I used to find it so hard to use that I would joke that the most challenging part of the Master’s degree had been using this platform!
In retrospect, these online programs not only equipped me with valuable knowledge and skills but also taught me the importance of self-discipline, time management, and effective communication online.
Master AI Prompts
I had a fantastic experience with Ruben Hassid’s Complete ChatGPT Prompt course, which boosted my professional skills. As a marketer, getting top-notch responses from AI models like ChatGPT was a bit of a head-scratcher. But then, I found this course, and it was like discovering the hidden treasure map to AI success.
I picked up some cool tricks, like understanding what AI models can and can’t do, nailing prompt structuring, fine-tuning prompts for different tasks, and polishing my approach based on feedback. It was like a crash course in becoming an AI prompt guru.
If you want to level up your Generative AI game, I’d recommend diving into Ruben’s course. Seriously, you can squeeze every ounce of potential out of those LLMs!
Enhance Digital Marketing Skills
Enrolling in a digital marketing online course improved my professional abilities. It gave comprehensive insights into social media, content marketing, and SEO. Others who want to benefit from this experience should look for credible online courses in their profession, establish specific learning objectives, and commit to finishing the readings and exercises.
Furthermore, using the newly learned abilities in practical projects or internships helps reinforce the learning and show competency to potential employers.
Streamline Your Career Transition
When I switched careers from marketing to human resources, I knew I had to upskill to have a strong understanding of the new skill sets I would need as a human resources manager.
I took a Managing People course offered by The Australian Institute of Management (AIM). It was a paid course, which connected me with a professional network I still reach out to today. While there are free programs, those typically don’t provide the human element. I recommend using online courses to boost your network rather than simply receiving a set of slideshows.
Leverage Reference Materials
I recently attended an online course that provided reference materials, like templates and SOPs (Standard Operating Procedures). During the course, the presenter used the templates and showed himself following the SOPs to perform the required task. Access to these high-quality and practical reference materials significantly boosted my skills because I could leverage them immediately following the course.
In my experience, courses are great for teaching theory, yet the real learning happens afterward when you apply the knowledge. Using and modifying the reference materials in a practical setting helped me learn new skills and meant the course provided significant value for me.
Fuel Your Career Advancement with Data Analytics
In my professional journey, a pivotal experience was completing an online course titled “Advanced Data Analytics.” This course delved deep into data manipulation, visualization, and predictive modeling, equipping me with indispensable skills that left a lasting impact on my career. It not only broadened my technical prowess but also honed my ability to solve complex problems and make informed decisions.
To maximize the benefits of such an experience, I recommend setting specific learning goals tailored to your career aspirations. Consistently allocate dedicated time to engage with the course materials, actively participate in forums and discussions, and don’t hesitate to apply the newfound skills to real-world projects. The dynamic job market highly values professionals with expertise in data analytics, rendering this newfound skill set a valuable asset for career advancement and adaptability.
Mark Fong, General Manager, CEO, Gonengo
Build Team Skills with Skillshare
I’ve always enjoyed learning and acquiring new skills, either to make money as a side hustle or through freelancing or to make myself more valuable to potential employers. Years back, I signed up for Skillshare. One thing I liked about Skillshare, over Udemy and some other course platforms, is that it’s a one-time fee, and you have access to all the resources on the platform, as opposed to paying for a single course on, say, Udemy or another platform that may not connect with me or may not be good.
About a year ago, I suggested to my boss that we should sign up for a Skillshare account to share amongst our marketing team. It’s been great, as anytime a job or task comes up and it involves a skill set that’s a gap in our team, be it video editing, photography, copywriting, etc., we’ll all take a miniature course on it. Also, during slow periods or downtimes, we can acquire new skills.
Open New Opportunities with Technical Writing
I had been a magazine editor for several years, producing creative works. I took a technical writing certification course to improve my skills and learned about user-centered writing.
That disrupted my career. Instead of conveying my creative ideas to readers, I learned how to spoon-feed them complex information. It opened up many new opportunities to use my writing skills to help people mentally prepare to do tasks.
Grow Your Business Growth by Specializing
I have a three-time gold award-winning business as a solopreneur. My business skyrocketed when I took Marie Forleo’s B-School. She helped me focus on a specific niche (ghostwriting story-driven self-help books) instead of being a broad “ghostwriter.”
This marketing shift helped me get more referrals because I had a simple, clear marketing message about who my clients are and how I support them. For any service providers exhausted from trying to be a “Jack of all trades,” I suggest that less is more. Fewer offers will get you more quality leads faster.
Foster Career Advancement with Leadership
Taking an online course prepared me to advance my career in the company for which I’m currently working. I’ve always aspired to become a manager, and taking an online course in leadership and management has provided me with skills that have enabled me to develop my leadership style, make better decisions, and get the most out of the team I manage.
The content in the online course was very informative and practical to the challenges experienced by leaders in real-life situations. Whether you want to switch from one industry to another or level up in your field, you can upskill with online courses.
Triple Job Offers with Copywriting
Taking that online copywriting course last year was one of the best moves for my career. Beyond just learning the copywriting basics, connecting with other students and getting mentored by pros opened my eyes in so many ways.
Hearing different takes on writing, strategy, and critiquing each other’s work pushed me out of my comfort zone. But it worked—after finishing the course, I started getting three times as many offers to write paid content!
So, my advice for anyone looking to capitalize on online courses is this: don’t just look at the syllabus or curriculum. Find programs where you can engage with others and get coaching from experts in the field. That community support will accelerate your learning—and your skills.
No matter what the course is on, you’ll always learn something. It may not be what you expect to learn, but I guarantee you’ll develop a more robust skill set and learn things about yourself, others, and the world.
Find Aid in a Global Business
If you’re looking to work in an international organization or your business deals with customers from different countries, taking an online course on intercultural communication and conflict resolution can enable you to navigate communication challenges. These challenges may include language barriers and stereotypes, and you can develop skills for managing intercultural conflicts in the modern world.
The best platform to learn this online course is Coursera. The course, which the University of California teaches, provides an in-depth analysis of how the increasing interaction and communication around the world affect within a company and between different companies.