Many experts in their field are distrustful of educational courses and believe that only classical education is valued in companies. In fact, however, the educational courses that a specialist has taken are becoming increasingly important in hiring and selecting candidates for promotion.
Where educational courses are superior to classical education
One of the main problems of universities and colleges is that graduates often end up with skills and knowledge that aren’t actually in demand in the labour market. That is because it is difficult for classical educational institutions to adapt educational programmes to the requirements of the rapidly changing market. Often, universities and colleges lack the financial resources for the required substantial investment to change their approach to teaching, and to introduce new technologies. Fresh approaches can be implemented in universities that receive generous funding, for example, at Stanford. Sadly, though, the stark reality for most, however, is that it’s a challenge to find the additional funds, and, even then, if an institution manages to find them, adapting to demands of the market remains a formidable challenge.
Universities and colleges are required to design curricula that meet nationally accepted educational standards. These standards can remain unchanged for years or even decades. Nevertheless, the market situation is changing at breakneck speed where the requirements for skills and competencies for a particular position, especially in digital professions, can significantly change even within a few months.
Educational courses often become a necessary step for a graduate to become a sought-after specialist. Firstly, the courses allow you to acquire the necessary skills and knowledge quickly. Secondly, their content is much easier to adapt to market requirements. Thirdly, educational courses, unlike classical education, are primarily aimed at ensuring that students acquire rather than theoretical knowledge, practical skills that are in demand in the market. The main thing is to take courses on proven educational platforms such as https://lectera.com/en who provide access to quality materials.
However, it is also worth keeping in mind that some professions can only be mastered in educational courses, for example, the profession of a doctor. Often a state diploma is required to work in this speciality. In some countries, an additional certificate is required. However, to work in many specialities, a diploma of education from a classical educational institution is unnecessary.
In some cases, learning a new profession from a course is a great idea.
For instance, educational courses will be particularly useful for creative professionals, such as web designers. When hiring / hiring such a specialist, recruiters first of all pay attention to the portfolio, examples of work, not to the presence of a diploma. You can save time on courses and instead of studying the educational programme for years, quickly gain practical skills and move on to portfolio creation.
For professionals who urgently need to learn new skills, educational courses can be an excellent solution. For example, when an employee receives a promotion, they don’t have the leeway of spending possibly years learning the ropes of project management, or knowing how to build great relationships within their team. To be effective in their new position, they need to impart those skills, short and sweet, today, in the here and now. Educational courses allow you to acquire the necessary competences in the shortest possible time.
Those who want to change careers can also benefit from training courses. The main thing is to find out in advance what the requirements are for professionals in the new field: whether they must have a national diploma, licence, etc. If you want to learn a new profession, it is best not to change your profession fundamentally, but to study a field related to your current profession. This way, you can apply knowledge and skills from one area to work in another. This can take your job to a qualitatively different level and open up new career prospects for you.
Studying in a course allows you to master a new field much faster than studying at a college or university. However, to get the most out of this opportunity, you need to choose the right course.
How to choose the right course
For professional development, it is ideal if educational courses are bough your company so that its specialists will be able to find offers that allow them to acquire the skills and knowledge most relevant to solving the company’s business issues. If the company does not organise corporate training for its employees or you want to learn a new profession, you will need to choose the course yourself. To achieve that, follow the steps below.
- Formulate your goal and determine which professions will help you achieve it. You may need the training to increase your income, learn a profession that you always have dreamt of, or get a promotion. In the first case, your preparation must be exceptionally thorough. To limit your search, you should split a blank piece of paper into three lists, three columns. In the first column, list what you know how to do now, and the skills you currently have. Column two should contain what you would be interested in doing, and column three what will bring in the most income. Ideally, it would help if you found a profession that covers all three columns. After that, you need to analyse your career prospects in attractive occupations, assess what skills you will need for career development, and so on.
- Examine qualification requirements and professional standards. It is essential to consider not only the requirements for the position you are applying for in the near future, but also the positions you hope to get in the future when you are promoted.
- Create a list of the knowledge and skills that you need. You need this list to determine whether a course is suitable for you and whether it allows you to obtain the required qualification. It is worth focusing on the skills that you will soon need professionally. You can take into account in advance the requirements that the government has set for a particular profession, they will be relevant for a long time, but the demands of the market are fluid and change much quicker.
- Choose a course that is right for you. Remember, primarily; you need to look for a course on well-known, trustworthy resources. You can explore the range of courses they offer and choose the most exciting offers for you.
Moreover, it is worth remembering that it is not just hard skills you hone, but also your soft skills. Traditional education pays more attention to hard skills, the skills needed to work in a particular profession. Soft skills, on the other hand, are social skills, time management skills, and so on. Soft skills are not tied to a particular occupation and can be applied in different fields.
What soft skills development courses are worth paying attention to
Well developed soft skills can become your serious competitive advantage in the labour market. A recent study conducted by Harvard, Stanford, and the Carnegie Foundation found that 85% of a someone’s success in the profession depends on the level of development of soft skills, while only 15% depends on hard skills. Simultaneously, only a small number of specialists have developed soft skills. At universities and colleges, the focus is on working on hard skills, and as a result, educational courses become almost the most effective way to improve your soft skills. However, for many specialists, such courses are a novelty. Consequently, there is a shortage of specialists with developed soft skills in the market.
Soft skills include time management, teamwork, and so on. One of the main advantages of such skills is that they can help not only in work but in one’s personal life too. For instance, good time management will enable you to clear your schedule to spend more quality time with family.
As a rule of thumb, we are intuitive about what soft skills we need to move up the career ladder. It can be hard to admit to ourselves when we are failing at, be not building successful relationships with colleagues, or having poor time management, or being unable to negotiate with customers successfully.
It can be difficult even to admit to ourselves that we do not know how to do something. In this case, you can start improving the most critical soft skills. These skills were highlighted by the President of the World Economic Forum in Davos by Klaus Schwab. He predicted that in the foreseeable future, artificial intelligence and robots are going to become so advanced that they will be able to do almost any work that people are currently doing. Therefore, to maximise your chance of remaining a sought-after specialist are among those who can:
- solve complex issues;
- think critically;
- find creative solutions;
- manage people;
- work in team;
- recognise other people’s emotions and manage your own emotions;
- make judgments and make decisions;
- be customer-oriented.
- quickly switch from one task to another.
This list will help you identify the soft skills that are most important to improve. Ideally, however, you should work on developing all these skills. Educational courses provide an opportunity to do this.
The main thing:
Educational courses allow you to get access to the most demanded knowledge and skills because their programmes are well adapted to the current market situation.
Improving your qualifications, mastering a creative profession, or getting a profession related to your speciality is better in courses than in a college or university.
When choosing a specific course, it is essential to consider for what purpose and what kind of knowledge you need to acquire. Only courses on high-quality educational platforms should be considered for training.
Soft skills courses will help you gain crucial competitive advantages.