Career Resilience in the Digital Age: Exploring the Benefits of Adult Online Learning for Australian Professionals
Published 5th May, 2023
Recent reports from UNESCO underline the importance of continuing adult education if the global community is to attain Sustainable Development Goals.
This report also highlights the low availability of accessible adult education programmes worldwide, revealing fewer than 5% of people aged 15 or older in one-third of countries have access to adult learning opportunities.
In order to discover whether adult online learning is a viable path to a career restart, it is first necessary to explore access. While cultural beliefs, internet accessibility, and financial constraints may affect adult education opportunities worldwide, this is largely untrue for NZ, AU, IE and UK citizens. Skill development options abound in these developed countries, both in and outside the tertiary system.
When these constraints are absent, the short answer to the question posed here is yes, adult online learning is a viable path to a career restart.
The world of work is evolving rapidly – particularly when it comes to technological advancements. These advancements can create new career development opportunities but may also create a sense of displacement or a lag in skills for workers who may have stepped away.
So, why does adult online learning work for so many people?
Upskilling For Confidence
For those looking to return to the workforce or start a new career, online adult learning provides the flexibility essential to reskilling and upskilling in a constantly changing world, particularly regarding office tech.
Regarding office staples like Xero & MYOB in New Zealand and Australia or Sage and Quickbooks abroad, a refresher course can find you in a confident position when you are ready to start submitting resumes for frontline, administration, or accounting-related roles.
The future of work is definitely online, so digital skills are essential across most industries today, so even if you are not considering joining an office, it pays to brush up – especially if you want to start your own business.
The other gift that keeps on giving when it comes to a career kickstart and online adult education is the broad range of courses available to those who decide to rejoin the workforce or pivot mid-career.
Online adult courses run the gamut from Dog Grooming through Bookkeeping all the way to Hotel Management. If you choose a provider that offers a cooling-off period, you can explore your options without risk and a heavy load of non-retractable paperwork.
Look For A Payment Plan
Time off work for child-rearing, illness, or burnout may stretch your finances, and when you feel like you are ready to return to work, it may be that what you were doing before no longer appeals.
In this case, restarting your career with an adult online learning course is a safer bet than signing up for a bachelor’s degree or committing to three years on apprenticeship wages – especially if you can connect with a provider that offers an interest-free payment plan.
Many E-learning online courses offer recognised credentials to help job seekers stand out in a competitive job market. Adult learners who choose a distance learning opportunity that doesn’t require a huge outlay upfront may find the process wonderfully stress-free.
Another reason adult online learning creates viability for those looking to restart a career or reach for a promotion while continuing in a current role is the ability to choose your pace.
While it may not be true for all distance learning or professional development opportunities, some of the better providers will allow you access to your course material 24/7 – plus let you start anytime that suits you after your enrolment confirmation is complete.
You may need to fit study around family commitments, a day job or other responsibilities, so choosing a provider that acknowledges those needs is a great way to ensure that lifelong learning doesn’t strain your schedule.
More Than A Career Kickstart
Alongside the obvious benefits of upskilling, recent research demonstrates the transformative benefits experienced by many adult online learners. You may start to understand the world around you with new insight, your reflective and critical thinking skills are likely to accelerate, and you could develop a greater sense of well-being.
Whatever your reason for choosing adult online learning, you can be assured that when you upskill with increased flexibility, better payment options and the ability to choose your own pace, your path to career advancement will become clearer.