At a time when the world appears to be stuck in a cycle of permanent under-employment, it seems ironic that there are countless unfilled job openings everywhere. In most cases, this is not a question of the unemployed being unwilling to work but of not being able to meet the entry level standards in either education or experience. While the most successful job applicants have both on their resumes, it is important to have at least one or the other in order to stand any chance at all of being hired. Many unemployed people simply have a set of life experiences that are no longer a match for today’s greatly changed job market.
The Problem is Obsolescence
The difficulty with the well-documented “skills gap” is that it is not easy to narrow the chasm between what skills one already possesses and those that must be acquired in order to move on to a brighter future. Suggesting that someone upgrade their skills through education is easy to say and a lot harder to actually carry out. People still have expenses and obligations to meet even though their incomes may have been reduced.
Time Management is the Key
There are, of course, loans and grants to help those who are least able to afford it, but the most critical resource necessary cannot be borrowed or given. Education takes time. This is often the greatest obstacle to be overcome in the fight to regain relevance in the job market. People looking to amp up their job skills still need to work and take care of their families. In this case, college is not a parentally-financed four-year vacation but rather an extra burden that has to be taken on in addition to all of the usual adult responsibilities.
Fortunately, today’s educational establishment features many more options than bunking in some New England dormitory for $10,000 a semester. For the adult student, there are ways of getting a high quality degree while still managing to keep afloat financially and mentally. One of the best new ideas in education is the concept of the MOOC, or Massively Open Online Classroom.
Instead of paying a small fortune to attend the class of a really top shelf professor from a first rate university, today’s students can attend that same class, participate in the same discussions, and perform the same coursework as the traditional students on campus. Even better, they can do so from the inexpensive comfort of their own home with no need to travel or pay enormous tuition bills.
Online Education is the Ticket to a New Career
While MOOCs are just getting started, the general field of online education is booming. Like everything else in modern society, convenience is a significant reason for its growth. Rather than contort your schedule to fit into the limited time slots offered on campus, online courses can be taken at any time of the day or night. No travel to and from class several times a week adds up to a lot of transportation savings. Likewise, the ability to hold on to a steady job (or two) while still pursuing one’s educational goals is practically a necessity these days.
Another bonus is the ability to take a full load of courses during a semester rather than being locked out of certain pre-requisite or mandatory classes due to full enrollment or the class not being offered at that time of the year. In short, modern online education opportunities are less expensive, easier to integrate into an ongoing career or job, and can lead to a degree in a much shorter period of time than is traditionally possible with standard university studies.
Ryan Ayers is a writer who creates informative articles in relation to education and technology. In this article, he talks about the benefits of cost-efficiency and flexibility in relation to online education opportunities. He aims to encourage further education with a Norwich University masters in diplomacy.
and international relations online