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Want To Steer Your Career In Tough Times? Try Distance Learning

6th August 2020

With global unemployment predicted to soar in the post-pandemic environment, it might feel like we have to narrow our ambitions while we tighten our belts – abandoning the notion of a ‘dream job’ in favour of any job.

It doesn’t necessarily have to be that way, but at a time when it feels like the only certainty is uncertainty, savvy jobseekers are approaching their career development from new angles in order to hone their skillsets and adapt their aspirations for the ‘new normal’.

Distance learning might offer the flexibility, vocational focus and transferrable skills that make you an ideal candidate for a fulfilling career at a time when competition for outstanding opportunities will be fiercer than ever.

If you want to steer your career development skilfully during tough times, read on.

Prized post-pandemic skills

If you already feel that job descriptions and demands have expanded exponentially since the last major economic crisis (the Great Recession which started in 2008/09), get ready to add even more qualities and skills to the employers’ wish list.

As well as accredited, rated and recognised qualifications, recruiters will be yearning for candidates who are adaptable and flexible so that they can cope with quickly changing roles and demands without feeling frustrated or insecure.

They’ll also be looking for people who are tech savvy, data literate, emotionally intelligent, creative and innovative – while displaying leadership, critical thinking and problem-solving skills. No pressure at all then!

Although you can guarantee that these qualities are quietly being squeezed into job descriptions as we speak, as if they’re standard requirements, the reality is that very few people possess them all, at least not in anything approaching equal measure.

Nevertheless, rounded dynamic distance learning courses will arm you with a deep understanding of several of these core skills alongside your vocational qualification, and enough complimentary attributes to give you a competitive edge. For instance, by simply studying online and contributing to a digital community of learners, you’ll automatically become tech savvy very quickly, if you aren’t au fait with digital learning systems already.

With that in mind, here are a few career paths which distance learning can help you migrate to or, or if you’ve already started your journey, accelerate.

Health first

It’s obvious that health workers have been front and centre of every country’s ongoing battle against Covid-19, but apart from the immediate frontline challenges, the pandemic will herald a sea change in how healthcare operators work globally.

According to experts writing for McKinsey & Company, there will be an ongoing need for the flexible construction of greenfield facilities that enable rapid repurposing of beds, offshoring of imaging and lab tests from core hospital operations to facilities like pharmacies and imaging centres, as well as the acceleration of virtual healthcare initiatives such as phone-based diagnostics.

Shifting healthcare teams and institutions to this ‘new normal’ will require prospective healthcare leaders to be flexible yet focused, with the confidence to make informed decisions that have impact on a global scale, qualities which are developed by all of our Healthcare Management MSc graduates.

Destination digital

As anyone who has been spending a significant chunk of their days consumed by Zoom calls will confirm, countless companies worldwide have, in just a few short months, completed digital transformations that had previously been part of their five year plans.

But as the World Bank has been discussing, enhancing digital capabilities in a post-Covid-19 world has several profound and far-reaching effects across diverse global communities, in areas like entrepreneurship, re-skilling workers whose current roles are made obsolete, government eHealth and e-Education campaigns, and harnessing data science, digital analytics and cloud computing to adapt digital economic strategies for particular local applications.

Consequently, this is the type of emerging environment where the skills students develop during a Data Science MSc will be highly desirable for large public and private sector organisations fast-tracking the digital capabilities of diverse companies, community groups and individual citizens.

But don’t forget that you also learn how to use data analytics to design digital campaigns that can influence millions as you work through an online Digital Marketing BSc Hons – and you’ll also learn to create compelling content in various formats that can be used in a number of applications, from commercial marketing purposes to public health and education awareness.

Soft skills

According to Emily Poague, vice president of LinkedIn Learning, the platform’s unparalleled data insights from the global job market have revealed that new graduates carving career paths in the post-Covid-19 environment should be focusing on soft skills as well as technical specialities.

Research suggests that transferable skills like project management, problem-solving, communication, leadership and customer service will be highly-prized by employers.

And according to research from the Adecco Group, it’s likely that organisations which apply emotional intelligence to the relationships with employees, enabling them to work as flexibly as possible when health concerns eclipse employment responsibilities, will fare better than those determined to maintain traditional top-down 9-5 models focused on time recording and box-ticking rather than delivering results.

With mental health taking centre stage in workplace dynamics, perhaps you could kick-start a future-focused career transforming tomorrow’s workplaces by studying part-time for an online Applied and Clinical Psychology BSc? Alternatively, an online Mental Health MSc helps advance your career if you’re already in this field, or if you would like to specialise in another worthwhile niche, a Child and Adolescent Mental Wellbeing MSc is another excellent distance learning option.

Final thoughts

In some ways, times have never been tougher if you’re attempting to blaze a new vocational trail.

But on the flipside, distance learning is ahead of the curve in offering many of the technical and transferrable skills that employers of the immediate future will demand, and it’s a tried and tested learning model that’s ready to plug and play.

For millions of jobseekers worldwide, distance learning could be the perfect solution to career conundrums compounded by these tumultuous times.

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