Building up your skill set is a guaranteed way to stay relevant in a changing job market. But when you want to gain new skills, what learning environment works best for you — with a group, with an instructor, on your own?
Many adult learners have to balance busy lives. A classroom setting or an instructor-led online course might not the best option. Learning a new subject can be daunting, especially if you’ve been out of more traditional learning environments for some time.
For nontraditional learners having learning flexibility is necessary. More continuing adult education providers are offering online self-paced learning courses, so learners can gain new skills on their own time at their own pace.
If it’s time to expand your skills and knowledge, these are some valuable topics that you can learn at your own pace:
Soft skills are a hot topic these days, but for good reason. A recent survey conducted by the National Association of Colleges & Employers (NACE) found that the 276 employer respondents looked for soft skills in their new hires, including communication and assertiveness.
Learning the soft skills needed for the job search process at your own pace is a great way to prepare for interviews. Self-paced learning is the ideal when you’re on the hunt for a new job or preparing yourself for a new career.
We live in a global economy, and the United States is a melting pot of cultures and languages. It’s important to be able to communicate with and serve different communities. Did you know that it’s entirely possible to learn Spanish online? You can also take courses that focus on French, emphasize English grammar, allow employees to discover sign language, or even work to understand language directly related to a specific career such as medical terminology.
Online tutorials are a great way to learn languages, because they offer expert-developed curriculum with the flexibility.
Computer skills are increasingly important in the workplace, and most employers expect individuals to hit the ground running. Online courses are a convenient way to prepare to learn computer skills, industry best practices, and the latest technology.
Some of the most popular computer skills training includes knowledge of programming such as C#, Java, and Python. Another way to get ahead is with industry certification prep such as CompTIA. You can also gain up-to-date knowledge of concepts like networking, security, and more.
If you need a grammar refresher or to gain new skills in specific types of writing such as blogging or editing, self-paced courses are perfect. Or if you’ve always wanted to learn how to write fiction, you don’t need to take a group workshop.
Self-placed learning is ideal for new writers and those touching up on their writing skills. This learning environment allows you to practice writing techniques before putting your skills on display.
Small Business Skills
Many of the skills learned are applicable not only in your personal life but can also translate into workplace success. Becoming a multifaceted employee is a great way to provide value to your organization.