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Bridging the Skills Gap with Online Learning

Skills Gap is a term you’ve probably heard tossed around lately but what does it mean, and what can you do about it right now? The term skills gap is the difference between the skills employers need and the skills employees have. Even before the current COVID-19 crisis, emerging technologies and new ways of working have caused the skills gap to grow bigger. The pandemic made this a more worrisome problem with companies across all industries figuring out how their employees can work remotely and thousands finding themselves without work. So how do you build your skill set, bridge the gap and make yourself more desirable to employers? Online learning.

Online learning is widely available via many platforms on the internet. If you want to take one class, earn a certificate, or complete a degree, there is an option for you. Online learning is not just for children and college students. Millions of people have signed up for online classes during the coronavirus pandemic. Technology-focused classes are some of the most popular options that people dig into for online learning, but there are thousands of subjects covered. The effect of COVID-19 on online learning is still developing, but it’s likely to expand topic offerings even more as the demand rises for digital options.

A few of the more popular online learning services are Coursera, Udacity, Udemy and Codecademy. On these platforms you can find courses in hundreds of fields like computer science, data service, information technology, marketing, finance, engineering, artificial intelligence and personal development. You can use these courses to gain valuable knowledge that will help you bridge the skills gap. There is something for every budget too! You’ll find some courses are free, some have a cost per course, and some require a monthly subscription. Right now, several are offering discounts and free courses for those that are out of work due to COVID-19.

It’s not all about technical skills either. Yes, there is a demand for those skilled in new and emerging technologies, but there’s also a need for people with well-developed soft skills. Being skilled in how you interact with people will strengthen your personal brand and reinforce your career development. Coursera offers a category of personal development to take classes on items such as relationship building, leadership, communication skills, conflict resolution and many other topics that will boost your soft skills.

There are many options in online learning when it comes to the platform, cost and subject. No matter which route you choose, it will benefit you! Start a new career by learning technical skills, ace your first job by developing your soft skills, or make yourself stand out as the obvious choice for the next promotion by enhancing your current resume. It’s time to boost your self-confidence, bridge the skills gap, and make yourself stand out to employers. Online learning is there for you.