Why Are Computer Skills An Important Part Of Online Learning

Online learning is growing in popularity and becoming essential for higher education, specifically for job-seeking adults. But, is online learning a good idea?

Why Are Computer Skills An Important Part Of Online Learning

By Charles McArthur, Online Ed Alliance

Education can easily become dull and boring. This is the epitome of what can happen when you grow up and think what you know about life is the same as everyone else. Online learning, on the other hand, is all about stimulating students to challenge themselves, and to learn in a way that is outside the box.

A concerted effort on the part of universities to ensure that they are educating the right people is imperative if we’re to make a lasting impact on the education market. Educating students for lifelong learning is not just good for business, but it’s also a good strategy for dealing with a changing world. Why? Well, in addition to the obvious reason of educating a more diverse and increasingly digital population, the changing nature of the market is making a change in the traditional path of the career path inevitable. Companies need employees with extensive technical knowledge. In fact, with no longer being able to rely solely on their HR department to identify suitably skilled candidates, employers are looking for graduates or post-graduates with strong technical credentials as a reference.

This change in behavior is having a knock-on effect on educational institutions. For example, where once a degree in business was a guarantee to a rewarding job after graduation, today such qualifications are increasingly rare. This is primarily down to employers’ demand for skilled graduates with experience in the digital world.

One of the main reasons for this, according to LinkedIn research, is because employers are now increasingly concerned with helping employees move into new and high-level roles, rather than solely focusing on paying them enough to survive financially. Therefore, companies are looking for candidates with experience working within and even leading teams from day one, and this is proving to be increasingly difficult to come by as universities change their curriculum to cater for the evolving needs of their working population.

How?

Universities no longer just teach the technical skills that they already have among their student population. As research shows, higher education institutions are being forced to revamp their courses to accommodate today’s changing world of work. Most universities are now offering increased specialization in key fields in an effort to help students develop niche career options.

For example, at the University of Bath, you’ll find courses in teams, freelance work and entrepreneurialism, as well as courses in artificial intelligence, Web programming and cyber security. This course will give you the skill set to understand both the potential and the challenges of working within these different fields.

Another reason for such a change in standards is the rise of the “gig economy”, which has broken the link between jobs and pay. Companies need highly-skilled professionals to work across an ever-broadening range of sectors, and as such, education is becoming more and more closely linked to how a person’s working life will actually play out.

This is giving the educational sector a responsibility to ensure that the right people are gaining the correct skills in order to prepare their students for the real world. It is important to stress that there are still plenty of parts of the economy where employers still need someone who can deliver to the job specification. This is where employers should not be relying purely on a graduate’s skills.

Of course, studies published by the Centre for Economic and Business Research found that at-risk groups who receive the most support are more likely to land a high-skilled job and the findings of the Joint Programme for the Upgrading and Enhancing Life Skills report found that graduates with technical skills in the online workplace are 10 times more likely to secure a well-paid job.

Online learning itself plays a vital role in this changing education market. The rise of connected tech-enabled classes to offer tuition and professional training from anywhere means that students can learn in a way that suits them and their schedules, and in much the same way that workers adapt to changing career opportunities.

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Why Are Computer Skills An Important Part Of Online Learning

Online learning is growing in popularity and becoming essential for higher education, specifically for job-seeking adults. But, is online learning a good idea?

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