Online education puts new skills at your fingertips

Credits http://www.shutterstock.com/pic-59881288/stock-photo-digital-camera-the-night-view-of-city.htmlIn this day and age, thanks to our increasingly wired and connected world, you can learn something any time you like. Education goes beyond what you can Google or find on Wikipedia. To get a job or impress a boss, you’ll first need to broaden your professional skills. Knowing to how use the basic software and programs related to your industry has always been a core requirement. But those who really excel in the workplace or in their consulting careers possess a wider range of knowledge, skills, and expertise.

There are a variety of websites solely dedicated to helping train beginners and helping veteran workers attain more skills to keep up at a fast-paced, technology-based business. Such sites help designers, developers, and others get up to speed – instructors can upload their video tutorials for example, making courses available to anyone, anytime, to stream.

Everyone has different areas to develop or roles to grow into. Priyanka Sharma enrolled in a course covering Salesforce and found it to be of better quality — and a better experience — than what she found in the past at an in-person class on the same subject. It’s not just the convenience that Sharma points to, but also the access and ease that online tutorials offer. One of the main features that online learners point to as a key asset to their education is the “Rewind” button. In a traditional classroom, you might occasionally ask an instructor to repeat his or her point. But for novices, some elementary concepts may take some more time to truly settle in. With an online course, you can start, stop, and repeat any sections you wish, and move at your preferred pace.

That’s a benefit that Slawka G. Scarso, a communications consultant and creative writer, took advantage of when she was learning Adobe Indesign. She had the basics to graphic design down and was looking to expand her fluency. “You can stop the lesson whenever you want, try out what the teacher has just explained for yourself, perhaps listen to a passage once again, if it’s not clear,” she said.

Online education can be much more tailored to your specific needs, viewers say. For many of us, time is of the essence. A quick fix won’t solve all of our problems, yet we may not be able to make a commitment to attend a course at the same time for several weeks. Whenever you do find yourself with a free hour or a longer period of time on your hands, you can pick up where you left off. Cathy Martindale, a retiree, has enriched her love for photography by “gobbling up as many tutorials as I can about Lightroom,” she said.

She admits she’s “far from a pro” but has found homes for some of her photos alongside of magazine articles. This freelance work provides some income for Martindale as well as an outlet to pursue a passion. “I enjoy photographing landscapes and animals, and have placed in some contests.” A small investment now in more Lightroom training will pay off in the long run, she hopes, in the form of more opportunities to showcase her work.

The breadth and depth of the collection of online video tutorials sends a clear message: Whatever perceived barriers or hindrances that appear to be standing in your way of education, with the willingness and dedication, you can overcome them. Martindale summarized her preferred learning style and preferences. “I take copious notes during each video and find myself going back and replaying the same ones to soak up information, which I would not be able to do in a classroom,” she said.


dannyDanny Groner is the manager of blogger partnerships and outreach for Skillfeed.

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