“By studying and learning you are investing in your career, and it’s a great use of time and money,” says Plush.
Learners are winners
Current research shows a strong connection between lifelong learning and career success. And the value goes beyond just gaining extra qualifications.
Learning, especially through online platforms, shows employers that you have discipline, motivation, flexibility and a growth mindset, says Plush.
“Online study indicates your ability to learn without the need to be spoon-fed in a classroom. You've got to log on, be proactive, have the drive and character to follow through on assignments and get things done.”
She adds: “It shows you’re someone who knows how to learn and apply that learning in your behaviour to create change; you've got fresh mindsets and you’re not stale in your thinking.”
Future-proofing your career
With technology and automation driving rapid change, futurists predict that roles and even entire industries will disappear altogether, says Plush.
“Many jobs that are available now may not, in the future, actually even have a place. You need to make sure that you have a career strategy, really looking at the future of your industry or your role.”
Online short courses – like those available through OUA – deliver key skills to help your career outlive even the most seismic industry changes, she adds. “Short courses can future-proof your career with transferable skills that can translate into all different industries, to ensure you have a job that’s viable for the future.”
Online courses that can accelerate your career. Credit:Getty.
Accessible and flexible
Online courses allow you to study anywhere, any time, and at a pace that fits around the demands of full-time work, parenting, and other time constraints that once hampered access to education.
“The number one barrier to studying for most people is time,” says Plush. “But being able to access courses online, you don't need to commute or worry about transport or being away from your kids at bedtime. You can study whenever it suits you, whether that’s midnight or lunchtime.”
Plush finds that her clients are pleasantly surprised by the accessibility of education. “Particularly people who have been working for a while and studied some years ago - they’re used to the old paradigm of just doing a three, or four-year degree and then you’re done. They’re really surprised at the number of courses and how easy and affordable it is to upskill.”
Skill up for a brave new world
While some industries fade, new ones will flourish, and university courses will respond to these changes, offering the latest in relevant skills.
Among these areas of opportunity, says Plush, are health and wellbeing, education, IT and digital platforms, medical technology, artificial intelligence and environmental sustainability.
“You've got a whole range of different industries set to emerge,” she says. “There will be some really exciting new areas popping up.”
And along with these, she says, will come a whole new model for education that’s a world away from the traditional paradigm.
“It’s been predicted that potentially in the future the whole concept of just completing a degree and then you’re finished, done and dusted, will be irrelevant. Short courses, and getting out there and showing that practical application of your study is going to be really important as you continue education for the rest of your life.”
Open Universities Australia (OUA) enables you to upskill in a way that fits your lifestyle. With courses available to study online with 21 Australian universities, OUA offers thousands of options at your fingertips. Choose to hone your knowledge with a short course, or progress towards a degree—their flexible study terms allow you to commit to what works for you.
To explore courses and find your best fit, visit open.edu.au.