Workers seek a cash boost from free online study
WORKERS are upskilling in digital media techniques during the coronavirus pandemic to maintain their livelihoods now, but also to increase their income capacity when the crisis is over.
From trades to white collar, junior to executive, people are taking advantage of short courses offered via online study, and some training providers are offering courses for free.
Subjects such as social media marketing and understanding search engine optimisation are popular among both employees and self-employed people.
Research shows job ads listing digital literacy as a requirement pay more than $8500 extra a year than similar roles that do not.
And a survey last year by online jobs board SEEK found a quarter of its 1500 respondents cited digital skills as the professional ability they most wanted to improve, second only to communication skills.
HubSpot Academy has found content marketing has been the most studied subject in its suite of 300 lessons, recording 140 per cent growth in students since February.
Marketing head Kat Warboys said while its inbound marketing and inbound sales courses had been popular with workers wanting to upskill their customer service skills for specific roles, there had been broader interest in digital media skills.
“People are having to run virtual events, and people don’t know how to do that,” she said.
“It is indeed a response to the situation so they can still operate. In the digital space, channels are emerging all the time, email marketing constantly changes with technology and algorithms (so workers need to improve skills).”
For NSW residents, the State Government and TAFE NSW have partnered to provide courses in areas including creating and maintaining websites and digital imagery.
Torrens University Australia has partnered with online development platform ImproveMe to offer free learning to workers, particularly those who have lost their jobs because of the pandemic.
People who sign up to the ImproveMe Development Portal via ImproveMe.com.au before July 31 will receive one year’s free access.
Registered users will also be able to access online short courses provided by Torrens University Australia at no cost from now until the end of the year.
The courses have a digital focus such as artificial intelligence, user experience design and social media marketing, but also cover management skills in areas such as emotional intelligence and leadership.
ImproveMe founder Brent Lehmann said it wanted to help people who had lost their livelihoods in recent months to re-skill, upskill and prepare themselves for the future.
“Any age, any demographic background – we want to provide the opportunity to use this time to set yourself up for a return to work – at no expense to you during a difficult economic time,” he said.
Torrens University Pro-Vice Chancellor of Business and Hospitality Dr Greg Harper said education had a transformative power.