UNITED STATES—If you’re in a career rut and are unsure of what to do next, why not consider taking an online course to progress your role or move into a new area? Online courses come in a variety of lengths, commitments, prices and topics, and can offer the perfect learning option for you. They’re often designed to fit around your existing job or other commitments, meaning you can build your skillset while still working. They’re a popular option due to their flexibility, as many people enjoy the opportunity to take control of their own schedule and learning environment. Whether you are wanting to change careers or boost your current one, here are a few of the ways in which an online course could help your career.

Continue education or training

Some roles require constant learning and progression, and therefore you will need to be willing and able to learn all the time. An example of this is the nursing profession, in which you can continually build your skills and qualifications in order to progress to more specialized roles. For example, many nurses start out as RNs in general nursing, before deciding which areas they would like to focus on. You can then complete an MSN and a DNP, such as a DNP FNP, which will help you on your way to becoming a fully licensed and certified Family Nurse Practitioner. These courses can be studied online, with a mixture of online coursework and in-person teaching, and are also designed to be studied alongside your current nursing shifts. In this way, online courses are a great way to further your education while allowing you to maintain your job and other life commitments.

Learn something new

Online courses can also be a great way to learn something completely new. Depending on the course and topic you choose, you can try new skills in the comfort of your own home, without the worry of being assessed on everything until you are ready. There can be much less pressure when you are studying something online, as you can do so just for your pleasure and enjoyment. This can be to advance your career, or just explore your personal interests in a certain area. Even though you will be learning online, there is also the opportunity to connect with other likeminded individuals, and enter a community of people who are interested in the same topics as you are. There are also many benefits to furthering your education or skillset, as it can open up higher paying career opportunities that may not have been available to you before. Your online course may end up paying for itself, and can be a worthwhile investment.

Flexibility and affordability

One of the main benefits of online learning is the flexibility it can afford, making education and learning more accessible for a larger number of people. Not everyone can commit to full-time, in-person teaching for a variety of reasons, so undertaking an online course can provide more opportunities to those people. You’ll have more control over your learning environment, allowing you to create an atmosphere at home that works for you. This can be done in a variety of ways, using different accessories, methods and techniques. It may take you a while to find your perfect fit, but once you do, it can make your learning experience more productive and enjoyable, making you a great independent learner. Furthermore, with many online courses, you have control over your schedule, choosing when and where you log in to continue your studies. This helps remove some of the pressure, as well as assisting the development of your time management and self-motivation skills.

There is also the high cost of studying, which may put many people off pursuing further education, especially if they already have a job or qualifications. However, with online courses, the usual student expenses such as tuition fees, rent and travel could be reduced or even removed, to help you save money and still get access to education. Many tuition fees for online courses are cheaper than their in-person counterparts, and many online courses are free or discounted. Depending on the course provider, you may also receive financial support or other benefits such as student discounts, so it is important to ask about this when thinking about enrolling. Furthermore, the ability to learn and work at the same time means you can continue to earn money and don’t have to put the rest of your life on hold.


It is no secret that there are plenty of buzzwords you may put on your resume, but how many of them do you actually have and have examples of. Soft skills are a set of personal, non-technical skills that are transferrable and can be used in almost any workplace, and any role. Employers often look for them on a resume, and you may have put some of them on yours. Studying online, regardless of the type of course or topic, can help you develop these skills, perhaps without you even noticing, and give you practical examples to provide in an interview to really impress your potential employers.

Soft skills can include time management, communication, self-motivation, conflict resolution, adaptability and creative thinking, and they can be applied in many different situations. When you study online, for example, you will be using your time management skills to make sure that you schedule your studying appropriately, fitting it around the rest of your life and completing everything to a high standard. Not only does this give you a great practical example, it also means that you can discover organizational techniques that work for you, and can be used again in the future whenever you need them. In this way, online courses can help your career as they can give you the specialized knowledge you will need, but also the valuable personal skills to help you succeed in your place of work and make employers want to hire you.