In the wake of COVID-19 we face a global economic downturn. Unemployment rates have jumped worldwide. In Canada, we’ve lost 2 million jobs in April. Over the next three months, the UN labour agency reports that cutbacks equivalent to nearly 200 million fulltime workers are expected. The effects of the pandemic and the response measures have had dire consequence for workers worldwide. The agency estimates four in five of the world’s workforce have been impacted by full or partial lockdown measures.
Even as Canada begins to ease distancing measures the future remains uncertain for many sectors, especially those that were hardest hit by the crisis. Food and accommodation (144 million workers), retail and wholesale (482 million), business services and administration (157 million, and manufacturing (463 million) have suffered the greatest burden of unemployment.
As a working adult this pandemic has likely impacted you personally. Especially if your employment is in one of the harder hit sectors, you may have already lost your job, temporarily or permanently. This can be a frightening time when the future you thought you had planned out no longer looks viable.
These life transitions may require new education. Upgrading your skills or even changing career direction can be done quickly and easily with online adult education. There are programs as short as six months that could prepare you to meet demands in sectors where there is steady or growing demand, like healthcare or Information Technology. Government support and stimulus programs may also provide opportunities for adults to adapt their skills and meet the need for essential service workers.
The world has gone digital in a new way now and millions of workplaces and education programs have gone online, some permanently. Trained professionals in Human Resources Management are needed to manage personnel in new ways. Ashton College’s Human Resources Management Course offers online classes that can prepare you to manage the challenges of the new corporate normal. Education has been going through a global transformation as well with new digital tools and online classrooms. Another offering from Ashton College designed to help you master education technology, tools, and techniques is the Education Assistant Program Online.
For adults who received their education in a traditional classroom setting, the prospect of online programs can be daunting. Yet the benefits are enormous. Online learning provides the flexibility that adults need who may be working, care-giving for youth or elders, or actively job hunting. Uncertain times call for flexibility. Online education offers flexible hours and even though workshops and seminars are scheduled, most programs will allow students to view the recorded session later that day or prior to the next schedule seminar. This ensures that you can keep up with the pace of the class and stay on track for any quizzes or homework assignments, while still meeting the needs of your work or personal schedule. Working parents or people caring for elderly parents often find online education offers the best option for them to upgrade their skills without massively disrupting their life.
Online education can still provide a sense of community and the ability to connect to other students and instructors without the in-person experience. Interactive seminars allow students to ask questions and engage their instructor directly. Students can invite other classmates to connect and support each other with assignments or study. One thing COVID-19 has shown us is that we can remain in community and continue to contribute both professionally and personally in an online format.
While many education programs at colleges and universities rushed to adapt to the physical distancing measures that were mandated, you may get the best online experience from an education provider with prior online experience. The quality of instruction, the format of the courses, and the suitability of the program for students learning needs and lifestyle are important factors in choosing the best partner for your education journey. A knowledgeable and experienced Admissions Advisor can be a valuable ally in helping you make the decision to pursue additional education and deciding if an online program is right for you. Even short courses that upgrade your existing skills can be a valuable asset to outshine the competition in a crowded job market.
During these uncertain times, the ability to adapt to change and move ahead into new uncharted territory are key attributes needed for success. Adults who are courageous enough to change course now and embrace new career paths are likely to fare better than those who hang onto old plans which don’t fit in a new economic reality.
At Ashton College, we are experts in online adult education. We recognize the challenges of balancing life and work while also pursuing further education. Our programs are designed with you in mind. Contact our Admissions Team today to learn more.