How to use online learning to get ahead in your career? | Expert Speak | Saurabh Nanda

Speed, flexibility and data are the 3 major benefits of e-learning for both learners and educators. But on top of all that, to make use of e-learning, you need to plan the outcomes you want to achieve and by which time. Be disciplined about learning, which is tough given the fact that we are just not used to using the Internet for learning purposes.

How to use online learning to get ahead in your career?
How to use online learning to get ahead in your career?

The COVID-19 pandemic has affected 32 crore Indian students. The only way to have some kind of continuity in our education, has come out to be e-learning. More students, educators and professionals are using the internet to learn and teach than ever before in human history. E-learning might have started a few decades ago, but now, it is here to stay, and thrive like never before. Let’s discuss how to use online learning to make our careers better.

Speed, flexibility and data are the 3 major benefits of e-learning for both learners and educators. But on top of all that, to make use of e-learning, you need to plan the outcomes you want to achieve and by which time. Be disciplined about learning, which is tough given the fact that we are just not used to using the Internet for learning purposes.

How to choose a good e-learning platform?

Everybody from media houses like the Jagran group to e-commerce giants like Amazon to renowned authors like R S Agrawal want to get a share of the big INR 15,000 croreed-tech pie in India. E-learning platforms, just like offline learning education systems, need to be seen from a perspective of relevance, quality, and convenience. Use the free classes offered by all these platforms, analyse the reviews, listen to the comments from the users, to form an opinion about the platform.

Secondly, just like our schools and universities, e-learning is not perfect, so try and find experience in these platforms. That experience can come from the teacher who is teaching or the company itself. The older the brand is, the more advanced their services should be. Lastly, look at how much of the internet are these companies leveraging. The Internet provides you a global perspective. You can learn the same topic through documentaries, expert interviews, multiple pedagogies from across the world. So, if your e-learning platform is limited in its scope of content, move to another platform.

How can you compensate for increased screen time?

Indian households are not made for Work from Home or Study from Home, period. But now we need to make adjustments. Invest in good ergonomic furniture and create a space in your home for studying. Understand how to keep you posture correct and your hands and fingers rested to avoid back pain, neck problems, carpel tunnel and repetitive strain injuries. Then protect your eyes using anti-glare, anti-blue light spectacles. Cover your computer screen with radiation protection screens and change the display settings of your phone to reduced blue light mode. Use the screen time counters in your phone or on YouTube to ration your time in front of the screen. Use tips like 20-20-20 your daily mantra. After every 20 minutes of screen time, take a break for 20 seconds by looking at something 20 feet away!

How to make a career in e-learning?

E-learning offers a plethora of opportunities. Imagine- the entire school or college building that you are used to seeing, now exists in the cloud. So there are obviously things which the school doesn’t need anymore, like plumbing but there are other things that the school needs now, like data security. If you have taken a class on zoom, using slides or sometimes on a WhatsApp video call with your teacher writing on a blackboard using chalk and shouting at his/her phone, you know that the experience is not very tasteful. So technologists, computer programmers, content makers, digital marketers, cyber security are some of the obvious career options but psychologists, sociologists, curriculum designers, business analysts, lawyers - all are needed for this new ecosystem.

Advice: Invest in Career Consulting

Uncertain times can be converted into opportunities. Your mind opens up to newer possibilities. But learning the hard away or trial and error is not the best approach. So invest in understanding which opportunities will exist in the future and which opportunities are best suited for you based on your aptitude, personality, interests, education qualifications, work experience, personal factors, and industry data and trends. Be scientific in your decision making. With technology, career consulting has become faster, more accurate and more convenient. But choose consultants who assess you first. Sadly, most so-called ‘career consultants’ in India are mostly agents for universities and/or coaching centres. They will push you to take certain courses in certain institutes whether in India or Abroad. That kind of service might have benefitted you in the past, but with uncertainty about VISAs, timelines, online classes, bad return on investment etc, these agents can not guarantee much success to you.

In conclusion, all of us need to be ready to adapt. Because the sooner you adapt, the sooner you can surmount.

About the Author:

Mr Saurabh Nanda is a Psychologist, Career Guide and the Co-Founder of ‘The Happy Career Project’. His unique career consulting firm helps students carve a career path that leads them to career growth as well as happiness. Picking the right career can be tough and helping others do the same is even tougher. Saurabh is doing just that.

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