Can Online Courses Get You A Job?

You may be looking to supplement your skills with an additional course or two. Or perhaps your lifestyle doesn’t suit traditional study methods and higher education, i.e., you are a parent, caregiver, or full-time employee. Maybe you are trying to make a bold career change. Whatever the reason, online courses are an excellent option for learning new skills. However, the purpose of these courses is to make you more eligible for employment, so do they?

Online courses can get you a job. You can receive complete vocational training or obtain college or university degrees online. Online single subjects and short courses can help you to up-skill yourself, stand out from fellow applicants, or shift your career in a new direction.

In this article, we look at what online courses are out there and discuss how best to utilize online courses to get a job.

What Types Of Online Courses Are There?

These days, your options for online courses are seemingly limitless.

Many colleges and vocational courses are offered online. You can even obtain a university degree—Bachelor’s or post-graduate—through online learning. It is often less expensive to obtain these degrees online than in-person, which is an added benefit.

You can also take single tertiary education subjects from well-known institutions. These single subjects and short courses can be used to up-skill yourself and advance in your chosen field, or to tweak your qualifications and allow you to branch off in a new direction without starting from the beginning again.  

What Is The Next Step On Your Educational Path?

If you are unsure what you should study after high school, then you can use online short courses or single subjects to help you decide what you are interested in.

If you have completed a vocational course, you can move on to a bachelor’s degree, even a short course that will add to your skills. The vocational course, in conjunction with a bachelor’s or a short course, will make you stand out to potential employers.

Even if you studied a bachelor’s degree through traditional college or university learning, you could complete your post-graduate degree online. The flexibility of online studying can make it easier to balance studying and working.

How To Select An Online Course?

With the great diversity of online courses that are available to you, choosing a course can be difficult. The following sections can assist you in knowing how to approach that decision.

Consider Your Interests

What do you enjoy doing? This makes a big difference to how well you learn, your likelihood of remembering the course content, and your success and happiness in your ultimate career.

Consider Your Personality

You should establish how you think you will work better. A short course can be completed and ticked off the list, but a degree allows you to make long-term decisions so that you don’t have to worry about making another big career decision for a few years.

Additionally, as mentioned previously, single subjects and short courses are appropriate when you are still trying to find what you enjoy.

If you have a more practical mind than an academic mind, then vocational courses might be a better option than online college or university degrees.

Investigate Country Skills Shortages

It’s important to enjoy what you do, but another factor to consider is which employment sectors are hiring. There is no reason to study something that will not actually assist you in getting a job because that employment market is saturated.

To help you choose the best sector, here are some links to posts that list the most in-demand jobs currently:

The first three lists also provide salary information about the jobs listed therein.

Research Current Jobs On The Market

However, you are not just limited to trying to rely on lists that can easily change from year to year. One of the best ways to see what skills are in short supply is simply to study the job market. Have a look at and and see what jobs are being advertised most frequently.

Choose The Right Course Provider

There are certain online schools that are recognized by more potential employers than others. It is essential to ensure that the school you choose is reputable and offers you a high standard of education.

To select the best online course for you:

  • Do research on the best online schools for your field
  • If you are able to, then speak to someone in the industry in which you are interested in starting a career. Ask them about the online courses they know and approve of.
  • Alternatively, you can look at the online courses offered by established universities around the world.

Some great course providers are Coursera, EdX, Udemy, and Skillshare.

Educational Level Vs. Wage

Let’s be honest; the money also makes a difference when selecting an online course. So, what courses will earn you more money? According to the U.S. Department of Labor, the more skills required for a job, the higher the wage.

The National Institute for Education Statistics published a survey on the average income of young adults in the USA between 2000 and 2018. Consistently, wages increased with education level. From highest paid to lowest paid, these were:

  • Master’s or higher degree ($65 000)
  • Bachelor’s degree ($54 700)
  • Associate degree ($40 000)
  • Some college education, but no degree ($36 500)
  • High school completion ($34 900)
  • Less than a high school completion ($27 900)

The amounts in parentheses are the approximate median annual earnings at each level in 2018.

However, some niche markets do not have any degrees that are specifically designed for them, and a vocational or short course is more desirable and applicable to those fields.

How To Maintain Your Currency

Once you are hired, it is important to maintain your currency. What this means is that you need to stay up to date with all the latest developments in your field. It is also known as life-long learning.

Life-long learning can be voluntary. By your own choice, you can investigate new technologies, new programs, new systems, new theories, etc., which will help you to become or remain the best candidate for your job.

Online courses can assist you in maintaining your employment relevancy, and some are even specifically designed for this purpose.

There is also a non-voluntary aspect for life-long learning: professional development points.

Professional Development Points

Many professions, from engineering to I.T. to healthcare, require a person to become a member of a professional body. Furthermore, to retain this membership, they are required to earn professional development points, which are monitored by these bodies.

These points are earned by attending conferences and seminars regarding advancements in the field, but also through the completion of short courses and additional subjects that are designed to update the skills of the people already working in a specific field.

Thus, online courses can feature as a mandatory part of keeping a job once you have been hired.


Online courses are definitely able to help you get a job. You can earn college or university degrees online. Many short courses and single subjects are also desirable and look good on your CV. Online courses are also vital to improving your chances of keeping your job through life-long learning.

When selecting an online course, you should consider your interests and personality, the employment sectors that are hiring in your country, and who is providing the course—recognized institutions look better on your CV.

With the global pandemic, many tertiary institutes are evolving so as to better facilitate online learning versus traditional in-person learning. While this is currently perceived as a temporary solution to the present crisis, many institutes are seeing the value and the possibilities of online learning, and we could be on the cusp of a worldwide shift in educational practices.


Glen Brown

I am a Technical Trainer and Manager with over 20 years experience in IT, Education and Business. I have multiple qualifications on each topic including post graduate qualifications. I have a passion for sharing knowledge and using technology to do this. If you would like to know more about me please see the about page of the website.

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