As we are all now locked down due to the Covid-19 pandemic, many of us (not including our amazing emergency workers and those who are working incredibly hard to keep their toddlers and kids at peace), may be struggling to fill their time after conquering all of Netflix. Rather than continually reading scary news and FaceBook memes, a great alternative is to complete some online courses and learning to upskill yourself for when you are allowed back to the "outside world".

Online learning boom

Historically, many traditional employers looked at online learning with a bit of suspicion, having questions around presenter and course quality. However today you can now gain internationally accredited courses and certificates from the comfort of your home. As well as this, many training and learning organisations are giving away their normally paid content, free of charge or heavily discounted, due to the pandemic. These courses include accredited programmes from genuine local and world leaders.

Free NZQA Qualifications

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The Southern Institute of Technology offers SIT2LRN Distance Learning, providing flexible programmes across a wide range of subjects and qualifications. Their programmes are NZQA approved, internationally recognised, and range from Certificates to Masters degrees. The best part for those of us who have suddenly found unemployment a reality, is that these programmes have no tuition fees for domestic students under the SIT Zero Fees Scheme.

International Qualifications & Courses

Many organisations have decided to take a break from charging for all or part of their content, with websites like Coursera.org leading the charge. Collaborating with 190+ leading universities and companies around the world, distance learners can complete courses like "Crash Course on Python" via Google, "Organizational Analysis" via Stanford or "Successful Negotiation: Essential Strategies and Skills" through the University of Michigan. For each of these courses you also receive a certificate on completion for your CV!

Other places offering free or discounted learning at the moment include Career Contessa, The Great Courses and ELearning Industry.

Virtual Events

Various large conferences and events that would normally be geographically bound are now not only virtual this year but free to attend. Examples include Salesforce Connections and the Adobe Summi.

Career and Life Planning

In the spirit of free learning and development tools, you can also download my COMPASS Personal Leadership Programme Workbook free of charge here https://www.cv.co.nz/compass.html during the Covid-19 outbreak.

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Getting Started For The End

Despite the lock in, you can still be productive career-wise and add genuine value to your skills, learning and employability after this is all over. Investing in yourself always pays off, especially during this challenging time.

●Contact Tom O'Neil and the team at CV.CO.NZ for a free CV assessment or to be your personal career coach. Visit CV.CO.NZ (0800) 282 669 or CareerCoach.nz to find out more.