If you still had doubts about whether studying online had any benefits, the particular circumstances surrounding the Covid-19 pandemic surely cleared them.
As an unprecedented measure to deal with this issue, governments across the world asked their citizens to stay home and “non-essential” businesses to close their brick-and-mortar stores. As the global shutdown lasted many weeks, this situation had an undeniably strong impact on the education and business world, substantially revolutionizing both areas.
1. Digital Business TransformationOne of the main lessons that this quarantine taught us is that organizations that had already migrated their operations online were better prepared to react to the unexpected. Click To Tweet
They could adapt to a rapidly changing environment and continue to provide their services, despite the uncertainty and the rapid pace at which the shutdown took effect. Even though not all businesses have the opportunity to operate remotely, this pandemic clearly showcased the advantages of working and studying from home.
Some of the benefits of workplaces and companies “going digital” are:
- Paperless operations mean reducing paper waste and thus the impact on the environment.
- No commute represents a decrease in gas emissions and therefore air pollution.
- Closed offices result in energy savings in heating and cooling, electricity, etc. and an overall reduction of our carbon footprint.
- No commute also reduces traffic and the risk of motor vehicle accidents.
- No paper files or supplies for employees to pass around is a more hygienic alternative, as it decreases the risk of disease transmission.
- Employers can expand the search radius when hiring local talent, and can more easily collaborate with people overseas.
- Online software for project management, customer relations management (CRM) and e-commerce can help streamline all areas of a business.
- Digital tools have increased reporting capabilities, facilitating KPI measurement and data-driven decisions.
- No physical office space results in less or no overhead costs, such as rent, supplies, utilities, etc.
- Cloud-based software reduces the cost of in-house IT servers and infrastructure.
- Maximizing digital capabilities helps a business remain agile (e.g. scalable), and thus relevant.
- As long as there is an internet connection, business can continue to operate anywhere, anytime and from any device.
This pandemic has also clearly revealed the numerous advantages of digital learning over traditional brick-and-mortar schools.Online training is not only a cheaper solution to on-campus learning, but it also offers students a wider array of courses and programs, beyond geographical barriers. Click To Tweet
Moreover, it has given parents the opportunity to keep a pulse on everything that their children are being taught and to turn education into a family activity. Distance education is flexible, interactive, personalized and now we can also add “robust” to its list of benefits, as it has allowed students worldwide to complete their education despite the uncertainty caused by the shutdown.
The superiority with which e-learning responded during the pandemic proves that versatility is vital to navigate the rough waters of today’s education and business world, with traditional classrooms becoming obsolete. It is not only necessary to seriously begin to consider it as the form of education of the future, but also to start introducing the concept of “workplace training” as the most effective way to complement it. Workplace training consists of training provided by employers that allows employees to acquire the knowledge and skills necessary to better perform their job or grow within their position or the organization.
A long-term study program, such as a 3-year Bachelor’s degree, can, in many instances, be an investment in your future. However, being stuck in a program for an extended period of time can be a problem for others. The pandemic forced many students, especially those in their last years, to stop, postpone and even completely miss out on hands-on projects or internship opportunities.
Setting a career goal and designing the most efficient way to achieve it has, without a doubt, reinvented career planning. Online training has allowed students to break down their education in phases, through different short-term training sessions, giving them the possibility to work to gain relevant experience, acquire new or refine existing skills, and add more value to their resume.It is possible to combine short courses and programs with certifications and other educational offerings, while applying the concepts learned to real-world projects, and this is our Academy’s method. Click To Tweet
Thus, animal and nature lovers can expand their options and pursue more practical careers that lead them to their goals of higher learning, but also turning each step into a profitable experience.
Turn your love for animals into a rewarding career!
Your time is no longer only spent in classes, but on a self-managed path that puts you on the road to entrepreneurship. Gaining experience in the real world gives you the opportunity to recognize gaps in the market and possibly strike entrepreneurial gold.
In sum, this unprecedented situation has surely forced us to rethink the way certain academic programs are delivered, and inspired many to dare to design their own education for a more meaningful experience.
3. What does “essential” mean?
Before this pandemic, the concept of “essential” business probably never crossed our mind. Worldwide, governments issued lists of “essential” businesses, including non-profits and service delivery organizations, which outlined the categories of businesses that were authorized to stay open during the shutdown.
Some interesting takeaways from this situation is perhaps to consider:
- The subjectivity of this classification. As an example, a grooming service could be considered “non-essential”, unless it is for an elderly person’s pet, in which case, both their hygiene and safety could be compromised. Not being able to bathe and cut their pet’s nails could become a health problem, as seniors have delicate skin and even the most adorable of dogs could accidentally scratch and hurt their owner. The way in which this pandemic was handled certainly gives room for debate, especially since some of us feel that we are capable of taking care of our own health and safety, as well as that of our community.
- Becoming aware of the concept of “essential” service when planning a career or the type of business that we want to start. This pandemic undoubtedly introduces a new variable to the business plan which is adaptability in moments of crisis.
There are two approaches to analyzing this situation. On one hand, our business could be forced to stop its normal operations during a special event, such as a pandemic or a catastrophe. In this case, the importance of being able to migrate online or designing a digital company from the start, which would allow us to work from home, is no longer a far-fetch concept, but rather a way to ensure the robustness, i.e. the ability to continue to perform despite alterations in market conditions, and longevity of our company.
Diversification, which is a risk management strategy, can also help counteract the negative effect of volatile markets, i.e. when the economic landscape changes rapidly and unpredictably, especially for the worse.
On the other hand, more importantly and from a personal point of view, it is important to assess whether we are willing to have to fulfill an “essential” service and be at the front lines during a period that could be dangerous, or if we would rather have the option of voluntarily closing our business.
Planning before any major undertaking has always been important, but after such events, it could make a significant difference. The concept of robustness is now a new variable to factor in when making decisions.
During periods of crisis, small businesses are often the main sector that is negatively affected, yet as the backbone of the economy, they are key to reviving it. They play a crucial role in generating meaningful jobs and maintaining the survival instinct alive.
If it is possible to create a career or business that allows us to work from home and with the freedom to open or close down at our will, perhaps we would have transformed a hard time into a positive learning experience, turning a crisis into an opportunity. At the end of the day, this attitude is what helps us evolve, innovate and create lasting positive change.