Can’t land your dream job? Courses you can take to explore more job options

Guest Post by Christine Linda Smith


Most students regret not taking the time to plan or prepare for their careers and find themselves under pressure when they don’t land their dream job after graduation.

Luckily, there are many opportunities for graduates to continue learning beyond their time in university/college, even across the disciplines they were formally trained in. This is a great opportunity for anyone who is considering changing their career path, especially in fields that are rapidly growing in both global and local job markets.

Choosing a different career is a potentially life-changing decision and you should carefully consider this transition with your interests, skills and personal motivations in mind.

Online education is both accessible and affordable and it offers a range of courses to choose from – making it a great choice for those who are considering a career change.

There are a number of resources that can help you think through this decision;  The College Monk  is a useful resource that lists a number of online colleges, for example. Devoting a few hours a week to completing an online course can help you get an entry level job in a completely new career!

Explore Your Career Options

There are numerous online resources that provide reliable information on various options based on the disciplines you’re trained in, the field(s) you’re interested in, as well the accreditation of the institution providing the course.

This (non-exhaustive) list is a summary of the different courses you can take if you want to pursue a new career in web development, Programming and Computer Science, AI and Data science, Design and Digital Marketing. We hope it gives you an idea of what a new career could look like.

1. Web development

Nowadays, website developers, bloggers and even journalists use HTML to create and edit their content even if they haven’t learnt to code. A web developer creates and develops web pages and applications using a client-server model. They are mainly responsible for creating a website and curating its layout, graphics and content. The average growth of this job is estimated to be 12% by the end of 2024.

Here are some courses you could choose to land your next job in web development:

  • Introduction to HTML helps you understand the basics of HTML, its syntax and the structure of a webpage. Also, some courses teach front-end developers how to style a webpage using CSS.
  • Dash is a general course that helps you learn the basics of HTML,CSS and javascript with brief instructions on how to create websites. This also lets you view your output in real time.
  • Introduction to javascript is a great introduction to javascript and how it is used to create web pages. The course touches on concepts like functions, object-oriented programming and browser compatibility.
  • Modern web design teaches the fusion of HTML, CSS and javascript to develop a modern interactive web design. 
  • Mobile Web Development focuses on the creation of websites to provide great cross-device mobile web experiences. With this, you can also develop applications for various platforms and operating systems.

2. Programming and Computer Science

We live in the era of technology where computers, gadgets, smartphones and electronic devices have become an integral part of everyday life. As the tech industry grows, the demand for programmers, coders and computer engineers has increased significantly. By the end of 2020, IT jobs are expected to increase up to 22% on average.

You can become a Computer Engineer by following a few simple steps, choosing the right concentrations, degree levels and acquiring skills required for this job. As a computer engineer, your duties would include designing and developing computer hardware and software. You would also test components such as memory devices, processors, circuit boards, and networks.

Some courses you could choose are:

  • Introduction to Computer Science which is a great introduction to the basics of coding and writing simple programs in various programming languages. It also gives a brief introduction on CCS, HTML, and PHP.
  • Fundamentals of Python focuses on Python which is a scripted language that anyone with simple computer knowledge can master.
  • Introduction to JAVA is a course that is primarily about how to build high -quality software to solve real world problems.
  • Introduction to C++ focuses on both C and C++ and teaches memory management, pointers, object-oriented programming. 
  • OS Development teaches you to create OS software (iOS or Android Basics) even if you have no prior experience with coding.

3. AI and Data science

Today’s economy is leading towards data analysis and Artificial Intelligence (AI) which form the bigger world of Machine Learning and Big Data. Data science is a field that focuses on the analysis, evaluation, pre-processing and prediction of data.

On the other hand, AI can be used to forecast and determine the results of future events. In recent times there is rapid implementation of Cloud and IoT technology in global business, and the combination of Data Science and AI has tremendous potential for businesses.  Data Science is currently the highest-ranking one job in the US and by the end of 2020, it is estimated that the number of data scientists will have increased by 28%.

Some courses you could choose in this career path are:

  • Introduction to Big Data which would give you an understanding of the structure and analysis of Big Data. You could also learn about programming during the course.
  • SQL for Data Analysis teaches you how to analyse data by writing SQL queries and how to extract data, tabulate and perform aggregations.
  • Machine Learning is a course that compiles topics on machine learning, data mining, and statistical pattern recognition through specific case studies. 
  • Statistical Thinking in Data Science: after taking this course, you will have learnt about collecting and deriving insights from visualising data as well as using data analysis to make decisions and construct models forecasting future trends.
  • Introduction to Data Analysis Using Excel: here, you will learn to use Excel effectively to analyse data and interpret the results.

4. Design

A graphic or product designer is a creative and artistic individual who works with visuals to develop a design through software and editing tools. Designers rely on their artistic and technical skills to create an effective design and can work for an organization or independently.

The courses you can choose are:

  • Fundamentals of graphic design which introduces the basics of design, color theory, composition, image creation, shapes and geometry. 
  • Adobe Photoshop: this gives a foundation for beginners on user interface and techniques to edit and enhance a photograph.
  • Adobe Illustrator teaches you the fundamentals of core elements such as shapes, paths and type in Illustrator.
  • Graphic Design is a great course if you’re looking to learn about the tools you can use to create professional presentations, resumes, videos and reports. 
  • 3D Animation is a course that provides the core concepts of animation and filmmaking. 

5. Digital Marketing

Digital marketing is a broad category that describes how internet and online technologies such as search engines, social media and other channels are used to reach consumers or to promote products or services. It is currently one of the fastest developing fields and it is estimated that by the end of 2020 or a few years, 87% of the marketing budget will be spent on digital marketing.

  • Introduction to Marketing: this is an introduction to the psychology of consumer decision-making that informs pricing strategies and marketing metrics of a company or organisation.
  • Social Media Marketing course focuses on how to engage and attract customers using relevant social media platforms such as Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and YouTube.
  • Google Analytics: this course focuses on Google’s measurement tools where you can analyse and evaluate data to grow your business.
  • Search Engine Optimization teaches you how to do competitive analysis of a webpage to rank higher in search engine results. From a business perspective, this can offer insights into what strategies to use to get leads and sales.
  • Content Marketing focuses on creating, publishing and distributing relevant content for a targeted audience. The content is concerned with attracting an audience to drive profits through their actions.
  • Online Marketing Challenges is beneficial to those who want to create awareness initiatives or execute marketing campaigns in the non-profit sector.

Final Thoughts

There are unlimited opportunities in the global and local economy that anyone who is persistent and consistent can access. If you have a degree but couldn’t land your dream job, consider other fields where your career could flourish.

There are numerous resources and online courses that you can take advantage of to help you prepare for a career change and give you the preparation you will need to thrive in your new role. With rigorous practice and a strong commitment to learning, you’d be surprised how many doors will open.