How to Pivot to a Work-at-Home Job with Online Courses

2020-09-24  |  Created by  CareerTu




This year’s lockdowns don’t signal a lack of opportunity.


If anything, the opportunity for starting a career has never been better—if you’re open to working online!


Looking for part time software testing jobs from home? Or maybe a digital marketing gig? Coder or non-coder, there are more than enough job openings at tech companies waiting to be filled.


All you have to do is make the pivot into the digital world of online courses, and you’ll be on a journey to ever-increasing competency.


In this article, we’ll give you the low-down on how to take advantage of the booming online job market with a combination of online courses, projects, and internships.


Determine a Job Search Direction

Before you even think about getting a certificate for jobs online, you should determine your job search direction. If you only dive into the courses or jobs that look interesting at first glance, you’re liable to end up wasting time and money. 


For instance, you could end up looking into an online job that ultimately doesn’t fit your skills, inclinations, or salary expectations. You could also make the mistake of taking courses that, while adding to your skillset, don’t directly relate to the job you’re aiming for.


Moreover, the best certificate jobs online aren’t ones you can get with a smattering of completed courses and skill competencies. High-quality online jobs usually require a combination of specific skills. You’ll need to determine a focus to help you pick the right skills to learn in the first place.


One way you can determine a job search direction is by contacting mentors or friends in the industries you’re considering.


For example, if you’re searching for junior data scientist jobs near you, but are unsure whether or not you want to commit to that career path, you could join an online webinar with industry experts for advice and insight.


CareerTu already offers a webinar series—we call these sessions our “Virtual Coffee Chats”— to help non-coders decide which industry is right for them. Our speakers come from companies as renowned as Amazon, LinkedIn, Casper, and Wayfair, so the industry reports and advice you’ll be given will be coming from experts in their respective industries.


These webinars are the COVID-era equivalents of meetings over a cup of coffee—you might even want to bring your own mug to the call! (Register here because space is limited.)


If you’re looking for something quicker, there are plenty of free job search quizzes out there that can get you a definite answer in a short amount of time.


CareerTu also offers a career quiz for anyone who registers for our 7-Day Python Challenge.


Spend 5 minutes answering questions about your current skills, and you’ll get an instant report outlining your optimal search direction, expected salary, and recommended position.


Find the Courses

Online courses will, understandably, form the core of your training for digital jobs. 


Judging which courses are optimal for your job search journey will depend on a variety of factors: 


  • Are the courses specifically designed for certificate jobs online, or do they merely teach you skills without any kind of certification?


  • If completing a course earns you a certificate, is the certificate widely accepted within the industry for the purpose of qualifying job applicants for hire?


  • Does the company, organization, or individual offering the course have partnerships with companies in order to place their alumni in job or internship openings?


If you’re looking for an online business school that meets the above considerations, check out CareerTu.


We offer courses in Python, data analytics, UX/UI, business intelligence, and digital marketing. We also have industry partners in a variety of industries, from L'Oréal and LVMH to TikTok and Facebook, and our course alumni have placed in over 160 distinguished companies.


Find Projects

Being certified for a skill through an online course doesn’t mean you’re a sure hire at the latest and greatest tech company.


For example, say you’re looking around for junior data scientists jobs near you. You’ve done your due diligence, taken a CareerTu Python course, and more or less succeeded in gaining competence in the programming language.


Learning Python is a great first step for any digital career search, particularly for paid mentoring jobs or certificate jobs online where you only need competence in an isolated area. But it’s not the end-all-be-all. 


If you really want to become a master at the kind of work your prospective job will require, you’ll need to take on projects. You can do this on your own or as a freelancer, working for client companies and with their teams. The first option, for obvious reasons, is probably how most beginners will start off (even freelance software tester jobs require some real-world experience).


The availability of educational projects and challenges online will depend on the skill in question. An open-source programming language like Python will present you with tons of opportunities online, given its large community and many libraries. Less-popular languages like R and SQL, and jobs like digital marketing, may present fewer opportunities due to their lack of popularity.


CareerTu’s 7-Day Python Challenge is a fantastic alternative to individual projects because it puts you in competition against friends and teams representing different universities. You even have the chance to win different prizes (including free courses for Python). The Challenge features 7 levels and is designed for someone with little-to-no coding experience


Register for the Python Challenge if you want to jump-start your extracurricular Python education, or look for similar challenges online if you’re learning another programming language or skill.


Get Hands-On Experience

Vigorously tackling online classes and projects are great first steps in transforming yourself into an instant tech hire, but the next big step is finding an online internship.


Internships are vital to developing your competency with a single skill, as well as broadening your skillset so it conforms to the job you’re looking to fill. You’ll get real hands-on experience in dealing with the day-to-day workflow and daily challenges that arise in the course of the job, and the ability to learn what a tech company expects from its employees.


While internships may not be required for certificate jobs online, they do add another dimension of experience to your online education, reducing the hypotheticals and redirecting you to concrete situations.


If you’re searching for junior data scientist jobs near you, why not go through an online data scientist internship beforehand? This way, you’ll get a feel for what the job actually entails outside of what online courses might lead you to believe. 


CareerTu’s signature Capstone Project fits this description. The program offers 6 months of hands-on experience and comprehensive instruction at the top 2% of tech companies. You’ll learn by doing, that is, by designing, launching, and marketing.


This is an immersive experience designed to give interns in-demand and up-to-date skillsets so they’re ready for placement upon completion. It’s also a great way to learn about your industry, make connections, and add substantial experience to your resume.


Go Beyond the Main Skill

Ultimately, online courses, projects, and internships will only provide you with a slice of what it’s like to be a digital professional. 


Many courses limit themselves to individual topics, which are usually too general to qualify for favorable placement at a top company. These courses usually cover single programming languages, general overviews of company positions, and general skills for a certain job type. Rarely are they comprehensive in the sense of making you an expert with a fully-developed skillset, ready to tackle unexpected challenges and company-specific tasks. Some internships may be designed with too general a skill range in mind, so it can remain open to a wider selection of interns.


The only way to counter this generality is by actively seeking out the right combination of resources.


If you’re looking for web developer or junior data scientist jobs near you, there are other frameworks—Flask, Django, Pandas, Scikit-learn—that you can and probably should learn if you’re going to be competitive for a particular job which makes use of Python.


This means that in addition to completing coursework, projects, and internships for Python, you’ll have to constantly work to develop and expand that skill with additional courses, projects, and internships that ensure competency in the above frameworks. 


One’s education doesn’t end outside the virtual classroom. Never stay at the beginner level—always upskill.