Feature, Open Source Education, Required, Technology, Unemployment - Written by on Thursday, September 15, 2011 12:59 - 0 Comments

Five Ways to Ride Out Unemployment with Online Resources Between Jobs

photo: flickr user evo_terra

by Elbert Chu


Unemployment over 9% is the stubborn bane of President Obama’s administration. We wouldn’t wait for his help as he pushes through the new $300 billion jobs plan. Here’s some ways to take matters into your own online hands.

Time between jobs does not have to be a depressing time. But whatever you do, don’t beg.


1. Degrees: Brand matters

“I’ve been researching employer acceptance of online degrees since 1989. In 1989, the first year GetEducated.com surveyed corporations, less than 50% of managers rated a distance degree “as good as” a residential  degree. Today (2009 survey) more than 90% of corporate managers rate an online degree “as good as” a residential degree….. but only if 3 crucial characteristics are met,” said Vicky Phillips, Founder of GetEducated.com.

The most important factor is whether your future employer recognizes the name of your schoool.

Check GetEducated’s video for a more thorough discussion by Phillips.


2.  Who needs a degree, give me open source training.

If you’re not getting degrees, get additional training with free training. Perhaps you want additional training, but don’t have the resource of time or finances to go back to school, you’re in good company. “Look for short — one year or less — certificate programs or course clusters that focus on one discreet marketable skill — like social media marketing or mobile application development or green construction,” said Phillips.

Codeacademy.com — Learning code can be fun…seriously. We’ll be taking a closer look at the academy soon, so stay tuned.

Peer to Peer University — Says Phillips: “Free DIY courses ranging from news writing to PHP. This is a great free way to dial-in and acquire new skills fast in specific areas whether for personal interest or career re-tooling.”

Mangolanguages.com — Speaking multiple languages is always an asset for employers, unless it’s Lakota. Not that we don’t dig Lakota, but for obvious reasons Spanish or Chinese might be the better choice.

Bottom line says Phillip: “DIY open education is a great way to hang ornaments on your resume.”

3. Build-up online presence

Let’s face it, when you’re looking for a job, you have time. Between waiting for responses from resumes and interviews, put that time into Web 3.0 interaction.

LinkedIn group directory is the place to start. But a little known way to increase your profile is to get into the groups where engaged professionals are good communities to network with and connect.

Find the equivalent FaceBook groups.
4. Get connected to conferences, seminars, and online webcasts

Many organizations and trade groups provide free online streaming of events in your space that will keep you up to speed wherever you are. Even if there are fees, the cost is worthwhile if you consider that you wo’t have to shell out travel expenses and lodging.

Webinar Hero is an good place to start in case you need a somewhere to search.

5. Volunteer and be a mentor

Next to fancy new degrees, employers like to see time well spent. There is not many activities more meaningful than teaching kids. And now you can do it from the comfort of your home between those webinars. Just make sure you have some good stories about connecting with kids. “I helped kids” is not going to cut it.

Tutor.com is a great place to start.



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