Since 2014, Climb has provided financing for over 300 career training schools offering both in-person and remote courses. And the midst of COVID-19 has seen a rise in the need for both available training for stable careers and the ability to receive career training remotely, as nearly 17 million people in the US filed for unemployment in just the span of three weeks.1 Now more than ever it’s essential to make not only education but career-advancing education widely available, even for those who are staying at home.
But how can you be sure that the investment you’re making by enrolling in an online program will be worth it? How can you get the most out of the time and money you’re putting in? After all, according to Moody’s Analytics nearly 80 million jobs in the US economy are at high or moderate risk today.2 It’s important to find a high-value program that will also lead you into a stable career with growth opportunities post-COVID.
Nearly 80 million
jobs in the US economy are at high or moderate risk today.
In-demand careers are shifting, and so is how people can get trained for them. Even before the age of social distancing, online enrollments grew year after year, and according to a study by the University of Potomac, 70% of students believe that online instruction is equal to or better than traditional classroom learning.3
Below, we’ve outlined several industries that have remained stable and are projected to see an increase in demand following COVID-19 — as well as tips on how to find online training programs and on making the most out of your program once you’ve enrolled.
Unemployment Claims Spike During The Coronavirus Crisis
Initial claims filed weekly since Jan. 7, 2006
What jobs have remained steady?
This comes as no surprise, but the need for healthcare workers has only increased. However, there are many more career paths in the healthcare field than what you might think. Just a few examples are:
- Medical billing and coding
- Healthcare administration
- Medical technician
- Pharmacy technician
- And much more
Tech companies and services5
Two words: Zoom conferences. Our reliance on technology has grown exponentially, and it will continue to grow even after our work meetings and happy hours no longer have to be remote. And as an added bonus, many jobs at tech companies are able to be performed at home! Don’t worry, you don’t have to know how to code in order to work at a tech company. Other roles you may consider entering include sales, marketing, design, and much more.
What fields have seen newfound or projected demand?
Careers such as HVAC, welding, plumbing, or electricity have been some of the jobs that have remained steady. Even with many people working from home, there’s always a need for essential repairs — and these necessary services are still able to operate. These careers can provide both good salaries and benefits plus steady work opportunities.
The trucking industry has had high demand for drivers over the past few years, and as we’ve seen, social distancing only leads to a higher demand in items being delivered. With all of these delivery requests, supply chains need additional drivers now more than ever. While schools and DMVs in many states have temporarily closed, some remain open for training and licensing. And once the need for social distancing has ended, the need for truck drivers likely won’t.
56% YoY increase
in online orders in the US between March 22–April 4.8
How to get training online
How do I find career-focused online courses?
Climb-verified online career programs
In the wake of COVID-19, you may be looking for a page dedicated to finding high-value online courses. To answer this, Climb built a page dedicated to helping people sort through online courses that have been vetted by Climb to deliver career-growth results.
Coursera is an online platform that partners with universities to offer courses, certificates, and degrees.
Similar to Coursera, CourseHorse is another online platform through which people can find and enroll in education programs — through CourseHorse, you can enroll in online classes as well as classes in several major cities.
Many schools that traditionally have only offered in-person programs have made the switch to remote learning in response to COVID-19. If there’s an on-campus program you had in mind, be sure to reach out to the school and ask if it is now available online!
How do I pay for an online course?
If you’re unable to pay for your program out-of-pocket upfront, you’re not out of options. Here are several payment methods that may be available, so you can find the one that best fits your situation.
The first step you’ll want to take, once you’re admitted and have made any possible deposits, is to look into scholarship options. Check the school’s website or talk to a representative to learn which ones are available. Oftentimes, a school will have scholarships open to their students, or you might be able to find third-party scholarships online that can go towards tuition or living expenses.
While many career training programs aren’t open to federal student loans, some may partner with specific lenders — like Climb — that offer financing for their students. This will generally allow you to make smaller monthly payments over a few years. As with all financing options, be sure to read the terms of the loan carefully to understand the interest rates and repayment terms before you sign your loan documents!
In addition to scholarships, some coding bootcamp programs offer tuition payment plans. This way, students can generally make smaller payments over a period of time, if they don’t have the full amount available upfront. Typically, you won’t have to worry about interest, but they do span a shorter time frame — you’ll pay it off quicker and without interest, but you will have higher monthly payments.
Income Share Agreements (ISAs)
Through an ISA, you don’t pay tuition until you have a job — then, you’ll pay a portion of your salary in the years after you complete your program. However, the amount you’ll pay will increase as your income increases — so as you advance in your career, you could actually end up paying more overall!
The #1 factors
students look at when deciding which school to attend are financing and cost.*
**Statistics above are based on self-reported survey results of climbcredit.com website visitors in September 2018. Synthesis of results based on 73/76 respondents.
How do I pay for an online course?
While online learning comes with numerous benefits, such as flexibility in time and location, it’s not without its challenges. Some students learn better in an in-person classroom environment. Even if you learn better on your own, you might still find yourself getting distracted. For those entering an online education program, there are some steps to take to ensure you truly get the most out of the class.
“I never thought I would like to work from home so much, but taking the class online helped me appreciate there can still be a lot of human connection through the internet. During the program, even though we were all over the country, we developed very good friendships and communicated a lot. We still do, and it’s the same with my job.”
–Zarela Graves, General Assembly online graduate
Have a dedicated study space
It’s all too easy to relax and take your mind off work when you’re working from your bed. And on the flip side, it can also become difficult to relax and get an adequate amount of sleep when you’ve become used to working in bed. Keeping separate places for you to study and to relax helps you maintain a proper balance between the two, allowing you to focus when you need to study and unwind during your off-hours and ultimately helping you be not only more productive but also healthier.
Manage your time
Getting into a study mindset is much more manageable when a study schedule has been made and put into practice, and it allows you to ensure enough time is being spent on your work. Equally important, though, is that you don’t overwork yourself. Take study breaks when you need to, so that you don’t experience burnout by sitting and working at your desk non-stop.
Even when you have a daily schedule planned out and a designated work area in which to study, the temptation to pull out your phone and check Twitter is still strong. There are ways to mitigate this, however. Several free and paid apps — such as Freedom, StayFocused, and many more — allow you to block certain websites at certain times on your devices.
As with many other things in life, the more you put into the course, the more you’ll get out of it. By actively engaging and communicating with your instructor and fellow classmates, you’ll deepen your understanding of the material, find it easier to focus on the work, and maybe even bond with classmates who will help you in the field.
Ask for help when you need it
Finally, never hesitate to ask for help when you need it. Reaching out can be difficult when all of the interactions have been long-distance, but holding back will only hinder your success in the course. Whether you need help understanding the material or on navigating a remote program, teachers, TAs, and fellow classmates are all here to support you and each other.
1 Zarroli, Jim, and Avie Schneider. “Jobs Carnage Mounts: 17 Million File For Unemployment In 3 Weeks.” NPR, NPR, 9 Apr. 2020, www.npr.org/sections/coronavirus-live-updates/2020/04/09/830216099/6-6-million-more-file-for-unemployment-as-coronavirus-keeps-economy-shut.
2 Isidore, Chris. “More than Half of American Jobs Are at Risk Because of Coronavirus.” CNN. Cable News Network, March 17, 2020. https://www.cnn.com/2020/03/16/economy/job-losses-coronavirus/index.html.
3 “Online Classes vs. Traditional Classes – A Learning Comparison.” University of the Potomac. Accessed April 21, 2020. https://potomac.edu/learning/online-learning-vs-traditional-learning/.
4 Zhao, Daniel. “U.S. Coronavirus Outbreak-Related Job Postings Triple in Last Week.” Glassdoor Economic Research, April 4, 2020. https://www.glassdoor.com/research/coronavirus-related-jobs-surge/.
5 Stahl, Ashley. “4 Industries That Are Still Hiring In The Midst Of COVID-19.” Forbes. Forbes Magazine, April 1, 2020. https://www.forbes.com/sites/ashleystahl/2020/04/01/4-industries-who-are-still-hiring-in-the-midst-of-covid-19/#7ecc3ef815ee.
6 Kelly, Jack. “How The Coronavirus Outbreak Will Change Careers And Lives For The Foreseeable Future.” Forbes. Forbes Magazine, April 9, 2020. https://www.forbes.com/sites/jackkelly/2020/04/09/the-aftermath-of-covid-19-will-cause-alarming-changes-to-our-careers-and-lives/#5f037ed74e52.
7 “As Online Orders Soar, Driver Shortage Stalls Supply Chain.” Yahoo! Finance. Yahoo!, April 7, 2020. https://finance.yahoo.com/news/online-orders-soar-driver-shortage-163404750.html.
8 Melton, James. “Online Buying Soars as Coronavirus Spreads around the World.” Digital Commerce 360. Accessed April 22, 2020. https://www.digitalcommerce360.com/article/coronavirus-impact-online-retail/.