Pursuing Knowledge and Skills in the midst of a Raging Pandemic
The world was taken by storm by the onset of the pandemic in early 2020. The current trajectory indicates that we’ll slow down the pandemic enough to go about our daily activities face-to-face by mid to late 2021. However, between present day and the distant end of the pandemic we have many more months ahead of us. The sudden changes to our schedules and ways of working/studying have generally left us with a net loss of productivity. Peculiarly, we are in a unique position in which we can work to use the sheer amount of extra time we have confined in our rooms to improve our skillsets. There are many ways in which we can somewhat restore this sunk productivity, and we will showcase several of them. We will consider ways of improving your knowledge or competencies through online resources that are available at your fingertips.
EXCEL – Knowledge of excel, the renowned of software responsible for extensive data analyses and formulation, is sought after by many employers. Many people can use Excel on a basic level, but it is those who possess deep knowledge of its inner workings who are stand out amongst the crowd of basic Excel users. Huffington Post reports that jobs involving use of software such as Excel or Word pay a median wage of $22.66 compared to $20.14 for jobs not involving such knowledge. A place to start is with the free tutorials of Microsoft; their video guides cover many aspects of excel, including formulas and data organization. However, those who want to go above and beyond can subscribe to paid courses which also provide certificates to display on your CV or LinkedIn page. Many also recommend courses from Udemy, as they are one of the most recognizable platforms and because they provide in-depth knowledge of the program. Investopedia provides a more comprehensive list and provides its own recommendations in their guide.
HARVARD ONLINE LEARNING and MIT OPENCOURSEWARE – These online courses provide a wide array of subject areas, ranging from physics to the fine arts, for you to learn and/or improve your knowledge of. Featuring materials from Harvard and MIT, you are sure to receive quality courses. Both of these platforms provide their content for free and are backed by millions of dollars of investment by the institutions to maintain them, so it’s clear that large amounts of resources are dedicated to ensuring their quality. For instance, most, if not all degrees from the Erasmus School of Economics demand rigorous knowledge of mathematics, and such courses can be useful to students trying hone their mathematics skills. Beyond that, you can also take courses outside of your immediate studies to gauge what other fields/subjects you like. Unsure of whether you’d like subjects like finance? Why not take a look and decide for yourself?
GOOGLE ANALYTICS – Narrowing down to the more business and coding side of things, you can also take a look at Google Analytics, a powerful tool that not many immediately recognize. Google Analytics is a web analytics service that Google offers to businesses to implement on their websites to measure its traffic, engagement alongside other metrics. It is the most widely used web analysis tool on the Internet, and there are many goods reasons why. Knowledge of the advanced use of the platform is useful in breaking-down web activity and analyzing it. In practical terms, this means that you can measure metrics such as how many times a file is downloaded, how many people leave items in their shopping basket and leave, amongst many others. In today’s digital age data is one of the most valuable assets a company can have, and having data indicating users’ behaviors on websites is useful to companies in creating better marketing campaigns, conducting more comprehensive market research, alongside a slew of other actions. Google offers free courses on the use of the service, ranging in rigor from beginner level to advanced proficiency. Those who finish the courses and take the final online examination successfully receive a digital certificate which they can showcase. This is a great introduction to understanding the inner workings of websites such as ones involving transactions.
We have mentioned three platforms on which you can gain new knowledge/skills or improve existing ones, however this list simply scratches the surface; there are many more unmentioned ones which you can also take advantage of. The lockdowns have taken many things from us, but let us at least try to make the most out of the situation we are in.
 Peck, Emily. "Knowing Excel — Yes, Microsoft Excel — Is Crucial To Making More Money". Huffpost.Com, 2021, https://www.huffpost.com/entry/you-cant-escape-the-hegemony-of-the-spreadsheet_n_6816570?guccounter=1.
 "The 7 Best Online Excel Classes Of 2021". Investopedia, 2021, https://www.investopedia.com/best-online-excel-classes-4845516.
 "Free Online Courses". Harvard Online Courses, 2021, https://online-learning.harvard.edu/catalog/free.
 OpenCourseWare, MIT. "MIT Opencourseware | Free Online Course Materials". Ocw.Mit.Edu, 2021, https://ocw.mit.edu/index.htm.
 "Google Analytics Academy". Analytics.Google.Com, 2021, https://analytics.google.com/analytics/academy/.
 "Usage Statistics And Market Share Of Traffic Analysis Tools For Websites, January 2021." W3techs.com. N.p., 2021. Web. 25 Jan. 2021.
"Google Analytics Academy". Analytics.Google.Com, 2021, https://analytics.google.com/analytics/academy/.
Peck, Emily. "Knowing Excel — Yes, Microsoft Excel — Is Crucial To Making More Money". Huffpost.Com, 2021, https://www.huffpost.com/entry/you-cant-escape-the-hegemony-of-the-spreadsheet_n_6816570?guccounter=1.
"Free Online Courses". Harvard Online Courses, 2021, https://online- learning.harvard.edu/catalog/free.
OpenCourseWare, MIT. "MIT Opencourseware | Free Online Course Materials". Ocw.Mit.Edu, 2021, https://ocw.mit.edu/index.htm.
"The 7 Best Online Excel Classes Of 2021". Investopedia, 2021, https://www.investopedia.com/best-online-excel-classes-4845516.
"Usage Statistics And Market Share Of Traffic Analysis Tools For Websites, January 2021." W3techs.com. N.p., 2021. Web. 25 Jan. 2021.