Many Australians turned to further education during their time in isolation

Posted: 5th Jun

As LinkedIn Learning has seen a 15% increase in the number of people using the service, it's safe to suggest that the desire to upskill during lockdown was at the forefront of many Australians' minds.

With the loss of over 700,000 jobs in just one week of the pandemic, COVID-19 has inadvertently forced Australians to pursue other ventures - many of which require a skill set outside of what workers are already familiar with.

And while no one can argue the devastating impact this has had on millions of Aussies, it also opened up opportunities for some to reassess their current career path.

Interestingly, one of the most popular courses through LinkedIn Learning is Strategic Thinking, which teaches employees and teams how to change direction and climb the ranks.

For those who have the means, changing direction can be a godsend for your future career. Whether that's taking online courses or going back to uni to complete a course you've been putting off or even adding to your skillset with further study like an MBA - additional education is rarely going to have a downside.

So, now that an overwhelming number of people have started contemplating a course-correction, there are obviously questions that come with it. For instance, the thought of completing an MBA may initially seem like a daunting task, until you familiarise yourself with the journeys of others.

And yes, although MBAs are traditionally business-oriented, they can be used as a stepping stone to get you to where you want to be going.

Damian Scanlon, Director of The University of Adelaide MBA, outlines the perks of an MBA and the various fields it can get you into.

"The interesting thing about an MBA is that it is a fabulous catalyst for change, whereby many graduates move from one industry to a completely new, if not a foreign one - yes, even overseas," Scanlon says.

One prime example of this is Dr Tim Cooper, a Cardiologist turned Managing Director of Coopers Brewery, who was asked by his family to join their brewery business, and proceeded to take an MBA to make that happen.

Working at a brewery - what's considered a pipedream for so many can actually be achievable through additional study. Who would have thought it?

Scanlon has plenty more examples of severe career 180s, too:

The difference between being a test pilot and the Chair and Co-Founder of a Professional Service provider is stark, which illustrates the unlimited options for people who want to veer into a field that, at face value, seems completely unrelated.

It's doesn't appear to be uncommon for people to find their calling mid-MBA either, as they're doing the course in search of something else or, perhaps something more.

It's worth remembering that the MBA isn't just reserved for people who are looking for an out from their current career, either.

Scanlon references Matthew Varley, who became Police Chief Commissioner for the Solomon Islands mid-MBA, and "has since moved to Palladium in the private sector working with governments and business to address complex issues in the fields of security, justice and risk."

So, if you're contemplating returning to Uni to further your education, know that there are a plethora of opportunities that are bound to pop up during your time there, and the result can often end in promotions and wage increases.

"A common job outcome is a promotion into a managerial or more senior managerial role, or a move into another industry as a senior manager beyond their technical base," Scanlon says. "Out of interest, statistically (across the world via GMAC data), women will receive a substantial pay increase within 3 years of graduation.”

Source: Yahoo -