We've all been looking for new ways to stay productive lately, particularly when it comes to work.
Whether laid off, furloughed or adapting to new ways of working, more and more of us are spending time honing our skills as we adapt to the fast-changing jobs market.
That has caused demand for online learning to surge.
Last month, LinkedIn Learning users watched 7.7 million hours of content — double the figure for March and almost triple that for February. Meanwhile, in the peak week of March alone, as the economic fallout of the coronavirus became known globally, education app downloads jumped 90% compared to the weekly average in the fourth quarter of 2019, according to analytics provider App Annie.
Among LinkedIn's most popular courses were those focused on telecommuting, virtual skills and collaborative working, which each saw a 3,000%-5,800% jump in overall viewership. CNBC Make It took a look at the site's 10 most popular courses in April and their growth since March.
LinkedIn's 10 most popular courses:
- Time management: Working from home
- Remote work foundations
- The six morning habits of high performers
- Learning Zoom
- Managing stress for positive change
- Tips for working remotely
- Microsoft Teams essential training
- Building resilience
- Interpersonal communication
- Excel essential training (Office 365)
Courses related to resume-writing, mindfulness, and specific technical skills, such as the programming language Python, also saw an uptick over the same period.
While the surge in demand came from a broad range of professions, the greatest was among those industries hardest hit by the crisis, such as recreation and travel, real estate and consumer goods.
The courses demonstrate workers' efforts to cope with the current uncertainty, LinkedIn's vice president of talent and learning solutions for Asia-Pacific, Feon Ang, told CNBC Make It.
"Picking up new skills, and honing current ones, is necessary now more than ever so that companies and professionals alike can get back on their feet and be ready to move forward together, as we transition to the new normal," she said.
She added that those skills would not be put to waste as companies transition to new ways of working over the long term. "Remote working, or work flexibility, used to be a distinctive perk. Today, it is increasingly an expectation in a multi-generational workforce," Ang said.
Skills to future-proof your career
The most important skills to focus on will depend on your situation. Ang recommended some particular areas for attention, depending on your career stage.
- Junior to mid-level professionals: Remote working, time management and productivity hacks for working from home
- Leaders: Managing teams virtually, engaging team members and maintaining company culture
- Job seekers: Interview skills, and building and developing professional networks
For job seekers specifically, LinkedIn Learning offers a selection of courses, ranging from recovering from a layoff to tips for staying motivated during a job hunt.
One way to stay positive is to set clear goals, Ang said. "Think through what you can do to make the best of this situation and what you hope to achieve during this pandemic. Add this to your daily routine and stick by it."
"It's also important for job seekers to stay connected to their networks, through various online platforms. Reach out for advice, or even to see if you can be connected to new opportunities through your network," she added.
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