Why Online Education Is Good News for Australian Employers
The online education market is growing rapidly, making the digital form of education big news for Australian businesses.
Research by IbisWorld shows the online education sector growing at an annual rate of 14.4 percent, citing the need to upgrade skills for both employees and owner-managers as a reason for the continuing popularity of online learning.
What are the advantages of online learning both for new hires and existing employees, and how can Australian companies make the most of online education?
Companies Down Under Opting for Online Learning
Time was when the best graduates and brightest minds in any given field weren't available to employers until after graduation. After graduation, students joined the workforce with a lot of ideas, but not much in the way of practical experience.
Online education is changing that by offering much more flexibility not only to students but to the businesses that employ them.
Australian businesses can find high-caliber employees who have used online learning to study while employed, combining the best of both worlds in terms of academic prowess and experience in their field.
Online education offers employees the chance to engage with lifelong learning, constantly updating their skills and knowledge, which can only be good news for the businesses that employ them.
Offering distance education to employees is also a strong selling point for employers who want to show commitment to staff development and well-being.
Online Education and Job Hunting
There was a time when job hunters might have worried that employers wouldn't see an online education in as favorable a light as a more traditional university education, but times have changed.
According to a report by CNN, 83 percent of executives surveyed considered an online education to be as valid as a more traditional education.
When it comes to online education, employers are looking for an accredited qualification from a reputable establishment and a strong demonstration of the course of achievement and the kind of skills used in order to be successful in that course of study.
Online education shows employers that their candidates have initiative, can work well under their own steam and are technologically savvy – all strong skills no matter what industry their business is in.
Online Education for Existing Employees
Online education is also a valuable tool for employers who want to make the most of their existing workforce.
Offering online education shows interest in their employees' ongoing professional development by helping to build company loyalty.
Online education also offers employers the advantage of a stronger and more highly skilled workforce, as their employees meet the challenge of online learning and acquire knowledge and skills that are useful in their job.
The flexible nature of online education means employers can reap the benefits without lost time or productivity. Employees can study flexibly around their working hours and apply their newfound knowledge on the job as they learn.
How Businesses Can Make the Most of Online Education
For businesses who want to make the most of online education, it's important to plan how education will be delivered.
As stated in "The Ethics of Online Learning", making time to study is important, and employers who want their employees to succeed with online education should take a hands-on approach in supporting their employees to fit their education around their work.
Businesses will also benefit from taking the time to research different establishments and online education options to find courses that best fit their objectives for their employees. The way forward is choosing courses which directly benefit the business while offering value to the employee.
Online education is growing in popularity and becoming a serious alternative to traditional education. This is good news all round for employees in Australia who want to keep earning while they learn, and employers looking to make the most of their team.
About the Author: Tristan Anwyn writes on a wide variety of topics, including social media, SEO, online education and Australian business.
First Solar to Invest US$684mn in Indian Energy Sector
First Solar is about to set up a new photovoltaic (PV) thin-film solar manufacturing facility in Tamil Nadu, India. The 3.3GW factory will create 1,000 skilled jobs and is expected to launch its operations in Q3 of 2023. According to the company, India needs 25+ gigawatts of solar energy to be deployed each year for the next nine years. This means that many of First Solar’s Indian clients will jump at the chance to have access to the company’s advanced PV.
Said Mark Widmar, First Solar’s CEO: ‘India is an attractive market for First Solar not simply because our module technology is advantageous in its hot, humid climate. It’s an inherently sustainable market, underpinned by a growing economy and appetite for energy’.
A Bit of Background
First Solar is a leading global provider of photovoltaic systems. It uses advanced technology to generate clear, reliable energy around the world. And even though it’s headquartered in the US, the company has invested in storage facilities around the world. It displaced energy requirements for a desalination plant in Australia, launched a source of reliable energy in the Middle East (Dubai, UAE), and deployed over 4.5GW of energy across Europe with its First Solar modules.
The company is also known for its solar innovation, reporting that it sees gains in efficiency three times faster than multi-crystalline silicon technology. First Solar holds world records in thin-film cell conversion efficiency (22.1%) and module conversion efficiency (18.2%). Finally, it helps its partners develop, finance, design, construct, and operate PV power plants—which is exactly what we’re talking about.
How Will The Tamil Nadu Plant Work?
Tamil Nadu will use the same manufacturing template as First Solar’s new Ohio factory. According to the Times of India, the factory will combine skilled workers, artificial intelligence, machine-to-machine communication, and IoT connectivity. In addition, its operations will adhere to First Solar’s Responsible Sourcing Solar Principles, produce modules with a 2.5x lower carbon footprint, and help India become energy-independent. Said Widmar: ‘Our advanced PV module will be made in India, for India’.
After all, we must mention that part of First Solar’s motivation in Tamil Nadu is to ensure that India doesn’t rely on Chinese solar. ‘India stands apart in the decisiveness of its response to China’s strategy of state-subsidised global dominance of the crystalline silicon supply chain’, Widmar explained. ‘That’s precisely the kind of level playing field needed for non-Chinese solar manufacturers to compete on their own merits’.
According to First Solar, India’s model should be a template for like-minded nations. Widmar added: ‘We’re pleased to support the sustainable energy ambitions of a major US ally in the Asia-Pacific region—with American-designed solar technology’. To sum up: Indian solar power is yet the next development in the China-US trade war. Let the PV manufacturing begin.