There is no easier way to say this: A remote workforce necessitates a remote training and professional development program. But that is not a leap. It is a mode that, for the most part, we are already quite familiar with, since well before the dictates of the current pandemic.
It might surprise you to learn that many IT professionals have degrees in computer science acquired through online courses.
The technology that’s available today for remote teaching and learning means that whatever your training and professional development program looked like before COVID-19, you will be able to easily move it online, seamlessly. The only difference is that it will cost less because you won’t incur T&E fees for your trainers and speakers.
Now you’re probably saying: “That’s great for a company’s in-house training and professional development program. But…”
What about Microsoft Certification Exams?
A quick search on the Internet revealed the following:
Dated 2/29/20: You can take any Microsoft Certification role-based or fundamentals exam at Pearson VUE online, and in the comfort of your home or office. Online proctoring exam delivery maintains the integrity of the exam results by monitoring your exam experience by a proctor via webcam and microphone.
Find out more here: https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/learn/certifications/online-exams
Dated 9/1/20: Fundamentals and role-based certification exams that are a part of the USD15 exam* offer for job seekers must be taken online through PSI, Microsoft’s exam delivery partner for this offer. Taking an exam online provides a completely digital experience in the comfort of your home or office while maintaining the integrity of exam results by being monitored by a proctor via webcam and microphone. Online exams with PSI are available in most countries and in English, Japanese, Korean, Simplified Chinese, French, Spanish, and German.
Find out more here: https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/learn/certifications/online-exams-psi
*USD15 exams cost only $15USD (!) and are specifically offered to Microsoft professionals who are unemployed or furloughed due to COVID19. Find out more here:
Now you’re probably saying: “That’s great as far as the availability of online Microsoft certification exams. But…”
What Other Training Is Available Online?
A somewhat random, quick search on the Web revealed that online training and/or certifications exams are available:
OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration)
AMA (American Management Association)
SBA (Small Business Association)
HP (Hewlett Packard)
AWS (Amazon Web Services)
And that’s just what I found in the first 2 minutes of searching.
Remote Training Is Not a Problem; It Is an Opportunity
The widespread of availability of remote training, often at reduced pricing, is an opportunity for you to advance your career. Online programs mean you can study when it’s convenient for you. All you need is a laptop and an Internet connection. If there are classes you have always wanted to take but couldn’t because they were always scheduled during your workday, now is the time to take them.
As the United States records 7 million cases of COVID-19, of which 207,000 were fatal, perhaps these remote training and professional development programs are the only silver lining.