There are few parts of our lives in 2020 that haven't been touched by the coronavirus pandemic in one way or another - one of the most notable being job loss and the rise in unemployment figures.
The number of Australians out of work rose to more than one million for the first time in July, with the unemployment rate sitting at approximately 7.5 per cent according to the ABS. Those are some pretty sobering statistics, but it's not all bad news.
The economic recession has allowed a unique opportunity for us to invest more of our time into retraining, upskilling or even changing careers altogether. Many are looking towards essential roles that are deemed 'recession proof' as well as growing industries such as coding, programming, design and data analytics according to the ABC.
Given we're spending so much more time at home, many of us are also looking for remote learning options like those provided by Open Colleges, Australia's largest private provider of online vocational education. Open Colleges offers thousands of courses that are nationally accredited, and provide students with the practical know-how needed to succeed in the real world.
With a range of online courses across health, business, childhood education, trades, design and technology, Open Colleges has a variety of study options that are interactive, while also allowing you the flexibility and ease of fitting it into your particular lifestyle.
It was the flexibility and freedom in study that led 41-year-old Lan*, a mum of four from New South Wales, to undertake a Certificate III in Education Support with Open Colleges. Her motivation came from a friend who had completed the same course, and Lan is now working as an Education Support Worker.
"Going back to study was an easy decision as the house chores never end - (plus I'm not that good at it!) and I feel I need to get out, make my own money, dust off my brain and make new friends and experiences," she told Mamamia.
"I also want to gain self-confidence and set an example for my kids. I enjoy helping children to learn and I can use my experiences with my own children to help me with the job and vice versa."
Before starting a family, Lan was working in clothing production while studying costume-making in the evenings. But now that all four of her children are in school, she's reconsidered what she wants out of her career and is making the switch to become a Teacher's Aide.