Open Colleges

How online education can help the healthcare skills shortage

by Chloe Baird
Posted: January 12, 2021

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There’s no denying that the Covid-19 pandemic has changed the world. From the way we keep in touch with loved ones, to the way we learn and do business with our colleagues, these changes have forced a huge shift in our societies.  

In this blog, we take a look at the way our perceptions about education and online education in general have shifted, how it’s possible to study a practical VET course online, and the growing need for qualified healthcare workers. 

The future of education is online 

For a while now, companies have been adopting a more flexible approach to working with the idea that ‘work is not a place, but something you do’. Education is the same.  

While some education providers have had to scramble to shift their curriculum online, this has opened up brand-new discussions on the ways we teach and learn.

What are the challenges providers and students face?

How can we address those challenges?

How can providers think outside the box to deliver the best possible content to their students? 

As technology continues to evolve, it gives us even greater opportunities to work, study and connect in new and exciting ways.  

online education

How our ideas of the traditional classroom have changed 

Online education has become more and more popular in recent years. The majority of employers and recruiters see no difference between a qualification obtained online versus a qualification obtained on campus; and any outdated stigmas about online qualifications are fading fast as technology continues to develop in new and exciting ways. And this is all on top of the sudden need to relocate our workplaces and our classrooms into an online space. 

Certain industries are growing faster than others in Australia – such as healthcare and cyber security. But in order to meet demand, we need qualified professionals with the right skills and knowledge. And by creating high quality, certified online qualifications in these rapidly expanding sectors, we can work towards meeting the skills shortage. 

Here are a few key reasons why more and more people are turning to online education: 

Online services are driving demand 

With more services moving into the online space, the natural progression of the education sector is following suite. And more students are expecting such services and offerings from education providers.  

Innovation is facilitating change 

Gone are the days of correspondence courses delivered by snail mail. Today, you can change your life and enrol in an online course with just a few clicks of your mouse. And as we continue to see new developments in technology – virtual reality, machine learning, 3D printers – the education sector is set for an exciting new future. 

Virtual learning

Employers value online qualifications 

Completing an online qualification shows employers that you can not only work successfully in an online space (as many businesses have shifted to remote working conditions), but that you’re motivated, self-disciplined and can effectively manage your own time to get tasks completed on time.  

Workers aren’t tied to just one career path 

It’s no longer expected that a person will follow the same career path their entire life. This means there’s demand for flexible learning options that allow workers to study new skills without having to quit their existing job.  

Many of us are balancing other commitments 

In the same vein, those with other commitments on their plates – such as parents or carers – find that online study gives them a flexible option that allows them to confidently balance their life as well as their career goals. 

Some of us don’t live close to campus 

Australia is a big country. So for Aussies living in rural areas, online study gives them the option to pursue further education without having to relocate or commute for hours on end. They can stay close to home and still study the course they want. 

online learning

What about studying a practical course online? 

You might be reading this and thinking, “But what if I want to study a practical course, like nursing?” 

There’s a huge demand in Australia right now for qualified health workers. Whether that’s in nursing, aged care, disability or counselling, demand in this sector is only increasing. 

OC offers a number of online health courses. And while some people may think the only way to study a health course is within the four walls of a classroom, we disagree. Online courses are our speciality, and we’ve been honing and perfecting our online delivery methods for decades. This includes the way we deliver our practical VET courses.  

Our courses include a range of different formats for learning, such as videos, interactive scenarios and webinars. This is because we understand that the difference between a campus-based course and an online course isn’t simply about converting course content into one massive, downloadable PDF. To successfully deliver an online course, education providers need to use all the tools at their disposal.  

Many of our courses also include a work placement component (usually around 120 hours), which means students will still get hands-on, real-world experience in their industry of choice. 

The need for healthcare workers in Australia 

The health services industry is the largest employing industry in Australia, providing jobs to more than  1 million people across the country. But by 2025 there is predicted to be a shortage of workers in such areas as nursing, aged care and disability services. And in the age of social distancing, this means that online education has become an important study option for many looking for a reliable career in healthcare. 

Whether you’re looking to switch jobs or re-enter or enter the workforce for the first time, a career in healthcare not only offers job stability, but can also be incredibly fulfilling.  

What are you waiting for?

Enrol in one of our nationally accredited online health courses today and take the first step towards a rewarding career in one of Australia’s most important industries.  




Chloe Baird

Chloe is an Open Colleges alumnus who now works full time for OC as a Content and Copywriting Specialist. She is passionate about encouraging others to pursue their goals through education.

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