Go to content

Cambridge Advance Online: a place to learn, connect and give your career a boost

A changing workplace demands a changing workforce: Cambridge Advance Online offers you the chance to develop the skillset you need to succeed.

- 4 minute read

Lifelong learning – it’s not the most cutting-edge of phrases. For many, it might refer to subjects or hobbies that we do out of work, for our own personal satisfaction. But while that aspect is, of course, hugely valuable, lifelong learning also has another side which is becoming increasingly important for career progression. It’s no longer enough to have that degree or postgrad under your belt. The 21st-century workplace is changing fast – and to succeed, we need to change with it. That means we all need to embrace the concept of lifelong learning.

We’re living longer and, consequently, we’re working longer. The average age of exit from the labour market in the UK – for both men and women – has continued to increase over the past 20 years. And those 20 years have seen extraordinary flux, disruption and change in every sector, from healthcare and finance to the creative arts. Automation, globalisation and digitalisation, for example, demand new skillsets which reach across sectors: creativity, curiosity, problem-solving and leadership.

Jason and Karina
Course leaders Jason Mellad (Clare 2004), CEO of healthcare accelerator Start Codon, and Karina Prasad, Head of The Postdoc Academy, photographed at Churchill.

But lifelong learning isn’t just for those who are advanced in their careers. It’s also hugely valuable at any stage – indeed, today’s graduates need to be constantly seeking new ways of thinking and doing. And the rapid rise and evolution of effective online learning means lifelong learning is more accessible than ever before to those juggling upskilling with a demanding career.

Cambridge Advance Online’s new programme of online short courses is aimed at professionals at all stages who want to advance their careers, connect with a network of peer learners, and gain insight from leaders in the field.
Take, for example, the importance of becoming culturally competent in today’s global market, and the opportunities it creates to open new markets and networks, promote mutual enrichment and improve productivity and efficiency. The Intercultural Communication for Global Business course, led by Kasia Lanucha, Intercultural Trainer and Coach at the Centre for Languages and Inter-communication at the Department of Engineering, will help build a better understanding of what qualities are required of professionals working internationally, and help you learn to identify the gap between the demands of your role and the people skills you need to work globally.

This relevance to your working life is key to effective lifelong learning. The Accelerating Organisational Innovation course is aimed specifically at those seeking to launch new projects in the workplace. Led by Jason Mellad (Clare 2004), Chief Executive Officer of Start Codon, and Karina Prasad, Head of The Postdoc Academy, it will kick-start your entrepreneurial skills, helping you develop capacity in your business and an entrepreneurial mindset. You’ll hear directly from some of the most innovative minds in the history of the Cambridge cluster and discover how culture plays a significant role in developing innovative ecosystems.

There’s a real-life example on the doorstep: the incredible success of the Cambridge cluster has shown what can be achieved when entrepreneurship and the latest scientific and engineering thinking go hand in hand. Biotechnology from Theory to Practice, led by Dr Ljiljana Fruk, Associate Professor of Bionanotechnology, Department of Chemical Engineering and Biotechnology, offers an up-to-date overview of the field, plus techniques applicable to industries including energy, agriculture and the environment.

And for those looking to start their own thing, Biotechnology Entrepreneurship is aimed at bioscience professionals who want to understand and act on business opportunities in the field. You’ll be guided through identifying, developing and evaluating business opportunities by experienced course leaders Professor Seamus Higson, current programme manager for the MPhil in Bioscience Enterprise, and Professor Elizabeth Hall, a leader and innovator of 30 years’ experience in academia, technology startups and third-sector organisations.

From signing up to a taught course to just listening to a TED talk on your commute, everyone can benefit from developing the habit of lifelong learning. Today’s career path is no longer a well-trodden, signposted route. Rather, it’s a journey of discovery. Embrace lifelong learning and you could find yourself taking twists and turns that you never expected.

View all courses and to book a place. Cambridge Advance Online is offering alumni a 15 per cent discount on all courses – to get the discount, simply enter the code Alumni15 at the checkout when booking.

More from Cambridge