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Career Insights: Upskilling with online learning resources

In our latest Career Insights blog, YAIA’s Careers Officer, Lauren Twine, explores opportunities to leverage online education while in self-isolation.

Our global community is encountering some incredibly challenging times at present with the threat of COVID-19. In an attempt to “flatten the curve” and slow the spread of the virus, global movement is grinding to a halt as borders close, many self-isolate at home, and all manner of events are cancelled. The COVID-19 pandemic has taken us all into unchartered waters and is changing the way we interact, network, work, and learn.

For the first time, many Australian universities are transforming all of their traditional classes into online formats, allowing for life to go on during self-isolation. Technology and the internet have undeniably facilitated this transition, providing continued access to education and alternative learning tools with greater flexibility.

A great option for online learning comes in the form of Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs), which are provided by a range of tertiary institutions and organisations all around the world on various online platforms. Many Australian universities offer their own MOOCs, which you can search for on their website, or on other online platforms. They are a useful way to gain new skills, diversify your skill set, or to explore a new area before making a substantial commitmentall from wherever you are in the world.

The following list includes a small selection of the online courses that may appeal to those interested in international relations.


  • Introduction to British Diplomacyoffered by the UK’s Foreign and Commonwealth Office through FutureLearn. This course provides insights and understanding of the framework of diplomacy, and how the UK diplomatic system works domestically and abroad.

  • Cultural Diplomacyoffered by the European University Institute through FutureLearn. This course outlines what cultural diplomacy is, as well as the role of state actors, non-state actors and international organisations in cultural diplomacy.

  • Global Diplomacy - Diplomacy in the Modern Worldoffered by University of London and SOAS University of London through Coursera. This course brings together diplomatic and international studies to provide understanding of historical and contemporary global diplomacy.

  • Global Diplomacy: the United Nations in the Worldoffered by University of London and SOAS University of London through Coursera. This course provides an introductory but in-depth overview of the United Nations system.

  • The Changing Global Orderoffered by Universiteit Leiden through Coursera. This course discusses in part how diplomacy is leveraged to mitigate conflict and war.

Foreign policy

  • Monetary Policy in the Asia Pacificoffered by The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology through Coursera. This course covers an intermediate understanding of monetary policy in a region that comprises dynamic economies.

  • U.S. Public Policy: Social, Economic, and Foreign Policiesoffered by Harvard through edX. This course provides background on a number of aspects of U.S public policy, including how the U.S. has navigated its trade agreements like NAFTA and TPP.

International development


Security and intelligence

The YAIA Careers team hopes that this blog has given you some ideas on how MOOCs can help you continue learning during your time working from home! Most importantly, we wish all our YAIA followers and their loved ones health and safety in the months ahead.

Interested in learning more about online courses and leveraging them to build your career? Check out this list of free learning resources put together by the ASEAN-Australia Strategic Youth Partnership, or this helpful online course search engine Class Central, where you can browse for MOOCs across all the online platforms, including FutureLearn, Coursera and edX.

Alternatively, as always, you are welcome to contact the YAIA Careers team.


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