If we’ve learned anything from last year, it’s that great things can happen from a home office, bedroom, or kitchen table. However small, finding those extra learning opportunities is a powerful way to enhance your CV and enrich your day-to-day life. Here, we’ve listed a few ways to kickstart your new year.

Live streams

Fast becoming one of the internet’s most consumed mediums, live streams offer the opportunity for real-time engagement with experts and enthusiasts alike. According to Neil Patel of NP Digital, live streaming is ‘projected to more than double in growth by 2021 to become a more than $70 billion industry.’

As the industry expands and demand rises, more individuals and companies are producing live video content, meaning there are lots to choose from. Cultural powerhouses such as the National Theatre, the Barber, Manchester Art Gallery, and the BFI have taken to live streams over the past year, as well as tech companies, musicians, and entrepreneurs. They’re a great way to stay up-to-date and learn directly from industry leaders, whilst maintaining a real sense of connectivity.

Start an online course

The incredible range of online courses available in 2021 is both a blessing and a curse. With so many courses out there, choosing the right one can feel like a task in itself. However, there are a few things you could do to narrow your options. Firstly, have a read through your CV and try to find a course that compliments your current skillset – this doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try something new, but keeping it relevant is a great way to demonstrate your commitment to a certain field.

You might also consider looking at the LinkedIn profiles or personal websites of industry leaders and other individuals in your field. Often they will list courses they have taken, sometimes with a brief review of the experience. Similarly, asking peers and tutors for their recommendations is a failsafe way to find the best online courses.


The importance of community has been reaffirmed in recent months. Not only does volunteering support local communities, but it is also a great way to become a part of your own. Many voluntary groups have embraced the shift online with open arms, meaning there are plenty of ways to get involved without leaving the house. You might chat to people living alone, manage a charity’s website, offer help with immigration papers, or support children with online learning.

Websites such as Do IT are committed to helping organisations that help others promote a range of volunteer opportunities. Do IT lists opportunities by sector, making it easy to volunteer in areas that complement your interests and ambitions.

Tech events

If any sector was going to excel in the shift to online events, it would be the tech industry. In 2021, many of the world’s biggest tech conferences have moved online, and whilst they might not be the real thing, in some ways they’re better. In previous years, you might have needed a plane ticket and a VIP pass to attend. But now many industry events are readily accessible and sometimes free, often keeping an online archive of past talks and seminars.

Student radio

Getting involved in student radio is a great way to expand your skillset – and you don’t have to be on the airwaves to be a part of it. Radio stations need producers, researchers, news and music editors and technicians, as well as presenters, so there really is something for everyone. What’s more, student radio gives the opportunity to connect with the student community, share ideas and meet new people.

As we enter the new year, there is no shortage of ways to connect with students, professors, and industry experts alike when you choose a degree at one of Solent’s Centres. Discover opportunities to build your skills, your academic credentials, and a strong professional network today.