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What does a white collar worker do?

What is a white-collar worker? Oxford Languages Dictionary defines ‘white collar work’ as ‘relating to the work done or the people who work in an office or other professional environment.’ The term is a colloquialism that was coined in the early 20th Century and used to describe supposedly higher-end, desirable office and administrative occupations, where smart attire, particularly the classic white shirt, became the uniform of choice.

Desk work, administrative positions, and professional and managerial roles all fall under the collar jobs umbrella and are extremely vital in running and maintaining a business or enterprise.

You may have also heard of ‘blue collar’ workers too. This refers to roles more involved in the world of manual labour, typically covering industries such as construction, agriculture, manufacturing and the like.

It’s important to note that the belief of white-collar being ‘better’ than blue-collar is an outdated and untrue assumption, as many positions that would’ve been historically considered blue provide just as much personal and professional fulfilment as white-collar roles do – in addition to equally rewarding wages. In short, both white-collar and blue-collar professions are essential to the successful and efficient running of a nation.

Now that this has been clarified, let’s take a closer look at whether a traditionally ‘white-collar’ role aligns with your personal career goals.

What's better white or blue collar infographic

The steps to securing a white collar role

The best way to start your career off with a bang is to do a short course in your chosen profession. Completing a course will solidify your skills; whether you are learning something new or enhancing skills you already have, starting from a refreshed state of learning will give you the best springboard to launch your career.

It just so happens we might have what you’re looking for. Here at My Learning Online, we have an abundance of online short courses, many of which fall under both the white-collar and blue-collar career categories. And the clue is in the name – all of our courses are online, meaning you can have the flexibility to pursue your career whilst working around and maintaining your lifestyle and schedule.

Still, struggling to decide? Not to worry! Why not speak to one of our course consultants for some guidance on the courses we have available and which course might be a good fit for you?

All our courses come with a downloadable brochure with further information about course content, accessing your learning online and tutor support. We also have course fee payment plans available, making financing your future a little bit less daunting.

The importance of a white collar worker

Administrative work is the glue that holds any business together – without clear organisation, things can go awry pretty quickly. Our American neighbours over at Mental Floss have an interesting article on the history of white-collar jobs and how ‘white-collar workers’ and ‘blue-collar workers’ are still recognised in modern society.

There are a number of risk factors that have been recognised in recent years since the growth and popularity of more sedentary work such as office and desk jobs, and it is important to be aware of the health risks involved in these types of jobs so you can ensure that you tailor your working environment to suit your needs.

Our white collar courses

Here at my learning online, we have an extensive range of courses tailored to professional and administrative careers, each one giving you a unique, strong start to your chosen profession.

Legal Administration

This course is ideal for those individuals who are looking to start a career as a legal assistant. Learn about the responsibilities and skills required to support solicitors and barristers in their day-to-day work.

Learn about general office support responsibilities and legal terminology. Including Civil and Criminal Law, writing wills, deeds and basic contract law!

This course is not only suitable for those looking to work as a legal assistant but also ideal for those students considering a law degree at university!

Professional Communication

Improving your communication skills is imperative to building personal and professional relationships and can positively influence your career prospects. Employers want people who can communicate effectively on many platforms and to a variety of audiences.

This professional communication course will help you master your written, spoken and non-verbal communication beyond belief and put you in good stead to start maximising opportunities in front of you, whether that be professional or personal.

Commercial and Domestic Cleaning Business

Commercial and domestic cleaning is a lucrative industry. With the increase in both parents working either full-time or part-time and small businesses popping up more and more every day, the need for quality cleaners in both homes and businesses is increasing every day.

This Certificate is for those individuals who are not afraid to get their hands dirty.

For those individuals who see a business opportunity in cleaning, this course will not only cover the fundamentals of cleaning, such as cleaning products and utensils but also has a strong business component specifically relating to the cleaning industry.

Construction Business Administration and Bookkeeping

Building and Construction is a huge industry in New Zealand, and whether a construction company is small or large, ALL of them need good administration and bookkeeping support!

We all know that New Zealand has some of the best tradies in the market. However, many small to medium construction businesses struggle when it comes to the administration, bookkeeping and tax side of their businesses.

Because of this, many tradies are on the lookout for good business support workers. However, many of them want an employee that not only understands admin and bookkeeping but also has a basic understanding of the principles and terminology used in construction.

This course will not only teach you about administration and bookkeeping but also take you through building and construction processes, terminology and the basics of carpentry, electrical and plumbing.

Small Trade Administration and Bookkeeping

This course is ideal for those individuals that want to work in business support roles for the Construction industry.

Being one of the more comprehensive and specific Small Trade Administration and Bookkeeping courses online, this course has been specifically designed from the ground up by industry professionals to put you in good stead to develop a strong foundation in the industry and elevate your expertise above others looking for employment or to better their business in this highly competitive field.

Medical Reception

Health care is one of the biggest industries here in New Zealand.

With a medical practice on almost every corner, there are thousands of businesses across the country looking for friendly and professional Medical Receptionists!

This course will teach you about both general reception responsibilities, like phone customer service and data entry and all about medical and pharmaceutical terminology.

Counselling Pathway

Are you a good listener? Have you always pictured yourself counselling and helping others? Then the Counselling Pathway Certificate is the perfect place to start your journey.

This course has been specifically designed for students looking to START a career in counselling services. Becoming a Qualified Counsellor is not easy, and the minimum requirement to work as a qualified counsellor is an NZQF Diploma (costing anywhere from $4,000 – $12,000 depending on the institution) and will also require many hours of work experience.

So before you dive into a Diploma and such a costly commitment, start with our Counselling Pathway Certificate and find out if you have what it takes! With this course, you can then secure employment in counselling support roles and mental health organisations or alternatively use the course as a pathway to the Diploma when you are ready.

Our Counselling Pathway Course is based on the NZQF Diploma course material, so you can be sure you are getting the best possible start in this industry and skillset.

The Counselling pathway Certificate is also ideal for Aged care workers, Nurses and Life coaches looking to get skills in Counselling!

Project Management and Leadership

Do you think you have what it takes to step into a management or leadership role? Are you looking to earn a higher income? Tired of being “on the tools”? Then this is the course for you!

The Project Management and Leadership Certificate is ideal for those candidates that already have experience in their field and are now looking to gather the necessary skills to climb the ladder.

This course is suitable for individuals who want to take on management roles within their current employment or those looking for jobs in other businesses.

A management diploma or degree can be time-consuming, expensive and unnecessary. This short course will cover ALL of the skills you will need to move up and take on a team of your own!

Learn how to manage and support a team, plan and implement a project and manage/supervise all kinds of personalities.

And if you’re interested in pursuing a blue collar position

Having looked at the possible white-collar roles you can pursue, it’s important not to forget the multitude of options available to you that won’t necessarily limit you to a more static or office-based environment. 

If you think a more ‘hands-on’ job could be a better fit for you, then why not check out our blue-collar aligned courses here:

And you may also want to even check out:

Enrol in one of our short courses today to get your career off to a flying start – and don’t forget that your shirt colour doesn’t define your potential!


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