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Online Courses - Optimise your Learning

The trick is to identify some key questions that you need to have asked yourself – and answer them before you start to make sure you are ready to go.

What do you want to achieve?

You need to be clear about what you intend to get from your online course. Are you looking to add a string to your bow to rise up the career ladder, or are you looking to move into a completely different field? Make sure you have a clear goal in mind. If you are studying to help you get ahead in your current job then speak to your boss, ask them for support and get them to help you to select the right course for your needs. If you want to head in an entirely new direction, then research the industry you have set your sights on thoroughly. What qualifications do the people already in that field have? By getting these matters addressed early on you’ll be sure that your efforts are targeted and productive.

How long do you want it to take?

Online courses are great for offering people the chance to fit their qualifications around their home and work life. Make sure you know exactly how much time you have to spare to concentrate on your studies and aim to complete your course in a realistic number of weeks, months or years. Once underway you will have to stick to your timetable fairly strictly so make sure you get this right at the start. Most providers offer a number of different options. The beauty with online courses is that you won’t have to travel in order to select the course that suits your needs best.

How are you going to pay for it?

If your course is geared towards boosting the skills that will help you flourish at your existing place of work, then it may well be possible to obtain some funding towards your course from your employer. Otherwise you might want to look into forms of finance that are available to help you to afford an online course. Many courses carry a price for a number of credits or modules that allow you to break payment down into manageable chunks.

What resources do you need to be able to study online?

Your computer and internet connection will, clearly, be vital once you get under way – make sure you are confident that your speed is good enough and that your machine is up to the task before you begin. Also, invest in a decent USB stick or external hard drive so that you can safely store all of your study materials. Think beyond the technology too: might you need a decent desk, a chair or a good lamp in order to create a decent study area? Anything that helps you to get into the right mind-set to study will be very handy.

Once you have these questions answered, you’ll be ready and raring to go with your online training course.

Good luck!