Congratulations on your first step, you are considering learning online.
There are some key points you must consider before you choose the right course or degree online.
Type of online courses available
Right now, there are literally thousands of online learning programs to choose from – both with online-only universities and online programs from traditional colleges and universities.
Take professional online certificate courses and learn new-age skills on business, data science, health, etc on famous MOOS. You can either earn an Associates’s, Bachelors’s, or Master’s degree online, supplement an existing degree with additional classes, or take a la carte classes through continuing education. So how do you choose which learning institution is right for you?
- Professional Online Certificate Course
- Subject Specialization Course
- Online Language Course
- Online Associate Degrees
- Online Bachelor’s Degrees
- Online Master’s Degrees
- Online Doctoral Degrees
Type of online learning methods available
Why online courses?
Traditional courses and degrees lack the expertise that modern age demands. And for a lot of students, proper education is not reachable due to various reasons like location and tuition fees.
Because of these problems, many of you search for alternative education.
The solution of which is available online: The online education
With platforms like Skillshare, and Coursera, and Udemy there is no shortage of online courses and platforms. With that said, the mere existence of online courses and the decision to sign up for one does not necessarily mean that you’re going to get a whole lot out of it.
Here I would like to address that question and share some tips on how you can choose the right online course and how you can make the most of whatever online courses you choose to sign up for.
Online education has clearly become one of the most popular higher education alternatives. Now, online learning is being considered just as effective as traditional education.
Who can take an online course?
There is something for everyone. You can take any course online or degree depending on what you want to achieve or what skill you want to excel in.
Here is the list of career and life stages where one can start online learning:
Why did you decide to take online education?
Think of your why as foundational part of who you are, what you’re all about, and where you’re going in life. And this why that helps you continually move in the right direction, the direction that’s right for you.
So within this context of online learning, you want to make sure to define for yourself why it is you decide to sign up for the particular course that you’re about to take on.
Why do you want to learn whatever skill that course is teaching?
So if your first response to that why is something like “Well, it will make me better at my job” Why will it make you better? In what way? And why is that even important to you. Hope you might find the missig skill that can hep you grow in your personal and professional life.
Spend at least a few minutes, maybe digging a few layers of why deep until you feel like you have a good understanding of why it is that learning this particular thing is important to you and that you can express that why concisely.
What is your goal?
That “why” is intentionally a little bit deep and might be somewhat long term, which is why we balance that why with a goal, and I like to think of your goal as your binoculars. A goal is something that’s a little bit more concrete, something that you can see in the distance and work your way toward.
Your goal, then, is the specific thing that you would like to get out of the course that you’re about to pursue.
Look for courses that give you the skills that are best to reach for your goal.
Align your course goal with your career goal
Now, depending on how that course is structured, chances are there’s already some sort of a goal built into it.
But the goal of the instructor, the creator of the course, may or may not align completely with your specific goal.
Don’t be afraid to set your own goal that is specific to you that aligns with your why so that you have something specific to work toward as you’re working through the course. And in this way, by first defining your why and then setting a specific goal, what you’re doing is you’re personalizing the course, so that it fits you and your journey, recognizing that your journey is in some ways unique from everyone else that happens to take this course as well.
Course personalization or subject specialization
And by adding those personalized touches (these days subject specialization courses are available separately), you’re going to make it more likely that you’ll get something useful out of the course. And you’ll have a personal investment in it from the get-go, which will help provide some momentum along the way.
Finally, search and choose the online course platform or online university
Figure out which college or educational institution those courses are offered and affiliated with and check their credibility
Adding a reputed Institute/university to your resume will give you the edge over your peers and positively impacts your career, so be wise while choosing. Find more about is it worth doing an online degree and you can make a better decision selecting an online degree for you.
Choose online course based on your goals, cost, duration and time
From the above steps, you might have figured out which online course or online degree suited for you. Now its time to select the course to achieve your goal. You can go for platforms like massive open online courses which includes the following.
Here is the most famous MOOCs where you can search for your favorite career path:
What previous students say and what is the program rating?
The cost of the program – The price, when comparing price, look at the number of weeks, any discounts or promotions, and most importantly, the topics that will be covered during the course.
Do not forget to check the ratings and reviews – Read publicly available online course reviews, survey results, or testimonials from prior online students. There’s nothing like a referral to help you make a decision on choosing an online course.
You can ask and share your concerns on selecting a perfect online course or online degree for you here below in the comment section.
In the next article, you can find tips on how to keep online learning fun and how to get momentum and never lose interest.
I hope you will find your dream career with the help of various skills and certifications you planned to pursue.