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Courses offered online to boost your skills or knowledge in a particular field. Complete a course to round out your education, learn a new skill or help advance your career. The best online courses will do all three.
Completing an online course can help you master a new skill, develop a new hobby or help your career without committing to a degree. Online learning can be easier to manage from home when you’re working or parenting — or both. Complete classes at times that work for you with 24/7 access to material, and study when your schedule allows — if midnight is the best time for you to be learning, then midnight it is.
Many online courses provide teacher support and offer a peer network to supplement learning. Most courses offer a chance for interaction with forums and discussion topics, plus your tutors are always available online to help. You could even make connections for future job prospects.
Finally, online courses tend to be cheaper than in-person courses. Without the overhead costs of classrooms, materials and expensive textbooks, you could pay significantly less than showing up to class.
Prepare, plan and show up. The beauty of an online course is that there’s little pressure behind it.
It’s likely you’ve picked a course in an area you’re interested in, giving up your time and money. The work could actually be enjoyable.
If you are struggling, most classes offer assistance from a course coordinator who can help research the subject online. Or go online yourself and find a forum.
If you’re struggling to decide which next for your career, ask yourself a few questions:
This varies between courses and schools. Online courses give you credits that count towards your transcript in the same way a campus-based course would. Take a course totally online, or a course that splits its time between in-person classes and online. Students can access content, books, discussion boards, web pages and technology that the school provides.
Some courses are intensive, one-day sessions, while others allow you to complete over a number of weeks or months. Find out if the course you choose allows you to work at your own pace, or if it requires a deadline and online teacher interaction.
It depends. Most courses will give you a badge or notice of completion at the end of the course to show that you completed it. If your course is for an official license or certification such as first aid, lean six sigma or to become a real estate agent, you’ll receive the appropriate certificate at the end of the course if you’ve sufficiently proven your attendance, passed any tests and final exams.
Based on search tools, we’ve found the top ten online courses to include:
Weigh the pros and cons of doing an online course versus a university degree.
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