Online certifications are a popular method for learning new skills and developing talent in anything nowadays. Online training courses provide participants with versatility and independence. That’s why everybody, from students to academics, housewives to senior citizens, business owners to government employees, is interested in online courses.
However, there are still a lot of misunderstandings in the minds of the students who are looking to take an online course or certification.
Questions like the following are often asked:
- Is it beneficial to get a good job?
- Do platforms or online courses offer certificates?
- Is it possible to take online training courses?
- Are we getting expertise in the field?
The aim of this article will be to answer a few of these questions and to shed some light on the topic. The next time you are trying to determine whether a certain online certification will be valuable for you or not, consider asking a few of the questions below to help you decide:
What kinds of courses are there?
There’s a course for everything online. You can do tutorials on how dogs think, practice mindfulness, or even how to become a vegetarian.
But there are also many others that are relevant enough to put on your cover letter (unless you work in those industries, of course). Many sites offer courses of all sorts, while others target specific skill sets such as computer education; or only feature courses from real universities.
You can explore full-time or part-time classes, long videos, short clips, and online chats and collaborative projects.
So many options are available, how do I choose the right one?
We don’t think your decision can go wrong. If you start with a course you discover that you don’t like, it’s not necessary to complete it.
But with that said, you want to put it to something useful if you’re investing money and time. So check past students ‘ comments, ask colleagues for feedback, and read the details of the online certification, some of which will have introductory videos available. These are good measures of whether the class and the instructor would be worth it or not.
Could I manage a full-time job and social life on top of taking the course?
The short answer is yes, it’s possible. Your time is what you make of it, and if something is sufficiently important to you, you’re going to make time for it.
Today’s online courses are also designed with the modern audience in mind. Courses will indicate the duration of modules so that you are able to plan ahead and to fit the learning into your schedule ahead of time.
Can I use online courses to help me find my new job?
Many an online course graduate has used their online certifications to interact with their interviewers, to make themselves more visible in job searches and even to land a job. By enlisting in an online course that covers a sought-after skill in your industry, you automatically make your resume stand out from the rest.
The fact that you were able to complete an online course part-time would also indicate to your interviewer that you are able to manage your time and that you take accountability for your own skills and learning – all of these being highly coveted attributes that an employer would be looking for in potential candidates.
What about when I change careers?
You know what you’re missing when you’re considering changing your career— a capability on your curriculum vitae, real-life skills, expertise on a particular subject. Online training courses can fill that gap (at least partially)—especially if you’re short just a few requirements.
But even more so- one thing that is really great about online academic courses is helping you figure out if you even want to make the change in the first place and where you’re headed next.
You could discover that journalism isn’t really for you after taking one writing course. Or, you might enroll in a social media course, and then another one, and then your enthusiasm for it grows and all you want to do is work in advertising. Great—now you know you’re heading in the right direction!
How do I list the courses on my CV?
You took a class and would like to show it to potential employers — great! But where to put it? And how descriptive are you supposed to be when writing about it?
It largely depends on the courses that you have taken and the jobs that you are applying for.
Laurie Pickard, the founder of the No-Pay MBA, recommends that you ‘keep a shortlist of courses and confine them to a single, small area, such as the’ Technical Learning’ segment in your work history. Also, you don’t have to worry about listing introductory courses unless they are separate from your current role.
In short, online classes are pretty darn useful. They won’t guarantee you a job, and they won’t instantly get you that promotion or raise—but if those are your goals, they’re an awesome way to get started on accomplishing that.
Coggno has an extensive list of online courses and certifications.