In today’s ever changing and demanding job and education market, it’s quite clear that in order to succeed everyone should be on a constant look out for new ways of improving their CVs. And it’s not just a matter of making your resume sound good, because outside the world of academic achievement, on the real job market, potential employers are more skill-oriented. In other words, they don’t care that much about one extra little bit of education scraped into your resume as they care about what skills you have and what exactly you can do for the venture you want to work in. This is a grey area where certain gems shine: free online courses with certificate are a way of adding up to your education while also gaining useful new skills to make a compelling showcase at any job you might be applying for.
Here’s everything you need to know about searching for the ideal free online training programs that you can benefit from. While the offer of those seems to be high, not all of them are as useful as they promise to be. First of all, before settling for one online course, you need to refine your search terms. Think about your current position and the position which you’ll like to attain. If you want a promotion within the same field you’re currently working in, think about what skills you will need to prove, besides the experience required, in order to get that promotion. Perhaps you’re an assistant public relations officer looking to become a full PR person. In that case, you would probably need a certificate to attest your competence in organizing events with over 100 people, or a communications with the press certificate. If you’re not really sure what kind of course would help you take a step closer to your target, don’t be shy and ask around. Maybe consider directly asking your boss: this will prove to them your interest and commitment.
In the case in which you actually plan a major career change: you’re working as something just to put yourself through the education required for the job you actually want, free online courses with certificate are again an useful tool. Such a course could help prepare you with an introduction into the field you plan on studying so things can become easier once you enroll for that study. Having the certificate to prove that introductory course can also be an impressive ace up your sleeve at the admission interview.
The same goes for wanting to change your career by gaining access to a certain desired job even if you don’t have the education for it. Sometimes, employers are content with higher education of any type (even something unrelated to the job) plus a certificate from a course proving you have the required skills. The bottom line is that it doesn’t matter where you’ve learned it as long as you can do it. The mechanism works pretty much the same for blue collar jobs as well: in the ranges of work that don’t actually require higher educations, employers will be happy with a certificate recognized by the responsible authorities in the field.
This is why, after you decide what your target is and what kind of certificate would help you advance your goals, you need to take a few precautions while searching for the right online training program. Free online courses with certificate are a dream come true for all of us who don’t have the time and money to attend regular school, but only if chosen carefully. First of all, you need to check and double check that the certificates offered by those courses are indeed recognized by the authorities. The general authority which usually approves a certification is the state, but in some cases you may need to look to other authorities as well (for example, if you plan to work in the food or serving industry, where safety regulations are tighter). Even if the courses are free, you could waste your time if they’re not certified for what you need.
Since the issue of “free” came up, you should also take into account that not all free online courses with certificate are as cost-free as they sound in theory. Yes, the course may be free, but there may be an exam fee required to get the certificate at the end, or the materials for study may come with a cost. In any case, if the extra fees are clearly stated from the beginning and relatively small, maybe you shouldn’t feel cheated and agree to the course anyway. Given that you’ll obtain a valuable certification at the end, the pay-off will still be worth it. If it’s the case, decide for yourself how valuable the course is to you and if you’re willing to invest a small sum in an online training program.
Besides the precautions related to validity, you also need to brace yourself for some hard work after you settle for a course. If it’s a serious course (and hopefully it is, after you’ve carefully selected it), then “free” doesn’t also mean effort-free. You should motivate and make time to give it your best, in order to really learn those skills you will earn at the end. If you know you may have trouble motivating yourself on your own, outside the pressure of a traditional classroom, then make a routine which will allow you to study a bit every day, to prevent over-crowding yourself and giving up. The most important thing is to find a suitable choice and then keep to it, even in baby steps. Good luck with studying and with moving forward with your career.