Finding a good online training program to help further advance your education or career is tempting, especially nowadays, but also potentially tricky and elusive. While the offers are richer than ever and this competition makes the courses offered be better and better, the popularity of such programs also makes way for scams, or simply for getting the wrong picture about a program and only discovering after a while that it isn’t really what you wanted. On the other hand, there’s also a different kind of competition going on within the job and career market, which also seems to be fiercer than ever, and it is precisely this competition that makes everyone need to continuously improve their resumes and range of skills. This requirement is
basically what makes online training programs as popular as they are today.
Since you’re looking for one yourself, here are a few things you should know before deciding what the most suitable choice would be. Regardless of your field and specific situation, there are a few guidelines which apply to all those looking for a sound online training program. These can be summed up in 5 steps.
1. Narrow the scope and purpose of your intended training.
This may sound very eye-roll-worthy, but the first step is to think about what are you doing this for. Besides the things you will learn from the course itself, you most likely need that degree or certificate to enable you access to something. Whether that something is another kind of education or another training program, or a certain kind of job which you couldn’t even apply
for until you get certified, or even more than one of these options, you need to keep it in mind before proceeding. Now, from the multitude of the online training programs you encounter, only take into considerations the ones which offer the kind of certification you need for the goal which you’ve just set.
2. Ask as many of your friends and colleagues for recommendations.
As with most other things, sometimes you can find out about the best things through your own network of people who share your interests. Rather than relying on internet browsing or advertisements, try asking your friends for recommendations for online training programs that fit your requirements or that helped them get into a position you want for yourself. Surely enough, if you see an offer from a well-established, prestigious university, like one of the Berkeley online courses, it pretty much speaks for itself. But a few hints from colleagues and friends can’t hurt either.
3. Check accreditations thoroughly.
If you set your eyes on a few online training programs which aren’t part of a prestigious university’s portfolio, that’s perfectly fine as well. There are a lot of legitimate sources of educational programs offered by NGOs and alternative institutions. Still, if this is the case, there is still one precaution you should take in order to make sure everything is ok. If dealing with anything less of an established university, check that the accreditation of the course is indeed alright, and that the place you want to take the certificate to, eventually, indeed recognizes it. This can be done with just a couple of phone calls, and, as they say, better safe than sorry. Unless you’re actually enrolling into Berkeley online courses or anything like that, double checking can make the difference between a positive experience and a waste of time (and money, sometimes).
4. Choose prestige over gratuity.
If you have this choice to make, our advice is to take the more prestigious offer even if it comes with a small fee. Of course, that is up to you and your personal circumstances and we’re sure that there are plenty of programs who are completely free and still legitimate and efficient. Still, we tend to be a little biased towards the programs which require a fee, since that sometimes can be a guarantee of quality. Furthermore, when you pay for a service you receive, you are more entitled to have a say in what you get.
5. Keep up with the work once enrolled.
Last, but not least, once you manage to find your ideal online training program, don’t neglect the work you need to put in it. People wrongly assume that an online course is somehow easier than a regular one, but the decrease in difficulty actually comes from the flexibility of making your own schedule, of not having to waste time on going to class and so on. As for the amount
of work needed, if you choose a good online training program, there should be virtually no difference. Be careful not to start procrastinating too much, or you may find yourself stuck in a place where it will be too hard to catch up with everything you missed. Other than that, congratulations for your constructive initiative and good luck!