Thanks to the internet, there’s an online course to meet almost every need. Whether you want to learn to write a novel, learn InDesign or launch a new career, there’s an online course to suit.
While this variety brings with it a lot of choice, the level of certification provided can vary and the measure of their value is subjective.
Your learning outcomes will decide the type of course you should study. If you are planning on further study or getting a new job, then A Levels or Diplomas may be needed.
If you need to learn a new skill to help you at work, or indulge a hobby, then a qualification at the end isn’t necessary.
The type of online course, the level of study and the awarding body, will determine the award you’ll receive once you’ve passed. Either way, you will receive a recognised qualification or simply a completion certificate as proof you took the course.
A completion certificate isn’t to be confused with a certificate award. One is essentially a piece of paper confirming you took the course. The other is a qualification that can help you enrol on other courses, or meet a requirement for a job role.
Online Courses with Certificate Awards
It is always useful to learn new skills and gain knowledge. Time spent doing so is never wasted. However, being able to prove you’ve passed the course is often a requirement for both educational institutes and employers.
Because all recognised qualifications have to be accredited, you have to meet set learning outcomes to pass. Therefore, your future educators and employers can be confident that you have that level of knowledge and understanding.
In order to provide recognised qualifications, they must be regulated. Meaning they are taught in line with set frameworks and students must reach certain learning objectives to qualify. Regulation is essential to ensure all students are given an equal learning experience. While the content of equivalent level qualifications may vary the grading system must be the same.
Online courses with certificate awards allow you to access jobs and education that you would otherwise be unable to apply for. If you aspire to become a doctor or an engineer, you have to get qualified first. This takes time, effort and expense but the rewards gained in a prosperous and fulfilling career are worthwhile.
Online Courses without Certificates
If you’re looking to learn for fun, indulge a hobby or develop a skill, courses without qualifications can be ideal. Often much cheaper and quicker to complete, they can quickly help you learn new skills or gain new knowledge.
Demonstrating Knowledge and Ability
If you’re adopting new skills, they can help you become competent and confident. Designed for personal development, they do not go through the same regulation process as recognised qualifications.
While they do not offer official qualifications, they do give you a certificate of completion. As much as this isn’t nationally recognised, it does evidence your learning of the subject. This can assist you well in your professional development.
Developing your skills in this way can make you a more valuable member of the team. These courses can help you to plug the gaps in both knowledge and responsibility.
This not only helps to make the team more productive but you more valuable. So while the course itself may not directly lead to a promotion or a pay rise, it can in the long run.
Despite these courses not being accredited, they serve as evidence of your skills which employers will take on board when assessing your ability.
Learning for Fun
Many people studying online courses choose study purely for the fun of it. Some just want to learn more about a particular subject, while others want to start a new pastime.
Whether you want to learn pottery or stained glass window making, there is an online course that can help you develop those skills. There are usually courses from beginner to advanced so you can progress your learning.
Many learners find – through study – that their hobby is actually their passion and they go on to further studies or set up successful businesses.
Other learners want to learn how to do something but never had the time. Online courses give everyone complete flexibility so if you wanted to write a crime novel, discover your spiritual side or learn to manage your money with a personal money management course, you can.
Exploring New Career Options
If you’re contemplating a career move, then certificate-based courses can allow you to dip your toe in the water. Trying out a subject before committing to the level of study required to qualify.
This way you can see if, in fact, it is something you want to strive for. Think about how much time, expense and heartache this could save. Rather than plunging in the deep end of a lengthy and expensive course, to only find out it isn’t for you.
If you’re already established in your career, certificate-based courses allow you to expand your skill set. You can continue to develop as a professional and explore new aspects of the field you are already in. Potentially unearthing career progression opportunities you would otherwise be unaware of. All without the added pressure of achieving an official qualification, or taking time out of your job to learn.
Study a Course Online
So, you might be learning for enjoyment, to advance your career, access professional employment or university. No matter the aim, you need to make sure your online course leads you to the desired outcome. Researching what is required to reach your goal will help you determine the options most suitable.
Whatever you decide, studying an online course is a great way to increase your skills. Regulated or otherwise, they allow you to explore your passions and achieve your goals.
You can find an abundance of fascinating and challenging courses to study online with learndirect. As a leading UK distance learning provider, they offer many certificate and qualification-based course options.
If you have the thirst for knowledge and a willingness to learn, we have the course for you. Study online, at your pace, with no impact on your current commitments. Learning can be fun and fulfilling, you just need to make the decision to go for it.
Click to view our many online courses below.