If you have not tried online education before, there are some considerations to weigh up before starting a course. Here are some of the key questions that are often raised.
1. How do I know if online education is the right fit for me?
External study is not an easy option. You will typically require motivation and a degree of self-discipline to study online and get the most out of your courses. If you enjoy working at your own pace and do not need the support of group learning, online study is a feasible choice.
2. Isn’t studying on a campus a better option?
Sure, if you want to battle the traffic and be locked into set times for lectures. The truth is that traditional and online educators offer a superb range of courses. The advantage of going online is the convenience of being able to study anywhere (a home office, your bedroom or a cafe) and anytime (after work or when the children have gone to bed). Of course, if you want to be a doctor or surgeon, university is a must. For others, online courses make sense.
3. Which online educator should I choose?
Do your homework! Ensure that the provider has a strong reputation (testimonials are a starting point) and offers industry-approved courses. Make sure they have a reliable technology platform and an ongoing commitment to administrative and educational support.
4. Will online courses resonate with employers?
The short answer is ‘yes’ – if you choose a reputable provider. More and more employers understand the benefits of web-based skills development and see students who enrol in courses as self-starters. All AOC programs, for instance, are recognised by employers, including government departments, which means they are of real value to students.
5. What sort of technology and IT skills do I need?
Basic email and computer skills, including having the ability to download documents and PDFs, are all that is needed for most online courses. Courses and study material are available at the click of a mouse.
6. What is needed to be a successful online learner?
Having a firm career goal helps because it gives students the extra motivation and drive to succeed. Time-management and organisational skills certainly help, while adequate writing skills enable students to express their ideas and knowledge.
7. Can I get easy access to administrators and tutors?
Make sure, in advance, that your education provider offers access to unlimited support from its administration team, tutors and support services via email, live chat or telephone. Tutors should be available seven days a week to help you with assignments.
8. How long do online courses take to complete?
This will vary depending on the course. One of the key benefits of online learning is that you can customise your course to fit your schedule and lifestyle. Providers such as AOC do not set iron-clad deadlines for the completion of studies. This is not to encourage procrastination; rather it reflects the fact that most students are juggling multiple commitments.
9. What are the most popular courses?
Business administration, accounting and management subjects are among the most popular online courses because they can lead to jobs in a wide range of disciplines. Technology-related courses are also in demand, along with sales and marketing studies and healthcare skills.
10. What happens when I graduate?
First, you deserve a celebration – and then you can chase your dream job. AOC graduates get a certificate of completion at the relevant level (Certificate, Advanced Certificate, Diploma) when they finish a course.
For details on the great range of courses available at Australian Online Courses, view our course catalogue.