With student loan debts having recently reached a total of 1.57 trillion USD, choosing an alternative, cheaper method of study has become increasingly popular. And with so many new online accredited options popping up every day, it’s no wonder people are switching to web-based learning. Not only are you free to mix and match different courses, but you can also learn from the comfort of your own home! So, you know what that means, sweatpants and loungewear all day long.
But, while online courses are a great way to avoid the steep traditional college fees, finding the right one can be extremely overwhelming. You don’t want to choose a nursing degree and suddenly realize it doesn’t provide you with the accreditation you actually need to practice.
Lucky for you, we’re here to provide you with all the support you need. Our 5 easy tips will have you well on your way to finding the perfect course for your budget and future dream job.
1. Do Some Research
Before deciding on a course provider, you should have a solid idea of what course you want to apply for. Although online courses are generally cheaper than the traditional college course, continuous switching and starting new courses can still prove to be expensive. You’re probably thinking, “well that’s great but how am I supposed to know exactly what to do?” This is completely normal, choosing a career path can be scary!
We suggest focusing on the subjects that you enjoy the most and looking into where these subjects could lead you. A great way of getting information on a career is to talk to a specialist in the area. If you can’t find anyone in your desired area or with the right expertise, you can always try online forums or emailing through a website.
Another great way of finding your perfect course is through review sites and blogs, which can offer insight into the best courses and providers. Visit this site right here to help you narrow down your search!
2. Assess Your Budget
Once you’ve found your desired course, you’re going to want to assess the different providers available. This is often best done through online course databases where you can easily view all the providers for your desired course. When evaluating each choice, you should always check the price of the course to ensure that it lies within your budget. There’s no point in choosing a provider that is too expensive!
We highly recommend creating a list of your current expenses and deciding on a budget based on these.
3. Acknowledge Additional Features
So, now you’ve narrowed down your choices based on budget, how do you actually choose between the courses? Well, a great place to start is to look at course content and what the provider is offering within the fees. Many online sites may seem cheap, but this could be due to paid additional content, or the need for materials, such as books, that are not included.
It’s always a good idea to thoroughly read through the site's bio and check up on the accreditation of the site. We advise checking reviews and, where possible, phoning the course provider/using the online chat system. It may also be a good idea to email the provider to ask about additional materials that may be needed or features of the course which are not displayed on the website. This is also a great way to get a feel of how the course may be run and what the people behind the courses are like.
4. Check Up on Support
Studying can be stressful, especially if you’re having to do it remotely. In fact, remote online exams have been shown to negatively impact mental health, increasing stress levels. As a result, we advise choosing a provider that offers easy access to student support. Make sure you check for how the provider helps students; this may even be the access to one-on-one sessions. Additionally, some colleges will give students their own personal tutors which are not only great for mental health support but perfect for help with job references in the future!
5. Teaching Style
Online teaching means a lot of technology, which while amazing in some ways can work out to be extremely annoying when it doesn’t go quite right. You don’t want to be fiddling around for hours trying to find your modules or where to submit an assignment. Always check the style of teaching and web interface before deciding on a specific course and provider.
While choosing the perfect course can be overwhelming, it’s important to remember that the right one for you is out there! And, with these five easy tips, you’re already well on your way to finding the ideal fit for your budget and aspirations.