Are online courses worth taking?

30 December 2020

a student studies an online course on your laptop

Online education can open up a huge number of doors for those people interested in picking up new qualifications, learning new skills and furthering their careers. With online courses available for everything from accountancy and archaeology to mortgage advising to zoology, it’s easy to see why this form of learning is such an appealing option for those looking to broaden their horizons. However, one question always remains: are online courses worth it?

In this blog, we take a detailed look at the field of online courses and look to answer the all-important questions of how useful, valuable and credible these courses really are, as well as whether or not they are recognised by top employers. Read on to find out more.

Are online courses worth it?

If you’re considering taking an online course to give yourself a new qualification and open up your career options, you may have a few questions. Below, we explain why people typically take online courses, what they’re useful for and whether they’re valuable, credible and recognised by potential future employers.

Why study online courses?

If you want to gain new skills and extend your knowledge, further education is something you can take on at any age. However, while traditional forms of education are a proven route towards enhancing your skill set, online courses offer several advantages.

Benefits of online courses include:

Flexibility –

Through the use of the internet and all information being stored and provided online, students are able to learn from home, go through their course in their own time and read through the course material wherever they feel the most productive.

Affordability –

In some cases, taking on a university course as a mature student or returning to college to gain another qualification could mean having to pay upfront. Alternatively, by doing an online course such as the options provided by Simply Academy, you can choose to pay for the course with 0 per cent APR on a Buy Now Pay Later scheme that could cost as little as £10 per month.

Impressive to potential employers –

Many people that decide to learn new skills with the help of an online course choose to study in this way due to other commitments. For instance, they may be working full-time or act as a stay at home parent.

While this is something they’ve had to do in order to balance responsibilities they can’t drop in favour of a potential career change, employers will appreciate the difficulty this may have caused and are likely to see key professional attributes in the individual such as determination, a strong work ethic and the ability to multitask.

Are online courses useful?

Aside from the obvious benefits, online courses also carry a number of additional uses that could be helpful for the student from both a professional and personal standpoint.

Online courses are useful as a way to:

  • Display your willingness to learn
  • Widen your skillset
  • Heighten your employability
  • Show your dedication to develop
  • Enhance your CV
  • Present your characteristics

Are online courses valuable?

Measuring the value of an online course is far from easy, but if it’s been approved by a recognised governing body, you will have a level of assurances that the course you’re doing is relevant, accurate, applicable and, overall, worthwhile.

Value for money is also likely to be a deciding factor in whether or not you decide to take on an online course. However, online courses are often significantly cheaper than a university qualification, so it could be worth looking into if it means achieving a similar qualification but at a lower cost.

Are online courses credible?

With more flexibility over how you can learn and gain new qualifications, the use of online courses is becoming more relevant and a wider range of credible courses are becoming available.

Before signing up to an online course, you can check whether it’s accredited by a recognised governing body. As for Simply Academy, our courses and the accompanying accreditation is explained in detail on our website. We work with the Education and Skills Funding Agency, Apprenticeships.gov, the Association of Employment and Learning Providers, the European Union Social Fund and the London Institute of Banking and Finance to ensure that our courses are credible and moderated by relevant bodies.

Are online courses recognised by employers?

Not only are qualifications earned through online courses recognised by employers, but they’re also judged as being equally as valid as a similar qualification that was earned in a traditional educational setting.

In the modern world, more people are using online courses as an effective, realistic way of learning new skills and gaining an achievable qualification, and with it becoming more commonplace, employers are becoming more open to to recognise these courses as valuable qualifications during the recruitment process.

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