Once you’ve pinpointed the vocation or industry you’d like to pursue, you need to weigh up the study options available. Further education courses, degrees and diplomas vary greatly. In order to make a success of your studies, you need to choose a study option that best suits your particular needs.
To help you to find the right study option, it’s important to answer the following questions:
1. What are the opportunities that will be available to me once I’ve obtained this degree or certification?
Some industries offer more entry-level opportunities than others, and some vocations are easier to pursue in different parts of the country. Find out how much demand there is for the field you’re considering, and then whether the degree or diploma you have in mind can adequately equip you.
2. Am I able to cope with the requirements of this course or degree?
Depending on your chosen field of study, the requirements asked of you will differ from industry to industry. Look at how much time you’ll need to invest in studying, whether you’ll need to move away from home, whether a commute is required and what your transportation options are, and so on. Also, determine how much additional time you’ll need to spend studying outside of classes (whether on campus or online).
3. Is my financial situation conducive to this option?
The cost of higher education varies wildly and is dependent on the duration of the course, the educational provider and hidden costs such as study aids, lodging, and board. Don’t commit to any degree or diploma that requires you to accrue large amounts of debt. Instead, consider part-time or online options that will equip you with the skills you need, without compromising your financial stability.
4. How long am I willing to dedicate to higher education?
Again, your chosen field and job will dictate the time you’ll need to set aside to study. Some courses are as short as six months, while others are as long as five years. If you have financial concerns but want to get started studying straight away, a bridging course or online diploma can provide you with the foundational skills you need, without you having to dedicate all of your time. If you’re planning on working part-time while you learn, the flexible nature of an online diploma might be more suitable for the foreseeable future.
The way we learn is continually changing, and as online learning options become just as viable as their traditional campus-based counterparts, it’s a lot easier to find an option that suits your unique needs.
For more information about studying online, download our free ebook, ‘Fast Track your Career by Studying Online’.