Q: I want to improve my skills with a view to advancing in my career. I have looked at a few courses on sites such as Alison.com and Udemy.com, and they look good, but they don’t seem to have great accreditation. Should I bother with them? SC, email.
A: It’s horses for courses (boom, boom), writes Liam Horan, Career Coach, Ballinrobe office, Sli Nua Careers.
Here are eight good reasons to do a short course:
- Short courses are excellent for helping you decide if you like a topic or field. By sampling in this way, you only commit a few hours initially and then decide if you want to proceed further or reverse back out. Little enough venture, and an important insight gained.
- If you proceed further, you do so secure in the knowledge that you like what you’re getting into. Thus, a short course might be a precursor to a significant qualification that may, in turn, open up new career possibilities for you.
- Accreditation sometimes matters hugely, sometimes not at all. If, for example, you are going for a job as an office administrator, the fact that you have done some short online courses on social media might strengthen your case. The company is not seeking to hire someone specialising in that field, but you might just be able to offer it as another string to your bow.
- As a general rule, employers are impressed by evidence of ongoing training. You’re showing that you haven’t stagnated and that you are not complacent about your skills.
- Dip your toe without spending a fortune.
- Do it in your own time, at your own speed, and without having to be in the local training centre at 8o’c every Tuesday night.
- The world’s your oyster: there are countless courses available online. Your greatest problem might be actually deciding which one. Defeat your inner ‘child in a sweetshop’ and go for one.
- If you haven’t studied for a while, short courses get those muscles moving again.