Finding the right course isn’t as easy as it seems. It takes more than just sitting at a computer and doing a random search on Google- it takes some soul-searching and critical thinking too.
Although choosing the wrong course isn’t a total catastrophe, it’s still a decision you shouldn’t rush through. Taking the time to ask yourself a few questions will give you the best chance at finding what you want and need the first time round.
Important Questions to Ask Yourself Before Choosing a Course
Ever thought you’d made up your mind about something, then had a conversation with someone else and had a totally different perspective?
Asking yourself the right questions will open your eyes to new possibilities. It will also give you greater clarity about any decision you want to make.
When it comes to making a decision that’s as important as choosing a course to study, don’t get too caught up in the excitement and momentum. Pause for a moment and then ask yourself these 5 questions before going ahead- you’ll be amazed at what you come up with!
Here are 5 questions to ask yourself before taking the leap.
1. “What am I passionate about?”
Passion is what keeps you going when things get hard. It’s the fuel that drives purposeful actions. When you’re passionate about something, you’ll find yourself going to any length to make it work even if you have to make personal sacrifices.
Choosing a course you’re passionate about means that you’ll have enough energy to pull through (no matter what) and make a greater impact.
2. “What are my career goals and aspirations?”
The best choices bring you closer to your dreams. When it comes to your dream career, what you study is a big step.
When you’re looking at a course, ask yourself if the course aligns with your career goals. Will you have a qualification when you’re done? Are the skills in high demand by the industry you want to work in? Don’t forget to check the average pay for the job you have in mind.
3. “Do I have the necessary prerequisites?”
Depending on what level certification you’re considering, the course might have prerequisites. Prerequisites can include language proficiency, completed HSC or equivalent, or more specific subjects.
Many courses in Australia require a minimum level of English from all students to make sure students can engage with the course material. An Accounting course, for example, might have a minimum requirement for mathematics. If you don’t meet the minimum requirements, you can always look into bridging courses to get you there!
When it comes to English, we have a partnership with SCIC which can help you get your English skills up to scratch before enrolling in our online courses.
4. “Can I afford the financial commitment?”
How much does the course cost? Unless you’ve managed to get some kind of scholarship or your course is eligible for Government assistance, think about your financial situation before committing.
You might think that you have just enough money to cover the tuition, but what about other costs? Check if there are costs for equipment or materials, and make sure you can cover all your living expenses while studying. If you can’t afford the course you want, look around for a similar, cheaper course before giving up!
5. Time frame
It’s not very helpful if you find a course you love but it only runs once a year- and you’ve already missed the cutoff date. Or the opposite, your ideal course is starting in a week but you’d only be able to start in a month! While you’re doing your research, don’t forget to make a note of when you’d be ready to start so you can find something that fits your timeline.
The Next Steps
Even after working through all those questions, chances are you’ll have more than one option to choose from. Don’t get overwhelmed, we’ve outlined some final steps to help you finalise your decision.
1. Talk to a trusted adviser
Talk to your friends, family, and colleagues for a personal opinion. Depending on your situation, you might find it helpful to talk to a careers coach or advisor, or HR if you’re accessing a course through your work. For more practical advice, you can also call or email the individual institution with your specific questions.
2. Find a reputable online platform
Once you’ve figured out what you want to study, it’s time to find a platform that delivers the best learning experience.
In this blog post, we explained the simple process of finding the right online platform to learn digital skills. In summary, the platform has to combine qualities like competence, course structure, unique approach, and flexible pricing.
Starting or building on your career can be scary! Working through the steps above will go a long way towards helping you find the perfect course that contributes towards a successful career.