These days, it is all but impossible for anyone to pass through higher education and the ranks of a career ladder without encountering opportunities to gain knowledge and skill through eLearning. Almost every university offers a bevy of online courses for students to take advantage of, and there are dozens of online learning hubs where non-students can bolster their professional qualifications.
Yet, there are right and wrong ways to engage with eLearning. Here is how to thrive in an online course and gain the most benefit for your career.
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Choose the Right Course
Not every online course will improve your career prospects. Though education for its own sake can be personally fulfilling, when you engage with eLearning for the purpose of climbing the career ladder faster, you need to be certain that you are enrolling in a course that offers the skills and credentials that other professionals in your field will respect and value. While you certainly need to find courses that include subject matter which is pertinent to your career field, it is also imperative to consider the prestige of the school hosting the course. You might start bylooking for short courses in your field from one of the best universities in the world.
Curate a Productive Environment
It is unlikely that you will be able to absorb your elessons when you are listening to lectures at your kitchen table or in your work office. You need adedicated space for learning, which must be free from distractions like coworkers, family members, televisions and pets. If you cannot create a space in your home suitable for learning, you might consider participating in your online course in a library or quiet coffee shop.
Set a Stable Schedule
Your course instructor should provide you with a syllabus, outlining when lectures will be available, when assignments are due and when tests will take place. You should use this invaluable tool to create a schedule that providesample time for studying and completing assignments amidst your other work and life responsibilities. You should let the important people in your life — your spouse, your boss — have access to this schedule, so they know when you will be busy with your course.
Advanced online courses can be difficult, especially if you are striving to balance your education with your existing work and home life. When courses inevitably become challenging — when you are in the midst of a complicated project or on the threshold of an important exam — you might be tempted to quit your eLearning experience and look for other paths up the career ladder. Unfortunately, other paths might be even more difficult or much less successful than improving your skills and credentials through online education.