5 Reasons to Study a Short Course Online Right Now

Today, it is not uncommon for a professional to realise they need to undertake some form of education to brush up on skills or build new ones. The next step is where things can get messy – with an array of options, not only on what to study but how, the average aspiring student has their work cut out for them.

Here, we explore one of those many options; the one which likely suits every professional needing a resume/CV boost in a hurry and on a budget.

Below are five reasons why a short course learning option might be just what you need to get the skills you’re missing.

Reason 1: Emphasis on ‘short’

Many of us don’t have a lot of time on our hands. Whether that’s because of busy home and family lives (pets included), our careers are highly demanding or a combination of both and more. When we’re so pressed for time, the idea of adding something extra to the mix can seem like a horrible idea, yet you know you need those new skills to thrive.

Short courses are the best way to keep the study time…well, short. If you can identify exactly what skills you need, you can then search for short courses on those exact skills. Short courses can range from one week to several weeks or a few months – depending on the nature of the course and the provider. They are always significantly shorter than other programme options.

Reason 2: Affordability

Several factors make the short course option more affordable. This tends to be the case because of the focus on teaching you one very specific topic, or skill. Universities or providers also spend less on a physical study space, so you’re not paying for the experience of being sat in a room at a specific location.

A key reason is you don’t need to spend extra on study materials – it is all provided within the virtual learning environment (VLE) for you at no additional cost.

Reason 3: Variety

Because these courses take less time and are more affordable, you can take several that appeal to your learning needs. This mode allows you to pick and choose from a range of different topics, whether you need a specific new skill for your career, are seeking a career switch, or are just interested in acquiring new information for fun on a topic you’re interested in.

This is very different from the long-term commitment of a masters, where you are settled in a specific programme for 2-4 years, depending on whether you choose to study part-time or full-time.

Reason 4: Portable learning

The beauty of online short courses lies in your ability to take it with you wherever you go. Whether you’re on your mobile, tablet, laptop or desktop, or choose to use a mix of these – you can always simply log on to learn on the go or where you’re most comfortable.

You can also download learning material to take things offline, in case you find yourself without a Wi-Fi connection.

Reason 5: Course taster

Is there a subject you’re interested in studying, but aren’t sure you want to splurge on a full master’s degree? A short course is a stepping stone to explore before deciding to take the next step forward or decide it’s just not for you.

It’s also a good way to know how you will adjust to online learning, so if or when you decide a full masters is the next step, you will feel completely comfortable with the online learning space.

Interested in studying short courses with the University of Oxford?

Visit our website to learn more about our Public Policy-focused options.