5 Reasons why I’ve decided to study online (and why you should too!)

I’ve always been a fan of lifelong learning. If I’m not taking a college course or reading a textbook, I’m watching instructional videos or doing research online. I love to learn new skills, expand my general knowledge and add things to my CV. This year I’ve decided to put my writing skills to the test and have enrolled on a course in Online Writing. Here’s why:

1. BRUSH UP MY SKILLS

Sure, I’ve been putting content out there on the web and in magazines for about a decade now, but I’ve never studied writing in any form. I did a management degree and a marketing MA but at no time did I take a journalism module or have any training in writing. So I thought it was about time that I studied the subject in-depth and, having looked through the course modules, I can already tell that there’s plenty of subjects that I don’t have any knowledge of, so I’m sure it’ll be an eye-opener and perhaps lead to new ways of working.

2. ACCREDITATION

I’m proud to have a CV that’s full of courses, certificates and qualifications, but I’m a little embarrassed by my lack of training in writing, even though it’s been my job for SO many years. The course I’m taking will give me a Certificate in Online Writing at the end of the course and I get a second Level 3 Certificate accredited by ABC Awards, a leading accreditation body recognised by Ofqual. I’m hoping it’ll help me to get more paid blogging jobs and commissions from brand websites to write their online content.

3. PERSONAL DEVELOPMENT

If I were in an employed position, I’m sure I would have been sent on personal development courses over the years so this is my self-employed version! I believe in investing in yourself so I regularly treat myself to educational books, and this course just takes it one step further. I’m going to schedule time each week during my usual office hours to work through the modules and actually complete it. 

4. TOO MUCH INFORMATION

It seems like it’s possible to learn everything you need by searching online. The only trouble is that there’s SO much information out there that it makes it difficult to find the true gems. You can spend as long searching for something to learn as you do actually learning a new skill. It’s like when you start flicking through Netflix only to find that an hour has passed and you haven’t actually watched anything. Sure you can find YouTube videos and instructional websites on almost any subject, but you won’t get the same in-depth, ongoing learning that you get from a properly structured course.

5. LOW COST

I’ve often sat through educational webinars, making notes and wishing that I could go on to find out more, only to discover that the full course is an extortionate cost and there’s no way that I can continue with it. When I looked on the Blackford Centre’s distance learning website, I was pleased to find some surprisingly reasonable rates for their courses and it was only £50 extra for external accreditation to get that second certificate. I find that if I’ve paid for something I’m much more likely to see it through to the end to “get my money’s worth”! I’ve just had the first modules land in my inbox and I can’t wait to get started on them. I’ve added study time to my work schedule and am going to stick to it! Let me know if you’ve studied online and how you got on with it, or tell me what subject you’d like to learn more about in the comments below.

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Cassie is a freelance writer with a Masters degree in lifestyle promotion studies. She loves to 'get the look for less' so regularly shares thrifty fashion posts, DIY interior design ideas and low-cost recipes on her blog.

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