Online courses provide a platform for learning that barely existed 10 years ago.

Education was rooted in going into an educational facility and learning from the tutor in front of you. These days, “in front of you” for your tutor means on your laptop screen.

During this unprecedented Covid-19 pandemic, we’ve found our day to day conversations including terms we hardly used before. “WFH”, “social distancing” and “furlough” are now the norm and will be for a while. Although for some it may seem like it’s not the most ideal learning circumstances, it’s best to look at it from the other side of the coin.

We’re lucky enough to be in an age where the amount of information that is at our fingertips is borderline ridiculous. Within a few clicks, you can find anything you’re looking for. With specific marketing algorithms, you tend to find things without even looking for them.

“Working from home” or being “furloughed” wouldn’t have been an option 15 years ago, so there’s an opportunity to use this free time towards something constructive.


The rise of online courses

Credit: Pixabay.

Online courses have boomed in the last few years.

Reputable businesses have popped up everywhere offering in-depth courses on an array of topics, while major colleges and universities have been providing their knowledge pool. There’s such a range out there, that you can afford to be picky. What is it that interests you? Is there anything that fascinates you but never had a chance to enter into it? What about the industry you want to develop in, is there anything where you can upskill on? All these qualifications provide useful leverage in whatever direction you want to go.

Whichever industry you’re in, there will be at least one course out there which will provide you with another step in the right direction. 


Benefits of online courses

You shouldn’t underestimate the benefits of filling free time with education.

Whether a foot up in an industry or even a foot in, you’re making a conscious step in a direction through learning. You’re not only expanding your knowledge but also your CV. Relevant qualifications solidify your experience and underpin it further. This leaves you in a great place to take advantage of that next step when it becomes available. 

You’re also displaying a lot about your character. Pushing out of your comfort zone, even when at home, shows you mean business about this topic. Not to others, but yourself. Do what works for you. If you need to chill, then do it. But if you’ve got a bit in the tank, use that energy and direct it.

Some of these courses even contribute towards full qualifications, so the value in them is evident. Educational providers have broken down full courses into modules and have made some of these modules free to learn. It’s a great indicator of what the course is like and it allows you a taster of what’s to come. In a safer method of trying it out, then committing and realising it’s not for you.


What topics can I study online?

Online courses cover so many different topics, sectors, and industries, that you must make a plan on what you’d like to do.

Make it work around your current situation. Some courses are free but require you to pay an amount for a certificate, and some have a cost. All have their values, but upon completing a course, you’ve done it. You have that knowledge and a complete mark on your account. Don’t feel pressured to have something physical, unless you want that holdable sense of achievement.

These apply to all the different online course areas, of which some are:


  • Personal Development
  • IT/Software Skills
  • Health & Fitness
  • Business
  • Design
  • Marketing
  • The Arts
  • Languages
  • History
  • Climate & the Environment
  • Wildlife
  • STEM subjects (Science, Technology, Engineering, Maths)
  • Teaching
  • Psychology
  • Politics, Society, Law
  • Literature
  • Healthcare/Childcare


Although not definitive, this provides an insight into the scope that’s available out there to you. If you have a more specific or niche area, then there’ll be something out there for you. (If not, maybe there’s a new business idea for you?)


Where can I study online?

Credit: Pixabay.

If you’re wondering where to find some of these courses, listed below are a small fraction of the major providers out there. Be sure to check each one out and see if their qualifications work for what you’re after.



Remember, most educational providers and facilities will also provide their own online training portals, so be sure to check them out directly. The likes of Harvard to King College London lead the way online for reputable organisations, so the opportunity for growth is massive, whatever direction you choose.


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