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Choosing Your Ideal Home Study Course – Six Slip-Ups to Avoid

Home Study Course

With millions of new distance learners joining the home study revolution every year, it’s inevitable that some will make a few mistakes along the way.  Unfortunately, some of those mistakes occur right of the very beginning of the process when those involved are selecting their chosen courses.  Obstacles encounter along the way may be easy to overcome, but make the wrong choice when it comes to the course itself and chances are you’re looking at trouble.

Technically speaking, it isn’t difficult to find a course that is perfectly suited to your interests, ambitions, current educational background and available time.  Nevertheless, evidence suggests that for some, the biggest challenge of all is that of deciding which distance learning program to choose in the first place.

So rather than once again listing the usual tips, trips and guidelines for ensuring you select the right course, here’s a quick overview of six common slip-ups to avoid at all costs:

Choosing Your Ideal Home Study Course

Distance Learning

1 – Profession Over Passion

First and foremost, you have to bear in mind that no matter what it is you choose to study, you will never become particularly good at it if your heart isn’t in it.  In so many instances, distance learners prioritise profession over passion – i.e. they choose a course based on the rewards of possible future careers, rather than something they are actually interested in.  Of course, there’s nothing to say you cannot ace a course in pretty much any subject and begin a career thereafter.  That is of course, as long as you do not mind getting absolutely no joy, satisfaction or fulfilment out of anything you do.

Recruitment experts on a global basis comprehensively advise following your passion as a priority – profession always taking a backseat.

2 – Following The Herd

Potentially even worse than the above mistake is that of making your decision entirely in accordance with the actions or suggestions of other people.  You’ve decided to continue your education, you really have no idea what you should be studying and so you instinctively opt for exactly the same distance learning opportunity as one of your friends.  The only problem being that not only is it a subject you have no particular interest in, it is also a subject that lies entirely outside your own expertise and capabilities.  There’s always the possibility that you may be fortunate enough to follow the herd onto a course that works for you.  But at the same time, what’s the sense in rolling the dice with something so important?

When it comes to your education, it is about you and you alone.  Feel free to take advice and suggestions, but ensure that the final decision you make is one that you have made for yourself.

3 – Too Advanced or Remedial

Just as is the case with all academic institutions these days, distance learning service providers offer a wide variety of courses and qualifications at different levels.  Which in turn means that prior to deciding on which course is for you, it’s a good idea to think about your existing knowledge and experience.  If you find yourself on a course that is far too advanced, the whole thing is going to prove a rather stressful waste of time.  Likewise, there’s really no sense in signing up for a course that is way below your current level, in terms of knowledge or professional experience.

Distance learning opportunities are offered at a variety of levels for a reason – be sure to check out each and think carefully about which is most appropriate for you.

4 – Narrowing Your Options Unnecessarily

Under no circumstances should you fall into the trap of assuming that just because you don’t know the first thing about any given subject, it means you shouldn’t be studying it.  After all, it’s not as if any student is born with prior knowledge of any specific specialism.  If you have an undying passion for travel and tourism, consider an entry-level course to get started.  If your current role in customer service really isn’t inspiring you, why not consider studying professional project management?

Try to remember that just as long as you choose a course at an appropriate level, there’s really no sense in narrowing your options unnecessarily.  In fact, it comes highly recommended to consider trying something entirely new.

5 – Ignoring Required Study Time

The amount of time you will be required to dedicate to your studies will vary in accordance with the subject and the level.  Unsurprisingly, more complex subjects and higher-level qualifications mean more required study time.  It’s important to take this into account before you sign up as while you may be free to study in your own time and at your own pace, you may be restricted if you literally only have one or two hours to spare per week.  If your schedule is incredibly tight, attempting a distance learning opportunity with a recommended 500-hours of study time isn’t going to do you a great many favours.

Once again, it all comes down to being realistic with both the time you have available and your ability to commit.

6 – Overlooking What Happens Next

Last but not least, it is of critical importance to think carefully about what exactly you intend to do with your chosen qualification, after completing the course.  It could be that you intend to continue your education at a higher level, or would instead like to explore a new career path.  Whatever it is, distance learning programs should be selected with the long-term future in mind. It’s always worth bearing in mind that there is a wealth of professional advice and guidance to tap into, should you have any questions or concerns regarding your chosen course or what happens next.  

So rather than repeating the mistakes of so many others, you might want to think about reaching out to the experts with your questions, before making your final decision.