How to choose the right online course for you

Finding the right online course for you can be hard, starting a course that’s not suitable can quickly put you off learning and knock your confidence, with thousands to choose from how do you know which one is right for you. Here’s some simple advice you can follow to find the course that’s a good fit for you.

1. Decide your own criteria 

The first step one is deciding what you want from a course. Do you want a course to improve your skills for work? Or a course that is endorsed by a professional body? Or maybe a course just to pass the time? Maybe you know which topic you want to study, or maybe you don’t.

Before you start looking for a course, try to establish exactly what you want or need from it. Try and answer these questions:

  • Are you learning for work or to expand your knowledge?
  • How much time can you dedicate to learning?
  • Are you looking to develop a specific skill, if so, what is it?
  • What topics are you especially interested in?

2. Spend some time exploring your options 

Now you have an idea of what you want to achieve from your course, spend some time shopping around looking at different courses. Take a look at our website and explore the different sectors. Try and find courses that match as many of your criteria as possible.

3. Read the course description thoroughly 

Arguably the most important step. Take some time to read all course descriptions thoroughly, making sure you understand what the course is about, what’s on the syllabus and what you’ll learn by the end of the course.

It’s also important at this point to find out exactly who the course is for, so you can ensure it’s the right level for you. On FutureLearn we have a wide range of courses – from those for people with no experience of a subject to those for people who are already working in the field. You don’t want to end up on a course which doesn’t match your experience.

4. Narrow down your choices using criteria 

After you’re familiar with what the courses cover and who they’re for, you need to check them against the criteria you set out in step one. Which course best meets your needs?

Once you have familiarized yourself with what the course provides, compare it against your criteria and what you want to obtain from the course. Making sure that they are aligned. Make sure you aren’t taking on too much, time management is vital.

5. Start Learning

You’ve browsed, you’ve read the small print, you’ve checked the criteria and, if it’s all gone to plan, you should have a course lined up. The only thing left to do is get started!

If the course doesn’t start for a little while, add a reminder to your calendar or make a note in your diary, so you’re ready when it does start you can prepare yourself. 

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