Choosing a Course
Confused what to study? READ THIS!
Many people get confused about what and where to study.
You have so many choices.
Should I Do a Short Course, Certificate, Diploma or Degree?
- Longer courses should teach you more. There are lots of graduates from “quickie” certificates and diplomas who are unemployed. Any enlightened student or employer looks well beyond the name of a course or whether it is accredited.
- Only attempt the achievable. It’s often easier to complete a short course and move on to another one later, than to attempt a long course from the start
What Content Should my Course have
- Broader studies are better in the long term. Graduates from broad based certificates and diplomas tend to forge better long term careers than those from highly specialised courses.
- Is it up to date? Most courses are designed by committees over a period of years, and then run with little change for a period of years (commonly 5 years) according to content specified. This traditional approach often means content is out of date.
- Is the focus on your short term needs, or long term needs? Some colleges focus of developing a capacity to grow and adapt within a chosen discipline, others consider “continuous retraining” as being inevitable; and aim to develop skills for today in today’s course, then expect the student to keep returning to gain skills for the future through a lifelong program of learning.
- Knowing, Doing, Understanding, and Remembering are all different. Some attempt all four, others focus on one or two only. Decide whether you want to be able to do something without understanding and remembering it well into the future? ACS focuses on all!
What about Recognition and Accreditation?
- Recognition & Accreditation is often misunderstood.
- It’s significance has changed over the past decade in many ways.
- Formal accreditation is only critical in some situations. To get a work license (Doctors, some tradesmen, etc). For many jobs (eg. marketing manager, gardener, etc) the only thing that matters is an ability to do a good job.
- The best courses are not necessarily the accredited. It costs money to accredit courses, so accredited courses have less of your fees to devote to actual teaching.
- Accredited qualifications can often be obtained without any study at all. Under many modern accreditation systems, it is relatively easy to be assessed and given an accredited qualification without doing any study at all.
WHAT IS MOST IMPORTANT:
QUALIFICATION OR WHAT YOU LEARN?
Many institutions and students assume that without a qualification, you won't succeed in a career. Research and common sense however shows this is simply not true.
What is true is that you need knowledge, skills and a good attitude toward work if you are going to reach your full potential in the workplace.
Often people who have degrees and diplomas fail to progress along a career path while less qualified people advance faster, or move to start their own very successful small business.
A qualification can sometimes help get an interview and assist you in starting a career, but a year or two later, it will inevitably be the knowledge, skills and attitudes that formed during your studies which will count most. We often hear of less qualified people who did a good, non accredited course who are forging ahead in a career while others who did poorer but accredited courses have got stuck in a low level job with little chance of advancement.