Do Online Courses Have Any Value?
These days, it seems like everyone is selling online courses. But you're still not sure they're for you. If you're asking, “Are online courses really worth my money?” or ” Do online courses have any value?” this could be the post for you.
I get it. You don't have unlimited resources, after all. And, with all the courses out there, you worry that they might not have the same value as traditional educational experiences. But I've spent years searching out and sharing legitimate online courses that are definitely worth your money (and your time, too). Today, I'll explain why.
Can You Promise the Value of Online Courses is Worth the Cost?
Online courses usually promise a few things:
- Career improvements
- The ability to start a new lifestyle
- Better financial health
- Potentially easier income
- Simple access for everyone
Of course, I can't promise that every single course out there will deliver on these promises. But I've put together this handy online course checklist with 20 things to check before purchasing any course. If you work your way through this free list before you commit, you will know going in that the online course you're investing in really is worth your money.
You don't have to just take my word for it, though.
The Value of Online Courses: What the Data Says
A study reported in Entrepreneur.com states that 60% of people found free online courses helpful in developing skills. The key takeaway from the article was this:
“Free online courses can improve your current skill set and make you a better employee. It also shows initiative, which managers like.”
The article clearly highlights the value of online courses. It also only makes mention of free courses, implying that more advanced and paid courses can provide greater value. In other words, free courses really are worth your money!
But what about courses you pay for? Some of them have pretty steep price tags. And isn’t there a stigma around online courses that suggests getting qualifications from in-person instruction is better?
If there used to be, there isn’t anymore.
According to Open University — a worldwide provider of long-distance online courses — 77 of the businesses within the Financial Times Stock Exchange 100 (FTSE 100) have students studying online courses with the institute.
Entrepreneur.com shows us that online courses are proven to develop skills, while Open University demonstrates that they’re also taken seriously by even the biggest brands in the world.
Clearly, online courses have the ability to impart knowledge and wisdom, if you're willing to do the research to find the right course for you, and put in the work. Of course, only you can say if that means online courses are really worth your money.
So Do Online Courses Have Value?
The world of work is changing. Nearly 30% of Americans are now self-employed — that’s 44 million workers. This figure has been rising year on year with many Americans waking up to the fact that they no longer need traditional employment. They can find great work and make great money doing freelance and contract work under their own brand. And with the changes in the word during 2020, Business Insider reports that 18 major companies have already embraced long-term remote work for their staff.
It’s a powerful idea, but how does it prove whether online courses are worth your time and money?
Here are a few of the top things businesses and customers look for when choosing somebody to work with on a project:
- Promising references and referrals
- Demonstrated skills
- Knowledge of their industry
- Good communication
Nowhere will you find people saying their top quality in a freelancer is a degree from Harvard.
What they want are results.
Online courses can help you deliver results.
Why will online courses help me deliver results?
Online courses are run by experts — people who know how to get things done because they have worked in the very industry you’re looking to crack into. Online courses rarely offer theoretical ideas or experimentation. Instead, they’re all about practical advice and knowledge that gets you from A to B.
- Here is a problem, here is how you solve it
- Here is what customers want, here is how you give it to them
Because online courses are all about learning skills, if you can find good online courses that give you great information, then you can apply those skills to your self-employment career, and give your customers exactly what they want.
From becoming a freelance writer to starting an online business, if you can acquire the skills to do the job, it doesn’t matter how you’ve acquired them. The only thing that matters is the end result.
The right online courses do have value, because they can get you to that end result – and that really is worth your money.
How to Find Valuable Online Courses That are Right for You
While there are plenty of powerful online courses available to turbocharge your career, there are also plenty of garbage courses ready to do nothing but steal your time.
So how do you sort through the trash to find the gems? And once you've done that, how do you know which courses are right for you?
Anywhere & Anytime Careers does that for you! I search through the internet, hunting down the best legitimate online courses available so you don’t have to. My in-depth reviews and interviews with students and course creators let you preview courses before spending a cent.
We also provide a one-stop sampler of free online courses here at Anywhere & Anytime Careers. If you're not sure a full course is for you, you may find a “trial run” right here. That means you get a risk-free chance to answer your own questions. Check them out today!