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Questions you should ask before picking a training course

With thousands of different courses on offer in the UK, it can be hard to know where to start. Use this simple guide to get your search going.

How do I like to study?

If studying alongside others is something which brings out the best in your performance, then signing up to an in-venue course may offer you the best chance of success. However, if you prefer to study alone and without distraction for the most part, then online or distance learning may suit you better.

What are the employment prospects for this course? What have previous graduates gone on to do?

There’s little point in going to college or university unless it’s going to boost your career prospects once you’ve graduated, especially with tuition fees rising in most, if not all, countries. Asking these questions will give you an idea of how well-prepared you’ll be for the working world when your training course is over, and may even provide inspiration in terms of the types of careers available to you.

Are the programs challenging and rigorous enough? Going to college requires a significant investment of time and money, be sure to find out all you can about the coursework, quality of resources, and degree requirements. Easy isn’t a good thing in this instance—you want to know that you’ve successfully completed a demanding program that prepares you for success.

What type of help and support does the school offer its enrolled students?

Because the student won’t be on campus in most instances especially if it is an online course, it is important to make sure that the school provides the necessary support. Ask if each student is assigned an advisor or mentor, how often the student will be able to communicate with an advisor, and who will be available to provide extra support if needed? Is there an online student community? Are online study groups available?

How is the course assessed?

Looking closely at the assessment schedule for your proposed courses can tell you a lot about the quality of the course and the standards of the qualification you’ll be earning. Whether your learning is going to be measured in exams or practical assessments, you need to know so that you’ll be able to plan, prepare for, commit to and cope with these. These aspects are important to check before you sign up and the provider should be happy to answer these questions.

Once you’ve answered your own questions, you’ll be able to identify more readily the types of courses that may suit and be in a good position to look closely at what they are offering to see whether they align with what you’re looking for …

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