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September 26, 2023, by aayar4

How to Find the Perfect Online Course

By Amaia Robertson Nogues, American Studies and English Student

Despite the fact that having infinite online and professional courses at your fingertips definitely has its perks, it can be easy to get lost amongst the endless websites full of jobs with the same five buzzwords and the flurry of online ‘entrepreneur’ influencers selling masterclasses at eye-watering prices.

So, here’s some ways to find the perfect courses for you without drowning in never-ending Google searches.

1. Explore the Nottingham Advantage Award

You may have seen university emails about the Nottingham Advantage Award, and this scheme really is a great resource to take advantage of. There are a bunch of different types of courses where you can grow your personal or professional development, pick up new skills, or get your previous experience recognised by the university. Some of the most popular courses include employer-led projects such as the Capital One Product Challenge and Introduction to Coding. Make sure to keep an eye out for opening dates to secure your place.

Personally, my favourite NAA module was the Career Mentoring programme. It allowed me to learn more about transitioning from university to graduate opportunities and gain personal feedback specific to my goals. My mentor was lovely and helped me gain confidence about navigating job applications, so overall I cannot recommend this module enough!

2. Take advantage of alternative UoN courses

There are also a bunch of other opportunities available throughout the year to help boost your professional skillset. For instance, the Digital Marketing Academy, which allows students to gain comprehensive knowledge of the marketing field and network with local professionals. Take a look at your department homepages and newsletters to discover any new opportunities you may have missed.

3. Develop skills with interdisciplinary value

Nowadays, there are endless amounts of online courses available to help you break into a new field. However, if you are currently a student or unsure what profession you would like to pursue, developing some skills which can help you across a variety of sectors is a smart idea. For instance, try out some Excel or Microsoft Office courses to help you complete work more effectively and expand your existing knowledge.

4. Explore free public resources

Moreover, if you are overwhelmed with the sheer amount of courses online, try looking for trusted websites which offer a variety of recommendations. For instance, take a look at the ‘Skills Toolkit‘ put together by the UK government. It is easy to navigate and gives a nice breakdown of different skill areas and resources to explore. They also have some good personal growth skills which can be useful for a variety of professions.

5. Find your speciality

If you are currently involved in a specific field or have an interest in a particular area, gaining exposure to specialty skills can help you discover more about a role as well as boost your employability. Coursera and EdX currently provide the largest offerings of courses, and feature plenty of introductory programmes which cover the fundamentals if you are just starting out. You can audit most classes for free or apply for financial aid to access free or discounted certificates for accredited courses.

Whilst online courses are a great way to boost your CV without needing a long-term commitment, it can sometimes be tricky to know where to invest your time.

Remember, support is available year-round from the Careers and Employability team. Book a one-to-one appointment and figure out which skills to develop to help you reach your career goals. In the meantime, check out the Online work experience webpages for more ways to develop your career skills online. 

Posted in Student Bloggers