Professional training courses are vital in all sectors of business if, as a professional, you want to develop your skills and stay abreast of the latest tools and techniques. It is easy to fall behind in the latest methods in your particular field very quickly, particularly if you work in a fast-moving business.
But it has always been difficult to find a window in which to take up to a week out of your schedule to devote to a formal training course. It is even harder to persuade your boss that you should take that week away from the office.
Yet training can help you meet not only your personal objectives but also your business objectives. And whilst it might be easier to attend short one day sessions, if your aim is to gain a nationally recognised qualification this will certainly take substantially longer.
And what I, personally, have found on such courses is that I return to work with more enthusiasm and motivation, which ultimately has to be good for my employer.
So when I recently came across the idea of e-learning, I decided this could well be the solution for all us time-poor workers out there keen to gain additional qualifications. Not least because in the tough economic climate in which we are all living, recent training qualifications and up-to-date marketable skills will give you an advantage if you find yourself looking for a new job.
So what exactly is e-learning and how does it work? Well, fairly obviously, it is just a form of distance learning (which has been around for many, many years through organisations such as the Open University) for the digital age. E-learning is a course of study conducted almost entirely at your computer. The benefits of using online features are varied and many:
- No waiting for a tutor to mark your work – answers are be supplied straight
- You can be flexible about when and where you study
- Learn at your own pace
- No travel and hotel costs to attend a training centre
Online learning courses use the latest technology and interactive components such as animations and quizzes to supplement the on-line learning experience. However, traditional written materials such as manuals and books are still necessary to complement the student’s learning.
Course instructors also understand that it is important not to miss out on the discussions that happen in a traditional classroom setting so there are also online forums and groups where you can communicate with other students taking the same course. There will also be email support from a tutor for those more challenging questions.
E-learning may not be a better solution than instructor-led classroom learning but it is a great alternative for those who simply will never get to the classroom.
As a project manager, I’ve been taking a look at e-learning Project Management Courses but online courses are now available for almost every subject.