Let’s face it: us humans are curious creatures by nature. We also like to always better ourselves. That’s why most of us actually enjoy learning new stuff which interests us.

Also, for many of us, learning a new skill can open the way to new opportunities such as employment, starting a business or volunteering in something we are passionate about.

However, there are usually several things which make learning a hassle and sometimes even a pain:

  • You gotta do exams;
  • You gotta commute to and from school;
  • It’s expensive; and
  • The class schedule simply doesn’t fit within our current lifestyle (people working full time, busy parents etc.)

One possible solution for that could be learning from home.

Learning from home is often cheaper and the classes are available on demand so you can tailor your study schedule to fit your lifestyle. You also don’t need to go anywhere and waste precious time commuting.

Let’s face it, not many of us would be keen to go on another commute in addition to their daily commute to work and back (if you are lucky enough to be working from home feel free to ignore that last comment… 🙂 )

Another ‘fringe benefit’ is that you don’t need to dress up, and if you’re a lady, put any makeup on. Your ‘class mates’ can’t see you so you can even study in your undies or jammies if you are that way inclined… 😉

Like pretty much everything else in our lives, the Internet has revolutionised the way we learn and has made learning from home a very feasible and totally ‘mainstream’ option.

Many universities offer their students the option to do their studies online via the Internet although most of them would still require you to go somewhere (their campus or another designated location) to sit the exam.

In addition to that, a plethora of providers has emerged which offers courses that have been designed from the get-go to be taken online without ever needing to attend a class in person.

These providers usually teach courses which lead to vocational certificates but there are also those, like Kaplan Online or Open Universities Australia for example, who allow you to get a university degree from the comfort of your own home.

These ones however, like the ‘normal’ Unis, will usually require that you sit an exam at a designated location once every term. Everything else can be done from home, work or anywhere else in the world you might be.

If you want to gain an officially recognised vocation, you need to be very careful which online provider you choose as not all of them are accredited by the Australian government and if they are not, the piece of paper you get from them at the end is completely useless.

You need to make sure that your provider is what’s called an RTO (Registered Training Organisation) and has a provider number given to it by the government.

Some of the online providers which are RTOs even allow you to access government funding and loan schemes like FEE-HELP in exactly the same way as your local TAFE which means you can study now and pay later on an interest-free loan from the government.

If you are a busy person who would like to further their skills in their current occupation or is contemplating a career change, something each generation seems more and more keen to do, than learning from home is definitely an option you should consider, provided you are disciplined and self-motivated.

After doing a bit of research into the online vocation industry in Australia, it does seem like there are a lot of  ‘shonkies’ and fly by night operators (we like to refer to them as ‘pilots’ due to their affinity to ‘flying’ 🙂 ) so you need to be careful and do your research.

Your best bet is to ask each provider you are considering for their RTO registration number and check it in the national RTO register. If they refuse to give you their RTO number or nothing comes up in the search, run a mile!

We have two providers that we suggest you consider. They are both RTOs, allow eligible students to access FEE-HELP and offer prospective students access to a vast array of vocational courses.

Also, they are both an online-only operation which means their courses and content is specifically designed for online learning from home.

The first provider is the Australian Vocational Learning Institute or AVLI for short. 

They offer a range of Cert III, Cert IV and Diploma courses in business, project management, HR and related subjects. Obviously they are an accredited RTO and you can verify that here.

Another provider we suggest you check is Online Courses Australia. Like AVLI, they are also an accredited RTO, offer access to FEE-HELP and all their courses are designed for online learning.

Online Courses Australia offer over 80 nationally accredited courses (as well as over 150 short courses) which makes them the provider with the most comprehensive range that we could find.

Finally, if you don’t need the piece of paper and simply want to learn a new skill for whatever reason then you are truly spoilt for choice!

Due to the MOOC revolution, you can now get access to vocational and university courses from some of the world’s leading and most prestigious institutions from the comfort of your own home through the Internet.

Have you ever wanted to take a course at MIT but found their fees to be ‘slightly’ too high? 😉 Well, now you can! Better yet, in many cases it won’t even cost you a cent.

We covered the MOOC revolution extensively in one of our previous posts.

You will notice that one of the providers we talk about in that post is Udemy.

Udemy is the biggest provider of short video-based online courses on Earth! As such, they have courses about literally anything you can imagine (and even a lot of things you can’t imagine to be honest). They offer more than 12,000 courses (taught in 10 different languages) and have more than 2 million students across 190 countries. This is really as big as it gets!

All the courses on Udemy are on-demand which means they have no set start or finish dates. You can start any course at any time and you have access to the course content forever. It is never removed from your account (which is completely free to open by the way).

Unlike other MOOC platforms, some courses on Udemy are free while others do cost money.

With regards to the paid courses, Udemy operates on a very similar business model as Amazon’s Kindle platform whereby the course creators get the bulk of the money while Udemy keeps a small cut for themselves as a fee to course publishers for using their platform to sell paid courses. Course creators who offer their courses for free through Udemy don’t pay anything.

Until 14/05/2014, you can score a massive 65% off discount on almost any paid course on Udemy (no discounts available on the free courses I’m afraid 😉 ) by quoting promotion code MAKEITHAPPEN at the checkout.

This discount is in addition to whatever a particular course creator has already chosen to offer which means you get a better deal and their income is not affected. A true win-win proposition! Udemy simply provides the discount as their own marketing initiative and out of their own resources.

You can start checking the thousands and thousands of courses available by clicking on this link.Generic Banner

Happy learning!

Photo by Wesley Fryer

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