10 Nov Mistakes to Avoid When Buying an Online Course
While in the pursuit of professional development, you will find that your journey begins with a spark of inspiration and the careful preparation of an effective strategy. To help streamline this process, we’ll go over the key factors and steps that will enable you to make an informed decision and set yourself up for success.
Your professional goals are well within your grasp with this practical guide to navigating the process of selecting the best training provider for your career development. By the end of this article, you’ll have the knowledge and confidence to make them a reality.
Setting the Scene to Navigate the Training Provider Maze
Before we get into the steps for navigating the training industry, I’d like to tell you how I became so familiar with the dos and don’ts of this realm.
When embarking on your professional development journey, the next logical step is to head to Google, where the real adventure begins. The search results will almost certainly reveal a plethora of options, leaving you in a state of choice overload.
It’s almost uncanny how many of these providers seem to look, sound, and promise the same things. Pricing differences catch your eye—some are more affordable, while others lean towards the expensive end of the spectrum. This is where that age-old advice from your parents’ creeps into your mind: “You get what you pay for.” But as you notice some providers offering the same courses for a fraction of the price, the certainty of that saying starts to waver.
You decide to take the plunge and contact a provider. They answer, confirming the information you’ve already seen on their website. It’s a relief to have spoken to a real person, but the doubts still linger. So, you temporarily put the idea on hold, planning to revisit it later.
Does this scenario sound familiar? It certainly did for me. In fact, I followed a similar process only to make the wrong choice not once, but twice.
Succumbing to the Repercussions
The repercussions were significant, costing me both financially and in terms of hours spent. In 2012, I enrolled with a company called Bright Assessing to pursue two essential qualifications for my career as an educator, costing me £1200. However, mere months later, before I could complete either qualification, Bright Assessing was found guilty of gross malpractice, leading to the company’s liquidation and the loss of everything I had invested.
A couple of years later, I enrolled with a fitness training provider called Fitlearn. Once again, before I could complete my qualification, the owners faced charges of financial misconduct, and the company met the same fate. This ordeal left me feeling like I had fallen victim to what one newspaper aptly described as “just one big scam.”
Despite the immense stress, financial loss, and significant setbacks to my professional journey, I managed to refocus, persevere, and ultimately achieve the qualifications I had lost due to my prior choices. In fact, I owe a degree of gratitude to the owners of both Bright Assessing and FitLearn, as their experiences served as the catalyst for the birth of Future Step. Though my initial plan didn’t involve creating a training company, it certainly does now.
Today, as Future Step approaches its seventh anniversary, and with the unique perspective of being both a learner and a provider, I find myself well-positioned to offer you sound, impartial advice on what to do when searching for a suitable training provider.
Follow these 3 important steps and avoid the critical mistake that myself and others seeking a training provider have endured:
Step 1: Do Your Due Diligence
The first step involves conducting comprehensive research and due diligence when selecting a training provider. We’ll guide you on what to look for, including support, learning materials, and the importance of the awarding body. Understanding these key aspects will empower you to make an educated decision.
It is critical to look beyond the surface when researching potential training providers. You can begin by investigating their online presence. Is their website well-maintained? Look for feedback and testimonials from previous students. Inquire about their customer service. How approachable are the instructors and support personnel? As you begin your professional journey, having a reliable point of contact is critical.
Step 2: Payment with a Credit Card
For those who are self-funding their training, we’ll discuss the benefits of paying with a credit card. This additional layer of protection can provide peace of mind and security throughout your professional development journey.
Using a credit card to pay for your training adds an extra layer of security. This is largely because most credit card companies offer dispute resolution services and can help you recover your funds if you have problems with the training provider. Check the terms and conditions of your credit card to determine the level of protection it provides.
Step 3: Crafting a Solid Study Plan
Lastly, we’ll highlight the significance of creating a well-structured study plan. This last step will keep you on track and minimize the risk of disruptions along the way. Creating a study plan is not just a formality; it’s a vital part of your professional development journey. A well-structured plan will help you stay focused, set realistic goals, and allocate your time efficiently.
Start by setting clear objectives. What do you aim to achieve through your training? Define your short-term and long-term goals. Your plan should also include a timeline for completing your courses and obtaining your qualifications.
To maintain consistency in your studies, establish a routine. Allocate specific time slots for learning, and treat them with the same level of commitment as you would a professional appointment. Consistency is critical to your success in online training courses. Lastly, avoid long breaks between study sessions, as they can disrupt your learning and hinder your progress.
The Main Takeaway: Your Path to Success
Professional development is a significant investment in your future, and we’re here to ensure that your journey is guided by knowledge and confidence. By following the insights and advice we provided to you today, you’ll be well-prepared to navigate the training industry and achieve your professional goals.
So, where should you start your training and shape your future? Our best advice: Future Step. At Future Step, we’re not just a company; we’re a commitment to your success. Our seven years of experience, both as learners and providers, have equipped us with a deep understanding of your needs.
Visit our website here to explore our courses, dedicated support, and expert guidance. Your journey toward a brighter future awaits. Take the first step with Future Step.