The alternative route to earning your qualifications

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Author: Lou Silva

The alternative route to earning your qualifications

Many people take a binary view of education – you either head to university or you don’t. But as any educational aficionado knows, there are a huge number of routes you can take to achieve academic perfection.

From online tutorship to entirely free courses, the age of the internet has blown our access to knowledge wide open and created a more egalitarian landscape for any budding scholar.

To prove our point, let’s take a look at some of the alternative routes you can travel on your studies. Some will save you money, help your work/life balance or even provide you with a better quality education.

Distance learning

Distance learning used to be a fusty old thing, the equivalent of a dusty library book stuck on a high shelf.

But as soon as internet connections became quick enough to supply masses of data, so too have online distance learning courses become lean, mean studying machines.

Long-standing institutions like Anglia Distance Learning have created bona fide degree qualifications that can be studied almost entirely online. These work-based learning experiences are designed to be vocational and entirely useful for the modern working environment, and are the ideal pill to swallow if you’re looking for a raise or promotion.

You’ll be able to study via a dedicated online learning environment and cram for your course at any time during your day. Imagine polishing off a module during your daily commute or graduating on your lunch break. It’s the ideal way to enjoy a work-life balance.

MOOCs

While the popularity of MOOCs has dwindled over the past few years, they still remain an ideal way to sample a new route of study. Standing for Massive Open Online Courses, MOOCs are free module samplers provided by universities. They’ll generally last between six to 12 weeks and will give you adequate time to learn a little about a vast subject.

So far so good. The downside? You won’t receive any real qualification from your time studying. So while this is a great sampler, don’t expect it to replace paid-for courses anytime soon.

Apps

If you’ve got a spare 20 minutes in your day (and who doesn’t?), why not make use of it with a learning app?

There are apps for almost any scholar, and they can provide you with any knowledge you need. Duolingo, for instance, acts as a great language learning assistant and has many subsidiary apps to give you a comprehensive learning experience.

But that’s only the tip of the iceberg. Fancy coding? Download the Code Academy app? Lynda.com has thousands of video courses on everything from graphic design to Google Analytics.

So get downloading and get involved!

Those are our tips to help you learn. Got any more of your own? Then let us know in the comments below!

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