Short courses are specialized classes that aim to teach specific knowledge and competencies in a short amount of time.
Unlike college or post-graduate studies which cover fields and industries more holistically, short courses specifically discuss specific skill sets. This means that you don’t get a diploma for a degree as you’re only studying a specific branch, area, or skill. Depending on the course you’re taking, you might be able to get a certification of expertise.
Some of the most popular classes today are short business courses online, but that doesn’t mean these specialized studies are limited to professionals. In fact, there are a variety of courses that teach basic skills in cooking and even financial literacy! While short courses are extremely valuable for professionals, there are many classes that are good for non-professionals.
How Short is a Short Course?
The length of short courses can vary, ranging from just a few hours to several months. It really depends on the class and the industry you’re learning from. Of course, the classes for a short course rarely last for a year–if it does, then it won’t be a short course anymore.
One of the many benefits of studying short courses is that you get to learn the skills you want and need in a short period of time. You don’t have to wait for four years or more before you study a topic of interest. If you’re interested in learning about a topic that you don’t usually discuss in your industry or if you simply want to learn something outside of your industry, then short courses are your best bet.
Why should I take a short course?
Now that you’ve been introduced to the possibilities of enriching your knowledge with short courses, let’s take a closer look to what they have to offer and why you should enrol in such a programme:
You are interested in a field of study, other than the one you learn of at university. The high advantage of short courses is that they can be from technically any field, regardless of what you study right now. You can consider your chosen short course as an aid to specialize further or see your study from a different perspective or you can take an intensive look to a different field you see as a hobby and you are fond of. Either way, short courses involve freedom!
You may be short on time and money. This means you may be just fit for short courses. They are highly practical, so you can specialize in your field of interest, without a significant investment. Learning the new field will last less and require less money than a Bachelor’s or Master’s university programme.
You work in an interdisciplinary field. You may have studied a certain field, but now the company you work in is specialized in a field where many disciplines are interrelated. This is highly possible nowadays. Let’s take, for example, an engineering company with its marketing department. Once you take a short course in marketing, you will feel more competent in your department.
You want a new element in your CV. The short course is an extra academic activity which will find its place in your CV and will enrich your experience. This is very useful especially if you are looking for a job or better opportunities.
You can enjoy your free time. Although generally courses may not sound like activities for your free time, they usually include tours, outdoor workshops especially for summer courses and others. However, this is a productive way of spending a part of your vacation in the city where you study abroad.