Online Short Courses: Where Do They Lead and Are They Worth It?

There’s no replacement for a university degree – there’s simply no short cut for the thousands of hours of hard study inherent in a bachelor’s degree or post graduate qualification. And there is no parallel to the respect earned by that little piece of paper adorned with the coat of arms of a majestic university. But, sometimes there just isn’t time to add to your list of qualifications.

Short courses have their place                                                                                                                          

Short courses won’t take you from zero to the hero seat at the boardroom of General Motors. However, if you are already sitting with a quiver of degrees and feel you need one more to round off your skills, a short course could be just what you’re looking for.

The scenario   

Let us say you have completed your MBA or master’s degree in finance and are looking for a position in a large firm that imports textiles from China. You’re sitting facing your potential boss and he reads out your qualifications and work experience. As he reads he nods his head in approval. You think you’ve got the job bagged. Then he drops the bomb: ‘Can you speak Chinese?’

This is where a short course comes in – it can pepper your existing qualifications with small sub-fields of specific information that might be needed for a specialised job. If a potential  employer sees that, following a long and arduous career as a student, you have opted to study further via short courses online – even while you have been working a nine-to-five, then chances are good they’ll be impressed by your show of ambition. You application will reek of it!

Technology advances ever forward

There are two constants in life: death and change! We are making advances in technology, continuously formulating new ways of conducting business and producing new computer software. The times are always changing, and the best way to keep abreast of new developments is to attend short courses that can train you in the use of these new technologies, techniques and practices. Become a pioneer – don’t be left behind with the tweed jacket-clad dinosaurs.

Learn a new hobby today

Some say if you’re not acquiring knowledge or creating something then you’re not moving forward in life.  Everyone should have a creative outlet. It’s part and parcel of a successful career and a healthy well-balanced lifestyle. It reduces stress and, to add another cliché, all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy!

I hear you saying: ‘Where will I find the time to study further, what with the wife and kids, my career and the garage door that needs fixing.’ Studying online is the answer. The courses are often not very demanding and only require a little of your time each day. Start learning and growing today!

This post was written by Jason Ruger, a Cape Town-based freelance writer. Jason writes on a number of topics, including the benefits of studying short courses online in Australia.


  1. Edna Reyes says:

    Education is such a virtue and no matter how short the course is as long it would generate new brand of experience and knowledge it will be always useful. Learning something that is unknown is always seen as a plus factor and will always bring another new experience. The article is very useful in giving positive insights about learning and education.

  2. Emee Kabingue says:

    This is convenient for most undergraduate and graduate students who can study when they want and they can finish writing or researching assignments based on their own personal schedules. Online courses offer flexibility and convenience that are often vital to students who work and have families.

  3. What about the 6-month or so courses that are offered online? I see a lot of offers like completing your MBA or getting a degree online (which most, i think, are probably scams). Just wondering if they are legal(or recognized?) because it could be a big help for people who are working.

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