Thinking of upskilling or making a career change? Here's how to find the right evening course for you.
When you want to upskill or learn more about what you do then the best course of action is usually investing in yourself by finding an evening course that could offer you new or better opportunities.
Any investment in your career or simply following a hobby is a good thing but no one wants to make mistakes so here are some tips on deciding the right evening course for you.
How to choose the right evening course for you.
Consider your strengths.
There may be several reasons why you are planning to do an evening course but before you plan, ensure you play to your strengths. If numbers are your thing, you may enjoy an accounting course or payroll whereas someone who likes reading or writing may prefer something to do with content creation or creative writing.
Your strengths can guide you and if you genuinely don’t know what your strengths are, choose something you enjoy doing which will make learning easier. Don’t forget to do the course for the right reasons and then you’ll be one step ahead.
Think about the course times and duration.
Choosing the right course is one thing but you also need to consider the time/day that the course is on and how long it will go on for. It must fit into your current lifestyle - while you can make arrangements for your children’s care or ask your partner to make sure they are home from work in time, it still needs to be manageable.
Getting out the door shouldn’t be a huge headache, or you’ll find learning hard. However, if the course you love is a bit further away - having awkward arrangements may be worth the sacrifices to get what you want in the end. Consider it carefully and go for what feels right for you.
Look at the programme.
There is usually a course outline online and if there isn’t one available, ask for it. Instead of making a quick decision, take time to digest the course outline while asking yourself some questions including, is this something I would like? Am I able to commit to the course? What can it offer me at the end? Will I gain more opportunities because of the course?
You may want to do cake making or photography as a hobby which may turn into something more - knowing where the course can go is important, as well as making sure you can leave room to build on it. Making a yearly plan usually helps with this and ticking off the things you do as you go really helps.
Check out where the course is being held and do some research.
Take a trip to where the course is being held and see what you think. Is the commute manageable? Is there parking available at the door for when you are leaving late in the evening? Is it a safe area?
Finally, check out how the courses are received and ask people if they have attended courses in the place you hope to do your evening study. Find out about who is running the course (if possible) and check their experiences and credentials to see if they match your expectations.