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How to choose the right education provider

Date Added: 01/07/2021

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How to choose the right education provider?

Choosing the correct education provider is possibly one of the hardest decisions that you’ve ever had to make. In theory, it should be fairly straightforward; you decide what subject you like, choose the appropriate course that you’d like to study, and find an education provider in your chosen location. In reality, it’s slightly more complex.

The internet is an impeccable tool for education-related research. With a plethora of articles, reviews, ‘do’s and don’ts’ and course listings, it has everything that you could possibly need to get you started on your journey. Whether you wish to stay close to home or travel further afield, there will be an abundance of information for you to scroll through at your leisure. On the flip side, it can be something of a minefield. There is so much on offer that it can all become a little bit overwhelming; conflicting views based on personal experience, a mesmerising overload of choice.

Let’s start at the beginning, and consider where you are within the process. First of all, let it be known that there will always be an individual that has decided on their chosen study months previously. They probably have it all mapped out; which education provider they’re using, their career path, the next ten years of their life. For the rest of us, it usually requires a little more mental application and a great deal of procrastination.

Regardless of the stage that you find yourself in, it is important that you consider more than simply you're ‘desired’ course. It may be that you adore science, for example. Perhaps you thrived in the topic when you were at school, rose the class ranks in higher education, joined the after-school science club. Choosing a career path, however, comes with a few more complications. Science-based companies often prioritise candidates with hands-on experience, those that have spent quality time in a laboratory, researching and innovating. In many cases, qualification isn’t enough, so it is important that you consider a route that will offer the appropriate skills and accreditation to pursue a career within this field. That isn’t to say that you can’t pursue science, but you may need to acquire a few additional skills along the way.

Unfortunately, education and employment are largely disconnected, and an increased number of graduates are struggling to secure suitable positions. Some companies opt for candidates with specific skills, others tend to recruit in-house which can often mean starting at the bottom, despite your qualifications. With several years of hard study and thousands of pounds invested into your education, this hardly seems fair, right? In practice, years of study doesn’t equate to acquired practical skills, which is where study programs disconnect from market requirements.

However, it isn’t all doom-and-gloom. On the contrary, this should be one of the most exciting and exhilarating decisions of your life. You are choosing to progress, to improve your current skillset and knowledge, and along the way, you’ll meet a variety of new and interesting people that will simply colour your experience.

In order to get you started, we have listed a few suggestions for you to consider when researching education providers:

  1. Look at all of the modules available and consider whether they hold your interest and are relevant to your career aspirations. Looking at a course ‘overall’ isn’t sufficient in identifying your long-term needs.
  2. If you are completely stuck, think about subjects that you enjoy and are good at. This is often a useful way to correlate your interests and skills with a particular career path.
  3. Consider the assessment strategies utilised. Some people thrive in exams, while others are better suited to coursework. Be certain that you are confident and well suited to their offering. Naturally, you can’t always be too picky, as assessments are an integral aspect of learning. However, it isn’t advisable to choose a course that is wholly exam-based if you experience major anxiety during exams.
  4. If you have a career path in mind, research jobs on the internet and ascertain their eligibility requirements. By doing this, you can rest assured that your course will lead you in the right direction.
  5. Ensure that you look at the accreditations that are offered with the course. Not all courses of the same name carry the same accreditation, something that might be problematic when it comes to career requirements. For example, only certain Psychology courses carry accreditation to the British Psychological Society (BPS), necessary for higher education and a career in Psychology.
  6. Certain education providers offer combined courses. If you have an interest in more than one topic, this is a great way of broadening your knowledge.
  7. Contact institutions, students and job professionals to ask as many questions as necessary. Never feel that you’re imposing by researching to the best of your ability, your long-term goals will thank you for it.
  8. If you are considering studying abroad, research the education provider, accreditations, qualifications and modules in detail. International courses can greatly vary from those that you are familiar with, so ensure that you have all the information that you need. You will also need to factor in accommodation and associated costs for the duration of your course.
  9. More and more students are opting for online study. Courses can be undertaken both full and part-time to suit. If the online study is an attractive prospect, be sure that you speak to those that are pursuing or have completed courses of this nature. They are cost-effective, accessible to all and offer a wide selection of programs. They work wonderfully for many, but if you lack motivation or self-management, and dislike isolated work, they’re possibly not right for you.

The most important thing to remember is that your course should be a pathway towards your career of choice. By doing the research at this point in your journey, you will have no regrets further down the line.

In order to make the most informed decision, and to ensure that you have selected the right course for both personal and professional development, StudyLearnGrow has created a free, inter-connected education and employment marketplace. The platform provides detailed information on numerous courses and listings of various education providers, as well as a search link for specific career pathways and associated courses.

Designed to help students map their education, boost their career prospects and embrace job opportunities, we aim to make a difficult decision that little bit easier.


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