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Land your dream job with an online course

Trying to find your ideal role? You could do it with an online course.

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Whatever your dream job is, there has never been a better time for you to get it. The internet has brought with it a major spread in the ease of gaining new skills and knowledge, and thousands of people every year now complete all levels of courses from the comfort of their own home.

Here is our step-by-step guide to landing your dream job.

1. Figure out what it is.

This is easier said than done, there are a lot of jobs out there. Though you may know what area you want to work in you may not yet know the specific job title that you would like, for example, you may know that you want to work in medicine, but you may not yet know whether you want to be a doctor, pharmacist or physiotherapist.

Do some research, look online, look at jobs titles and read job descriptions. Go on company websites and figure out who does what, watch YouTube videos interviewing people in your field, check out LinkedIn for ideas. Try to focus solely on your passion at this stage. You’re going to see a lot of jobs that pay a lot of money, and that is important, but what’s more important is finding the thing that you personally connect with.

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2. Entry requirements

Now that you’ve found your direction we can start heading towards it. The first step is getting qualified. You will have noticed when browsing the job descriptions that most jobs have specific requirements, particularly courses that applicants must have completed, particular skills or experiences. You’ll want to know three main things about qualifications.

  • What is the subject field or area of qualification?

This should be obvious, but isn’t always. Jobs in finance, for example, will require a qualification in finance, economics or maths. Make a list of as many areas that you can find and don’t worry about finding the area that suits you yet, that comes later. All you need to know at this stage is what employers are looking for.

  • What level of qualification is required?

If you aren’t familiar with the many levels of study available today, then be sure to check out our full guide.

Click here for the full guide to levels of study.

Basically you need to know what is the minimum education that your chosen job title asks for. For most jobs today, it is a Bachelor’s degree, though some roles will require more or less. Senior roles might require a Master’s degree (often written as MA, MBA or MSc), while entry level positions might require Diploma’s or Certificates.

  • Are there any secondary qualifications?

These would probably be related to specific skills or softwares that might be useful. For example, some jobs might ask for experience with Microsoft Office, Oracle, or specific programming languages. These are usually very specific short courses, that are very handy to have in your back pocket.

3. Find the course and get onboard.

So now you know your job and you know what it’s going to take to get. Next comes the hard part, getting qualified. If you think you want to go to a campus university and study full time, then good luck to you, you’ll find plenty of information online. If, however, you want to study on your own time, at your own pace, or if you’re studying whilst working a busy life then an online courses could suit you.

To help you find your course we’ve broken up a range of the best online courses available by subject type.

Click here for the full list of online course by subject type.

Choose your subject field, and you’ll find plenty of information about study requirements, course providers, entry and fee requirements. This should provide you with plenty of information in your field, but if you have any more questions we’ll be happy to try and answer them at the bottom of any page.

4. Work experience

You probably don’t need us to tell you, but the job market is competitive, and many candidates are finding that their education experience alone doesn’t cut it. The big benefit of studying online is that it will allow you to work or intern alongside your study, tagging valuable work and on site experience to your CV. This could really help you stand out of the pile when it comes to application time, plus if you got step one right, then you’ll be doing something that you love, so why not do a little more of it?

5. Get online

When recruiting for a position most employers today will post the job exclusively online, so you’ve got to know where to look. Naomi Hanley, an Associate Director for recruitment giants Hudson advised us on using social media to benefit your job search. “LinkedIn is an important part of your search, make sure you have the same information on LinkedIn as your resume as it is often referred back to. The latest method for Recruiters looking for candidate is through SEEK Search, it’s a great idea to make a profile if you are in the job market.”

Building up social profiles is a great way to sing your own praises and advertise yourself to job hunters, be sure that everything you put up on social media is something that you would want a potential employer to see though.

6. Stick to the plan

So, you’ve found what you want to do, you’ve found the course you need to do it, and you’ve bulked up your CV with work experience and other skills. Now you have to dig in and stay the course. Online study is hard, it requires determination and perseverance, but in the end it can be incredibly rewarding. Always keep your eyes forward, you’re working towards your dream job, let that motivate you and inspire you in the hard times. And good luck!

Now, you’re going to need a few extra things to get the most out of your studies and to succeed in your job hunt, as always we’ve got you covered.

Check out the links below to get kitted up and prepared for study and work.

1. You’re going to need a computer. Check out our deals and discounts:

2. And when you buy one, you're going to need to get connected:

3. To swot up on your subject, why not grab a few books:

4. Or if you want, an eReader:

5. Get some new threads for when the big interviews come around:

And remember, if you have any questions about any of the courses we’ve reviewed, any of the deals we’ve mentioned, or just about anything else, let us know in the ask a question box below.

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