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Online courses in Australia

From upskilling, to starting a new line of work, get qualified now with an online course.

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There's never been a better time to brush up on industry skills or delve into a field that's piqued your interest.

With a plethora of options at your fingertips, find out what there is to know about what types of courses are on offer, eligibility for financial assistance and career prospects.

What types of online courses are available?

Curious where an online course can take you? Browse through a range of different courses to suit every learner.

Woman doing online course

TAFE Online

  • Best for: Career.
  • Duration: 12-24 months.
  • Will I get accreditation? Yes. Obtain full accreditation in a number of vocational courses with industry-specific teachers and online support. Become certificate or diploma qualified in a number of fields, including Commerce, Early Childcare, Administration, IT Project Management, Photography, Aged Care and First Aid.

Online study

University courses

  • Best for: Career.
  • Duration: Upwards of 3 years.
  • Will I get accreditation? Yes. Get a degree without being physically on campus. A multitude of Australian universities offer online courses that follow the standard semester calendar. Consider looking into Open Universities, Swinburne, CQUniversity and Griffith University for a grasp on what your options are.

Man pouring beer

Short courses

  • Best for: Upskilling.
  • Duration: A few days.
  • Will I get accreditation? This is dependent on the course. These courses are usually offered as introduction classes or brush ups on topics such as languages or the responsible service of alcohol/gambling. RSA and RCG courses do result in accreditation.

Man Vlogging Through Video Camera

Free courses

  • Best for: Upskilling.
  • Duration: Hours to a day.
  • Will I get accreditation? No. Free courses are better considered as tools to improve on a specific skill. Make the most from independent bloggers offering a guide in their area of expertise, to university institutions like Deakin University providing skill-set courses in leadership or design.

Closeup of brush

Workshops

  • Best for: Upskilling.
  • Duration: A few days.
  • Will I get accreditation? No. This is best if something has caught your eye and you're not sure if it's for you. There's no need to fully commit to a course with a variety of workshops available, some of which include writing, art and photography.

interior designer working on a home renovation sketch while holding a tablet

Certificates

  • Best for: Expression of interest and career.
  • Duration: 12-24 months.
  • Will I get accreditation? Yes. Online courses that result in certificate-accreditation come in levels of up to four. Level one offers individuals a fundamental knowledge of the topic while level four focuses on specialised learning.

Man writing down notes

Diplomas

  • Best for: Career
  • Duration: 12-24 months
  • Will I get accreditation? Yes. These courses sit a level above certificates and provide an in-depth knowledge of your chosen subject. You'll receive an online diploma when you complete the course.

What topics of study are available?

Do I get a certificate with online courses?

This depends on the course you're taking. Courses such as the Responsible Service of Alcohol (RSA), Responsible Conduct of Gambling (RCG) and First Aid all involve a certificate of completion.

Degree, diploma and certificate courses also provide a testament that you've passed and finished.

Can I take a nationally recognised or accredited course online?

Yes. Institutions have adapted their learning structures to suit anyone and everyone. This includes those who want to complete an accredited course from the comfort of their home.

Some institutions that offer nationally recognised or accredited courses online are Open Universities, Swinburne, Griffith University, CQUniversity and TAFE.

If I sign up for an online course can I get government funding or financial assistance?

This depends on the type of course you're undertaking. TAFE students can apply for VET help upon enrollment.

If your online course involves a full-time study load, you'll have access to Centrelink's Youth Allowance, Austudy or ABSTUDY Living Allowance.

Each state and territory has its own form of financial assistance for certificate, diploma and traineeship courses. Find the state-specific funding options below, eligibility criteria applies.

  • NSW: Smart and Skilled.
  • ACT: Skilled Capital and User Choice.
  • VIC: Skills First.
  • TAS: Skills Tasmania.
  • SA: Work Ready.
  • WA: Jobs and Skills.
  • NT: User Choice
  • QLD: Certificate 3 Guarantee, Higher Level Skills, Fee Free Training for Year 12 Graduates, User Choice, Free Training for Apprenticeships.

Courses such as RSA, RCG, First Aid and workshops are ineligible for government assistance.

What are the career options with online courses?

These are the type of career options you can expect from each course. Keep in mind though that the exact job you'll qualify for with these courses depends on the level of certificate, diploma or degree you obtain.

CourseCareer options
Accounting and Finance
  • Tax agent
  • Account managers
  • Business analysts
  • Financial services sector
  • Accounts clerk
Advertising
  • Copywriter
  • Advertising or Account Manager
  • Account Planner
  • Creative Director
  • Marketing assistant
Aged Care
  • Aged care worker
  • Nursing assistant
  • Home care assistant
  • Residential care worker
  • Food services worker
Agriculture
  • Farm or station hand
  • Farm or station worker
  • Livestock transport driver
Alternative Medicine
  • Naturopathic doctor
  • Herbalist
  • Phytotherapist
Animal Care
  • Pet shop/aquarium assistant
  • Kennel or cattery attendant
  • Assistant dog trainer
  • Pet exerciser
  • Assistant grooming attendant
  • Animal care receptionist
  • Assistant animal welfare officer
  • Animal control and regulation assistant
  • Animal health officer on indigenous communities
Architecture
  • Architect
  • Government planner
  • Landscape architect
  • Environmental authority
  • Building surveyor
  • Private planning consultant
  • Regional development authority
Arts and Humanities
  • Journalist
  • Media consultant
  • Researcher
  • Correspondent
  • Community services
  • Counselling
  • Human resources
Barista
  • Barista
Beauty Therapy
  • Makeup artist
  • Hair stylist
  • Nail technician
  • Sales representative
  • Salon management
Building and Construction
  • Builder
  • Estimator
  • Building manager
  • Project manager
  • Site manager
  • Foreperson
Business and Management
  • Executive assistant
  • Business development manager
  • Legal secretary
  • Team leader
  • Sales representative
  • Financial advisor
  • Operations manager
  • Banker
Community Service
  • Case worker
  • Health education officer
  • Outreach officer
  • Family support
  • Counselling
Criminology
  • Juvenile or adult corrections officer
  • Probation officer
  • Forensic analyst
  • Crime scene analyst
  • Law enforcement officer
  • Private security
  • Policy analyst or developer
  • Project manager
  • Social research designer
Dental Assistant
  • Dental assistant
Digital Media
  • Animator
  • Photographer
  • Web producer
  • Multimedia artist
  • Web analyst
  • Social media manager
  • Copywriting
Entertainment
  • Producer
  • Journalist
  • Songwriter
  • Production assistant
  • Backstage operations
  • Recording engineer
  • Music producer
Event Management
  • Event manager
  • Head of events
  • Marketing coordinator
  • Customer lead
  • Designer
  • On-site lead
  • Event operations technologist
Fashion Design
  • Fashion designer
  • Stylist
  • Fashion writing
  • Merchandising
  • Account coordinating
First Aid
  • First aid training is required for childcare workers, firefighters, lifeguards, social workers, flight attendants, electricians, construction workers, security, school staff and prison staff.
Fitness
  • Gym attendant
  • Yoga instructors
  • Personal trainer
  • Instructors
Floristry
  • Florist
Government
  • Politician
  • Policy developer
  • Strategy officer
  • Strategic planner
  • Section manager
Graphic Design
  • Graphic designer
  • Information designer
  • Product designer
  • Package designer
  • Content strategist
Health and Safety
  • Health and safety officer
  • Health and safety manager
  • Human resources practitioner
  • Occupational medical practitioner
Human Resources
  • Human resource manager in a multitude of industries including media, sports, arts, finance, law, retirement, and technology.
Horticulture
  • Horticulture manager
International Studies
  • Secondary school teachers
  • Professors
  • International sales
  • Marketers
  • Management analysts
Interior Design
  • Interior designer
  • Interior stylist
  • Colour consultant
  • Real estate staging consultant
  • Set designer
  • Exhibition designer
Journalism
  • Journalist
  • Writer
  • Publisher
  • Court reporter
  • Media buyer
  • Communications technologist
Librarian Studies
  • Librarian
  • Competitive intelligence analyst
  • Information officer
  • Knowledge management specialist
  • Archives and special collections librarian
Marriage Celebrant
  • Marriage celebrant
  • Funeral celebrant
  • Family celebrant
  • Civil celebrant
Massage
  • Sports therapist
  • Massage therapist
Media Studies
  • Broadcast journalist
  • Editorial assistant
  • Magazine journalist
  • Marketing executive
  • Film director
  • Advertising account executive
Medical Reception
  • Medical receptionist
Naturopathy
  • Naturopath
Nursing
  • Nurse
  • Residential nurse
  • Educator
Nutrition
  • Dietician
  • Personal trainer
  • Health coach
  • Nutritionist
Pharmacy
  • Pharmacologist
  • Clinical research associate
  • Sales representative
  • Researcher
  • Medical science liaison
Photography
  • Photographer
  • Studio manager
  • Photo studio assistant
  • Photojournalist
  • Digital retoucher
Phlebotomy
  • Phlebotomy technician to medical teams
Programming and Web Development
  • Web developer
  • Application developer
  • Analyst
  • Database administrator
Public Relations
  • Marketing manager
  • Public relations manager
  • Social media manager
  • Product manager
  • Digital marketing manager
  • Content marketing manager
Real Estate
  • Residential or commercial sales
  • Auctioneering
  • Property management
  • Buyer or vendor
  • Business broking
  • Home inspector
  • Real estate marketing specialist
  • Real estate consultant
Responsible Conduct of Gambling (RCG)
  • A RCG is needed for those working in casinos, or premises that contain gambling machines or activities.
Responsible Service of Alcohol (RSA)
  • A RSA is required for anyone who is distributing alcohol to the public. This is generally obtained by those working in hospitality.
Security
  • Security guard
  • Bodyguard
  • Crowd controller
  • Gatekeeper
  • Loss prevention officer
  • Concierge
White Card
  • A white card is required for anyone looking to do work in construction. It applies to anyone to site managers, supervisors, surveyors, tradespeople and labourers.

Where can I find free online courses?

Upskill today without breaking the bank with a free online course from:

  • Coursera
  • Deakin University
  • FutureLearn
  • Charles Darwin University Australia
  • Codecademy

How much time do online courses require?

We'd narrow this down to what you're looking for from your online course.

Most online courses are based on schedule flexibility, so they are calculated in hours rather than a month or year time frame. Courses can run anywhere between 10 and 360 hours for accreditation or completion.

If you're testing the waters with something that might be of interest, you can usually complete a course in a few months. In cases such as RSA and RCG accreditation, you can be certified in a matter of hours.

On the other hand, courses such as childcare, veterinary assistance, personal training and aged care tend to include multiple modules that span over a longer period of time.

If you're looking to start fresh, it might be worth investing in a full package course.

What equipment and software will I need?

Although specific requirements vary between courses, there are a few items that you'll need for all online courses. These are:

  • Laptop or computer
  • Internet connection
  • Recent version of Windows or MAC OSX
  • Adobe Reader and Windows Media Player to access image and video content
  • Potentially: Zoom or Skype. You may be required to partake in video chats. In such case, you'll want to have the relevant sortware and programs.

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