The most common pathway to upskill, change industries, or scale the career ladder is to complete a diploma as part of further study. Packed with real-world skills and taught by professionals who guide and support you, a diploma qualification is a natural choice for many seeking a career or role change. If you think you have the determination and ambition to take on a management role, then a perfect place to hone those skills and develop your confidence is with online study.
Nowadays, completing an online professional qualification doesn’t require you to attend in-person classes or stick to a strict time frame. While this makes learning accessible and inclusive, undertaking a diploma still requires a level of dedication, commitment, and personal responsibility to complete successfully.
Balancing a diploma workload
The workload of each diploma qualification does vary, but regardless of the specific requirements of your course, it will still require more work per week than you will be accustomed to focusing on learning.
The flexible online nature of the diploma courses delivered by the College for Adult Learning gives you the freedom to choose when you study. This makes it ideal for those juggling full-time work or family life around the course.
Completing a diploma isn’t always easy but view it as an opportunity to work on your discipline and time management skills. You’ll learn how to tackle the challenge head on and come out the other side a mentally resilient and more technically skilled candidate in the workforce.
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The top five skills required to succeed in online learning
Most people are surprised to find that they are quite suited to studying an online diploma. It’s still a good idea to have a solid foundation of basics to help you along.
Ideally, you’ll possess:
- Organisation skills – get out your highlighters and a diary, you’ll need them.
- Time management skills – juggling study with work and family commitments can be tricky. Pre-planning your week and blocking time will become essential to your success.
- Perseverance – the ability to keep at it and do good work, even when you’ve got three assignments due in the same week.
- Grit and a growth mindset – the belief that your skills are not set in stone and that you can keep improving, learning, and growing.
- Ability to prioritise – there may be weeks where you have more coursework or assignments to complete. Knowing when to cut back on outside activities and dedicate that time to study instead is an excellent skill which will serve you well during your course.
- Basic computer and internet skills – nothing too technical is required, but it’s good to have a base understanding of how to use a computer.
Skills such as organisation, time management, and perseverance will fall into place along the way as you commit to your study, providing you with essential skills to use in your future career.
How self-paced learning supports you
One of the biggest benefits of completing an online diploma is that your learning is more self-paced than it would be at a traditional training provider. You have the autonomy to select the time and pace of learning that fits into your lifestyle the best.
Self-paced learning is excellent if you are working part-time and want to complete your course as fast as possible to open doors to new career opportunities. You can complete the course faster by studying full time or gaining recognition of prior learning (RPL). RPL lets you gain credit for units if you already have the relevant skills or experience.
Are you working full time and looking after your family, but also want to upskill to be considered for leadership opportunities in your industry? You can take the course slower, completing it on a part-time basis instead. You’ll still be eligible for RPL for any prior experience you may have.
While self-paced learning is a positive to an online diploma, it can still present challenges as it requires a higher level of self-discipline and motivation. Look for a diploma provide who has the skills to support you throughout and student forums where you can go for peer encouragement.
Short Term Sacrifices – Long Term Gain
A lot of people mistakenly put off completing further study due to the time investment and perceived difficulty of finishing the courses. While it’s true that a diploma qualification requires dedication and hard work, putting in the hours now will help you reap the benefits in the future.
For example, a few months of studying on the weekends can eventually lead to a higher paying role for the rest of your career, not to mention your increased superannuation balance, too. Not only will you open yourself to higher-paying positions after graduation, completing a diploma will allow you to earn around $450,000 more (on average) than non-diploma holders over the lifetime of your career, making a diploma qualification an excellent return on investment.
If you’re thinking of completing a diploma qualification, remember that it won’t always be easy, but it will always be worth it. Gaining new skills and experience during the course will set you up for success in your career and provide you with outstanding personal skills that will help you throughout your life.
CAL has diploma qualifications for a variety of industries and offers self-paced online courses with flexible payment options and one on one support from your tutors. CAL aims to make completing the course as easy as it can be, and more enjoyable than you expect.