Short term courses shape you career more finely along with the full time degree courses. Now when everything has got on digital platforms how learning online can stay back? Experts and professionals have curated courses which you can access anywhere and anytime. You also get the option to select live online classes and pre- recorded videos. Both of them have their own advantages. With the growing competition coaches have started offering free courses too. Most of the times free course are short and limited while paid ones are detailed and intensive ones. You can decide which one suits you better. However this is not it, there are more aspects you need to consider before you settle down with paid or free course.
In this blog we will go through those aspects, deciding factors which will solve the big question FREE COURSE OR PAID COURSE?
Is it affordable to you? Is it worth the amount in exchange of the material and content they are offering? This is the biggest aspect that will help you decide if the Paid course is the one for you.
I know this aspect won’t matter for the free course but still question yourself once ‘If the same course was put up for a paid offer would you still go for it?’ If your answer to it is ‘Yes’, then only invest your time. Don’t do it just because it is free, check if it worth your time and will you receive quality knowledge.
- Quality of the content
Web is an open place, people can put up lot of content online and they do so. You can’t really recognize the authenticity of the material that accurately. So, check the quality by checking what topics they are covering, compare few courses, and are the offered material in depth or just a generalized document. Go through the reviews; if possible ask a person who have already done that course or any similar ones.
- Check if you get testimonials and ratings
- Check the preview video
- Search how many people have bought it
- How many hours of course they are providing ( is it intensive or extensive course)
- Check if it offered by any authorized site like Udemy, Skillshare, etc.
- Check the content list
- See if the content is meeting your needs
- There are many University websites that offer free courses so check if it offered by any authorized site
- Checkout the teacher
Paid course / free course
Yes you read it right! Check the teacher/Coach/ Professional who is offering the course. Go through their professional profiles like LinkedIn and website. Know what their achievements are and why are they eligible to teach what they are offering in the course. Do they have the certification? Also, see if you can know what their previous students want to say about them. Right mentorship adds value to the course; it can also clear your vague career goals. Doubt solving is key advantage of having a right teacher. Most paid courses offer a doubt solving session or offer a space like messaging group, where you can get your doubts solved and network with people in same domain.
4.Does the knowledge offered is according to your experience?
For students this doesn’t matter that much but if you are a beginner or an intermediate. It also comes down to the question what is your objective for doing the course. That is, are you doing it for learning the topic from zero? Or do you want to advance in the topic? Once you get clear with it you can decide it quickly. Beginners can always start with a free course (if it matches the given parameters in this blog) to get an idea of the topic before they invest in a paid intensive course.
5.Do they have assignments?
You need to apply the teachings practically. So, before you experiment in real life scenarios you can practice with the assignments. Paid courses usually have worksheets, weekly assignments and projects to test your learnings. The mentors help you improve and solve them during the doubt sessions. These assignments give a boost to your confidence regarding the said topic.
Not every time free courses offer assignments and worksheets. But you can try small trial and errors. For e.g. If you are learning blog writing, make your own blogsite and put up blogs with the tactics you learnt. This won’t be full proof but small steps count. You can approach a professional to review it for you.
Last but not the least a bonus for you!
Before opting for a paid course make sure they are offering you Industry-recognized Certification. If you are investing time and money make sure it gives authentic certificate which will prove your skills. Exceptions to this, there are some really good courses which don’t offer a formal certification but then the course offer value.
Hope the mentioned aspects have cleared your doubt if you should go for FREE OR PAID COURSE. The concluding words would be, may it be paid or free if you receive value and enhances your career goals it is worth giving a shot. The pandemic have offered us lot of time and simultaneously increased the competition for a skilled employee. Happy digital learning to you!