Certifications, most of which are offered through online and e-Learning programs, provide outstanding opportunities for professionals to advance their careers and boost their earning potential. In the past, if you wanted to get more education to move further in your career, you usually had to get a degree, which costs tens of thousands of dollars and can be very difficult to manage while also working full-time.
Certifications such as ITIL training, PMP training, and other highly targeted programs deliver the opportunity for advancement and a higher salary, yet they’re much less expensive than traditional education programs, and they’re more convenient since you can do them from anywhere, and at any time.
Perhaps one of the only downsides to these programs, however, is how to stay motivated when you’re participating in a distance learning program. It does require a certain level of self-discipline, so if you find you struggle to stay on track with e-Learning, the following are some tips that could help you.
Choose the Right Course or Certification
If you want to have the long-term motivation to complete an online learning program, it’s important you choose one that not only interests you but is relevant to your career. If you choose something that’s unrelated to what you’re doing, it will be difficult for you to see the long-term benefits that can come from it.
Before you enroll in a certification program, do your research and choose something that has the real potential to boost your career and how much you earn. Just knowing there is such a significant purpose for taking the course can keep you motivated even as your interest may naturally start to wane over time.
Create Small Goals
When you’re doing an online certification program, your ultimate goal is to earn the certification and complete the course, but it can help you stay focused if you create small, incremental goals for yourself.
You might consider having daily or weekly goals for yourself that you write on a calendar.
Track Your Progress
If you find that you’re right in the middle of an online course and you’re starting to lose your sense of motivation, think about coming up with a creative and preferably visual way to track your progress. You might want to create milestones for yourself that you can check off each day so you can see what you’ve done so far, and think about rewarding yourself for your small victories.
Engage With Other Students
What’s great about so many certificate programs is that they do offer the opportunity to interact with other people. Take advantage of any opportunities you might have to participate in forums, online discussions or interactive question and answer sessions.
Some certification programs and courses are going to be more interactive than others, so when you’re selecting a program, look for opportunities to engage with other people, which will not only keep you interested but will also keep you accountable.
As a final note, not all online courses and certification programs are self-paced. Self-paced may work for people who do have a strong sense of self-discipline, but if you worry about that for yourself, you can opt for guided online learning that will give you more of a sense of structure and help you stay on track.