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What can you get out of a short course? (Guest Blog from Katherine Hurst)

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What can you get out of a short course?

As a course facilitator and attendee, I’ve had a fair amount of experience with short courses and the benefits they bring. In my opinion here are the main four (in no particular order).

1. A network
Sometimes, the most valuable part of some of courses I’ve been on are the connections I’ve made while on them - and that’s not saying anything negative about the courses themselves! If you’re learning any new skill, surround yourself with people of the same mindset, make connections and elevate each other’s learning.  If you’re starting a business, attend courses aimed at new businesses and create a network of people at the same stage as you, likely struggling with the same hurdles you are. If you want to be an illustrator, attend a course and meet and support other artists. If you need management skills, get on a Management course and find people with likeminded ambitions. Whatever the case, it’s much harder to achieve your goals in isolation, so get out there!

2. New skills
This is perhaps the most obvious reason people attend a short course, to gain skills, to learn how to do something they didn’t understand before. Learning is wonderful and pursuing knowledge is a fantastic form of self-improvement. On top of this, sometimes the skills you gain aren’t limited to the course’s title. For example, I attended a course on Social Media Promotion and also walked out with an understanding of how to tender for government contracts!

3. Motivation
Perhaps you’re looking to reinvigorate your passion for a certain subject? For me, nothing sparks your motivation to continue to improve like going to a course and meeting people who are interested in that subject. I’m an illustrator, and a few years ago I went through a period of time when I felt bored and uninspired to continue working. I went on a course with other artists, and their feedback and positive encouragement kick-started me back into action!

4. An accreditation for your CV
And last but not least, something for your CV. An accredited course can help show off your new skills and impress employers or anyone who happens upon your LinkedIn page!

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