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What Are the Benefits of Taking Part-Time Courses?

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  • Written By: Dan Cavallari
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 02 October 2014
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Part-time courses are credit or non-credit classes that are taken during shorter durations or for fewer contact hours than full-time courses. Many part-time courses are distance learning courses that allow a student to participate in class from home, and he or she may even be able to work at his or her own pace. The benefits of part-time courses are many, but the most obvious is the scheduling: a person can learn important skills or further his or her education with less of a time investment and perhaps even less of a financial investment.

Continuing education courses are often offered as part-time courses to accommodate the schedules of full time workers who still need to learn valuable skills to further their careers or learn a new trade. Such courses may only take a few weeks to complete, with work being done at off-hours or in small chunks. The format of the course will vary according to institution and topic, as well as by instructor, and part-time courses are usually quite accommodating to people who work full time or who cannot travel to an on-site classroom.

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Other benefits of taking part-time courses include the ability to learn new skills and become certified in certain areas to further boost one's resumé or qualify for a certain job. Many students enroll in part-time courses to earn specific certifications for their jobs, or to prepare for a transition to a new job. Other courses that can be taken part time may not pertain to one's career at all, but rather to a hobby or other activity. One can become certified in first aid, CPR, or other topics that can improve health and safety. Picking up a new hobby is also an option; one can enroll in a class at low cost and commitment to see if the new activity is something he or she wants to pursue further.

Teachers commonly take part-time courses to earn a higher level degree that will place them in a higher pay bracket. A teacher with a bachelor's degree, for example, may work toward a master's degree while working full-time. Taking classes part-time accommodates a teacher's hectic schedule and allows him or her to work at his or her own pace, or in small chunks. Since many teachers have all or part of the summer free, they may choose to take courses during those months.

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KoiwiGal
Post 3

@browncoat - Or, in theory, you could end up networking with a wider range of people because you aren't just taking a single time frame like the rest of them.

Although I don't tend to like part time courses because I find it hard to switch tracks and do two things at the same time. I'd rather just fully concentrate on a course, or fully concentrate on work. That's just me though.

browncoat
Post 2

@bythewell - There are some courses that I wouldn't want to do part time though, because part of the experience is being in a class and getting to know your classmates. That might sound self indulgent, but you can look at it as a chance for networking as well.

If you are one of the few part timers in a course where everyone else knows each other, you can get left out.

bythewell
Post 1

I think it depends on the kind of course you want to do. In some cases I think taking part time courses is preferable to doing a full time course. This is particularly true when you are doing the course in order to either upgrade your current career, or to learn something that hasn't got anything to do with your current career.

I have a friend who often does part time courses to upgrade his IT skills, for example, and he just keeps working his regular job while he's doing them. It means if he needs to move positions, he will have the qualifications and the experience he needs to do so.

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