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Over the past couple of years there has been a rise in the number of people that study short courses due to both their cost effectiveness and the fact that they serve as a great addition to a resume. The world of work is evolving and there’s a constant need for career-minded individuals seeking to boost their prospects to study further without the hassle of doing a qualification on a full-time basis.
A short course normally takes anything between 8 hours for a workshop to a few months to complete. Today, many short courses are offered online, but there remains an ongoing interest in those that are presented face-to-face in groups. Many feel it is difficult to match the interaction, collaboration and networking achieved in this way.
Esther Venter, Milpark Education’s Executive Dean says that even though a formal qualification can help someone secure a job, short courses allow employees to supplement and update their skills throughout their careers on a ‘just-in-time” basis. “As many short courses do not have the same stringent legislated admission requirements as formal qualifications, one can also use them to get a taste of a completely new field or a new career, or simply to gain knowledge in an unrelated area of interest. Some people even complete short courses as a hobby as they find them intellectually stimulating and rewarding,” she says.
With graduate unemployment at 7.3%, according to the recent Statistics SA’s Quarterly Labour Force Survey report, short courses are also popular among graduates who want to ensure that they have the edge when applying for jobs.
Venter says that out of all the short courses offered at Milpark, the Project Management and Finance for Non-financial Managers learning programmes continue to attract enrolments on a face-to-face basis because they are important not only to well-rounded managers but also have immediate applicability in the workplace. It seems that these can dramatically improve career prospects.
“Qualifications often open the door to specific careers, while short courses fuel continuous growth in different directions. Qualifications are not necessarily the only vehicles through which to update skills or to get just-in-time training. This shorter more targeted intervention is the specific domain of short courses. They will not revolutionise higher education, but they do fill a noticeable void,” she says.
Venter says the most popular Milpark short courses at the moment are:
- Project Management
Project management methodology continues to gain traction as a core competency for those who want to help move a company forward effectively and efficiently. There is broad recognition these days that project management is a skillset that can be taught and, if applied well, can result in success in difficult situations.
- Finance for Non-Financial Managers
This course remains popular among managers or people in finance that want to improve their understanding of the financial ramifications of their decisions, whether these relate to an impact on the income statement or cash-flow statement.
- Business Management
Short courses in business management remain very popular with those individuals who are progressing up the ladder at work and feel the need for a sound and quick exposure to key functional areas of responsibility for managers. Many may go on to do more formal education or already have a foundation that they are consolidating, but we see a strong correlation between workplace opportunities and enrolment in this short course.
- Human Resources Management
The new work environment is driving widespread changes in the business world and these new pressures are redefining what organisations need from leaders, and in turn, what HR functions must do to maintain a strong leadership bench. Many work professionals in the HR space are enrolling for this course because it is highly practical and it opens doors to careers in project management, operations and wider HR opportunities.
01 Sep 2017