As online learning grows in popularity across Australia, more and more people find themselves better placed to influence their work environment and finally able to take the career steps they have been waiting for. Online learning is popular for many reasons, not least its flexibility but it is understandable to have questions surrounding funding online learning and where help is available. The good news is that there are some government funded courses available and online learning is often less expensive than traditional education. Here at Upskilled our advisors have years of experience recommending ways of funding online learning. Don’t put off taking the course that will give your career the boost it needs, take a look at our guide to funding online learning.
Government funded courses
The Australian government, both state and federal, recognise the importance of online learning to Australia’s ability to maintain pace with a rapidly changing global economy. As older industries decline and new ones grow, it is clear that the flexible and accessible approach typified by online learning is a key answer to the requirement to re-educate sectors of the workforce. As part of their commitment to providing education opportunities across Australia, state and federal government offer a range of funding schemes and financial incentives to prospective online learning students. We have listed the main government funded courses schemes below but please be aware that availability can differ from state to state. Complete our online government funding eligibility form to find out your specific eligibility.
- NSW Smart and Skilled – a method of funding online learning in which eligible students only contribute around 10% to 45% of their course costs for certain Upskilled IT and Business Exact fees are dependent on meeting certain eligibility criteria.
- User Choice – a national way of funding online learning, which disburses funding and incentives directly to RTOs (Registered Training Organisations such as Upskilled).
- Certificate 3 Guarantee (QLD) – helps Queenslanders with funding online learning when completing their first Certificate III level qualification, or lower level qualifications leading to a Certificate III Course. Funding is paid directly to the RTO.
- Higher Level Skills (QLD) – provides support with funding online learning for Queenslanders who wish to take selected Certificate IV or above online learning courses in a range of qualifications including but not exclusive to Community Services and Business.
- Skilled Capital Funding (ACT) – provides support with funding online learning to Canberrans studying qualifications from the ACT Skills Needs List. These include but are not exclusive to some online learning courses in Early Childhood Education and Information Technology.
- Future Skills (WA) – provides support with funding online learning for Western Australians subject to a range of criteria according to the WA Priority Industry Qualifications List (PIQL). Priority qualifications for 2018 include the Diploma of Community Services and the Certificate IV in Programming.
Securing budget from your employer
Before you choose an online learning course, it makes sense to have a chat with your employer about the possibility of your organisation funding online learning as part of your CPD. Most bosses are sensible enough to realise that satisfied employees are more likely to remain with them and that employee retention is an important factor when it comes to both team morale and finances. Approach your boss in an organised manner, with all of the relevant information such as cost, qualifications, specific units and time span, and with an open mind. If the answer to your request is currently a ‘no’, respond politely, you will have sown the seeds of a training idea and may well be able to revisit it at a later date.
Self funded courses
If the course you wish to study does not fall under the remit of one of the government schemes for funding online learning, or if you do not have an employer from whom to secure a budget, you will need to consider funding online learning yourself. When considering this option, bear in mind the return on investment you are likely to see once you have gained your new qualification. This is not always accurately predicable but, with further and up to date qualifications under your belt, you might be surprised how much more you can earn and how many more opportunities will be open to you. When you take into account, for example, that 62% of Australians aged 20 to 64 years old hold a Certificate III qualification or higher and 31% have attained a Bachelor level qualification or higher (Education and Work, Australia May 2017) it becomes clear that the value of education across Australia is growing and that those without qualifications are going to find themselves with stiff competition in the job market.
The great news about online learning, however is that all of our courses, even government funded courses, can be studied in a completely flexible manner, which will fit in with regular employment. With Upskilled, you can start your course when you choose and study at times that suit you. When you understand that you can continue to work whilst studying, self-funding online learning becomes a far more attractive option than traditional learning.
Other payment options
Because Upskilled is one of the largest RTOs in Australia we are in a position to make self-funding online learning a more manageable prospect. We offer three pricing and payment options.
- If you can make a single, upfront payment for your online learning we offer a substantial 15% off your course fees.
- If you want to get started with your online learning now but need help with payments from the start, we offer a deposit-free, 24-month interest-free payment through zipMoney with flexible payment options.
- If you want to pay a proportion of your online learning fee immediately and then spread further payments over 12 months, we offer an Upskilled payment plan.
At Upskilled we believe that access to quality online learning that sits in line with national requirements should be available to everybody at whichever level they choose to study. Our advisors are trained to discuss funding and course options with you and will be able to point you in the right direction when it comes to funding online learning, whether you do so yourself or take one of our many government funded courses. Get in touch with our team today and don’t let funding be the reason you fail to move on up that career ladder.