Online professional qualifications – given it any thought? With the soaring costs and huge time commitment university demands, this alternative study route is becoming more and more popular.

With vocational courses, you are able to gain the specific skills needed to secure interviews, impress employers and enter the professional working world with an impressive salary.

Studying a qualification online allows students to study for their future career whenever and wherever it suits them so there is no need to stick to any timetables.

The typical completion time for an online course is at a much quicker pace than university: for example, after studying on the AAT (Association of Accounting Technicians) pathway for three years you could qualify for a job as an Accounts Manager earning up to £37,500*. Plus you don’t have to wait until being fully qualified to start working – many students secure a junior accounts position during their first level of study.

You can’t deny the cost savings choosing an online course. The National Union of Students (NUS) estimate the average 3 year full-time university course costs a jaw dropping £30,000!** Online qualifications, however, average around £2000 with no debts, travel costs or maintenance costs and best of all if you want to work whilst studying you can earn while you learn as you fit your study time around your life.

Far from being left to your own devices with just a big fat textbook, studying from home can come with a dedicated tutor to provide 1:1 support and give you comprehensive feedback on your assignments and the Virtual Learning Campus (VLC) allows you to log in to live classes, submit assignments and access all of the learning materials you could possibly need 24/7.

If you’re worried you may miss out on the social aspects college or university courses offer, there are plenty of ways to interact with fellow students: you can meet up with a study buddy, chat on forums or get together with course mates at workshops.

So, if you feel university may not be the right option for you, online learning could well be the ideal route that will accelerate you on your successful career path.