Regardless of career choice, you’re going to need a good basic education first. If you didn’t get that first time round, you can now rectify it by redoing what you need to do to obtain your high school diploma online. Once you have that, you can then start to consider the certificate or degree courses you’ll need to get where you want to go.
In many cases, getting a good balanced education that rounds out the relevant classes needed for your certification is a good approach. Think about your career choice and how that role interacts with the community and the environment. Consider the responsibilities that go with the position. Does it involve report writing? If so, you’ll need to be competent in this field. If you’re not, consider learning how to be. Will you be attending medical emergencies? If so, getting something like a First Responder’s ticket will put you ahead of the ball game before you even start playing. Quite apart from being qualifications you’ll likely need, it also shows future employers that you’re proactive and committed.
Whilst there may be a large number of colleges, e-learning centers and universities offering courses in your field, not all of them are necessarily legitimate, accredited, or particularly good. Indeed, you may find that some courses are only offered so the provider in question can ‘truthfully’ say they offer a well-rounded range of options. Whether or not those courses comply with, or meet, what you need, is another question entirely. You could easily finish the coursework or graduate, only to find that you still don’t have all the necessary qualifications for the position or career you’re after. That’s why it’s critical that you check what these are before committing to anything.
Always Check Educational Facility Accreditations.
Don’t assume that because the institution has a great website, offers a heap of impressive looking courses, and claims to provide first class training, that they’re fully accredited for your needs or even legitimate. You’ll be investing a fair bit of money in your ‘accredited’ training so make sure it is!
Some legitimate and accredited educational institutions do have authorized online suppliers or training centers that offer their various courses. These courses do qualify candidates to take the same exams, and obtain the same certifications, as students who opt to attend the institution itself. However, it’s up to you to exercise due diligence and check such claims of authorization are true before enrolling. Contact the primary facility itself and see if they have a list of authorized training centers offering their courses. If the one you’re looking at isn’t on that list, ask someone there if it is authorized. If it’s not, cross it off your list.
Training for fire service certifications for instance can often be done off campus and online by enrolling in approved courses offered by accredited e-learning training centers. Most US states have a central Fire Academy or College and most of these institutions have approved various e-learning centers to offer their courses online. You can for example find and complete fully accredited online Fire Officer, Fire Investigator, Fire Instructor, and Fire Inspector classes without having to attend a formal fire college. These are a great option for busy professionals who either need to upgrade their qualifications or renew certifications.