How to choose an online course you won’t want to quit

Due to the pandemic, even the most ardent opponents have adapted to online learning. This is confirmed by market research online education Russia. In 2021, its volume amounted to 53.3 billion rubles, which is 2 times more than in 2016.

Despite the growing popularity of online courses, another study shows that the percentage of students who complete a course and receive a certificate is no more than 15%

If you still intend to get additional education or retrain online, then the choice of the course must be approached responsibly. Even before the pandemic, I bought courses, but I brought only a few to the end. Then I began to analyze where I overpay for water, which courses I am completing and what is important when choosing a worthwhile course. I will share my observations here. Maybe you will fall into the 15% of the lucky ones who have not lost motivation.

How to keep motivated until the end of the course

In my opinion, the main problem with low completion rates (COR) is that courses are bought through promising and aggressive sales. Often in the moment, excited by marketing promises, we do not understand how much we really need a course. Plus, it’s very easy to play on impulsiveness with people like me. Convinced – bought. And after a few days or weeks, I understand that I’m not able to do it or not at all.

Here, of course, awareness is needed. Before entering the card number, consider whether you definitely need this course. Will you be able to put your knowledge into practice? Are you sure you haven’t been lured by psychological triggers?

If this is not your case and you intend to take a course on a specific topic, then I recommend setting a clear goal. Not just “I want to understand SMM”, but “increase the coverage of stories by n times by introducing knowledge from the course to (date)”, as an option. You can use goal-setting by SMART

And further. It is important to understand if you have the resources to take the course. I’m not talking about finances – that’s understandable. It is worth considering whether you have enough free time and energy to learn new material. I began to assess my capabilities sanely after I discovered that I had not even opened the course, simply because I was overloaded with work and study.

Now let’s talk about the courses themselves and what to look for.


Reviews don’t just have to be. Study them: is the result of the participants in line with your goal? If so, this may serve as additional motivation. Then notice if you can go to the profiles of those who have left reviews on social networks. So before buying, you can write to them and make sure that the course is worth it. If there are no links, then it is worth considering.

It’s great if you study not only a landing page with a perfect picture, but also see what students and subscribers write on the company’s social media page. Are there many negative comments? How are they processed?


Prices for online courses are not highly regulated by the market. It depends more on the desires of the company or the media expert. But no one guarantees that paying more will get you more value than taking a course at a more budgetary price.

I would look at how quickly the course will pay off. Will you be able to apply the knowledge from the course that will bring money? Are they enough to move to a higher paying job or position? In order not to study the cost of training in your direction from different schools for a long time, you can use aggregator sites online courses.

And the last thing: nobody canceled free education. If you have a one-time request or want to learn a topic from scratch, perhaps a few articles or free courses on YouTube will be enough for you.

Common sense

Avoid clickbait, magic pills and 100% guarantees. No course will change your life until you start putting the knowledge you have gained into practice. And not just apply, but make efforts.

  • It is hardly possible to become a cool specialist in 2 months of lectures;

  • The job guarantee is also questionable, because the result depends on you;

  • Your example of an unrealistic promise.

Better to evaluate the course program: how does it correspond to the knowledge you want to acquire? Will there be practice?

Certificate of completion

What does this item do here? Surprisingly, the certificate of successful completion of the course affects the motivation of students, increasing COR.

Study with the participation of popular platforms with online courses has shown that student engagement increases by at least 10-12% if it is possible to purchase a certificate of completion. And yes, in that case, more students make it to the end. We draw conclusions.

General recommendations

Free content. Explore free content from companies whose courses you like. This will give you a clearer idea of ​​how you will be taught on a paid course.

Duration. It is determined very individually. For a narrow direction, 2-3 months may be enough, for mastering a new profession – 4-6. Just keep in mind that the longer the course goes, the more discipline will be required.

Format. Recorded lectures are usually cheaper and convenient because you can watch them at your convenience. Live sessions are more “included” in the process and are more expensive, but you will have to adjust your schedule.


  • You should not buy a course if you are not sure that you are ready to devote a couple of hours a day to training;

  • Make a clear goal that you plan to achieve after completing the course;

  • Check reviews not only on the landing page, but also on the company’s social networks;

  • More expensive is not equal to better. It all depends on your efforts;

  • Check out the free resources, that may be enough;

  • Don’t trust magic pills. Only you can change your life;

  • The certificate will help keep you motivated throughout the course.

How do you go through the courses without giving up? What are you paying attention to?

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