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Fancy learning a new trade and switching jobs? Go online where there’s a host of intriguing distance learning courses

There’s nothing worse than clock-watching; sitting at your desk, waiting for the hours to pass so you can go home to do something more interesting.

Do you daydream about running your own business? Or about changing careers?

Before you quit your job on a whim, without any safety net, get on the web – there’s online revolution going on.

Distance learning is the new college course. The beauty is you can study in your spare time, when it suits you, without having to commit to an amount of hours every week.

And, what’s more, there are a wealth of courses online that might just help you to sidestep into the job you’ve always wanted. Here, we highlight our favourites.

Private investigator

What: Of course you’ve always wanted to be a private eye. All that snooping around, surveillance work, tracking people – it’d be just like the movies.

Alison Cole, course administrator at The Academy of Professional Investigations, says: “You could end up surveying a cheating wife or husband; or travelling the world.

“You could be working undercover for a company, working as a cleaner, finding out what goes on behind the scenes; or you could be going into the local pub, surveying a member of staff who’s on long-term sick leave at another company.”

The company offers a 260-hour distance learning course, the BTEC Advanced Private Investigation Level 3 Diploma, which you can study at your leisure, usually taking candidates between three and six months.

You don’t need any previous experience, and will learn how to trace missing persons, criminal investigations, and accident reporting.

Cost: £560 for the hard-copy course; £499 for the CD version.



What: Fancy yourself as a bit of a hack? Then CTJT is a good place to start. Its freelance journalism course will equip you with the skills you need to earn cash from writing in your spare time.

It includes how to sell your articles to editors – and, most importantly, how to get paid for them. You’ll also learn about human interest stories, feature writing, interviewing and writing for the internet.

CTJT director Cleland Thom said: “I’ve lost count of the number of people who have used our courses to change careers or to go self-employed.

“Distance learning means you can study when and where you like. It’s completely flexible, so you can fit your coursework around your lifestyle.

“You don’t have to give up your job, so it’s financially viable.”

The course takes between three to six months, and you’ll also be able to Skype with your tutor.

Cost: £199.95




Virtual careers: Learn a new trade online
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