Despite the slog that is high school, we’re hoping you make it out the other end with your love of learning still intact. Lectures about iambic pentameter and cell theory mightn’t be tickling your fancy, but when faced with topics that you actually find interesting and practical, you’re all in.

Short courses are a great way to learn about stuff you’re actually interested in but don’t have a heap of time to spend doing. You can gain a qualification for a job, fill up some time between commitments, explore a passion on the side, or have a go at something new.

With hundreds of options out there, it’s easy to find something to throw yourself into. But with so little information on short courses from our teachers and parents, it’s hard to know where to start.

What the heck are short courses?

Pretty much what it says on the box: short. They can take anywhere between one day, a few weeks or a few months to complete.

Courses are generally flexible and easy to fit around your other commitments, and a lot are even online. ‘Longer’ short courses usually only have a few hours of class per week, while ‘shorter’ short courses have more intensive hours. The payoff is you can get qualified in something in just a day or two (think something like a barista course or RSA).

Why should I study one?

The most common reason is to gain a qualification that’s required for certain job, like an RSA (Responsible Service of Alcohol) for bar work, or a White Card for construction. These courses can give you a huge leg-up in landing a job, which is super helpful when you’re fresh out of school and have zero experience.

Short courses can also be a great way to try out things you’re interested in without having to commit completely (like with a uni degree or job). They’re a popular option for gap year takers to fill some time, learn a little something, or keep parents at bay if they’re going on about why you haven’t enrolled in TAFE or uni yet.

And then there are short courses that are just really fun and can help you discover or pursue a particular passion, for example photography, creative writing, learning a language or drone skills. For some people these courses aren’t taken with a career in mind and are just good way to maintain a hobby, but for others they’re the first step to getting a job you’re passionate about.

What can I do?

There are hundreds of short courses around in just about every subject under the sun. Here are some ideas to get you started:

  • Photography
  • Responsible Service of Alcohol (RSA)
  • Responsible Conduct of Gambling
  • First Aid
  • Introduction to Construction
  • Barista Course
  • Hair and Beauty
  • Computer Design
  • Floristry
  • Drone Essentials
  • Forklift Licence
  • Working in Early Childhood
  • Plus heeeeaps more… sus some over here.

Where can I study them?

Plenty of education providers offer short courses, including universities and specialised colleges, but courses through TAFE NSW are probs one of the easiest ways to go. They’ve got over 500 courses on offer spread across 130 campuses around NSW and they’ve got short courses for everyone, no matter whether you’re trying to get a job, testing out an interest or just having a bit of fun. With TAFE NSW, you also have the added advantage of going with an education provider guaranteed to be un-dodgy.

Have a look at the short courses they’ve got on offer here.