Ireland offers certified, free and comprehensive online courses

Being able to study for free, online and 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. This is the ideal formula offered in Ireland for two years. These courses are offered in several disciplines and are open to anyone aged 18 or over. Only additional condition? You must be resident in Ireland or at least be able to provide a PPS number at the time of registration.

Since March 2020 and the first lockdown, the Irish Education Authority has been offering the eCollege platform, a website for on-demand learning services, free to all. It allows those who want to add skills to their CV or others to consider, for example, job retraining. The courses are more or less dense, but none require you to sit behind your computer at specific times and for entire days. They can be integrated into everyday personal or work commitments.

To enrol on these modules, the registration process is very simple, just visit eCollege.ie and follow the remaining steps in the Apply section.

What courses are offered?

Once you have registered, you must choose the course and there the list is quite long. You can only take one course at a time. Thematically they are varied. The platform offers business courses, project management, graphic and web design, the development of basic IT skills as well as computer programming courses. eCollege also offers Irish courses to learn cartography, introduce yourself to different computer languages ​​such as Java Script or Python or even discover the basics of using Adobe Photoshop, Microsoft Word or Office. And to optimize the lessons, all the necessary materials are included in each course. For example, by focusing on the introduction to the use of Photoshop (as I am currently doing), you are offered the Adobe license for the duration of the training. It is therefore enough to install the software and be sufficiently active to prove that the free license allows learning.

Complete courses

In addition to this access to the software, the platform provides numerous explanatory videos animated or filmed by tutors. Registration also includes access to a downloadable manual that summarizes all the information provided during the courses, quizzes to monitor your learning, and exams to be taken depending on the level and progress of your training. Access to the platform is possible at any time and the teachers are even available live at certain times and by email the rest of the time to support you in your progress. Discussion forums are freely accessible to exchange ideas with other students and help each other. At the end, an exam must be taken online or in a training center in Ireland. In the second case, travel expenses can be fully reimbursed. The key to this exam? A recognized certificate of achievement. For courses related to Photoshop software, for example, the certificate is issued in partnership with Adobe. The only requirement for passing the final exam is that you must meet the set deadline. In my case, access is free for 16 weeks.

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