The Open Polytechnic is a New Zealand-based educational institute that specialises in distance learning courses in a huge range of areas, with real qualifications that are recognised by employers nationally. Since they specialise in distance learning, they understand the challenges and difficulties that can arise and have specially designed the lessons around this, and can offer tips and support for students to help them focus and keep motivated.
Like a traditional “offline” polytechnic, courses require a set attendance and enrolment (as opposed to other online courses where you can basically pick and choose when you want to attend and complete the lessons), so it’s definitely a commitment. However, this also gives you set goals and responsibilities, which makes it easier to stay on track and keep your progress up. It also gives structure to those who aren’t sure of the specific skills they need to learn, but know which area they want to go into.
There is a truly comprehensive range of subjects, and because it’s based in New Zealand they translate directly to the current industries and workplaces here. There is a big focus on practical skills such as construction and trades, education and IT and computing, and each one has a range of sub-courses and papers to choose from.
The qualifications gained come at a range of different levels, from certificates through to full Bachelor of Arts degrees such as with the social science and humanities courses. This makes it a very satisfying option for those looking for a real certification in addition to just acquiring some new skills and knowledge.
The biggest strength of the Open Polytech is that it is a specially designed online learning course, nothing about it has been adapted from regular courses and made to fit. It’s completely tailored for distance learning, and all the lecturers have experience and understanding of the challenges of this. This makes it a good choice for those making a serious educational investment.