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Life in the fast lane

They say that patience is a virtue but we live in a world where we can get pretty much anything now. There's no need for delayed gratification anymore – we want everything to be fast; instant.

Jade O'Donoghue
12th February 2016
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While getting educated and qualified is usually associated with putting in the time in the classroom, for anyone who can't wait, there are options.

Fast track courses are perfect for those with busy lives who really want to gain a new qualification or progress their career, and fast. These are courses that you completed in a shorter time frame than others but after which you will still be awarded with a qualification at the end of the same value as if you had studied over a longer time. Now it has to be said, to do a fast track course you will need to be focused and very determined as there's no doubt they're demanding. But, if you're in a hurry to get that training under your belt, there's no better option...


Any qualification, any subject; fast

There really is a huge variety of qualifications you can gain over a short time period. A Levels are particularly popular – when most people take A Levels (age 16-19) they take a number at one time so it goes without saying that if there's just one you wish you had completed or need to improve the grade on, you can do it in less time. There are lots of examples like this, so if you have a particular qualification in mind it's worth looking into the fast track option.

There are fast track courses in a whole host of different subjects too, whether it's hairdressing or IT you want to brush up on, you'll find plenty of options. Search 'fast track' in the search box to see the full variety but if the subject you have in mind isn't there, don't be afraid to approach course providers that offer it to see if they have fast track options for the longer courses they've got listed.


How fast is fast?

Though these courses all have the umbrella term of ‘fast track’, the times they take to complete do vary. It’s usually more of a description used to compare it to the regular amount of time you would take to do a course. For example, taking an ESOL qualification in 19 weeks would be a fast track course because these usually take longer to complete but likewise, completing a BTEC course that might normally take two years in a year would be considered a fast track course too. It really does depend on the course you're taking and how easily it can be condensed.

There are also a lot of fast track courses that are held online. These usually differ in length depending on how much time you can give to working on them.


Fast does not equal easy

Fast track courses might seem like a doddle – getting qualified without it taking up too much of your time – but this is far from the case. They are actually much more intense than other courses. They typically involve long working days and lots of work is expected of you outside the classroom. Where an ordinary course might take a year to complete with attendance expected of you for one day a week, a fast track course might condense this into just two months where you will be expected to attend almost every working day. Therefore before considering a fast track course, you really need to consider the level of commitment you are prepared to give. You will need to be really dedicated and passionate about the subject and qualification you’re taking.


Are you cut out for it?

There are certain qualities and skills that it’s useful to possess if you’re thinking about taking a fast track course. For example, you need to be good at working under pressure and to strict deadlines because these are the foundations of fast track courses – if you prefer to take your time and have assignments spread out then fast track is probably not the best option for you.

It’s also useful to be comfortable working with computers and the internet, as a lot of courses have an online element to speed things along. This means you don’t have to spend all your learning time in the classroom but can do it from home.


Next steps

If you think you’d like to do a fast track course then it might be worth trying a search here on Training and Courses using the subject plus the words ‘fast track’. If you’re not sure yet what you’d like to study, you might like to start by browsing by the location you want to study in. Your life in the 'fast lane' starts here...

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