Getting your foot on the ladder in any industry can be tricky, but a good way to start is by finding the best short courses for jobs in the UK. Through these short courses, you can get a taste of your chosen industry and find out whether it's the right career change for you.
OriGym have covered 21 types of short courses for jobs in the UK that are available to most, if not all, adults. They present the ideal starting point for anyone looking to transition onto their dream career path.
If you are looking for career change courses, OriGym’s accredited personal training qualifications can be completed online, and could see you qualify and start earning as a PT in as little as 2 weeks. All you need is a passion for fitness and helping others reach their goals!
Alternatively, you can always check out our downloadable prospectus to discover the range of fitness and health courses we have on offer.
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#1 - Fitness Instructor Courses
If you’re looking for short term courses for jobs that have the potential to earn you a high living wage (as well as being incredibly rewarding), fitness courses are a great choice. You don’t require a degree to work in this sector and can get started immediately with a Level 2 Gym Instructor course, which can be completed in as little as 2 weeks.
You can then get qualified and start earning as a personal trainer after a further 2 weeks if you complete OriGym’s CIMSPA accredited Level 3 Personal Training course. This is a popular choice, as it allows you to work on a 1-to-1 basis with clients and boost your earning potential.
Further fitness instructor courses include CPD qualifications and specialisms such as Strength & Conditioning, or Level 4 qualifications in areas such as Diabetes Control & Weight Management that allow you to expand your knowledge and client base, and maximise your earnings.
There are many pathways for progression and CPD in this field, which means that the opportunities are endless when it comes to finding your niche and standing out amongst the crowd. You could start your own boot camp fitness business, or even become an S&C Coach for a sports team!
Who these courses are suited to: People who are passionate about fitness and sharing their knowledge with others, and are looking to turn this into a lucrative career - these are some of the best short courses for jobs in terms of leading to a high salary.
Potential job roles: Gym Instructor, Group Fitness Instructor, Personal Trainer, Bootcamp Instructor, Online Personal Trainer.
#2 - Hairdressing & Barbering Courses
Some of the best short courses that lead to good jobs in the UK sit within this field.
While hairdressing and barbering qualifications are typically gained in the form of NVQs through either a college course, apprenticeship or training with a private provider (such as Andrew Collinge or LHA), this can be a time-consuming commitment if you’re not entirely sure that it’s the right career for you.
The Academy of Hair and Beauty offers 1-day courses in Intermediate Cutting that are ideal for those looking to get a taste of the industry before undertaking their Level 2 & 3 qualifications. The London School of Barbering offers NVQ2 in Barbering that can be completed in 9 weeks for those who are looking for a nationally recognised qualification, but are not ready to commit to NVQ3.
Who these courses are suited to: Those who are looking to become a fully qualified hairdresser or barber, but want to get a taste of the role first. Those who can remain calm and focused when they make mistakes, and are willing to learn from them.
Potential job roles: Hairdresser, Barber, Celebrity hairdresser, Extension specialist.
#3 - Catering Courses
If you’re a skilled home cook who wants to transfer your talent from your own kitchen into a tangible career, a catering course would be the natural next step for you. City & Guilds offers great courses for those who have no formal training under their belt, such as the Level 1 diploma that gives you an introduction to professional cookery. Once you’ve completed this, you can then move onto a Level 3 qualification and enter the industry.
That being said, you could complete a short course with a provider such as Cordon Bleu who offer a range of short courses in catering. This is a great opportunity to get a taste of the industry before committing to a longer or more expensive course.
Who these courses are suited to: Those who possess a good amount of patience and are able to handle stressful situations. A genuine interest in beginning a career within the catering industry is certainly helpful.
Potential job roles: Restaurant Manager, Chef, Head Chef, Catering Manager.
#4 - Photography Courses
Seeking out career change courses in the creative field? Photography courses could be the perfect choice for you, especially if you already enjoy taking photos in your spare time.
While courses from the likes of the British Academy of Photography are BTEC approved and IARC accredited, they are a little lengthy and expensive if you’re not dead set on photography as a long-term career path.
To prepare yourself for a course like this and decide whether it’s something you want to undertake, you may want to complete a short course first. Amongst the best short training courses to get a job in photography is the RPS Digital Photography Course developed in partnership with the Open University.
It is aimed at beginner to intermediate photographers and is perfect for gauging whether this career path suits you. It is only a 10-week course, which means that you can gain an in-depth insight into the industry without committing to a 3-year degree course.
Who these courses are suited to: Individuals looking for an accredited qualification in photography without having to undertake a 3-year degree course. Those interested in working freelance or setting up their own business, or who are simply interested in increasing their knowledge about the camera they’re operating as a pastime.
Potential job roles: Photographer, Press Photographer, Videographer, Multimedia Specialist.
#5 - Fashion Courses
If you happen to hold a strong interest in fashion and you’re looking for the best short courses for jobs in the UK, you’ll be glad to know that it’s becoming increasingly easier for those without formal training to make it big in the industry (especially thanks to social media!).
One example of a short course provider that can help you to hone your existing skills, find your own style of design and step into the industry is the Conde Nast College of Fashion & Design.
They run a variety of courses that cover all areas of the industry, from 1-week to 15-week courses, and even those that can be completed online. They also offer a huge variety of Bachelors and Masters fashion courses that you can view here.
Another option would be Udemy’s course in Pattern Making for Fashion Design, which is aimed at beginners seeking to develop their skills.
Who these courses are suited to: Those seeking career courses that delve into creativity and innovation would benefit immensely from these courses. They should also thrive in unique environments and be able to consistently think outside the box. An interest in the fashion industry is essential.
Potential job roles: Fashion Designer, Creative Assistant, Fashion Magazine Employee, Fashion Buying, Merchandising.
#6 - Life Coaching Course
Whether you have always been a natural ‘helper’ or feel as though you have the expertise and knowledge to impart wisdom on others, life coaching is a great path to venture down.
You can take these courses among private providers, one example being the life coaching diploma on offer from Lead Academy which is also endorsed by the Quality Licence Scheme.
To prepare yourself for accredited courses such as this, you could take a short course beforehand with the likes of Udemy who offer lifetime access to their resources. That way, you can gain an introduction to life coaching prior to spending a great deal of time and money on an accredited qualification, and even come back to it in the future if you don’t currently have time to complete it.
Who these courses are suited to: Typically those who are not averse to work that requires patience, and are able to emotionally invest themselves into their job role. If you want to find out a little more about the profession, read our article on how to become a wellness coach.
Potential job roles: Life Coach, Wellness Coach.
#7 - Nutrition Courses
Nutrition courses are perfect for health-conscious individuals, specifically for those who are looking to combine their passion for nutrition and helping others and pursue a career that encompasses both of these things.
Are you looking for a short course that provides you with a full understanding of all the vital areas of nutrition, as well as an Ofqual regulated qualification upon its completion? If so, OriGym’s Level 4 Sports Nutrition Course is the ideal choice.
It can be completed in just 12 weeks and is one of the best short courses for high paying jobs, especially when paired with a PT qualification. Personal trainers can earn above £80k when they build their client base and charge higher rates thanks to advertising themselves as a qualified Nutrition Coach or Nutritionist as well. Learn more about nutritionist salary here.
If you complete a shorter course, you do run the risk of gaining a qualification that is useless to you in the sense that the course content is far too basic, or even inaccurate if it isn’t an Ofqual regulated course. If you opt to complete a shorter course, you should view the provider’s reviews on TrustPilot at the very least.
Courses like OriGym’s can give you a taste of the industry before undergoing a degree and becoming a registered dietician or nutritionist, if you decide that’s the route you want to take. Although, both of these roles take years of training to obtain, and neither of them necessarily equal a greater salary.
You could become a nutrition coach in just 12 weeks with a private provider such as OriGym, and begin earning immediately. Check out our guide on becoming a nutritionist for more info.
Who these courses are suited to: These courses are perfect for those interested in gaining in-depth knowledge of nutrition, as well as those progressing from the likes of a personal training course. Although personal trainers do obtain a level of nutritional knowledge, a course like this will ensure you are even more knowledgeable for your clients.
Potential job roles: Nutritionist, Personal Nutritionist, Sports Nutritionist, Nutrition Coach.
#8 - Language Course
Being bilingual is a skill that is unique in its nature and is something that sets you apart from the rest. Companies like Janets offer certified CPD training in a range of language courses that include an extensive module library and an exam. This allows for a pass rate of 60% or over, so you have a clear indication of your skill level in your chosen language.
However, before diving into a certification such as this that can last up to a year (or more!), you can take part in short job courses in languages provided by the Open University that will see you able to hold conversations in your chosen language in as little as 16 weeks.
Who these courses are suited to: Individuals who possess a high level of intelligence and determination would be suited to this course, particularly those who know more than one language already. It is typically easier to pick up new languages once you are already bilingual.
Potential job roles: Language Teacher, Online Language Tutor, Air Hostess.
#9 - Hospitality Courses
Roles within the hospitality industry are fast-paced, strenuous and take a great deal of determination. Working with the general public can be emotionally draining at times, especially when dealing with complaints, so you have to be courteous and expect to deal with a certain level of criticism.
Short courses for jobs in hospitality can help you to boost your skills in these areas, and either perform better within your current role or progress your career altogether.
The CPD Certification Service has an extensive list of CPD courses from a variety of providers that cover multiple areas of hospitality. Whether you currently work in (or are looking to work in) either customer service, catering or management, there really is something for everyone.
If you are currently in a full-time position and looking to move from a Level 3 qualification to a Level 4, City & Guilds run a diploma in Hospitality Management that is ideal for those looking to progress their career.
On the other hand, if you want to get a holistic view of the industry before committing to one of these career courses, there are even shorter courses run by High Speed Training that can do exactly that in as little as 3 hours!
Who these courses are suited to: Those who want the best course for a job that sits within a busy environment within the hospitality industry, and are sociable and cope well when under pressure.
Potential job roles: Restaurant Manager, Hotel Manager, Caterer, Front of House.
If you have what it takes to be a manager and can handle responsibility, you may be interested in working within the fitness industry; find out how to become a personal trainer here.
#10 - Health & Safety Courses
During your job search, you can get ahead of the competition relatively easily by gaining extra qualifications that can be acquired in minimal time.
If you’re looking to quickly add health and safety qualifications to your CV that demonstrate your dedication to your professional development, High Speed Training offers a fast track approach and allows you to climb from Level 1 to Level 3 Health and Safety in the Workplace in as little as 13 hours.
The great thing about health and safety qualifications is that they are great short training courses for jobs within multiple industries, as the knowledge gained from these courses is never inapplicable to a given role.
Who these courses are suited to: Those who want to stand out as a candidate who has extra skills in the bag. These courses are beneficial to people who want to specifically work in industries such as Food Service or Construction in particular.
Potential job roles: Restaurant Worker, Hotel Worker, Construction Worker, Health and Safety Auditor.
#11 - Administrative Courses
Courses in administration can help you in your current job role, but also in everyday life when it comes to finding the motivation to get important tasks that sometimes go undone, done!
Some providers such as the NCC are endorsed by the Quality Licence Scheme, and offer diplomas in business administration for a price of around £400 - with an option to opt for a payment plan. The NCC’s course can be completed anywhere from 6 weeks up to 12 months depending on how much time you are able to commit, which is great to know if you are looking for short term courses for jobs.
If you don’t have a lot of time to commit but want to develop your administrative skills in as little time as possible, you can even take a government funded Level 2 certificate in the principles of customer service, which can be found on Reed.co.uk.
Who these courses are suited to: Those who are looking to boost their administrative skills for use across a multitude of industries. Alternatively, those who are unsure of what career route to take, and are open to gaining skills across numerous fields to get a more solid idea of what suits them best.
Potential job roles: Administrator, PA Business Assistant, Receptionist, Data Entry Clerk.
Organisation is also a key part of working as a fitness professional, along with other traits. If you have a passion for fitness and want to see if a career within the industry would suit you, find out what makes a good personal trainer here.
#12 - Yoga Courses
Thanks to the recent surge in yoga class popularity, fitness qualifications in this area definitely fall under the umbrella of the best short courses for jobs in the UK. Since there’s such a high demand, it’s a great opportunity for those looking to have a lucrative career in something they’re passionate about.
It’s important to get qualified through a reputable course provider whose qualifications are fully accredited by the relevant governing bodies. For example, here at OriGym all of our courses are Ofqual regulated and accredited by CIMSPA, so our students can rest assured that they are receiving top-level qualifications.
When searching for a course provider, you should check that they are accredited by The British Wheel of Yoga, who are the national governing body for yoga in the UK. It’s also helpful to check out their reviews on TrustPilot to see what their current students have to say about their courses.
If you’re looking for even shorter courses to get a feel for what it’s like to study yoga before committing to getting fully certified, you can take short courses with the likes of Udemy who offer a 4-hour diploma.
Just beware that these courses are unregulated, unaccredited, and will not allow you to practise as a yoga instructor here in the UK!
For more information on this career path, check out this guide on how to become a yoga instructor by OriGym.
Who these courses are suited to: Having a pre-existing love for yoga and helping others is of the utmost importance before enrolling on a course. Yoga can also be physically demanding at times, so you must act as a motivational guru for your students.
Potential job roles: Yoga Instructor, Online Yoga Instructor, Yoga Teacher Trainer.
For more resources on sports related courses, read our articles below:
- How Hard Is It To Become a Personal Trainer?
- How To Become A CrossFit Coach
- How To Become A Fitness Instructor
Become a Personal Trainer with OriGym!
#13 - Accounting Courses
Working with numbers requires a level of intelligence, and certainly takes an individual who holds a passion for tasks that require accuracy.
Whether you're looking to get AAT certified ahead of pursuing accountancy roles, or you simply want to expand your current skills in tax and finance to assist you in your current role, accounting qualifications are some of the best short training courses for jobs available here in the UK.
Providers such as ICS Learn offer remote learning and provide flexibility for those who are looking to get fully accredited, but need to work around a busy schedule.
If you’re considering becoming AAT certified but you’re on the fence, Reed’s course search engine can provide you with a plethora of short course options. One example is the Study Hubs online accountancy course that can help you decide if investing in an accredited qualification is the best option for you.
Who these courses are suited to: These career change courses will benefit individuals who are mathematically inclined, intend to pursue a career as a fully qualified accountant, and are determined to earn a high income. They are also aimed at those looking to expand their skill set to aid their current role.
Potential job roles: Accountant, Assistant Accountant, Freelance Accountant, Public Finance Accountant, Stockbroker, Secretary.
#14 - Digital Marketing Courses
Digital marketing qualifications are amongst the best training courses to get a job within the advertising marketing industry if you don’t currently hold a degree in this area. They can certainly lead into a successful career due to the rise in demand for digital marketers and their expertise.
Reed’s ‘Find a Course’ search engine is a great resource. You can sift through over 2,000 short digital marketing courses and compare each one on price, location, length, popularity and more. This is the ideal approach if you want to understand the basics of the industry before setting your career path in stone.
If you’re dead set on a career in digital marketing, you may want to gain a degree or at least a highly accredited course that you can find here at the likes of the London Business School.
However, to get started you can opt for a short course that is affordable, quick to complete and gives you an indication as to what you may find in your accredited course. You can do this by investing into a short course like Health and Fitness’ online digital marketing course that costs as little as £10!
Who these courses are suited to: Those looking to pursue a career within the digital marketing industry. Or, individuals who already have a business of their own, and want to learn how to market it successfully without the cost of hiring an external agency.
Potential job roles: Digital Marketer, Email Marketer, SEO Specialist, PPC Marketer, Online Advertising Manager, Social Media Manager.
#15 - Human Resources Courses
Human resources courses can lead to roles that require a lot of responsibility, making them ideal for those seeking a challenging yet rewarding position. They can also provide you with vital skills in communication, proactivity, coaching and advising that can be carried into a range of industries.
The best career change courses in HR are the ones that are typically at a higher price point with reviews and recognised certification. A good example of a company that provides this is ICS Learn, as they provide a CIPD course in HR across 3 levels and are highly recognised by external organisations like TrustPilot.
We understand that you may want to get a taste for the industry first, therefore providers such as Qube who provide half day to full day courses on specific areas of human resources.
Who these courses are suited to: Most of all, the people that are not easily defeated by pressure, as the responsibilities that lie with a HR manager range from recruitment to conducting disciplinary actions.
Potential job roles: HR Manager, Training Manager, Recruitment Officer, HR Assistant, HR Data Specialist.
#16 - Teaching Courses
Though you can’t become a fully qualified teacher without gaining Qualified Teacher Status (QTS), a short course can help you understand the basic mechanics of the role before you commit to the extensive training that is involved in becoming a fully qualified teacher.
That way, you can then progress to completing your PGCE gaining QTS at a later stage once you’ve had a taste of the role, and the topics that are covered more in-depth within an accredited teaching training programme.
One example of the best short career change courses that you can take to gain an insight into teaching is the online qualification run by Alpha Academy. Getting qualified in teaching can be a lengthy process, but this is the ideal introduction before you take that step.
Who these courses are suited to: These short courses for jobs in teaching are suited to people who possess the motivation and dedication to influence young minds, so you must have a passion for helping other people and be a positive guide.
Potential job roles: Teaching Assistant, Teacher.
Happen to have a passion for fitness, as well as for sharing your knowledge with others? You could become a personal trainer, or even help fitness professionals to get qualified and make a start in the fitness industry with a Fitness Teaching & Assessing course.
#17 - Swimming Instructor Courses
If you’re an avid swimmer who is thinking of becoming a swimming instructor, you can take part in an accredited swimming course with Swim England. They offer an array of courses, from Level 1-3 swimming instruction to CIMSPA endorsed safeguarding courses.
One course offered by the institution that may not be as lengthy or advanced as the safeguarding courses is the Level 1 Swimming Assistant course.
Following this, you can enter Level 2 courses in teaching swimming that allow you to plan and deliver lessons without supervision prior to any further qualifications you wish to obtain.
Who these courses are suited to: Candidates who love to teach, swim, and can deal with children's classes would be suited to these career change courses, as well as those who have taken part in classes themselves and can see themselves running them.
Potential job roles: Swimming Instructor, Assistant Swimming Instructor.
#18 - Business Courses
From management to money handling, business-related courses can be a good fit for those looking to start their own business, pursue a career in business, or progress within their current roles.
To be as prepared as possible for the industry, the best route is a BA (Hons) degree in Business and Management from the likes of the Open University, or any university that suits your location and budget.
However, you can also take business courses across a range of accredited providers in the form of short career change courses. For example, The London School Of Economics and Political science offer a course that is solely online and can be worked through at your own pace.
Who these courses are suited to: Those who have worked in either marketing or retail and admired the business tactics that big brands use, and ultimately wanted to be more actively involved in these strategies. Individuals looking to start their own business would certainly benefit from this form of course.
Potential job roles: Business Manager, Retail Manager, Project Management.
Business skills are vital for running any form of fitness business whether you’re an aspiring PT, S&C Coach or a sports massage therapist. Check out OriGym’s accredited Personal Training Business Course for more information on how you can learn everything you need to know in as little as 2 weeks!
#19 - I.T Courses
In the current job market, I.T skills are essential. With most businesses trying to go paperless and I.T advancements becoming increasingly constant, job roles in this area are growing rapidly. While the most popular way to get into the industry would be to complete a degree in computing and I.T, it’s not the only pathway available to you.
In terms of short courses, you can find plenty within I.T that suit your budget and schedule using the Reed course search tool. Some providers offer live classes, while others allow you to take it at your own pace on an online platform.
By simply searching ‘I.T courses’ on Reed you can compare and find your fit - as an example, one course costs just £10! Read more about it here.
Who these courses are suited to: People who would benefit from these courses are people who want to either jump into admin, general office work or specialist I.T work. A course from a reputable provider will give you a useful overview of the industry before delving into an accredited course.
Potential job roles: Admin, Network Support, Call Handler, Office Clerk.
If you’re I.T savvy and have a passion for health and fitness, a career as an online fitness coach would definitely suit you. You could get qualified in as little as 4 weeks with OriGym’s Diploma in Personal Training, which includes both Level 2 gym instructing and Level 3 personal training.
#20 - Construction Courses
Construction courses are good for those who like to be hard at work and enjoy physical exertion. City & Guilds are one of the leading providers of construction qualifications in the UK, and are known for offering courses that will lead to you to work in various areas of construction.
For short courses for jobs that can get you as industry-ready as possible in a short period of time, Nottingham Trent University offers CPD courses in construction and project management.
Who these courses are suited to: Courses such as this are suitable for people who don’t mind getting their hands dirty, and putting their physical abilities to work.
Potential job roles: Quantity Surveyor, Plumber, Joiner, Bricklayer, Labourer.
#21 - Health & Care Courses
Health & care courses are for those who care about the health and wellbeing of others, and want to take an active role in improving this for those who need it.
You can enroll in accredited courses at colleges, or even gain qualifications whilst on the job within certain caring roles. One example of an accredited course is the Level 2 qualification in health and social care provided by the City of Liverpool College, but many other colleges across the UK will provide courses that follow the same framework.
In regards to shorter career change courses within this field, you can find those by looking at the thousands of health & care courses that can be found on Reed’s online course search tool. One result even provides a free Level 2 Certificate in Preparing to Work in Adult Social Care.
Who these courses are suited to: These courses are suited to those who want to save lives and make a difference in their society.
Potential job roles: Nurse, Carer, Paramedic, Health Visitor, Care Worker.
Before You Go!
Now that we’ve provided you with the best short courses for jobs in the UK, you can begin to get a better understanding of which industry is best for you.
Taking career change courses can seem intimidating, but hopefully with our help you now know what you’re getting yourself in for and the best places to look. So whether it’s fitness, construction or admin, take the dive and find the best course for a job that you love.
If the fitness sector stands out to you, be sure to check out our personal training courses to kick-start your career in the best way. Or, if you’re looking for short courses to expand your knowledge, you can find plenty of CPD and specialist courses in our downloadable course prospectus!
Download Our "Day in the Life of a Personal Trainer" Guide
What's it really like?