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Education Opportunities

Another fantastic benefit of my new job is that they offer further education/training opportunities, in which they financially support 100% as long as it fits within my career path. There is a Marketing Management Certificate program I’d love to take through distance education, and the only thing that has been stopping me is money. I didn’t want to take out student loans again! AND I also wanted to keep on working full-time. So my plan was to eventually save up that money.

But now that there is the chance that I could get the program 100% paid for by my employer? That would be amazing. I’m not going to bring it up until after my probation period is over, but I think that it would be really cool if it were approved (the pre-requisites are that it has to be within my career path and help me advance my career, or give me certification needed for my job – oh and the time commitment has to be OK’d by everyone – which shouldn’t be a problem since it would be distance education). I could take a few classes at a time and in a couple of years I’d have a Management Certificate to my name, which would make me a more attractive candidate when I want to take that next step in my career.

I’ve e-mailed the program coordinator at the school to get a bit more information. Even if this program doesn’t get  approved by my job or if they are only able to give me partial funding, I’m still going to do it eventually. I think that for my career objectives, this certificate program is more advantageous and more applicable to me than quitting my job and going back to school for my 4-year degree.

Looking towards the future: more education needed

One of my life goals is to own my own business / work for myself. I’m not really sure what kind of business, exactly. But definitely not doing design contracts. I’d LOVE to open up a rock climbing gym (with a little store and a little coffee shop in it). I’d also like to run a B&B or be a landlord … or open my own niche sports store. Whatever it is, it’s going to be something I’m passionate about.

No matter what I want to do, it will require more education. I’d like to get my business degree, but the thought of going back to school for 4 or 5 years is not appealing to me, and I really doubt I’d do it. I’ve already done 5 years of post-secondary education (and have 1/2 of a degree and a 2-year diploma to show for it). From my diploma, I have a marketing/communication/design background, so what I really want to learn are business fundamentals and applied skills. Which is why I was thinking of getting another 2-year diploma in business.

I’ve been looking at local colleges in the Lower Mainland, as well as on the island. Ideally I could do my diploma part-time so I could continue to work (and save up money for my business venture). Or even through correspondence so that I have the ability to move anywhere I want. It would take longer to complete, but I’m okay with that. I’ll need that time to save money and get my ideas all in line anyway.

Most 2-year programs I’ve been looking at cost around $8,000-10,000. Pricey. Thankfully I can utilize the Lifelong Learning Plan and withdraw from my RRSPs penalty-free if I choose to (although that $ was earmarked for a down payment for my first place). It would definitely beat taking out student loans though. And I really don’t want to go down that road again.

All of this is a few years into the future, once we’re back and we have figured out what we want to do. But it’s nice to think about now, so that I feel a little more stable in my long-term plans.

My friend who is out of an education

So my friend who’s program got canceled a few days ago … he told me that they had a meeting with their professors, and the teachers are going to leave the school, get the program accredited on their own, and open up their own design school. Ballsy! So instead of him starting school next month, they’ll start up in January. They’ve spent years creating the curriculum, so they’re qualified – and now it’s just about getting studio space. Wow, that’s just insane. I really hope they can pull this off, because my friend is a talented designer.

He said he’s going to spend the next few months trying to scrounge up design contracts and hopefully save some money. But the job market is tough out there, and he didn’t expect to be exposed to it for another year. So my fingers are crossed for him!

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