Going back to school

Graduation small
Re-training or getting re-qualified

Do you plan on keeping your current job forever? Probably not. Most people today expect to change jobs several times in their lives, either by choice or because they have to. You might have to re-train or get another qualification either to advance in your current field, or to change to a completely new profession.

All this means that more adults are going back to school or university than in the past. So universities have started to offer lots of classes in non-traditional formats: for example, evening courses, weekend courses and distance learning courses delivered through the Internet. I’ve actually done two courses in this way: I got my MA by a distance learning course and I did a qualification in Online Moderation over the internet. Even though I never met the teachers or other students, I felt like I knew them well because we had a lot of contact by email, chat, skype and video conferences.

So, the question for this blog post is: Have you taken a non-traditional course to help you advance in your career, or change careers? Or if not, would you think about doing so? You’re taking an online English course now – would you consider taking an online course to get a professional qualification as well? We’ll be happy to hear your views on the topic.

8 Responses to “Going back to school”


Agata says:

February 29th, 2012 at 17:00

I work in a high school and every year i mark exams. As an examiner of matura exam each year I have to complete online courses for examiners. It is required for all examiners who want to mark exam papers. I find it quite interesting and helpful in my job.



Tommy says:

February 29th, 2012 at 18:33

Hi Agata,

That sounds like a practical way to deliver that kind of course, where a lot of teachers from different places have to do a course. Thanks for the post!



agnieszka says:

March 7th, 2012 at 00:40

My English course is my first meeting with a distance learning. I remember that at the very beggining I was concerned about the idea and I felt very pessimistic about results. I thought that online communicate won’t be enough effective to make any progress, or even enjoy time during lessons. But my resistance has vanished just after the first session. Available tools such as Skype, Google Documents or interactive platform make the virtual knowledge so digestible and approachable that I’m not even thinking about changing the method. Actually my current experience has encouraged me to try non-traditional courses also in other fields.



Tommy says:

March 8th, 2012 at 19:17

Hi Agnieszka,

Thanks for the comment and I’m glad to hear that you are finding the e-learning course beneficial! I think non-traditional forms of learning are going to become more and more common in the future, even though it means getting used to a new way of doing things. As you said, once you get used to something new, then you can really notice the benefits.



Marta Kubicz says:

March 19th, 2012 at 13:12

I’ve never re-trained but I’ve done the English course at a traditional school to improve my skills. Now I’ve been doing the English course online and I enjoy it very much, because even if I live in the UK and I have the opportunity to speak English every day I’m happy that during the lessons I can always ask about expressions or grammar problems and I’m corrected by a teacher when I say something wrong. I think there’s never too much practising when it comes to learning languages.



Tommy says:

March 20th, 2012 at 13:19

Hi Marta,

Thanks for the message. It’s great to hear that you find the online course useful! That’s going to motivate me to write some more materials :) Have a great day!



Asia says:

May 20th, 2012 at 18:31

It is my first online course I’ve ever tried. After few years of being a student of a typical language school I wanted to try something new. This experience is very positive and it might encourage me in the future to study other subjects which I would consider to be worth studying. Of course you need to be judicious in choosing the right course and also try to make sure that the matter of the legality of the school you joined is correct.



Tommy says:

May 25th, 2012 at 14:32

Hi Asia,

Thanks for the comment on this post. I’m glad to hear you find the course useful. I’ve always enjoyed learning new things and taking a course is a great way to do that. I completely know what you mean about checking the legality (and quality) of the course you take. That’s good advice. Hope you have a great weekend (even though you have to work on Sunday)!


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