Prior to blogging, I worked full time from home in IT. I am proud to have an honours diploma in Network Engineering and Security Analysis. I was the only female to graduate, one of only 3 to be on the Dean’s honour list and one of only 11 students to graduate despite the large class size in our program. We had started with over 150 students during first semester. Our program was hard and it was a 4 year course path, so getting that paper at the end felt like a sweet and well deserved victory.
I didn’t count on IT being so hard to break into. Despite being dominated by older men, I thought with my experience through co-op and my high grades I would be a shoe in. It took a while, but I found my place with a really wonderful manager and things were good. I had Keira, and started blogging for fun while on leave, knowing it would go on the back-burner once I went back to work. Things don’t always go as planned though and a few months after returning to work, I found out I was pregnant again. I was further surprised when I was laid off at the 3 month mark during my pregnancy. I decided then and there that I could make my blog into a business so I could manage staying home with my girls and still have income to help support us.
IT is a fast moving field though, and even a couple years taken off can mean a pretty severe gap in knowledge. This means that in order for me to eventually re-enter the work force I will need to update my skills or face extreme difficulty finding an employer.
How do you juggle family and traditional education? I can’t even begin to comprehend the difficulty of caring for my young children and still somehow getting on campus everyday for classes. This is a dilemma many stay at home parents face with upgrading their skills prior to re-entering the workforce after an extended leave to care for their children.
I was excited to be asked to enroll in an online Open Learning course through Thompson Rivers University. I appreciate the opportunity to further my education in a way that allows me to learn without creating any conflicts with my busy schedule and that allows me plenty of time to spend time with my children. This freedom is priceless.
Thompson Rivers University, Open Learning goes beyond what you would expect with a traditional university. Its programs, learning options and opportunities make higher education more accessible to people through all phases of their lives. Yes, including young parents. With over 57 programs and 590 courses offered in print-based and web-based formats, from trades to traditional academics, you are sure to find something that appeals to you and your goals. Plus the courses and programs offered at Thompson Rivers University, Open Learning are fully accredited and recognized by other post-secondary institutions, so any credits you earn can be transferred to another institution if needed.
I love that although you learn at your own pace you are not actually studying alone as you still have the full support of your Open Learning Faculty Member. With online courses you are also encouraged to collaborate with other students in your course in the discussion area. The online course area is also easy to navigate, it uses online learning software that I am already familiar with and is easy for even the least technologically-able to work with.
Thompson Rivers University, Open Learning is perfect for anyone interested in furthering their education, whether you are interested in a single course for personal knowledge or interested in attaining a full degree. The enrolment process is incredibly easy. Simply pick a course, enter your info and make your payment. With extremely flexible course options, you can even start right now. There’s no need to wait for the next semester to start learning.
I was impressed to find out that everyone is eligible for open admission with Thompson Rivers University, Open Learning, which means that you don’t have to supply high school transcripts or even hold a particular GPA. You can receive academic credit for past learning and accelerate your completion time, not to mention, save money.
During my post secondary career I really benefited from my co-op experiences, it really allowed me to get hands on and gave me the confidence that I was fully capable of working in the field. I love that Thompson Rivers University proactively supports students by offering co-op, service learning, and undergraduate research to enrich the learning experience of their students.
It’s nice to know with Thompson Rivers University, Open Learning I can further my education with the flexibility that comes from a non-traditional university, without making sacrifices when it comes to my family. I can upgrade my skills while still taking care of my family so that I will be able to re-enter the workforce with the skills and knowledge that I need to be successful.
Visit the Thompson Rivers University, Open Learning website to find a course that will interest you and to read about the success stories of past students!
#TRUOpen Twitter Party and Contest
When: October 9, 2014 at 7-7:30p.m. EST
Who: Follow @sheblogsmedia
What: Join the conversation about goals, aspirations, careers and education for a chance to win cash prizes and a $500 credit towards an Open Learning course.
Click here for more details!
Also be sure to follow @sheblogsmedia on Twitter to enter the Retweet to Win contest from October 9, 2014 – October 16, 2014 for your chance to win a $500 credit towards an Open Learning course of your choice at Thompson Rivers University!
Disclosure: Although this post has been generously sponsored by Thompson Rivers University, the opinions and language are all my own, and in no way do they reflect Thompson Rivers University.
Elizabeth Lampman is a coffee-fuelled Mom of 2 girls and lives in Hamilton, Ontario. She enjoys travelling, developing easy recipes, crafting, taking on diy projects, travelling and saving money!