The importance of life-long learning seems self-evident. As a professional, you need to stay current in your field to be relevant, to grow within your role, to provide value and vision to your organization. This could be industry trends or technology trends. It could be changes in the structure of a profession or organization or regulation. It could be that you want to focus your career in a different direction but you don’t have the education or the knowledge, and you need to fill a gap before making moves in a new direction. It could be out of pure curiosity and interest. It could be anything.
I am, by nature, constantly looking for new things to learn – not just within my profession, but also at a personal level.
I have a degree in English literature from UBC, but quickly realized that a) I didn’t want to continue with graduate work (in that field), and b) I needed some other form of training to be employable. I began to pursue a certificate in technical writing at SFU’s Writing and Publishing program, and then enrolled in a two-year, full-time program at Douglas College called Print Futures – a diploma in writing, editing, research, and design. The training I received in both of these post-BA programs have served me well, giving me practical, employable skills that have resulted in me working for about a decade in the IT industry.
When I realized that I wasn’t necessarily loving the work I was doing, I started to pursue – at an educational level – training and teaching by enrolling in the Provincial Instructor Diploma Program. I am finishing my last course currently in PIDP 3260 and then will complete my Capstone project.
Because the role I am currently working in requires the PIDP, I am completing it, but I feel there are more relevant programs that I could be taking since my role is about online learning and most of the PID program seems very geared to classroom teaching. A good chunk of it is delivered online, but the general approach is not focused on actual online learning.
Recently I have been toying with the idea of doing a Masters in some element of education – perhaps leadership or technology. I am investigating some of the programs that SFU offers and plan to do some research as to which directions those degrees could take me.
I also think it’s essential to engage in life-long learning on a personal level – to pursue your interests to give balance to your life. I have taken many classes – pottery, belly dancing, writing, etc. and played many sports – ultimate, curling, softball, etc. in an effort to keep both my mind and body active and alert. It’s the only way I know how to be!