The best way to change your career

All too often, professionals discard their dream of changing careers simply because the idea of going to back to school seems impossible. And who can blame them: people who work full-time to support a family have very little time to spare in their packed schedule, and their day-to-day responsibilities can prevent them from taking steps toward a different career path.

Fortunately, there is a way that people with little time can still pursue their dream of another career: distance learning.

Distance learning programs offer a flexible way to learn

Distance learning has been around for a while, but thanks to the widespread availability of internet and the improved usability of websites and apps, today it’s easier than ever before for an individual to earn a university diploma without having to set foot in an educational institution.

The main advantage of distance learning programs offered by institutions such as TÉLUQ University is the flexibility that they offer students. First, there’s no fixed schedule for the programs. The standard length of a 3-credit course is 15 weeks, which allows students to complete all the studying and work of the course during that time at their own pace. Sometimes a course will necessitate an in-class exam, for which TÉLUQ provides flexible options to complete the exam during an evening or on a weekend at a school close to where the student lives.

If at any point a student feels that they won’t be able to complete a course within the 15-week timeframe, they can request an extension of up to four months beyond the original course completion date. This flexibility helps to lower the stress that busy students experience as they pursue their education, especially for those who are already carrying a full workload.

Here’s an example: Imagine an accountant has been working at his job for 10 years. He has two kids and, as a result, an extremely busy schedule. He would very much like to switch careers and enter the communications field, but it’s physically impossible for him to attend university: he works all day and takes care of his kids at night. Thanks to the Bachelor of Communications program offered by TÉLUQ, this man could do his schoolwork in the evenings, on weekends or whenever he has a spare hour of time. This is another advantage of TÉLUQ: the time students spend on schoolwork doesn’t have to happen all at once. They can study in half-hour increments, or take a full eight-hour day if they so desire. It all depends on their availability.

Programs recognized by employers

Non-recognition of TÉLUQ programs and a pre-conceived idea that TÉLUQ is not a real university are two concerns that have long been thorns in the side of our institution. Thankfully, over the past few years these concerns have been alleviated as TÉLUQ has been recognized in Quebec among education professionals and employers alike.

The most common misconception about distance learning is that, because the courses are completed remotely, that they must be easier or less-comprehensive than in-class courses. In fact, the opposite is often true.

First, the materials used for distance learning are the same as those used in-class. Second, in a classroom setting, students are rarely required to read the entire textbook since professors tend to have them read certain passages as necessary. In distance learning, students aren’t so ‘lucky’ to benefit from this approach: since no part of a textbook is emphasized or downplayed, the student must read the entire book and assume all the material is important.

Distance learning students aren’t simply left to their own devices. With TÉLUQ, each student has access to an assigned tutor who is available by phone or email to provide clarification of the course material. This same tutor will be correcting students’ work, and so is in a position to support students along their entire learning path.

Distance learning has become so popular with students that even HEC Montreal has developed online-only programs to add to their offering. Last October, HEC launched a Certificate in Enterprise Management program that is 100 percent online.

Martin Noël, Director General of TÉLUQ University says that “Today, distance learning options are offered by some 90 percent of universities and 80 percent of colleges. As the only French-language university in North America that offers distance-learning programs exclusively, TÉLUQ has witnessed the transformation of education in society – from distance learning being seen as atypical just a few years ago, to it being considered much more normal today. To keep up with this trend, it’s essential that we inform our government of this new reality to ensure that public support will be available to assist the students who are a part of the digital learning revolution.”

Multimedia support as professor

The arrival of multimedia support for all TÉLUQ courses has contributed greatly to the improvement of our offerings. Francis Roussin, TÉLUQ graduate, remembers:

“I obtained two diplomas from TÉLUQ, a Certificate in administration and a 2nd cycle Program in electronic commerce. I was really impressed by the multimedia support provided, especially during the Certificate in administration program. The courses often provide CD-ROMs and websites to support every aspect of the course. Among others, I remember the “Managing Change” course (ADM 1012), which included a large number of modules in the form of interviews with business professionals in Québec. The material taught by these professionals, as well as their sharing of their own experiences in the real world, felt to me much more substantial than simply relying on the physical presence of a traditional teacher in a classroom setting.”

A wide selection of programs

Today, TÉLUQ offers nearly 400 courses available entirely online, comprising 80 programs, and provides students with the opportunity to earn 1st cycle certificates, master’s degrees and doctorates. Some of the programs offered (in French) include:

  • Baccalauréat en administration
  • Baccalauréat en communication
  • Programme court en comptabilité
  • Maîtrise en éducation
  • Certificat en science de l’environnement
  • Diplôme d’études supérieures spécialisées en finance d’entreprise
  • Certificat en gestion des ressources humaines
  • Programme court en affaires électroniques
  • Doctorat en informatique cognitive
  • Baccalauréat ès arts avec majeure(s)
  • Certificat en science et technologie
  • Certificat en psychologie

If you’ve already studied your topic of choice at CEGEP or university, you may be able to receive credit for your previous studies when you choose TÉLUQ. If the courses you’ve completed are eligible for credit, you may be able to finish your studies earlier than you imagined!

Sophie Goulet, who graduated from TÉLUQ with a B.A.A., says: “Because I already had a DEC technical diploma in communications, I was able to have six credits applied to my Certificate in communications program with TÉLUQ. This allowed me to get my diploma with two fewer courses – and I finished my program three months earlier than anticipated!”

To see all of the programs offered by TÉLUQ, click here: Programmes de la TÉLUQ

By Francis Roussin

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