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Are you standing at the crossroads of your career journey, uncertain about whether to take the leap and go to college to change your career? You’re not alone! It's a familiar dilemma that many of our students find themselves in before enrolling in career training – the delicate balance between existing work, family, and life commitments and the desire for professional growth and career advancement.
As you stand at that crossroads, you may be wondering, “Can I balance work, family, and studies effectively?”, “Will employers value my online diploma?”, “How fast will I find a job after graduation?”, and many more.
Now, close your eyes for a moment and envision a future where you've achieved your educational and career goals. Imagine the exhilarating feeling of stepping into a fulfilling job, being armed with newfound knowledge and skills that open doors to employment opportunities you've only dreamed of. Picture the sense of accomplishment as you secure a position with a favorable salary and can finally provide a higher quality of life for yourself, your family, and your children.
Wouldn't it be incredible if you could travel forward in time and have a conversation with your future self? To seek guidance and answers from the version of you who has successfully navigated the challenges you're currently addressing?
While we can't offer time travel, we have the next best thing – the real-life experience and insights of someone who has walked a similar path. We'd like to introduce you to Valerie R., a graduate of Sundance College's Medical Office Administration Program with honours. Valerie responds to seven common questions aspiring students like you often have and discusses what helped make her journey a success.
7 Common Questions of Aspiring Students: Valerie's Insights
Being a mom of two children, a wife, and a lover of work, Valerie already had experience in juggling her roles. However, she wanted to achieve more.
1. Why Choose a Medical Office Assistant Career?
With a background that ignited her interest in the healthcare sector at a young age, Valerie's goal was clear – to become a medical office assistant:
"I've actually had an interest in the healthcare field for a long time," Valerie shares. "I was a caregiver back in my early twenties, and I decided it was the right fit for me. I needed to find something in the healthcare field, so I decided to take the Medical Office Administration - Health Unit Coordinator program at Sundance College."
This is how Valerie's journey began at Sundance College, woven together by her commitment to family, her healthcare passion, and her pursuit of personal growth. As her journey unfolds in the following sections, you'll discover answers to your pressing questions and glean valuable insights from Valerie's experiences.
2. Can I Work full-time and go to college as a parent?
One of the most common concerns prospective students face when considering further education is how to maintain a work-life balance with the demands of college.
Fortunately, the landscape of education has evolved, offering different solutions to meet different needs. Many students are able to strike that balance while attending on-campus classes. Others benefit from the added convenience of online learning.
For Valerie, virtual classes helped her achieve her dream of pursuing post-secondary education and earning her medical office assistant diploma while juggling work and family responsibilities.
Valerie shares, "I've actually been looking into doing this program for quite a while, and I've been searching for colleges to take it in. And because I love working and I am a parent, I have two children, and am married, I wanted a course that I could do online."
3. Is it better to study in-person or online?
Choosing the proper mode of study can greatly impact your educational experience. The decision between in-person and online learning often hinges on various factors, such as location, lifestyle, and preferences.
In the case of Valerie, she resides in Victoria, B.C. while Sundance College campuses are in Edmonton and Calgary, Alberta and Winnipeg, Manitoba. The prospect of commuting long distances, arranging temporary accommodation, and being away from her family while pursuing her studies was far from ideal. This is where online learning stepped in as a viable solution, allowing Valerie to embark on her academic journey without uprooting her life.
Reflecting on her decision, Valerie highlighted some of the advantages of online learning: "I like flexibility. I like that my studies were all at my own pace. I like that I had virtual classes with my teachers. I like the fact that I could email my teachers if I needed help with the coursework. And I love that all of the textbooks were all online, I didn't actually have to buy any books. It was great that it was all virtual."
4. If I Graduate with Honours, Will It Matter in Getting a Job?
If you have earned your diploma with honours, like Valerie, you should proudly add that to your resume. Earning a diploma with honours not only reflects your academic capabilities but also suggests to employers that you possess qualities such as determination, discipline, and the ability to strive for excellence.
However, success in a career is not solely dependent on having honours or top marks. Career success is influenced by other factors such as the practical skills and experience you acquire in your college program as well as other personal attributes such as communication skills and a strong work ethic.
In Valerie’s case, when she enrolled in the Medical Office Assistant program, she set a personal goal to graduate with honours, driven by her passion and dedication to her studies. As she candidly shares, "Graduating with honors was really big for me. I have never done that before. I've always just kind of graduated - grade 12, and I've done other college courses - but I never really found a passion as I did with this program."
This sense of passion and determination fueled Valerie's commitment to her studies.
She notes proudly, " I worked really, really hard. And I’m very excited that I accomplished it!"
5. Should I Tell My Employer I'm Going Back to College?
Deciding whether to share your educational plans with your employer depends on various factors, including your relationship with the company and your long-term career goals. While some employers may view your pursuit of higher education as an asset, others might require more understanding to offer their support.
Valerie shares, "I have been telling my employer my long-term goal is to be a hospital unit clerk, and I'm hoping to start as a casual doing that. Then going forward, start a full-time job, preferably in the child and family ambulatory unit or upstairs, and then a few pediatric wards. Island Health has been very supportive of my schooling. "
Transparency with your employer about your educational journey can foster understanding and even garner support. For example, did you know that your employer may be able to get government funding to help you access training opportunities under the Canada Job Grant program? So, have a chat with your employer, articulating your aspirations and discussing how your education and employment align with your career prospects. Valerie's experience illustrates that employers who value employee growth are likely to be receptive to your educational pursuits - especially if your goals are aligned with your employer’s goals.
6. Will Employers Recognize My Online Career College Diploma?
Valerie has been hired into not one, but two medical office administration positions on the basis that she would earn a MOA diploma from Sundance College, an online career college. We are proud of all our Medical Office Administration-Health Unit Coordinator graduates and our 100% employment rate for that program.
When considering an online career college diploma, choose a career college that puts students first. Here are 7 important things to look for, before committing to a career college:
- Transparency During the Enrollment Process
- Availability of Approved Student Loan Funding
- Online and On-Campus Learning Modalities
- Resources for Student Success and Well-Being
- Practicum Training Included
- High Employment Rate for Alumni
- Positive Google Reviews
7. Is It Hard to Get a Job After College Graduation?
In today's competitive job market, having a career college diploma can significantly impact your chances of getting hired. Statistics reveal that the employment rate of individuals with a diploma in 2022 was 66%, which was more than twice as high as the employment rate of those without a diploma (31.5%).
Valerie's success in landing two jobs even before graduation supports these numbers.
"I learned a lot, and I did it all online. I've been very happy with the administration, the support from the staff, the support from other students, and the support of being able to do online all at my own pace for all the courses. I highly recommend Sundance College," she asserts. "They've been so great with everything."
The advantages of a career college diploma are clear. Reputable career colleges offer practical training as part of their programs. Having practical experience on your resume can really boost your chances of getting a job. Many Sundance College students, like Valerie, find their jobs through their practical experiences. Some career colleges, Sundance College among them, also offer career services. This means students can get help with making a strong resume and practicing for job interviews.
With Sundance College's supportive environment, your recognized diploma not only prepares you for your desired career path but also positions you as a qualified and competitive candidate in the job market.
Inspirational Takeaways from Valerie’s Journey at Sundance College
With Valerie’s story as a guiding light, let's sum up the key takeaways that can inspire you on your own educational and career path:
"Just go and apply for it. Anyone can do it. If that’s your goal and your passion."
— Valerie R., Sundance Graduate of the Medical Office Administrator Diploma Program with Honours
Ready to Start Your Journey with Sundance College?
As you stand at the crossroads of your own educational journey, remember that the path to success is paved by those who dare to dream, work hard, and persevere. Your aspirations are within reach, and the tools and support you need are here.
To learn more about Sundance College programs, take the first step by filling out our contact form. Our dedicated advisors are ready to answer your questions and provide the information you need to make informed decisions about your future. Your journey to success begins with that first step—reach out to us today!