If you read my blog at the start of July, you will have read my post about being made redundant and during this time, it has given me a lot of time to think. I learned that I was still at a point in my life that I didn’t know what direction I wanted to head in. As I’m slap bang in the middle of my mid-to-late twenties, it gave me the perfect opportunity to sit down and think about the choices I would like to make in the future, more long-term than anything else, even if I haven’t chosen my exact career path yet so that’s what today’s blog post is all about. (All photographs are available from Pexels.com)
I recently wrote about “Dropping Out Of University” and “What The University Experience Taught Me” focusing on my previous education as well as the short time I spent at University in England. What I learned while writing both those posts is that education still fascinates me and I even wrote in those that I wouldn’t rule out another form of education in the future so while I have had the time off to think about what I want; the thought of education has popped in my mind continually. I don’t think I would head back to a traditional University route simply because where I am with my life financially, I wouldn’t be able to afford to go back to University full-time for three or four years. This is where the Open University comes in…
I’m sure many readers know about The Open University but if you don’t, it’s a form of distance learning that doesn’t require you to sit in a classroom environment (This only happens when you have exams to complete) and lets you work from home instead while studying around your job. As well as that, there are many different forms of payment which is a benefit to many students that may only be able to pay for one module at a time. Due to it being a distance learning University, you have the option of stretching your degree over three years, six years or if necessary, even longer (This will all depend on the time frame you are looking at, how often you can study and the course type too).
Being a researcher at heart, I have been on and off the Open University website for months, and while that is very handy, I always feel more confident about something when I’m listening to someone face-to-face. The opportunity for this came up when they were hosting an open day at the end of August so I took advantage of this and went along. I’m still not great in social situations so I was quite nervous but plonked myself at the front of the room to listen to the presentation. It was very generic for obvious reasons but I wasn’t looking advice for a certain course, I just wanted to have an overall feel for the University instead, which is what I got. I’m a note taker also, so they covered; their most popular subjects, the myths and realities, how their studying works, how fees and funding works, what skills you need to be a student and student experiences. (This was, of course, just a few of the talking points.) I came out of the presentation with a better understanding with what I wanted to do, which I didn’t think would happen.
I had wanted to go down the sports and fitness route but I haven’t actually considered what career I would want, I just know that that is something I enjoy. When I started looking at their business courses, they had quite a few varieties and you were able to attach it onto another subject like marketing or economics. While the sports course is something that does intrigue me, it’s something that isn’t as broad as business, so that’s why business appeals to me more. On a recent job interview, I was asked what does the future hold me in terms of my career. I was completely honest and said that I didn’t know, but I knew that taking on new challenges and new opportunities within a new business, I had hoped, would help me find out what I want to do with my life. I think that’s the aim of any job isn’t it? If you aren’t growing and learning more about yourself, then the job no longer serves you, and I want my next job to serve me in finding out what I love and what I don’t love so much. That’s where I believe a degree in business will help me along whatever track I take.
I know that right now isn’t the right time to sign up to the OU and that’s completely fine with me. That was never the aim; I simply wanted to find out more about it with how it works, the fees and funding and how it is differs from the traditional University route. I’m not in a financial situation to take on a degree right now and I want to make sure I have a good work life balance before adding more to my plate. However, I know that this is something I will reach towards in the future and I’m excited by it because I do love learning even if I’m not the traditional type.
I would love to find out anyone else’s experience about either the Open University or other distance learning courses, good or bad, so if anyone can think of any posts that spring to mind, please let me know. Thank you so much for reading today, I really do appreciate it!