HOW, WHY, WHEN, WHAT SHOULD I STUDY?
These are some of our Frequently Answered Questions
Question: Will this course make me an “Expert”?
Answer: People don’t become “experts” overnight!
If you seriously think about education, all any good course will do is “lay a foundation” or, if you like “set the stage” for ongoing learning and development of “expertise” in a discipline.
Think about real experts and the paths they followed - usually they have had a sound education; but not always formally or to a high level. They have learnt the basics in a way that gave them a solid framework upon which they could build experience and further learning.
People should take things step by step and not get ahead of themselves, or be enticed by unrealistic promises by some schools.
Question: Does the Course Cover Practical Work?
Answer: People often assume that a distance education course can only teach you theory and will leave a big gap in your practical knowledge. This is untrue; and assumptions are often made on several levels:
- People assume that it is possible to do a measured amount of theory plus a measured amount of practical, and achieve “complete” knowledge. You need to make understand that complete knowledge is never attained in anything. Acquiring knowledge is a life-long process.
- Don't assume that doing a course alone can take you from having nothing that is needed for a job, to having everything that is needed. This is never true!
- Don't assume all jobs in a discipline will require the same set of practical skills.
- Don't assume that the knowledge and skills needed for a particular job today are going to be the same as what is needed for that job or something similar by the time you graduate.
ACS Courses do contain Practical Tasks …we’ve been developing ways to deliver practical sills for over 30 years… we get students to network, observe and do things in the real world, in many different ways
Once you have a solid fundamental understanding of something, it becomes far easier to work out and learn the practical applications on the job. No matter what specific skills you learn now, the world is changing so fast, that those skills are likely to change in a year or two anyway, maybe even before you finish studying… so it’s more important to be able to apply, adapt and develop new skills as needed, than to perform old skills that go out of date.
Consider what’s best…being shown how to hold a hammer, holding it once and being declared competent (which is what Competency Based Training may do), or examining a range of different hammers being used in different situations; trying to use them, reading about their use, watching others use them, trying to adapt their use to different situations, then re-examining their use a few times (which is closer to our approach of experiential learning).
Question: Will this Course give me a "license" to work in my chosen field?
Answer: Most industries, in most countries offer plenty of work opportunities to work outside of licensing schemes.
Licensing schemes are often run and promoted by industry bodies or government agencies who will tell anyone they talk to that licensing is important; but if you talk to someone outside of the scheme you sometimes get a different story.
Obviously Doctors and Lawyers need to have done particular courses, and be be registered, but in many countries, there are plenty of people who work in trades, professional support jobs and other occupations who came to where they are through any number of different routes.
The learning always makes more of a difference to a career than the licensing. People who can do the job tend to find a way to succeed more than people who are licensed but less able to do the job.
It is important to understand that licensing, memberships and registrations are separate matters to learning, and that while some courses are sometimes linked to certain licensing schemes, they are always controlled by different bodies.
Situations do keep changing, and the only places that can tell you for sure about whether am employer or body recognises a course will be the body that actually recognises it....not the college or school.
The situation now may also be very different to the situation when a student graduates, so it is important to not base your study choice solely on this. In the long term though, what you learn always counts more than any sort of recognition; and the value of your studies to the people you work for, is always more important than any token recognition by someone who isn't paying your bills!
Requirements change from place to place; what is approved where you live now, might not be approved where you live after graduation. A college has no control over these things.
If you want to know about licensing, you need to get your answers from the licensing authority, not the college.
If you want the best learning you need a college that makes learning number one.
If you want to get a license or membership, you need a different body....and courses that focus on satisfying a license requirement, usually can't make the learning number 1 priority too.
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