Plan Your Return to School – from theory to action! - ESJQ - École de sténographie judiciaire du Québec


Plan Your Return to School – from theory to action!

Choosing a career at a young age is not an easy thing to do. You’ve only just gotten through your teenage years and then – boom! – there you are at a major crossroads. You have to make a career choice (and you’d better make it the right one!). But you’re still figuring out who you are. So it’s really no surprise that many people feel like they’re stuck in a rut years after making this difficult choice. But there’s good news!

No matter your age or professional history, it’s never too late to consider going back to school to change your career.

Still, making such a big decision requires a certain amount of reflection and introspection. If your number one reason for returning to school is an emotional motivation, take care because that that can be easily shaken. Adult life has a hefty share of obligations, including financial and family ones. Nevertheless, with a certain level of experience and maturity that develops over the years, an adult who decides to go back to school is generally better prepared to overcome the various challenges that will appear along their path.

Courses for all tastes

There is more than one way to learn. Today there are a multitude of options that make learning easier, such as distance learning, hands-on and onsite workshops, and seminars.

The better you know yourself, the easier it will be for you to choose your program.We recommend taking the time to evaluate what type of learner you are. Do you prefer long, face to face discussions, practical and technical exercises, or long lectures? Basically, know the right questions to ask. Think back to some of your previous school experiences to better discern what you like and what you don’t like in a learning situation.

Take out your agenda !

Going back to school does not necessarily mean having more freedom in your schedule. Student life comes with its own share of constraints and obligations. Beyond the time you’ll be spending in class, you should also plan time for studying, assignments, and exams that will all need to take up space in your schedule. Basically, as you reflect on going back to school you need to evaluate your actual availability. Work, family life, your social life, and your hobbies are all elements that can influence the type of program you’ll choose. As with any good budget, how you spend your time should be planned out.

And don’t forget your calculator !

Speaking of budgets, financial planning shouldn’t be neglected when you’re returning to school. It is entirely possible that the program you choose will make it difficult to be in both the classroom and the office. If that’s the case for you, what financial resources would you have access to? Start by thinking about your financial institution which, generally speaking, likely offers various services or financial programs designed for students. Likewise, discuss with your current employer. They might offer a tuition reimbursement program, especially if you will be developing your professional skills. And does the educational institution you’ve chosen offer a loans and bursaries program? Don’t be shy to ask the admissions department. Finally, it’s a good idea to see whether you could be eligible for the provincial government’s student financial aide program (Aide financière aux études). Schools recognized by the Act Respecting Financial Assistance for Education Expenses (L.R.Q., c. A-13.3, art. 1) allow students to use this governmental support program.

Going back to school as an adult can be seen as giving a gift to yourself. The motives behind this decision are often “good” ones. Giving yourself the opportunity to learn means providing yourself the chance to grow personally and professionally. Still, such a change requires proper planning, and that goes beyond simply picking out your classes. To get ready, you’ve got to ask yourself a certain number of questions whose answers will allow you to move more easily… from theory to action!