Valérie Grenier, g.c.,
Manager – Promotion and study information
Are you thinking about going to university to upgrade your skills for your current job but are hesitating to commit to a program? There are different options available to you depending on what kind of training you need, the level of education you aspire to, and the amount of time you want to invest.
A professional development activity allows you to quickly acquire knowledge that is immediately applicable in the workplace, and often does not require any prior training. Professional development activities earn continuing education credits (CEC), with one CEC equivalent to 10 hours of work and used to quantify the estimated number of hours a student should devote to in-class learning and structured independent study.
Offered in short and accessible courses lasting one or several days, professional development activities meet the needs of the job market, can contribute to required training hours for your professional order, keep your knowledge current and enhance your resumé. They can be followed on an individual basis or offered within your company. Check with your employer.
Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) are free, non-credit, university-level distance education courses. Offered online, a MOOC is accessible to an unlimited number of participants from anywhere in the world, and can lead to a certificate of achievement. In addition to acquiring university-level content without prerequisites, you can choose a MOOC as a personal challenge, to enrich your general knowledge, develop a more comprehensive perspective of an issue, or even as part of your continuing education goals.
Unique to Université Laval, the nanoprogram was launched in the fall of 2019, and offers intensive courses centered on a topical theme. With durations of 90 hours or 135 hours, they are part of a lifelong learning perspective. Recognized by employers, the nanoprogram training leads to university-sanctioned certification which constitutes an official recognition of mastered skills, including hours of training completed and recognition of university credits (two or three Cycle 1 or Cycle 2 credits). Networking and collaboration with experts to support you in carrying out a concrete project for your professional career are carried out throughout the course. It’s a great formula to discover!
To study a specific topic, have you considered registering for one or more university courses as a non-degree student (étudiant libre)? This means you can attend school without embarking upon on a program of study and will receive grades for the courses taken based on assignments and exams.
A university course is made up of 1 to 6 credits, with each credit corresponding to 45 hours of work, including individual study, and all forms of learning activities, whether in a classroom, laboratory, internship or remotely. If you wish to continue into a degree program, the credits can then be used towards the degree if the courses you took are part of that program path.
Did you know? Université Laval offers its students maximum flexibility with different teaching options (face-to-face, distance, hybrid, co-modal). In fact, more than 1,000 courses are offered online to help you reach your goals while reconciling different aspects of your life.
The microprogram is a short educational program offering between 9 and 18 credits with the aim of improving professional development in a particular field. It leads to obtaining a certificate of studies. Usually offered on a part-time basis, it can often be taken remotely in Quebec or elsewhere. The 1st or 2nd cycle microprograms are the most popular choice for working adults who wish to pursue a short university education in a specific field.
Usually comprised of 30 credits, the certificate is a short program in a particular field and can be complementary to a university degree or serve as refresher training for professionals. For employed students, a certificate program is often carried out on a part-time basis, and depending on the chosen pace of study, can be spread over a period of three years at the rate of one course per session. We invite you to discover more than 80 certificate programs offered in different fields of study, many of which are also available remotely.
The Bachelor’s degree is offered in different forms: A specialized degree emphasizes one specific area of knowledge, while an integrated or multi-disciplinary degree allows you to pursue at least two complementary fields. Many continuing education students turn to the multi-disciplinary 90-credit Bachelor’s program, which makes it possible to combine two or three certificates in additional training according to their personal or professional goals. Depending on the pace (full-time or part-time), a Bachelor’s can be completed over a period of 3 to 9 years, after which the undergraduate Bachelor’s degree allows access to graduate courses and programs.
Advanced graduate diploma (DESS)
The advanced graduate diploma is a short 2nd cycle program which enables the acquisition of specific expertise in a specific field. It is comprised of 24 – 30 credits, and often favoured by people in the workplace. These short DESS graduate programs merit exploration, as they allow students, among other things, to deepen their knowledge or consolidate skills in a field in which they already have training, in a related field or a specific area of practice.
The Master’s programs are either practice-oriented for acquiring professional specialization or focused on a research project leading to the writing of a dissertation. As part of a professional Master’s degree, an intervention activity involves a reflective process resulting in an internship report or intervention project report. Comprised of 45 credits of 2nd cycle activities, the Master’s program leads to a graduate degree, and can be a major asset for accessing certain positions depending on your professional goals.
Improve your practices, keep working and get a diploma
Whatever formula you choose, don’t forget to clearly identify your training needs. To do this, try to envision yourself 5-to-15 years into the future: Where are you in your career? Who do you work for? What knowledge, skills and attitudes will you need to acquire in order to achieve your goals? This reflection, even if brief, will be remarkably helpful in choosing your continuing education.
If necessary, do not hesitate to contact a guidance counsellor in order to obtain support in your development or study project.
Wishing you great success!