In today’s rapidly changing world, information is everything. Staying up to date and continuing to learn is essential. For most of us, gathering new information is required in order to stay current in our field, to enter a new field, and to simply understand the world around us. That is where continuing education comes in.
The Chang School for Continuing Education at Ryerson University is Canada’s largest and most flexible program for lifelong learning. We reached out to Dr. Marie Bountrogianni, Dean of The G. Raymond Chang School of Continuing Education, to learn a little more about the school and the importance of continuing to learn throughout our lives.
What brings students to the Chang School?
Dean Bountrogianni: At The Chang School, we believe that everyone is a lifelong learner. It has been reported that approximately half of the Canadian adult population participates in continuing education at some point in their lives. With over 80 career-related certificate programs, we are Canada’s largest continuing education program and the destination of choice for professionals interested in achieving both their professional and personal goals. Whether our learners are interested in career advancement, pursuing a career change, or simply learning about a new topic, The Chang School offers relevant, high-quality educational programming geared to adult learners.
We are very proud of the accessibility and flexibility of our programming. Our learners are often juggling many other responsibilities such as commitments to work and family; these individuals really appreciate the flexibility we offer. Whether you live in downtown Toronto, Hamilton, or Thunder Bay, our over 400 online course offerings are accessible for anyone with access to the internet.
We are also pleased to offer summer intensive programs and boot camps. These programs present our learners with the opportunity to accelerate their understanding of a new subject and supplement their previous education and experience to help them gain a more competitive edge in their field. This summer, we are proud to offer 14 intensive programs in subject areas such as Business Communication, Fashion, Computer Security, Publishing, Project Management, and Interior Design.
Furthermore, The Chang School’s Experiential Learning Exchange (ELX) program offers participants the unique opportunity to focus on a specific, career-building skill with an emphasis on learning by doing. We call the ELX model ‘curated education’, as it gives participants the opportunity to develop expertise that they can immediately put into practice.
What a robust and flexible education opportunity! Why do you think continuing education is essential in today’s job market?
Dean Bountrogianni: We currently live in a learning-based economy; it is critically important to keep your eyes open and constantly be gathering information. The only way for professionals to stay competitive is to keep their skills relevant and knowledge up-to-date.
There are a lot of qualified professionals in Canada working in positions that do not take full advantage of their skill set. This is called mal-employment, and it is particularly prevalent in new graduates and immigrants. The 2015 Office of the Parliamentary Budget Report estimated that 40 per cent of Canadian university graduates aged 25 to 34 were overqualified for their jobs. It is imperative that individuals have their eye on the labour market and are attentive to the skills that support their long-term development and goals.
The Chang School’s strong partnerships with educational institutions, industry leaders, associations, and the local community help us ensure that our programming is at the forefront of continuing education. Additionally, our instructors are experts in their field and bring the most cutting-edge knowledge and experience to the classroom and online learning environment to share with our learners.
Personally, I think it is important to feel fulfilled in your professional life, and to also try a variety of different things. Through expanding your skill set, you are not only improving your employability, but you are opening opportunities for your future.
Life is all about learning. It never stops. If you choose to stop gathering new information, that does not stop the information from growing, changing and evolving. To stay current and engaged with today’s world means growing, changing and evolving with it. When you remain open to the ever-changing world of information, you remain open to the world itself and your future remains open to you.
We couldn’t agree more! To be successful today you really need to be on top of your game at all stages of your career. We hope this article has inspired you to consider upgrading your skills and education at The Chang School. For more information about Greenrock Property Management and to learn more about our rental communities across Toronto, including Village Green located minutes from The Chang School and Ryerson Campus, please visit our website.