Short term training to reach your long term career goals

Date posted: 
Wednesday, November 29, 2017

You’ve achieved success in your academic degree and launched your career. Now you’re planning for something more…

Short term, professional specialized training offers the theory and the practice that you need to move your career goals forward.

For many professionals, gaining a degree in a chosen field is an important first step in launching their career. To optimize career opportunities and stay in step with the diverse landscape of new methods and technologies, seeking out specialized training is equally important. This is where short-term training can provide invaluable long-term benefits for your next level project or planned career move.

Professional Specialization Certificate (PSC) programs and courses provide practical, applied skills training and flexible delivery options so that you can balance your work commitments and career advancement needs at the same time. In many cases, such specialized training can offer direct benefits to your current work projects through instructor mentorship, peer review work and practice-based skill applications.

Johnathan Lambo is a public health physician and medical epidemiologist who took one such program, the PSC in Population Health Data Analysis (PHDA), offered through Continuing Studies at UVic in partnership with Population Data BC.  

"I would recommend the program to working professionals, researchers, and graduate students. The courses were quite intensive but they provide the analytic tools that were complementary to the course experience I gained in my graduate program. I gained evaluation, spatial analytic and advanced analytical skills for modelling health outcomes data,” he explains.

“The program had many strengths including: excellent, experienced instructors for each of the courses; use of fellow students as peers to give feedback on assignments (this was a particular strength of the PHDA06 course in Health Evaluation and Program Monitoring); and discussion forums that promoted exchange of information amongst students using real life examples."  

Because PSC programs like PHDA are specifically designed for working professionals, they take into consideration the need for online flexibility; compact, applicable training, and they tend to incorporate a collaborative professional environment.

"I found a strength of the program to be the engagement of the other students, who are usually all from diverse backgrounds with varying levels of experience with the content. It was helpful to learn from each other. The workload was also quite manageable for those who are working full-time in addition to the courses. The teachers also all seemed knowledgeable and passionate about the topics, and were willing to help students answer their questions or provide assistance for the course projects," says Sarah Costa, a Health Economist with the Canadian Centre for Applied Research in Cancer Control, BC Cancer Agency, who also completed the PHDA PSC program.

Wendy de Gomez, a Capital Planning Analyst with the Waterloo Catholic District School Board, credits the program with helping her get ahead in her career. “Over the two years (2013-2015) it took me to finish the program, I had three different jobs. All of them have been contract or maternity leave positions, and I believe the data analysis and mapping skills have helped me to be employable in each situation. All the courses have supported my knowledge, skills and confidence to use data more effectively. In particular the way I approach the organization, structure and use of data has benefitted my work in many ways.”

For professionals working in the health and social science field, the PSC in Population Health Data Analysis program offers:

  • A focussed, compact credential that both complements and enhances previous training and education
  • The flexibility of an online learning environment, meaning the program can be completed from anywhere, and works around existing work and family commitments
  • Applied data analysis skills and techniques upgrading, achieved through the completion of just four courses
  • Professional development credits for health related associations

To learn more about the PHDA program, you are invited to attend a free webinar, taking place on Friday, December 14 at 1pm ET (10am PT).

To read about the experiences of other PHDA graduates, visit: https://www.popdata.bc.ca/etu/testimonials/PHDA


Page last revised: December 5, 2017