Courses for Stay at Home Mums
For many women, having a child is a turning point in your life where you reconsider your goals and priorities. Whether you take five months off or five years, choosing to study is becoming a popular option for mums who have taken a break from work. Australia offers a wide range of courses to choose from whether you’re looking to change careers or up skill. With a little help from technology and some time management, you can make more of your time at home.
What course to study?
Most people study something related to their field of work. If you were in the accounting-line, it makes sense to do a professional accounting qualification or something financially-related. If you were an engineer you could beef up your resume with a project-management certificate.
On the other hand, your time off could be an opportunity to do something completely different.
Something you always wanted to do but never found the time. Or courage. Mums study all sorts of things from art history to medical pathology. The trick is to find something you’re really interested in. If you’re thinking about work prospects, volunteering will boost your CV and also give you a better idea of the field you’re interested in.
What courses are available in Australia?
There are many courses out there for people who may not be able to commit to a full-time programme. You can choose from online, part-time or a short course that could be as quick as a one-week blitz.
If you’ve done your bachelors and have some work experience up your sleeve, this is a good time to advance to a postgraduate qualification. Many universities offer part-time or online programmes which you can work around your schedule. A postgraduate qualification is intellectually satisfying. And can provide you with an edge when you do decide to go back into the workforce.
If you never got a chance to do your undergraduate degree, now is a good time to do it. Institutions like Open Universities Australia (OUA) offer distance-learning courses you can participate in online.
An undergraduate degree from OUA is just as good as an on-campus qualification. If you prefer the atmosphere of a campus however, many universities such as Deakin and Swinburne offer part-time degree courses.
Open Universities Australia (OUA)
When it comes to online learning, Open Universities seems to be the buzzword. The consortium is owned by 7 major national Australian universities including Monash, RMIT, Swinburne and Macquarie. With over 180 courses from 20 universities and TAFES, it’s a good place to start your search. Doing a course with OUA is just as recognised as doing it on campus. In terms of flexibility, all you need is an Internet connection and you can study at your own pace.
University is not for everyone. That’s why Technical And Further Education or TAFE Institutes provide a wide range of vocational courses such as Beauty Therapy, Cabinet Making and Financial Services. Many of these courses offer industry work placements and apprenticeships, teaching you skills you can use on the job immediately.
Another popular institute is SAGE, which specialises in massage, child care and aged care courses. These three areas are increasingly in demand and supported by the government. If you don’t already have a degree you can be eligible for government funding. SAGE courses are conveniently scheduled during the day-times, evenings or weekends so you can slot it into your schedule.
If you just want to do something apart from child-rearing, you can take short courses at your local neighbourhood house. Many local community centres offer fun courses in languages, yoga, painting, cooking, meditation or whatever interests you. Learning is a lifelong thing and will always come in handy no matter what you end up doing.
Be a teacher
Many stay-at-home mums (and dads) consider becoming teachers. After spending so many years learning how to raise your child, you can take this newfound skill to the next level – in schools.
In Australia, having a Bachelor of Education isn’t the only way to be a teacher. If you have a degree in another discipline, you can do a Graduate Diploma in Teaching (usually a year or two) and teach in the area you’re experienced in.
Another option is being a Teacher’s Aide, where you provide additional assistance to teachers, usually in pre-schools or special education classrooms. Teacher’s Aide courses are available at most universities, including OUA. They are usually short, ranging from an intensive one week programme to a ten-week course.