Thoraz goes to University!

Moderator: Littlabit

Post Reply
Posts: 103
Joined: Tue Jun 29, 2004 7:24 am
Location: Grande Prairie, AB, CANADA

Thoraz goes to University!

Post by Thoraz » Tue Jun 13, 2006 10:52 am

Hello everyone and well met.

Life throughout the past year has been a journey to say the least.
I hope your days have been well.

With the business having been sold, me no longer president, as well as having stepped down as a director of the public company, I found myself at somewhat of a crossroads of what I wanted to do with my life.

I searched around for work, that I was qualified to do and I found out something interesting. While I was qualified for a lot of the upper management type work out there, due to my many experiences in life, I was being penalized for not having a degree of some sort.

The job offers I got were doing the same as I am doing now, just in different cities. In the end I decided to stay where I am and....

... go back to university as well!

So... this is a poll of sorts.

I am looking for an online University. I thought I would throw this out there and see if anyone had any first hand knowledge of different offerings. I can read all I want on the internet but it does not give me real world knowledge about how they are as an institution and how well folks learned from them.

I live in Canda and I have been looking at Canadian Universities, but they seem to be stuck in "distance learning" where you go sit in video conference with the actual classroom. You are just in a different location.

I have been looking at American Universities instead and I know the big hurdle will be accreditation with the Canadian Engineering societies, but that is another hurdle for later.

I am going to stay working, so for myself, a correspondence style or online learning, will be best for what I wish to do.

I am planning on getting my bachelors degree in engineering to start, with a specialization in telecommunications or, baring finding that, in electronic/electrical.


I open the topic to discussion...
Let me know if you folks have any good schools I should look into.

Thanks for any and all replies.


(I posted in here as I still drop by and read how all you folks are doing and thought someone might have some ideas.)

User avatar
Posts: 3970
Joined: Tue Oct 04, 2005 1:26 pm
Location: ömniöüs

Post by Ommina » Tue Jun 13, 2006 2:19 pm

Did you check Athabasca University?

Canadian, and not classroom based. Don't know if they have the courses for which you are looking though.

User avatar
Posts: 763
Joined: Sun May 08, 2005 4:16 am
Location: Martinsburg, West Virginia

Post by Qmaus » Tue Jun 13, 2006 5:22 pm

My Stepfather got his Bachelors and his Masters online through Excelsior University; alot of US military people use them. He was very pleased with them.

Posts: 45
Joined: Tue Oct 18, 2005 2:08 pm

Post by Vettx » Tue Jun 13, 2006 5:30 pm

Heya thoraz

Not sure if you checked it out but Athabasca University or BC open university may be offering what you are looking for.


Posts: 103
Joined: Tue Jun 29, 2004 7:24 am
Location: Grande Prairie, AB, CANADA

Post by Thoraz » Tue Jun 13, 2006 6:01 pm

I have looked at Athabasca U.... but they don't offer engineering and even though through their affiliations with other schools I could put a program together to get the bachelor degree, the fine print on Athabasca is that 30 credits have to be done "in residence" that is a whole year in a classroom! Boring... No thanks. Hehe

But thanks for the suggestions.

BC Open U. I will have to look them up. They didn't show up when I did the search through Canada, which is surprising.

I'll have a look at Excelsior too.

Thanks :)
Thoraz - Ancient One from the frozen North

Posts: 1112
Joined: Thu Jul 08, 2004 7:52 am
Location: Canada

Post by Szork » Wed Jun 14, 2006 3:57 am

Hi Thoraz, great to hear from you!

First off, remember to stuff your valuable into your closet before throwing a keg party. This includes any plants that don't thrive on beer.

Regarding engineering, I don't think it's possible to earn an accredited degree online. Engineering is quite competitive, so the schools require that you take courses on site, in person, to avoid any potential cheating or identification problems.

However, if you are able to learn at home well, you can enroll in an undergrad program (at UofA for example, not too far from you) and then just skip 80% of your classes. The vast majority of classes will post all lecture material online, but you'll get the occasional dinosaur who refuses, and you may have to find a contact to get notes from. The 20% of the classes you'll need to attend include things like lab work, tutorial quiz days, tests, &c. I would expect you might need to be at school once a week minimum.

Typical marking scheme:
40-60% final
20-40% midterms
0-20% tutorial quiz
0-20% problem sets (or Lab mark)

Engineering programs are also very strict as to which classes you take. Most programs don't give you any choice in courses for the first two years, and then only some electives in the last two. You'll have a lot of math, statics, dynamics, math, thermodynamics, scientific computing, math, &c. to plow through before you get on with more interesting work.

You will have a good advantage, having professional experience, however you'll have to be sharp with the math as well. Some engineering programs start out assuming you know more about calculus and linear algebra than learned in high school. I had 96 average, and I had a lot of catching up to do. (Mind you, I chose the most difficult program at UofT, and other programs might be more forgiving.) I would review matrices, vectors, and basic calculus before starting, or you may get swamped quickly.

If you're also considering other degrees, there are many options that you may find more interesting than a basic engineering degree, with much more freedom in course choice and options for online credits.

Hope this helps, and good luck!

Posts: 103
Joined: Tue Jun 29, 2004 7:24 am
Location: Grande Prairie, AB, CANADA

Post by Thoraz » Thu Jun 15, 2006 5:32 am

Hehe, thanks Szork, but methinks I really have to get through engineering.

While other degrees may be more fun, the path I am on dictates that I will need that as a major. I took a look at U of A briefly. Not quite what I want. Canadian Universities are not set up to handle someone like me. hehe

But I do see the point of them actually wanting to see me in person. Perhaps just for the tests?

I have about a month to figure out where and when I wish to study. I want to make sure I end up in the right place.

Oh, and Qmaus I had gotten a log in at Excelsior previously, as it was the only way to get inside and see what it would actually cost. So I will wander back there and see what they have.

Thanks for all the suggestions so far.
Thoraz - Ancient One from the frozen North

Posts: 22
Joined: Thu Oct 07, 2004 1:13 pm

Post by Azurefox » Sun Jun 18, 2006 8:19 am

Nice to see you, mighty dwarf :).

I have no suggestions to offer, I'm afraid, but did not want to miss the chance to say hello. I believe that the miner's guild in Kaladim offers some sort of program, but you will have to wake up the old dwarf to go investigate.

Best regards to you and to the lovely Paula, and best wishes in your academic program.

I too took a year to go back to school this past year, and it was great fun being back in the University...for me it would be...let's tenth year of post college academic work, with 14 years of work in between years 9 and 10.


Posts: 103
Joined: Tue Jun 29, 2004 7:24 am
Location: Grande Prairie, AB, CANADA

Post by Thoraz » Mon Jun 19, 2006 4:34 am

Well met Azurefox, my old friend :)
And a hearty hello to you and your family as well.

It has been some time since the old dwarf was awakended. hehe
Paula is doing well, last I heard, as she went on her own journey more than a year ago, and should she read this I am sure she will smile.

I made a discovery this past friday.
I am in charge of the RF departmnet here and was looking at one of the colleges that is right here in Alberta, called SAIT, that has a telecom technology program and I was looking for graduates of that.

Well it turns out they offer distance and correspondance learning too, as well as bachelor's degrees and have an association that puts our local college in the mix and I could take the tests right here!

So... I am somewhat excited now. hehe
But I have more choices.

As Szork had said in his reply, there are other degrees to be had as well and they offer one in GIS technology.
Well, I have been a proponent of starting up GIS programmes up here and the course material fits right in with what I will be doing over the winter and it offers a degree!

Yikes so now I have another decision to make.

I have been thinking hard. Seeing as it has so many choices for online courses, I may just do the GIS program first as it is needed now, get my degree in that and then see if I still want to pursue engineering and then get the extra courses and pursue that after the project here is done.

GIS is one of those up and coming systems and a lot of companies don't understand how much it could help them. There could be a good market and future in that.

SAIT is acredited and really renowned for technology. I was even on one of their boards once, in making up which technology programmes to offer!

I have no idea why I did not think of them or why they didn't show on Google! Perhaps they did show on Google but back a few pages and I didn't get that far, as I was flooded with info, thuis the post here, asking for help to eliminate the "wheat from the chaff". haha

So this week I shall contact them, perhaps even make a trip to Calgary soon and talk with them face to face.

Thanks all for the suggestions and the hellos. :)


Post Count Kin... Queen
Posts: 656
Joined: Wed Sep 08, 2004 7:59 am

Post by Teory » Mon Jun 19, 2006 5:49 am

Exciting news Thoraz - glad to hear it. Tis my year to head to back to school as well after my first career; I'm going to try something new - doing an MBA full time at the University of Manitoba, Asper School of Business - it's an executive program (for us senior folks) so compressed into 11 months - should be one heck of a change. And greetings Azurefox - Gary is back from his medical ethics fellowship in Chicago as of this past week and starts his first oncology attending position in another 2 weeks :)
Teory Yitelar<br>Venerable, Veritable Mischief Maker

Post Reply