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Need help deciding which post-secondary school I should go to

Looking for help trying to decide if Athabasca University is the right fit for me or if it is even worth getting a degree/diploma through them.

I am a mature student (37) just finishing my upgrading for my high school diploma. Any younger people that read this, when people say stay in school and get your diploma LISTEN TO THEM! I have spent close to $3000.00 already just so I can finally say I am a high school graduate. You may say I don’t need a diploma it’s only a piece of paper or you just plain don’t care, believe me when I say you will regret it later in life. I didn’t think I would either but wow, was I wrong, and the longer you wait the harder it is to do.

Anyway, I have been looking at Grant MacEwan, NAIT, and Athabasca University. For GM and NAIT I will still have to do a couple more upgrading courses and AU I don’t which is a huge plus. However, my main concern is , even though I know AU is an accredited university in both Canada and the States, do their degrees/diplomas hold the same weight with potential employers as other universities due to them being an online university as opposed to a brick and mortar. AU really appeals to me because it is a totally online format that you can do at your own pace even though I think it may be a bit more expensive and it also fits my needs better as I may be moving provinces in the next year.

I just don’t want to waste more time and money (I’m definitely not getting any younger) on a university degree that I won’t get the value from because employers see it as not up to standards or something like that.

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34 Responses

  1. Terri Bee Terri Bee says:

    That would depend on your interest of study, what do you want to take?

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  2. I’m not an employer but I would think that a degree from any accredited post-secondary institute would be of equal value from any other school. Good luck!

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  3. Shawna Perez Shawna Perez says:

    Avoid CDI, Norquest and Reeves and you should be fine.

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    • Norquest?? Excuse me? Norquest is an accredited college. I think you should research before saying that.

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    • Amanda Lee Amanda Lee says:

      Yeah norquest is great. I wouldn’t include it in the “do not” list

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    • Shawna Perez Shawna Perez says:

      Lorena Pelaez, I did and I took a course there which ended being laughed at and considered not viable by the company I took it for. You do YOUR research!

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    • Kayla Lee Kayla Lee says:

      So you took a course and didn’t do your own research and it ended up not being the right fit so you slump an accredited college with a cereal box college? You do your research, there are plenty of grads who are highly employable coming from norquest. Are there better places for some programs, yes absolutely. But I don’t think that means you paint all programming with the same brush.

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    • Shawna Perez Shawna Perez says:

      Kayla Lee, no need to be so defensive and hostile. My comment was not about you and has no bearing on you otherwise. My guess is that you like to jump on the bandwagon of trolls when it seems to have a few people on it already. That’s sad.

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  4. They don’t hold the same weight as say a diploma from GM or Nait. I graduated for Alberta Career College. No weight. Im not sure if AU will be the same but always go with the accredited school.

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  5. Kara Fehr Kara Fehr says:

    Best be safe than sorry and just go with Nait or GM

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    • Ruth Chalk Ruth Chalk says:

      Unless it’s accounting….. Nait will get you a job but it isn’t recognized by a certain association of sorts….. so it actually kind of depends. Athabasca uni is actually a really good school

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    • Margy Sharon Margy Sharon says:

      Athabasca University is well known around the world and it is accredited. The only thing is that if you are not dedicated to your studies, it will be difficult because it’s all self learning and you have to pace yourself because each course is time sensitive. Research it more

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  6. Ruth Chalk Ruth Chalk says:

    It depends on what course you want to take. If you are going into accounting you are better off going to athabasca or grant mac. Whatever you do don’t go to Reeves CDI …..

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  7. Ruth Chalk Ruth Chalk says:

    Those 3 schools are all really good. Just avoid Reeves or cdi

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  8. Win Chan Win Chan says:

    Wouldn’t go there unless you’re after a very specific credential for a specific line of work. Online studies is also hard if you’re not one used to working on your own and making your own schedule.

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  9. I have my bachelor of nursing from Athabasca university and had no issues finding a position as an RN. Not sure about other fields, but from my experience, as long as you pass your licensing exam and are in good standing with your licensing college, an employer doesn’t care where you got your degree from.

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  10. AU, NAIT, GM all equal in employers eyes..and I am in the same boat, went back to school at 31 while on maternity with my first and have since completed my diploma at NAIT while had a 2nd kid and working..I then switched to Athabasca U for a degree and hate it, in comparison to the classes at NAIT. Nait they actually teach you..athabasca U they expect you to just read the text, teach yourself and then pass..I dont even have a direct way to contact my instructor. Will switch back to Nait after this coirse most likely

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  11. I live in Athabasca. You should come and take a tour of the campus. Or give them a call and they will answer all your questions I’m sure. Good luck on your choice!

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  12. AU is fine if you have a specific career goal/program in mind. However if your intention is to use that credential to enter another competitive program in academia or into a graduate program it’s best to go elsewhere. As an academic advisor, I can tell you that a degree from AU is not held in as high esteem is from some of the larger institutions.

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  13. Cindy Moore Cindy Moore says:

    I have my Masters of Arts & integrated studies from AU (leadership & education focus) it is recognized in the teaching profession! Raise in the pay grid & able to climb the ladder.

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  14. Danielle Dee Danielle Dee says:

    N A I T !!!!!!!!!!

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  15. Robyn Hamp Robyn Hamp says:

    Depends on the kind of profram you want to be in. NAIT offers a variety of trades, GM offers Business, Arts and Science, Fine Arts, and a few diploma/transfer programs with good class sizes. I can’t say much for AU, I don’t know much o o

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    • I think you need more research, NAIT do offers a wide variety of programs not only trades which are all well recognized, NAIT is more hands on with their material with real scenarios of the real workplace while MacEwan is more inclined what the books have to say

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    • Robyn Hamp Robyn Hamp says:

      oh, right right right. That is a better way of putting it. Thanks!

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  16. Some programs at AU are brutal. It’s expensive and can be hard to stay with it. I hated it and I am on their materials.

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  17. Kayla Lee Kayla Lee says:

    I plan to start my year of studies with AU. If after the first semester it isn’t living up to my expectations I will transfer. I spoke with an academic advisor with AU and also one at Grant Mac. I made the decision to ensure the courses I am taking through AU have direct transfer credit to GM for my program. This way if it goes horribly or isn’t the learning style I can commit to, I haven’t chucked another year of school in the trash.

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  18. As an employer, the AU is recognized as any other university. A b-com there holds the same weight as a b-com at gmac or u of a. As long as you have the necessary degree that the employer is looking for then the institutions don’t matter 🙂
    I’m also taking classes at AU and love it

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  19. N B Smith N B Smith says:

    Depending on what you want to get in to. If it’s something you need a license for, check with the governing board and see if the school credentials are recognized. Good luck!

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  20. Greg Ory Greg Ory says:

    These days, a highschool diploma isn’t going to get you very far either. You definitely need post secondary. Which institution? Well that depends on the discipline you are studying for. See what the industry thinks about the schools and their graduates. And go with the school that works for you. It’s the best route to success.

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  21. Sam Weber Sam Weber says:

    NAIT grad here and I was a mature student at the time. I have a VERY successful career in the field I chose and NAIT helped get me there. NAIT is well recognized. But the answer totally depends on where you want to go and want you want to do with your life as both offer different programs.

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  22. Sue Kidd Sue Kidd says:

    I’d go Nait or GM.

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