As the festive period ends our thoughts turn back to work and, in many cases, how to grow our businesses and further develop our specialisations through continuing professional development. I would like to discuss the types of courses available and their relevance to translators, in particular those of us who specialise in business.
In the past few years I have taken several business CPD courses including “An Introduction to Financial Accounting” (https://www.coursera.org/course/accounting) and “Financial Markets” (https://www.coursera.org/course/financialmarkets). Both of these courses were extremely well taught and provided the ideal opportunity to learn new terminology and do relevant research. “An Introduction to Financial Accounting” outlined in detail the terminology and layout of annual reports and “Financial Markets” provided an in-depth discussion of how financial regulations have changed as a result of the recent economic crisis, both topics which, I’m sure you will agree, are of vital importance to the work of financial translators.
However not all business courses offered online are so useful to translators. Since many of these courses are free and are aimed at a wide section of society, and in many cases, all levels of education, they have to focus on what the majority of the general population would want to learn and therefore many of them focus on how to do the financial calculations to establish whether or not a particular investment is worthwhile. While such calculations may be of interest to some translators, you have to establish what you want to get out of a particular course before you sign up for it, something I have learnt at my own expense.
What is your experience of online business courses and how did you choose the courses which were most suitable for you?