July 22, 2020
One of the primary translator’s decisions is the choice of specialization and translation courses online. Since this will allow one to deepen expertise in the chosen subject and give the ability to translate more complex texts within the chosen language pair. While a translator can offer services in all areas of expertise, the absence of any specific preferred specialization may result in the lack of constantly returning clients who need many texts within their field being translated. For example, if one’s preferred sphere is microbiology, he or she may start cooperating with a scholarly journal and receive a constant flow of new publications that require translation. Thus, specialization is a big plus but many people think that it can be achieved only by attending college or university. Is it a truth, though?
In fact, spending four years of one’s life to obtain the desired certificate may not be the only right solution. While a freshman has time and possibilities to change the course of studying process, many people may find a true vocation much later in life and they cannot afford to spend an additional four years. There may be a variety of reasons from family to time-consuming hobby and work.
There is another obstacle to succeeding in obtaining the desired qualification by choosing a standard way. There may be no translation-related degree-granting program in the chosen area of knowledge or preferable institutional affiliation. Anyway, the primary aim is to get knowledge and start translating, isn’t it? The matter is that the Master’s degree is not really required to make this happen.
The short answer would be rather “no” than “yes” simply because clients are more interested in hired employee’s real working experience. It is always better to do something at least once than read several times about someone else’s doing that. One cannot develop good translation skills without practicing it and clients often understand it, that is why they offer better jobs for professionals who have many customers’ testimonials regardless of the degree’s availability.
Modern history represents multiple stories of people who succeeded in life after dropping college. Skills, knowledge, and reliability are things that matter in a real working environment. People who possess impressive degrees but cannot prove their knowledge and acquired skills have fewer chances of being hired than experts that have significant experience but lack official documents. They were busy working and gaining real knowledge, after all.
Even full-time students now go studying online and this process has begun prior to the global pandemic that locked many people at home. Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) demonstrate the increase in demand year after year, the number of available courses and classes grows, as well as the total number of participants. Many platforms offer advantageous free courses where translators can find useful content for themselves. Here are some of the most popular options:
One needs to monitor the chosen platform, preferably several ones since they offer different content and courses. There is always a chance to find something suitable for one’s specific interests and even if the chosen option is not free, there might be discounts or there might be a limited offer to get the desired translation course free of charge. That is why it is essential to keep an eye on chosen options.
As with any other online resource, one needs to register using real data since he or she is expected to obtain certification recognizable by various educational institutions and employers. Developers make the process of getting acquainted easier for users, for example, while registering on Coursera’s website you will have to choose the preferred subjects so that more personalized offers could be generated.
Platforms usually have a variety of filters to meet many possible criteria. Some of the most important filters that can be found on MOOCs are the following:
Topic. One particular sphere of interest may have multiple perspectives. For example, “app development” means not only the programming part but also presupposes the application of graphic design, writing texts, and, of course, localizing them for new markets’ needs. Even programming courses differ significantly depending on the required platform. That is why choosing not only a sphere but a specific narrowed topic is obligatory to find relevant content.
And one of the most important benefits that offer many courses, even the paid ones, is the possibility to obtain real knowledge free of charge. Some courses on Coursera, for example, grant open access to learning materials and content for free. One needs to pay to get access to quizzes and tests so that the certification process could be finished. You may do that, any idea to get official documents proving qualification remains to be decided on one’s own discretion but do you remember that many clients value real working experience and perfect outcomes more than any documents that prove specialist’s degree?
Once the knowledge is obtained, one can apply it to real tasks and improve performance. The visible result will be better proof of qualification than digital certification.
There are two major drawbacks to the realization of MOOCs. Even though these phenomena cannot be considered negative by all people, all prospective applicants must be aware of what is expected:
Fortunately, MOOCs platforms are constantly improving and developers try to eliminate as many known issues as possible. The number of courses in different languages growth, there are many translation courses that can be taken whenever you can work on them. That is why MOOCs may be treated as a sensible solution for translators who don’t want to waste years to study a particular degree if they can get required knowledge faster and start earning money thanks to the practical application of new skills.
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