I love to learn. It’s a lifelong habit I seem to have picked up at some point. Learning about something I love as much as genealogy and family history made it easier to get through a course I recently completed.
About a week ago, I wrapped up the four-week Genealogy Essentials course online through Boston University’s Center for Professional Education. I was dipping a toe in the water to decide if I want to commit to the 15-week certificate program later this year. From what I hear, the certificate program is more intensive, although honestly … the four-week course kept me busy enough between a full-time job and other important responsibilities. Of course, I tried my best to do all of the readings, required and optional, and to participate in all of the online group discussions.
You know you’re on the right track when part of what you’re learning is how much you still have left to learn. Sometimes I feel like I’ve hit a point where there’s not much more to discover about either genealogy or my own family history, and then … wow, it turns out there’s plenty more. This brief course had that effect on me.
The BU course appealed not only to my desire for more discipline in my genealogy, but also to a newly sparked interest in colonial America, the westward migration, Midwest settlement, and history generally. I was relieved to have the time back when the course ended, but I did not feel finished with the learning. I’m still pondering the next move.
I’ve considered pursuing certification … long term … through the Board for Certification of Genealogists. While attaining the BU certificate is not the same as being certified, the BU program is supposed to be good preparation for certification from the BCG. The time and financial commitment are not insignificant, though, so I’m still deciding.
In the meantime, I’m considering the more modest NGS home study as a way to prepare for the BU program. The best part about both programs is that they are online and can be pursued almost completely from home, which might work well for me just now.
I’d welcome any advice from those who have been through the NGS home study, the BU certificate program, or the BCG certification process. Worth it?