Teaching part-time: The best of both worlds

If variety is the spice of life, BCIT Computing Part-time Studies instructors are doing things right. By working in industry and sharing their knowledge with others, they keep themselves challenged while also enjoying a sense of giving back.

Donabel Santos (pictured above), herself a BCIT Computer Systems Technology (CST) Diploma and Bachelor of Technology grad, has been teaching for 15 years, primarily in database and data visualization technologies. “My students are working professionals. So they are there to learn more, they’re there to complement their skills, to advance their skills,” she explains.

Donabel brings to the classroom wide-ranging experience: she’s the Associate Director of Business Intelligence at UBC, has her own consultancy, is an author – most recently of a Tableau “cookbook,” and has received various awards including numerous Microsoft MVP designations. Her students “find a lot of value in actually having working professionals teach the part-time courses.”

From a teacher’s perspective she says she feels satisfied knowing “students last night are able to take whatever they learned last night to work today.”

Alex Volkov is newer to BCIT, but has been teaching periodically for over 30 years – when he can fit it around his software engineering career. He’s currently a software developer at Modular Mining Systems, a company whose products optimize mining systems to maximize productivity.

He finds teaching very enjoyable and rewarding because of the opportunity it provides to pass knowledge and expertise on to the next generation. He explains with a grin: “as you grow older, you grow smarter, and smarter, and I better pass it on before it’s too late!”

He also enjoys the opportunity for fellowship with students and faculty, particularly for a software engineer, who tends to spend so much time communicating with technology. Getting into the classroom is a “breath of fresh air for me,” he reports.

BCIT Computing is growing and evolving to meet the changing needs of BC’s tech sector. Courses run for six to twelve weeks throughout the year, in Burnaby and downtown Vancouver. Shorter workshops are also offered on weekends or in other formats. If you’re an IT expert working in industry, and are interested in teaching computing part-time, contact us to learn more.

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