Last updated: 25.01.13

Distance learning advances career of working mother

A mum of two from Rugby has turned her life around after a distance learning qualification from the Open University (OU) landed her a senior promotion at Aston Martin.

Lisa Jay is now the first female programme manager at the leading car manufacturer and she put her success down to the training she did with the online institution, the Mirror reports.

According to the 36-year-old, the flexibility of the studies and the high-quality support offered by tutors was "exactly what I needed" in order for her to balance full-time work with raising two young children.

"I liked that I could fit everything in to my own time schedule and the fact that I could pay per module as I went along suited my finances," she told the news provider.

Due to the fact the degree was based around modular learning, Ms Jay did not feel overwhelmed by the work she was required to do and she could take each step at her own pace.

Furthermore, all of the tutors on the course were willing to organise one-on-one web chats if she needed them and if there was ever a problem that prevented her from interacting with her educators, there was always a solution, the working parent said.

Ms Jay continued: "I thought back to when I was a tearaway teenager and how I never thought I could possibly be one of those people with a degree. The OU allowed me to do it."

To begin with, Ms Jay paid to register for the modules out of her own pocket, but her bosses at Aston Martin sponsored her for the remaining half when they saw how much the online learning was benefiting her career development.

It may be wise for businesses to roll out their own digital training services to employees, so they too can recognise its positive effects. One training provider to offer modules in various aspects of workplace education is Virtual College, which covers subjects like Equal Opportunities and the Law and First Aid.