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TA's - Seeking School/Career Advice


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#1 JaimeLynne

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    Posted 08 August 2008 - 12:46 AM

    (I'm not sure if this is the right place to post this or not, so mods feel free to move the thread if necessary.)

    I am currently earning a Bachelor's degree in Interdisciplinary Studies with a focus on Travel & Tourism (with a special emphasis on Spanish language and Mexican culture) - my career goal upon Graduation is to become a Travel Agent.

    I am 2 classes away from graduating, however due to some health issues I will not be able to attend on-campus classes this Fall. That said, I Googled "University of Texas Online Courses" and found a section under "Continuing Education/Career Development" with a specific course for students wishing to go into the TA field.

    This is what the website says:

    Quote:
    Travel Agent

    This nationally recognized Travel Agent online course and training program will prepare students for the Institute of Certified Travel Agents TAP Certification. Students learn the basic skills needed to operate a computer reservation system. This program consists of two modules including a Travel Career Development module and an interactive reservation system module. For the reservation system module students get their choice of SABRE, WORLDSPAN, APOLLO, GALILEO, or AMADEUS GDS system. All materials included.

    CEUs: 20.00 Hours: 200.00
    That's all it says. I have no clue what SABRE, WORLDSPAN, APOLLO, etc. are. The class costs $1,595.

    I am going to need something to keep me busy during the Fall semester so that I don't go stir-crazy. I can't really get a job anywhere until my energy levels get back up which the doc says could take up to 6 months. Eventually, I plan on interning for a local travel agency and then seeing where it goes from there.

    So, does this course sound familiar at all?? Do you think it would be helpful/worth the money?? I've spoken with 2 TA's so far (including Tammy host about a year ago - thanks Tammy!) so I know some of the downsides of the biz, but am still very interested. I have 7 years sales experience in the Art Gallery business, but am looking to switch careers. Most of my clientele at the Art Gallery I currently work for are high-end, so my hope is that I could offer travel services to them and work in Luxury travel (specializing in Mexico and other Latin/South American countries).

    Opinions on this particular course, as well as any other advice that you may have for me, would be greatly appreciated!

    TIA!

    ~ Jaime :)

    ~ Jaime & Martin ~
    "Rain or Swine! 2-0-0-9"

    We had 24 people attend our wedding in Las Caletas, Mexico on May 24th, 2009!

    We all stayed at The Marriott in P.V., and Honeymooned at The Royal Plantation in Ochos Rios, Jamaica!


    #2 MikkiStreak

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      Posted 08 August 2008 - 12:54 AM

      I think those are the computer reservation systems. A friend of mine's husband was a programmer at Sabre in FW up until a couple years ago when they did a crapload of layoff's.

      #3 JaimeLynne

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        Posted 11 August 2008 - 12:40 PM




        ~ Jaime & Martin ~
        "Rain or Swine! 2-0-0-9"

        We had 24 people attend our wedding in Las Caletas, Mexico on May 24th, 2009!

        We all stayed at The Marriott in P.V., and Honeymooned at The Royal Plantation in Ochos Rios, Jamaica!


        #4 TammyWright

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        Posted 12 August 2008 - 01:47 PM

        it couldn't hurt to take taht course but i took the TAP course for alot less...and you can learn sabre, amadeus, etc on the job because different agencies use different systems.

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        #5 SoontobeMsKniss

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          Posted 12 August 2008 - 02:35 PM

          Maybe you could try talking to some travel agents or a career councler and see what they have to say. Getting an opinion from someone in the industry may point you in the right direction.

          Hope this helps some. Good luck!

          #6 JaimeLynne

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            Posted 12 August 2008 - 02:49 PM

            Quote:
            Originally Posted by Tammy Host
            it couldn't hurt to take taht course but i took the TAP course for alot less...and you can learn sabre, amadeus, etc on the job because different agencies use different systems.
            Did you take your course online?

            I'm really just looking for something to keep me busy but that will also be beneficial to me while I'm recuperating...

            ~ Jaime & Martin ~
            "Rain or Swine! 2-0-0-9"

            We had 24 people attend our wedding in Las Caletas, Mexico on May 24th, 2009!

            We all stayed at The Marriott in P.V., and Honeymooned at The Royal Plantation in Ochos Rios, Jamaica!


            #7 TA Dina

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              Posted 21 August 2008 - 03:10 PM

              The course description doesn't give you any more to go on? That's really vauge.

              I don't know what travel schools go for these days but that does seem like a lot of money to prepare for the TAP test. And as far as learning the GDS systems (that's what Sabre etc are), you really can't pick just one. Well I mean you can, but if you learn Apollo and end up at an agency that works on Worldspan, it's kinda the equivilant of taking a class in Italian so that you can speak Spanish.

              If you know where you'll be interning I'd find out what system they work on first. At least then if you decide to take this course you'll get more out of it. But for the record you can definately learn a GDS on the job.

              Another thing to think of is what type of clientele you have and what type of agency you'll be working for. If you mention to an agency that you have high end luxury clients they'll probably be all over you to come work with them ($$). But if they don't specialize or sell the products that your clients want you're doing everyone a disservice (most of all yourself). You want to align yourself with the right company.

              Check out The Travel Insititue and CLIA and see what they offer in the way of training.

              #8 JaimeLynne

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                Posted 21 August 2008 - 03:14 PM

                Thanks for the advice, Dina! I agree, the course info is SOOO vague!! I'm not going to take it.

                As for interning, I really have no idea where I'll be doing that. I had a small agency in mind awhile back (I used her for my TA) but honestly she sucked and lost me as a client so that's out the door.

                What do you think about working for a large vs. a small company?

                I will check out the other things that you mentioned. :)

                ~ Jaime & Martin ~
                "Rain or Swine! 2-0-0-9"

                We had 24 people attend our wedding in Las Caletas, Mexico on May 24th, 2009!

                We all stayed at The Marriott in P.V., and Honeymooned at The Royal Plantation in Ochos Rios, Jamaica!


                #9 starchild

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                  Posted 21 August 2008 - 04:47 PM

                  I'm super late to this but I think that's too much money also. IMO that's a waste of a University course, if you have to pay that much take something else that is unique to your college. The 2 courses you need to graduate - are they just electives? If so I would look for a community college that offers online courses, maybe a business course or something that could be useful. In CA a community college a course of any kind would be < $100...not sure what TX charges.

                  About 2 months ago DH enrolled me in an online TA program as a surprise (moving towards working from home & he is always saying I should be a TA so he set me up!). It's been super easy to do when I'm bored, in fact you just reminded me that I have a test to take LOL Anyway the point is he paid way less than that for an entire program from TA 101 to courses on software & how to start your own agency, not just 2 modules. Google what you're looking for and check w/CLIA like TA Dina mentioned and I bet you find something inexpensive.

                  #10 JaimeLynne

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                    Posted 21 August 2008 - 05:11 PM

                    Jamy - the 2 classes I need to graduate are advanced and one is degree specific (my thesis/capstone paper).

                    Which online program did you take?

                    I don't wanna just take anything and waste money, obviously.

                    ~ Jaime & Martin ~
                    "Rain or Swine! 2-0-0-9"

                    We had 24 people attend our wedding in Las Caletas, Mexico on May 24th, 2009!

                    We all stayed at The Marriott in P.V., and Honeymooned at The Royal Plantation in Ochos Rios, Jamaica!





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