Rosemary, that really is some brilliant advice, thankyou.
I am in a similar situation to Lucas, where I have grand visions of my own institute in the future to provide almost exactly as he is describing but also with a grey area of knowledge of which paths to take. I have recently been caught up in the process of deciphering which courses and education paths to choose but now I know; action!
Lucas; if you are registered on permacultureglobal.com look up an individual named 'Guy Miklos'. He has recently completed his diploma with no tutor support whatsoever and has uploaded his work for all of us to see. It's very, very impressive and proves that it's what you do that counts, but now that he has the diploma it probably does help his professional case for being a permaculture designer.
I'm off to find myself a new project