As years pass, the skills and qualifications for most jobs continue to increase and require more education and training, especially in light of new media and technological advancements. This may make the decision to change your line of work or start job hunting seem unrealistic, or that it’s simply too late. For you, the goal of changing careers may feel unattainable because of outdated job skills, an unfinished college degree, or just an overall lack of time. What many don’t realize, however, is that when you further your education and arm yourself with the proper academic credentials, you’ll pave a career path for yourself that will ultimately lead to success.
Earning a college degree has never been more important than it is now, as nearly half of the new jobs created over the next decade will require a college education of at least a bachelor’s degree. A focus on education will be the most essential tool when competing to land a job in your new line of work. The following are three tips when considering a job or industry change.
1. Do Your Research: Knowing what the new profession (or position you’re applying for) will require is essential. By looking through most job descriptions, you can see what sort of degree or experience will be demanded by employers. Following the example set by a successful person in the field is a great way to get started. Many times, networking with someone who is already employed in the specific industry you’re interested in is best. Learning about their educational background and experience can give you an outline for where to begin.
2. Know What Classes are Offered: Once you have an idea of the educational standards that are needed to break into your new career, start visiting college websites and browse their programs. Meeting with an academic advisor at a university can also provide important insight into how and when you can expect to complete your courses. As an adult, this can help with the process of deciding how to fit higher education into your already-busy schedule. You can talk with the advisor about such decisions as whether or not to take day or night classes and in-class vs. online degree programs.
3. Don’t Let Fear Stand in the Way: We recently completed a study at Bellevue University entitled Closing the Nation’s Skills Gap: Making Higher Education Achievable . The study found that fear holds as much as one-quarter of the U.S. population back from achieving their goals. One out of every 10 people said they’re afraid to step out of their comfort zone, and another 10 percent fear they don’t have what it takes to succeed at the next level. Intriguingly, the study also found that as a person’s educational obtainment increased, fear of stepping out of their comfort zone decreased. The more you feel prepared, the less likely you’ll fear pursuing challenging goals — so go for it.
Though enrolling in college courses to learn a new trade may seem intimidating, our studies show that increased income, higher rates of job advancement and the ability to switch careers are all directly related to the obtainment of higher education. Pairing a higher degree with your existing knowledge will just put you one step closer to career — and overall life — satisfaction.
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