Written by Erin Stalcup for World Education
Have you been thinking recently about changing careers or going back to school to expand your knowledge of your current career but aren’t sure where to start?
Here is a helpful list of the options available out there that allow you to continue (or start) your education.
Degree Programs: Getting a 2-, 4-, or 6- year degree is the default option for most people and most widely known. This involves accredited colleges that have tuition, fees, in person classes, online classes, as well as required ‘core classes’ that need to be completed to get your degree. Many would argue these core classes are unnecessary for nontraditional students or someone who has already been working in a professional environment for a given period of time. It’s also usually the most expensive option.
Professional Development: Professional development programs are additional education courses, training, or certifications to help you excel in your field or learn a new skill related to your current job. Professional development programs are available across all fields of employment including business and professional, healthcare and fitness, IT and software development, media and design, skilled trades and industrial, sustainability, and teacher continuing education. These programs are usually available online and in person, are affordable as they are an expansion of your current knowledge.
A software developer working on a new program
Career Training/Certification Programs: Certification programs are complete education programs for specialized careers and niches within careers. They are not just for skilled trades anymore. Certifications are available and required for many types of jobs now including IT and software development, business administration and accounting, healthcare and fitness, media and design, and for teachers continuing education. These are also available online and in person, some require hands-on training but completion ranges from 3-9 months which means you could be working a new career within a year.
The appeal of online classes and programs like professional development and certification programs is that they are designed with the working professional already in mind as they allow you to work at your own pace and complete it on your own time.