You lost your job. You’re tired of that field anyway, so now you’ve decided to go back to school for new skills and make a career change. It’s a wonderful idea to want to better oneself and a sound one that makes sense—in an ideal world. There’s nothing wrong with wanting to learn and advance in one’s education. But before you take out that hefty loan for a certificate program and have a debt hanging over your head with no job prospects, consider some valuable tips:
Make sure the school is accredited by your state education department and is on the Eligible Training Provider List of your state’s labor department website. This means that the school had to meet certain important criteria and be validated.
Don’t go by hearsay as to employment opportunities. National labor statistics tell you that certain fields are growing. It’s important to remember that these statements are overall projections for the entire country and often do not and cannot take into consideration wild fluctuations due to the economy at any given time. The local regional reality for your desired field may be much different from those reports. Talk to people employed in your desired field. They offer the best reality-check. While labor stats may say one thing about how the medical field is proliferating in opportunities, local hospitals are laying off all professional levels like crazy and closing their doors in some cases.