According to the United States Census Bureau, only 33% of American women aged 25 – 29, and only 26% of American men in the same age group have a bachelor’s degree – keeping them trapped in a cycle of underemployment and low pay. A labor report by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics for the period 2008-18, named health care holding 12 of the top 20 fastest growing occupations in the American economy. Business management jobs are expected to see 11 – 18% growth and communications and technology are expected to see 53% job growth. All of these jobs require a degree or certifications.
Michael Brandwein, a renowned teaching and training expert and author, believes that education is a key component to self-development and job success—but knows that the way teaching and learning is accomplished is crucial to individual success. As a consultant to Westwood College, Brandwein recently developed a number of tips on how to identify emerging careers in this economy and how to evaluate the right program or school to prepare for those career paths.
Brandwein’s tips to consider when going back to school:
- Assess what you like to do. Evaluate your interests and talk to others about how you can apply those interests to a career. Ask the reference librarian at your public library to help you research occupations of interest, what job areas are growing, and what you will need to qualify for these jobs.
- Visit schools so that you have a up-to-date picture of what today’s classrooms are like and how they have changed to support career-building. Don’t just take the campus “tour.” Sit in classrooms to observe teachers and students. Talk with them during breaks and before and after class. Bring a friend or family member with you to help you think of additional questions and to share your impressions.
- Set small step and achievable goals for yourself. For example, in the next five days commit to learning more about three schools or programs by looking online or visiting a campus.
- You don’t have to face this challenge alone. Many schools and career colleges have large career services staff that are available to help you through the education process and more importantly, through the job placement process once you complete a degree.
For more information about Westwood College and the resources and programs it offers students, visit Westwood.edu.