The recession has cost millions of people their jobs, causing the job market to be flooded with new applicants. This lowers everyone's chance of getting a new job, and many industries have implemented a hiring freeze. So instead of sitting around hoping you'll find a new job, why not spend your time wisely and go back to school?
Retraining can be essential to finding a career in this economy. The stimulus package recently passed by the federal government includes $1 billion in state aid for training and re-employment services to dislocated workers. This means that there will be money available for people who have lost their jobs to go back to school. It's an investment in your future that you can't pass up.
Now is the perfect time to enroll in an online degree program. You can complete the coursework on your own time, which gives you the time to search for a job. Plus, there are many degree programs available in industries that are still growing regardless of the recession, such as healthcare and technology. Continuing your education will allow you to retrain for a better job and network with new people who can help you in your search for a new career.
Colleges offering online degree programs have seen a significant increase in enrollments in the last year because of the recession. Major online colleges have seen enrollments increase as much as 18 percent. The cost of an online degree can be significantly lower than a traditional degree as well. There are no commute costs, and some schools charge less for their online degree programs.
There are a few steps you can take to maximize the benefits of retraining and minimize the effect a lay off can have on your life.
- Be Prepared. A layoff can occur at any time, so make sure that you contact your state unemployment agency about unemployment benefits. Visit the Department of Labor website for state contact information.
- Do Your Research. Spend some time researching online degree programs in your area of interest. Make sure you meet all of the requirements for enrollment and complete financial aid requests.
- Make a Plan. Contact your state's agency that handles state-approved training. You can receive aid to pay for your education while you are unemployed, which will significantly decrease the financial burden.
By going back to school, you will be investing in your future and gaining the expertise necessary to gain employment once you complete your training. Even if you haven't been laid off, going back to school can be beneficial. By keeping up with current trends and issues in your field, your employer will value you more and keep you around. Continuing your education is definitely worth the time and effort in this economy.
"Going Back to School to Get a Job" CNN
"Laid Off and Learning" Monster.com
"University of Phoenix, Grand Canyon University Prosper in Recession" GCU.edu
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