Further education is never a waste – unless the student wastes the opportunity; picks a career without doing the necessary research first; or cannot realize its application to the real world. Everything one learns is another notch on the experience belt, and really does move one forward on the career path. However, a student could still end up with the wrong credentials to enter into a chosen field. The wise student/career enhancer follows these simple guidelines to ensure every penny and minute spent on education really is an investment.
Research to Ensure Employability after Graduation
Don’t ever just assume a certain title of degree or certificate really will make it easier to get a job. Investigate to find out what is necessary for the chosen path, and then if the institute really provides those qualifications. As well, make sure the institute has the authority or is recognized by the particular province or state you want to work in. Make sure the expectations are not just based on personal assessment. Do the research necessary to see what else is needed to get into that field. An ad stating “take this course and you could be a CSI in x years making $X” is just that – an ad. Get the real facts before enrolling. Do not just take the admissions officer word for any promises – ask for supporting research or documentation.
It’s also prudent to make sure there will be jobs available after graduation in the chosen field. A quick way to do this is to check out local employment news items and online sites. Indeed.ca offers job trends via industry which provides a fairly cohesive chart comparing the various industries. Clicking on the individual industry link will give a breakdown of the types of employment for that industry as well as top keyword searches and the top city locations for that job.
Full Time or Part Time; Online or Face-to-Face
Many believe education is just a matter of money. It’s not just cost that has to examined as one parameter to choosing an educational institute, but cost is a large part of the decision. The potential student needs to also understand and choose between style of institute and delivery of program. Face to face, or traditional education, involves going to a campus and attending classes. The plus side is the social aspect of being right there to ask questions and get support from fellow classmates. There’s also more perceived help available when dealing face to face, and more immediacy in problem solving. Online education though, allows the student the flexibility of deciding when to do the required reading and assignments – even if it’s at 2 am. This arrangement allows students to work either full time or part time, and fit in the education around the work schedule, as opposed to fitting in part time hours around class times.
The down side of online education for many is the perceived isolation, which can be overcome by participating in online forums and chats in the online classroom. Online education is great for mature or returning adults; meaning those who can motivate themselves. And there’s no travel time involved to get to the class. The cost though is much higher than for traditional education.
Pick the Right Type of Education for the Right Fit
Both methods of education allow for part time or full time studies; so it becomes a matter of personal preference weighed against cost and time; as well as feasibility.
Another important feature is the after-graduation support the educational institute provides. Many online institutes are geared to those already working the chosen field, and are providing a working way to be accredited. Traditional institutes such as University of Toronto or Sheridan College actually provide Career Counselling for students and Career Fair days within the professions – definitely a help for those trying to break into their new field.
Even if the education doesn’t get the job seeker the desired result of a new job, the education itself is not unworthy. All education can be applied to real situations – the student learned better study habits, learned how to learn, and how to do time management – definite pluses in today’s working world and job search.