RIVERSIDE COUNTY – What do you do if the current economy has made it difficult to secure the career you are looking for or you left looking for a new job? Many adults are choosing to go back to school. Thousands of laid-off workers or those who are stuck in careers that may not have been their first choice find that the path to new opportunities runs through a classroom.
Spurred by the $787 billion economic stimulus bill that President Obama signed back in February 2009, which included almost $2 billion for adult employment services like training, many adults have traded in their time cards for textbooks. Or they’re spending evenings and weekends taking courses after hours.
Community colleges and some vocational schools are finding the recession has been good for enrollment. To attract adult students, they’re offering programs that are tailored to individuals seeking new skill sets. Some school marketing teams have sent recruiters into factories and other industrial places to speak to workers at the source.
Other schools are expanding or just developing online degree options, which enable adults to take classes on their own time. Online schooling is an attractive alternative because of flexible schedules and no commute times.
Those interested in going back to school should consider the following:
Decide what you want to study. Some adults are going back to school to further develop their skills in a particular career field. Others are returning to learn entirely new things in preparation for a new job.
Choose a college or university. Community colleges are less expensive than private schools, and some offer comparable educations. Many adults look for schools with online courses so they can continue to work.
Apply for financial aid if needed. Adults returning to school are just as entitled to apply for financial aid as new students right out of high school. Federal funding and grants, as well as private scholarships, may be available to help pay for your education.
Start slowly. Do not take too many classes at once if you already have a busy schedule. You want to ensure you’ll be successful. You can always increase the number of courses accordingly.