Did you know Americans, on average, change jobs nearly 12 times throughout their professional lives?
Currently, with the challenges of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, thousands of individuals are seeking new employment opportunities, and online certificate programs are emerging as an exciting option for potential students in search of a career change but in need of direction.
If you’re looking to change or advance your career, here are the steps to take to choose a program that suits your lifestyle and helps you to achieve your ultimate career growth goals.
Determine Your Field of Interest
If you’re happy in your current field but are seeking out advancement opportunities, discuss these options with your manager or HR department representative. Oftentimes, employers in industries like automotive, HVAC, electric and other trade skills will partner with neighboring community colleges to create programs designed to fulfill employment needs, and a specific certificate required for advancement may already exist.
Conversely, if you’re looking for a new career opportunity, consider taking career aptitude tests like the 123CareerAptitudeTest, which offers questions to determine your work strengths and interests, or the psychology-based Kiersey Temperament Sorter Test designed to reveal your personality type and suggest careers to best suit you.
Research Certificate Programs in Your Desired Field
Once you’ve decided what industry or field you’d like to enter or progress in, the next step is to look into any available certificate programs related to that field. Unfortunately, not all online certificate programs are created equal.
Before enrolling in any course or program, make sure the college or institution is accredited. Check databases of accredited post secondary institutions and programs to verify that your program of interest is legitimate.
After determining which institutions specialize in the degrees and certificates in your desired field, narrow down the competition. Quality institutions will offer online IT certificate programs in a variety of fields, including cloud computing, cybersecurity, networking, software design and solutions, and data mining and analytics.
Prep Yourself for Online Success
After choosing the right degree or certificate for your dreams, create a comfortable space of your own that’s conducive to learning. This means setting up space for you and your device where you have adequate lighting, a comfortable and ergonomic chair, and can adjust the temperature of the setting to assist you in focusing on the tasks you need to complete. Not so hot that you get sleepy and not so cool that you’re distracted; after all, you need your environment to help you succeed.
It’s also a good idea to create a schedule for yourself for which to view and complete your assignments and then try to stick to it. If the number of tasks and assignments seems overwhelming, use the “chunking” method, which puts tasks into groups so you can complete one set at a time.
Lastly, make an effort to interact with your fellow classmates and instructors. Indeed, actively participating in any course will aid in your understanding of the material, and communicating with others often makes your experience more personal, while upping the emotional investment you place in the course.
Seeking Out New Career Opportunities Can Help You Stay Motivated
Whether it’s your first or 12th job or career change, it’s never too late to seek out new opportunities. By deciding on a career path, researching different certificate options, and preparing to be successful in an online learning experience, you can feel confident in your pursuit of an exciting online certificate program.