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Successfully Change Careers by Going Back to School

According to the Holmes and Rahe stress scale, changing careers ranks among the top 20 most stressful life events; even higher if you’ve lost a job or been through a business readjustment. There is something you can do, however, to change careers successfully, smoothly and with confidence: finish your college degree. While the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics doesn’t know exactly how many people change careers (there’s no universal definition for it), most people consider it to look like one of these:

  • Changing fields
  • Moving into management
  • Getting a new job title and salary
  • Launching a business
  • Adding a new skill set
  • Improving employability
  • Achieving certification

Regardless of what you want to accomplish and why, the common thread for going from where you are now to your new career is going back to school.

The truth is, new career opportunities abound for those who finish their college degree. Take, for example, the unemployed. Recent statistics show that even in the worst economic time of the past several decades, the unemployment rate for those with a bachelor’s degree or better was less than half of those without—4.3 vs. 8.9%. And employment projections through 2020 indicate that the fastest growing occupations are those requiring postsecondary education.

Here’s more proof that going back to school is the right move for career changers:

The U.S. Census Bureau’s most recent study of educational impact on earnings (2011) found that those with higher levels of education:

  • Have more access to higher paying jobs
  • Are more likely to be employed full-time, year-round
  • Earn two to five times as much as those with lower levels of education
  • Have a well-established path to better jobs and earnings

Change Your Career: Start Here

If you’re contemplating a career change, college is a great first step for setting yourself up for success. Here are some additional resources to help:

Rethink Your Career: Franklin University Can Help

Franklin offers online and on-campus classes for anyone looking to change their career. Franklin is Central Ohio’s foremost educator of working adults.

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