Unemployed Workers Going Back to School

With the unemployment rate jumping to the highest level since 1983 and claiming 5.1 million jobs it is not hard to understand why so many unemployed workers are heading back to school. (ABCNews.com)

Nearly every industry has been affected and there is not a clear forecast of when the economy or job market will take a turn for the better. This has lead to several Americans rethinking their career paths and future and with the limited jobs available compared to the excessive number of unemployed searching, it has become the time to look for a change. This has lead to a huge increase of students either going to school for the first time or heading back for continuing education and with the economic stimulus bill signed recently by President Obama that includes funding for adult employment services, the time is now. (CNN.com)

Many community colleges across the United States are offering county residents who have been laid off, the opportunity to take 12 college credits at zero cost to the student. A large number of these students do not have any college education and are concentrating on new job skills, such as computer programming and accounting, to expand their resume in the competitive job market. Many community colleges have also cut or frozen tuition for laid-off workers and established scholarship programs to help off-set the expenses incurred with higher education. Students also include those who are pursuing new careers due to a decrease in job opportunities. (CNN.com)

Since the crash of the economy, many companies have looked into ways to cut costs and a popular adjustment has been to outsource many tasks to areas without minimum wage requirements such as Mexico or India, causing a drastic cut in customer service and factory positions.

Technical Schools have also seen a drastic increase in enrollment. Many of them have tailored programs to appeal to adults who need new skills by creating courses to help students update their math, reading and computer skills. Along with this, there has been a growing demand for certificates and degrees in promising fields such as wind- and solar-energy technology and 'green' construction. Many laid-off workers are now signing up for classes in older trades that continue to be in demand including heating and air-conditioning installation and repair, welding and truck driving. (USAToday.com)

Other programs in technical schools like physical and occupational therapist aids, medical coders and medical technicians have also had a large spike in students because of the stability and consistency of the heath industry. Also read Making a Career Change for the unemployed worker looking to break into a new industry or profession.

With the growing uncertainty of the economy, many Americans are considering avenues they would previously not examined. Technical schools often have the reputation of being a quick study where certificates of completion are earned for hands on professions but this is not always the case. Many technical or vocational schools now offer programs such as marketing, finance, culinary arts, nursing, medical transcriptions, pharmacy, photography, and journalism are a great way to succeed without attending a traditional four year university. For more information read what is a technical or vocational school.

Unemployed Americans need to consider all aspects of returning to school based on their current skill set verses their future goals but if achieving or expanding their education are a dream; this is a realistic time to pursue it.


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