Raise your hand if you wish you went to school for health care, engineering or information technology.
If you put a hand up, or thought about it, you’re not alone.
With so few industries in growth mode these days, many workers — 36 percent, to be exact — are wishing they’d gone to school for something other than their chosen major, according to a recent CareerBuilder survey.
This change of heart is principally felt by the large number of workers who are having a hard time finding employment in their chosen field. More than 25 percent of workers with a college degree said the job market in their field had worsened since they’d entered college, and nearly 20 percent reported that they’d yet to find a job in their chosen field.
So what can you do if you’re one of those workers who just can’t seem to make their major work?
Rosemary Haefner, vice president of human resources at CareerBuilder, says it’s never too late to go back to school or spruce up your skills. “The job market has been challenging for all workers, regardless of degree level, and has prompted many to think about learning skills for high-demand and emerging jobs,” she says.
Haefner cites health care, engineering, IT and communications as areas that are considered emerging. “College students and workers considering going back to school should take note of areas with growth opportunities and more abundant hiring,” she says.
Apparently, some workers have already picked up on the back-to-school trend. More than 10 percent have plans to further their education in the next year.
For those considering a return to the classroom, Haefner offers the following tips:
- Talk to human resources – If you’re looking to go back to school while holding down a job, be sure to talk to your HR department before enrolling. Not only will transparency help, say, should you have to leave a little early on Fridays to get to class, but your HR department will know the details of any tuition assistance or reimbursement programs that your company offers. Some companies also have on-site learning programs or courses for employees that can boost your skills for free.
- Try online learning – With online programs gaining popularity and credibility, earning a degree online can be a great option for those who are time-crunched. Some sites, like CBInstitute.com, also provide single courses for those who may be looking to brush up on a particular skill, but don’t necessarily want to complete an entire degree program.
- Take advantage of local resources – Many local libraries, community centers, community colleges and unemployment offices offer courses or training programs that are helpful to job seekers and those looking to advance their career. Check out the training page of the Labor Department website or ServiceLocator.org to find out more about the resources in your area.
Have you thought about going back to school since the recession hit? Are you still looking for employment in your field? Let us know in the comments section.
More from “The Work Buzz” on going back to school: