Should You Go Back to College to Change Careers?

When it’s time for a career change, there is always a certain degree of uncertainty that can keep you stuck in a job you no longer enjoy. What if you never find anything that pays just as good? What if you wind up failing and have to beg for your old job back? What if you realize that there’s nothing you really want to do, and you’re stuck settling for whatever works until retirement? You still need to make ends meet and love your job, so these questions are all quite valid.

All these questions can cause you to delay acting, but don’t think they’re a sign you’re not meant to move on. Doubt is normal, but there is a difference between doubting yourself and fearing the unknown. Knowing that you want to move forward is a positive thing, and following that hunch can lead you toward exciting, unexpected discoveries about yourself.

Is a Degree Worth It?

For someone who never earned a bachelor’s, getting an undergraduate degree is almost always a good decision. You open the door for more job opportunities than you would qualify for with only a high school diploma or GED. For most fields today, the bar of entry starts with a bachelors. In addition to getting the foundational knowledge and skills, you also demonstrate to potential employers that you are dedicated to the discipline.

If you already have a bachelor’s, you may think about going back to school for a second degree or your master’s to change fields. In that case, you may consider borrowing a student loan from a private lender. These are flexible, affordable options that can help you build greater financial stability in the future. Ultimately, the decision to earn a degree should fall on your desire to earn one and the requirements for your target field. Explore different career options, look at their requirements and consider talking to professionals on LinkedIn as well. This can help you determine what path is best for you.

Skills Employers are Actively Hiring For

If you’re still not sure what job you want in the future, thinking about what you’d like to do can be helpful. These skills are some of the most wanted by current employers in a variety of industries. Homing these could help you open new doors and discover positions that align with that you’re good at.

UX Design

UX designers create a user experience across web and mobile platforms. They are responsible for creating a digital environment that leaves users with an experience instead of a passive interaction. UX design is becoming one of the most profitable skills and careers, and it has applications in everything from healthcare to education. If you study this field, you’ll learn about technical composition, design and a variety of psychological factors that affect end-users. Cross-over disciplines include web design, product design and consulting.

Digital Marketing

Many companies hiring for digital marketing positions wants someone who is a jack of all trades. They’re interested in social media management, content creation, graphic design, lead generation and more. Digital marketing is vast, and it is the single most important field in modern advertising. Although the job pool is a bit over-saturated, you have the ability to focus on a specific niche that can open more opportunities. There’s also plenty of freelance gigs online to help you build a portfolio and even start your own marketing business.

Customer Service

Customer service is more of a skill than a job title today. Companies want people who can be the face of their brands, build loyalty and convert leads into new business. Customer service jobs are also becoming increasingly popular, including a host of remote positions as virtual assistants, chat support representatives and the like. Many positions that aren’t explicitly customer service still require the same type of communication skills. Consultants, project managers and marketers often meet with people to discuss services, resolve problems and help their companies grow.

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