Lots of graduates from 4-year or 2-year college programs worry about how they will get practical job skills to be more competitive in the job market. Some graduates I know, especially those with Liberal Studies majors, have enrolled in specific career training programs to enhance their job skills and marketability.
In fact, I was one of those people who went to a career training program before I went to community college and on to finish a 4-year degree. If you are considering career training or vocational training as a way to get in-demand, industry specific skills eg. for health care or technology professions, evaluate programs carefully. Here are three things to evaluate as you look at a career training program.
Ask About Career Advising
Does the program allow you to meet with career advisors before you begin the program?
Do they assist with job search skills such as resume writing or conduct mock interviews?
Do they allow students to connect with successful alumni?
For how long will graduates have access to career advising after graduation?
Many for-profit schools will share information about the placement of their graduates. Please read ALL the fine print on where graduates go so that you do not end up with diplomas and certificates that can’t help you sustain yourself.
Ask about ESL (English as a Second Language (ESL) Classes)
This is relatively new for career training programs but with the shifting demographics in the United States, if this service is important to you, go ahead and ask about it.
Find out about Financial Aid Services
Ask if qualified financial aid counselors are readily available for in- person visits?
Can you get answers to emails or even communicate via text messaging?
Are they willing to speak with only you or will they discuss financial aid impact with your family as well?