What You Should Know About Online Education and Switching Careers

What You Should Know About Online Education and Switching Careers

Many people envision working for the same company or working in a particular field for the entirety of their careers. The idea of working your way up from an entry position into a high-earning leadership position with oversight of other employees is indeed an attractive one; however, many real-world issues lead many of us to rethink the idea of changing paths. Everything from dissatisfaction with career progression to personal life changes may lead you to strongly consider making a hard left turn professionally. Online degree programs offer an opportunity to go down a different professional path. Here’s what you should know.

Finding the Right Field of Study

Online degrees offer students flexibility in schedule and location that usually aren’t options for in-house programs. It’s not enough that a program is offered online, however. You need to make sure that the course of study is conducive to the change that you want to make. Suppose you’re in a dead-end job and you want to switch to something that is more in-demand and offers better job security. You need to research industries and look for careers that marry your passions and skills while fitting in with your reality. For example, healthcare is a large field that is often in high demand in many locations. This may be a good fit if you have an interest in medicine, public health or healthcare administration. Consider a program that offers online health degree options.

Determining the Right Level of Education

As you’re researching online education options, make sure a degree is what you actually need. You may find that a graduate certificate is all that you really need. If you already possess certain degrees, an online certificate may be all that’s necessary to make that career switch. Look up the positions that you’re interested in and see what the educational requirements are. Consider talking directly to hiring managers and recruiters to find out what they’re looking for. While there’s nothing wrong with pursuing a full degree if that’s what you really want, your schedule and available funds may be limited.

Prioritizing Flexibility

One of the biggest reasons for making career switches is to get out of a job with a limited or non-existent future. Consider pursuing a degree that is conducive to various professional roles. Certain types of coursework or degree plans provide knowledge and skills that are transferrable to various types of positions and industries. Fields such as engineering, education and information technology provide graduates opportunities that transcend industries and geographic locations. Business administration, in particular, tends to be a great choice, especially when combined with previous experience and education. Look for online business degrees with programs that fit your lifestyle.

With the proliferation of the Internet to every aspect of our lives, online degree programs present a great opportunity not just for those looking to increase their knowledge, but also for those who need to make a major job switch. Regardless of your reasons for wanting to change professions, there are online programs that offer everything from certificates to advanced degrees to point you in a new direction. Do your homework as you contemplate the type of career you want and the knowledge and training that will help you get there in a way that fits your schedule and resources.