Make us your home page
Instagram

Retool career, skills after job loss

As broad-based hiring in the United States slowly gains momentum, many out-of-work Americans are finding they need to retool their skills, certifications and degrees. About 36 percent of people who were re-employed after being laid off in the Great Recession received job retraining or more education, according to a report by the Pew Research Center for the People and Press. Sixty percent of re-employed workers changed their career or field of work.

And those in midcareer have a dizzying array of avenues to training to make the transition, be it computer networking certification, welding skills or a degree in nursing.

With that in mind, let's look at the ways workers can get needed training to retool.

Community college

In many regions, these are the primary job-retraining schools, offering everything from associate degrees to skills training and certifications.

Pros: Inexpensive, especially compared with for-profit colleges and traditional universities, and with flexible schedules. Many faculty are adjuncts, meaning they work in the fields they are teaching to keep them up to date. And there's likely to be a community college within reasonable commuting distance.

Cons: Enrollment has exploded in recent years, which may make it difficult to get into classes you want or need. As with any group of schools, some are generally better than others. And depending on the program, training could take longer than, say, career-specific schools.

Programs: Wide-ranging, from basic English and biology to machine training for a specific industry. Community colleges are so integrated into local economic development efforts that they can quickly set up programs to accommodate needs of a local employer.

For-profit colleges/career schools

These schools are private businesses that receive no direct government support. Examples are DeVry University and University of Phoenix.

Pros: Flexible class schedules, online offerings and typically a focus on career skills. That can be important for those who need to work around family obligations and want to re-enter the work force quickly.

Cons: Generally expensive compared with community and state colleges. Federal loans often are available, and the United States recently relaxed rules that threatened to cut off that tuition aid. The industry has also been accused of having high-pressure sales tactics, low graduation rates and poor career placement. However, that can vary by school, and even critics agree that for-profit schools have a role to play in job retraining.

Programs: Each school is likely to offer many programs, including nursing, business administration, graphic design and hospitality management.

Vocational schools

These schools typically offer very specialized training in a single occupation.

Pros: Quick and focused training to get you back into the work force fast.

Cons: Often no general education.

Programs: Many are focused on skills needed for factory-type jobs. However, others are devoted to technology training or geared to health care occupations.

Volunteer programs

Many do-gooder programs require a service component but might allow you to earn while you learn. Examples include Teach for America and the Peace Corps.

Pros: A satisfying feeling that you're helping people, while learning new skills. Some programs help pay for schooling.

Cons: Service requirements might not fit with personalities, career goals or lifestyles of some — those caring for young children or elderly parents, for example.

Programs: Vary depending on organization.

Retool career, skills after job loss 06/21/11 [Last modified: Tuesday, June 21, 2011 4:30am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

Copyright: For copyright information, please check with the distributor of this item, Chicago Tribune.
    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Report slams Pinellas construction licensing agency and leaders

    Local Government

    LARGO — The Pinellas County Construction Licensing Board mismanaged its finances, lacked accountability and disregarded its own rules, according to a scathing report released Wednesday by the county's inspector general.

    Rodney Fischer, the executive director of the Pinellas County Construction Licensing Board, resigned in January.  [SCOTT KEELER   |   Times]
  2. A meatless burger that tastes like meat? Ciccio Restaurants will serve the Impossible Burger.

    Food & Dining

    TAMPA — The most red-hot hamburger in the nation right now contains no meat.

    Ciccio executive chef Luis Flores prepares an Impossible Burger Wednesday at the Epicurean Hotel Food Theatre in Tampa.
  3. Construction starts on USF medical school, the first piece of Tampa's Water Street project

    Health

    TAMPA — Dozens of workers in hard hats and boots were busy at work at the corner of South Meridian Avenue and Channelside Drive Wednesday morning, signaling the start of construction on the University of South Florida's new Morsani College of Medicine and Heart Institute.

    Construction is underway for the new Morsani College of Medicine and USF Health Heart Institute in downtown Tampa. This view is from atop Amalie Arena, where local officials gathered Wednesday to celebrate the first piece of what will be the new Water Street District. The USF building is expected to open in late 2019. [ALESSANDRA DA PRA  |   Times]
  4. Tampa Bay among top 25 metro areas with fastest growing economies

    Economic Development

    Tampa Bay had the 24th fastest growing economy among 382 metro areas in the country for 2016. According to an analysis by the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis, Tampa Bay's gross domestic product, or GDP, increased 4.2 percent from 2015 to 2016 to hit $126.2 billion.

    Tampa Bay had the 24th fastest growing economy in the country for 2016. Rentals were one of the areas that contributed to Tampa Bay's GDP growth. Pictured is attorney David Eaton in front of his rental home. 
[SCOTT KEELER | Times]
  5. Tampa Bay cools down to more moderate home price increases

    Real Estate

    The increase in home prices throughout much of the Tampa Bay area is definitely slowing from the torrid rate a year ago.

    This home close to Bayshore Boulevard in Tampa sold for $3.055 million in August, making it Hillsborough County's top sale of the month. [Courtesy of Bredt Cobitz]