Gaining Job Skills
No matter where you are in your current career, it's never too late to learn and develop new job skills. Whether you're just entering the workforce or hoping to change careers, developing new abilities will help set you apart in the job market. Learning different skills can also make you more productive and successful at your current job.
Watch this video from CareerBuilder to about some of the different ways you can develop new job skills.
While some careers require solid work experience and training in a particular field, many careers also require a certain level of education. If you're planning to switch to a new career, you may need to go back to school before you can pursue that path.
But it's also important to remember that education is a big investment. The cost of education has risen dramatically in the last ten years. Student loans now account for more personal debt in the U.S. than credit cards, which can be a heavy burden after graduation.
If you decide that you will need additional education to pursue your desired career, think carefully about the school you choose to attend. While many for-profit colleges promise short degree programs and low-costs, state and community colleges are usually less expensive in the long run.
To learn more about federal student loans and financial aid, go to Student Loan Guide.
Be especially cautious of pursing expensive online certification programs. While some industries do require specific certifications for employment, you probably won't need a certification for most careers. Check with someone in your field before pursuing this route.
Over the last several years, there have been significant improvements in the quality and availability of various eLearning resources. While eLearning may never completely replace the traditional education model, more and more people are using these resources to acquire specific skills. Best of all, most eLearning is completely free.
From current industry trends, to basic technology skills like Microsoft Office, to advanced university courses, there's almost no limit to what you can learn online if you're willing to dedicate the time and effort.
Online research is one of the most powerful ways to find and discover new information. Reading different blogs and articles about the most recent trends in your field can help you understand your strengths and learn which skills you need to develop.
Self-paced tutorials and instructional videos are a great way to learn a new skill at your own pace. You could use these resources to start learning a new language, master a computer program, or become better at public speaking. No matter what kind of skills you need to learn, there's a good chance that you can find an online tutorial to help you get started.
If you want to pursue a more in-depth understanding of a certain topic, many universities are now offering entire online courses and seminars for free. While you won't receive a degree, you can dramatically expand your knowledge without a big tuition payment.
Try using some of the different eLearning resources below to expand and develop your skill set:
- Tutorials and Videos: Check out some of our other self-paced tutorials on GCFLearnFree.org. You can search for instructional videos on bigger sites like YouTube and Vimeo or more educationally focused sites like Lynda and TedEd.
- Online University Courses: Coursera, EdX and UC Berkley's Webcasts are some of the best online courses offered by different universities today.
- Apps and E-Books: You can find thousands of educational apps and e-books for your mobile devices on the the App Store, iTunesU and the Google Play Store.