If you feel your career has stagnated, you aren't alone. Recent statistics show people change careers an average of five to seven times in a lifetime. Whether you use education as a way to reignite your current path or you use it to leg into something completely different, upgrading your credentials can help give you more job opportunities as well as more opportunities for promotion. Below are some ways you can use education to boost your career.

Test Out Something New

When we get frustrated, there is a temptation to chuck it all and start something new. A bad day on the job can leave you fantasizing about your perfect day as an elementary school teacher or as a nurse. However, your fantasy might not align with the true day to day of that career. Taking a class is a great way to see if you can maintain your interest in that new career.  That one class might even lead you into a different, better, direction. My dog's trainer was taking classes to become certified a veterinary technician when he realized it wasn't for him. Instead, he took classes in dog obedience training and small business management. Now he has a thriving dog walking and training business!

Take Your Career to the Next Level

Many times an advanced degree will help you take several leaps up a career ladder all at once. A while back, one of my friends was stuck in an entry-level administrative position in the legal department at a bank. Then she started taking paralegal courses online at night. After she got her degree, she was promoted to a professional position. In getting her degree, she demonstrated how serious she was about a career in the field.  She advanced even higher when she got a new job at a law firm.

Keep a Foot in Both Worlds

I like programs that offer distance education that is career-focused, effective, and flexible. That way you can keep earning at one job while getting a degree that will set you on a path to something completely new. Even better, if you select an affordable program, you may even earn a degree while remaining debt free.  Though it is not always easy to balance work and study, if you are motivated enough, you can make it happen. When it comes to online education, Ashworth  is a particular standout in my book. Not only are they are accredited by the Distance Education Accrediting Commission, but they also offer over 125 programs in fields like healthcare, business, criminal justice, creative services, education, and trade skills. Additionally, with tuition rates approximately five times less than other online institutions, Ashworth strives to provide students with access to an education they can afford.

Some of the programs Ashworth  offers that would be great for women looking to reinvent or reignite their careers include:

  • Graphic Design
  • Wedding Planning
  • Small Business Management
  • Interior Design
  • Business Administration
  • Pharmacy Technician
  • Medical Office Assitant
  • Medical Coding and Billing
  • Hotel and Restaurant Management
  • Event Planning
  • Veterinary Assisting

Find Flexibility

After you have kids, many of your career priorities change. Often parents prioritize careers that offer flexible scheduling.  When transitioning into a new more flexible field, it's a good idea to find a program that offers a flexible, supportive learning environment. For adult learners, finding a program that is supportive and flexible can make the difference in completing a course of study. Ashworth’s online learning programs  are designed to fit into the lives of its students, not the other way around, allowing them to progress at their own pace and find a balance between work, family, and education.

Certification

When you work towards earning a certificate,  you can obtain practical skills needed in a specific type of workplace. It can also demonstrate how serious you are about advancing in your career during your annual review.  Even folks with college or advanced degrees can benefit from one or more certificates obtaining raises and promotion upon acquiring specific certifications.  Some certificates require you to complete several courses, while others only need one or two. Certification can enable you to stay on the cutting edge of continuing education.

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Ashworth. The opinions and text are all mine.

//projecteve.com