(NAPSI)—Frustrations in your job, industry or life may make you feel like jumping ship some days, swimming toward whatever job seems the most promising at the moment. Not so fast. If you want to improve your situation long term, you need to step back, take a breath and approach a career change thoughtfully and deliberately.
“Switching careers takes some effort,” said Dr. Mary Hawkins, president of Bellevue University. “You need to figure out what experience and skills you need and the level of education required to enter and excel in a new field.”
Determine Where the Jobs Are
Dr. Hawkins suggests starting with Indeed.com, a website that provides data about expanding and contracting industries. For example, according to the organization’s Industry Employment Trends Report, more than a million health care jobs were posted during the last 12 months. The Monster Employment Index is another good resource that provides a monthly gauge of U.S. job demand.
Earn a Relevant Degree
According to EducationDynamics, 60 percent of U.S. jobs will require postsecondary education by 2018. “If you want to qualify for the jobs of tomorrow, completing a bachelor’s degree is a wise move,” Dr. Hawkins said.
Instead of enrolling in a degree program because you find it interesting, Dr. Hawkins recommends choosing a field of study that will translate into a job in a growth industry. She shared the following tips:
• Check job sites such as monster.com to see how many jobs are available in specific industries.
• Use listed educational and skills requirements for these positions as guidelines for researching degree programs.
• Figure out what you will actually be learning in individual courses and how you can apply this.
• Call schools directly and ask directors of the programs you’ve identified if you’ll be engaged in hands-on experience while you learn.
“If you are one of the 38 million Americans with some college credit, finding a school with generous transfer policies may significantly decrease the time required to complete your degree,” she continued.
Specialize to Stand Out
As bachelor’s degrees become more the norm, job seekers will need more specialized expertise to stand out. For example, adding a concentration in logistics management or marketing will take you much further than a general business degree sans concentration.
“Employers are looking for people who have relevant skills that are specifically tailored for the job,” said Hawkins. “Job seekers must find the degree and learning environment that enables them to develop the specialized skills they will need to get that job.”
Determine How to Make It Happen
Hawkins suggests making a personal pledge for success by visiting www.makeithappennow.org, a website that offers advice from experts on everything from how to pay for school to how to squeeze education into your already hectic life.
“When you break your goal into actionable, short-term achievements, it becomes possible,” Dr. Hawkins said. “Statistics show that 95 percent of people in the world who do not have written goals generally fail, while the 5 percent who have written goals are more likely to succeed.”
“It’s also important to make your goal visible—post your pledge at home and work,” she continued. “Talk about it, Tweet it or post your personal pledge letter to your Facebook page.”
The workplace is changing and by starting now, you’ll have achieved the education you’ll need to succeed in the next decade.
On the Net:North American Precis Syndicate(NAPSI)