Professional development may be the last thing on workers’ minds if they recently lost their jobs. Mounting pressures to stabilize their finances and find new employment opportunities may immediately seem more important. However, it is critical that individuals who are in between jobs devote some time to enrolling in a career training program that relates to their professional fields. Large periods of unemployment can look out of place on a professional resume, and workers do not want to send the wrong signal to hiring managers because they have gaps in their resumes.
Whether out of work or simply looking for better work opportunities, individuals can take a free training class and develop their job skills while they search for new work. In fact, candidates who pursue educational opportunities when they are unemployed have two main benefits. First, they accomplish quantifiable tasks that they can include in their resumes. Second, workers continue to develop relevant skills that are required for their industries, which can help them remain in touch with their respective industries while they are out of work. To find out more about available training courses, read through the information below.
Should I enroll in a professional development course?
Investing in career development opportunities is an excellent choice for many different individuals. Not only is this a great professional decision, it can also be a helpful personal one. Workers who are deciding if they should invest in career services solutions should ask themselves the following questions:
- Is this necessary? In some states, individuals may be required to enroll in job training programs while they collect UI. If this is a prerequisite for claimants to collect unemployment, they should enroll in programs immediately.
- What skills do I want to develop? Candidates who seek advanced professional training opportunities can enhance the abilities they already have or learn new skills. In any case, workers should choose programs that appeal to them so they are more likely to complete the courses they enroll in.
- How can this help my career? Regardless of which course individuals choose to enroll in, they will need to dedicate time to their studies. Therefore, workers who are looking for classes should consider how the programs they choose can help make them more competitive applicants during the job search.
How to Find Career Development Programs
There are various job training programs that interested candidates can enroll in. However, before candidates invest their energy into taking new courses, they must first make sure that the program is valid. Often, state websites or the Department of Labor (DOL) posts listings of verified courses that residents can enroll in. Since these programs are endorsed by the government, individuals can assume that they are trustworthy and legitimate. Specifically, searchers should consult with their local American Job Centers to find programs that can help them hone their job related skills, regardless of their current position. With this resource, applicants can find specific programs that are available to them if they are:
- Workers who have disabilities.
- Young workers or older individuals.
- Searching for entry-level employment.
- Veterans or workers who were recently laid off.
Alternatively, applicants can search for professional development courses online. To help ensure they are successful throughout this process, individuals should make sure that the programs they want to enroll in are operated through verified companies or industries. For example, open enrollment classes that are operated through universities or other similar institutions are likely to be more trustworthy.
Free Training Opportunities
Some individuals may be specifically searching for free training programs that they can enroll in. These types of courses do exist, and they are available across a variety of subjects. Therefore, applicants should learn more about how to take advantage of these opportunities. For example, there are some independent organizations and schools that offer free career training programs that are open to the public. Often, the skills that enrollees can learn in these programs are in high demand and are related to developing soft and hard skills. Examples of some of these courses include:
- Communications-based education: Whether workers want to enroll in public speaking courses or learn about speech writing, there are online classes they can take. Students can find different classes on the edX or Coursera websites.
- Business and entrepreneurial strategy: Individuals who wish to take career development classes that could eventually help them start their own business can find options through different universities. Both Stanford and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) offer programs.
- Marketing and design: Potential students who want to learn more about Photoshop or online marketing strategy can find courses on the ALISON or Udemy websites. There, they can learn about everything from SEO to graphic design.
- Computer programming: Individuals who need to develop their computer programming job skills can do so by taking online classes created by MIT, Harvard and the University of Michigan.
- Foreign language classes: Workers who want to make themselves more competitive candidates in almost any field should consider learning new languages. Popular options including French, Italian, Spanish and Mandarin, which can all be learned through online classes.
Benefits of Enrolling in a Career Training Program
Workers may be tempted to forgo enrolling in a career training program, because their time and resources may be limited. When an individual is worried about finances, taking on the extra task of finding a class, completing assignments and learning a new skill may seem unappealing. However, potential enrollees must remember that the short-term investments they make toward their career development will help them over time.
Not only does developing a new skill show hiring managers that applicants are serious about their careers, but it also makes candidates more competitive overall. Whether enrolling in an online course or visiting a career services center to find opportunities, these programs are beneficial. In many cases, workers who enroll in professional programs are able to improve the likelihood that they will be reemployed quickly.