Other Options

Returning to school for a formal degree may be too overwhelming–or even unnecessary. But if you want to continue your education–always a good idea–there are less demanding options for boost-your-earnings-learning:

  • Training workshops: These classes usually last from 1 to 5 days and offer training in a variety of fields–computers, management, team building, and more. Check at community colleges, in the yellow pages, and with your human resources department.
  • Certificate or vocational programs: Classes through these programs have two great benefits. First, you don’t have to take classes outside your field of study (as you might for a college degree). Second, schedules for these classes are often flexible, as many of the students hold full-time jobs. Programs are offered through community colleges and vocational schools as well as through university extension programs.
  • Retraining programs: These programs can vary in length from a weekend to several weeks or more. They are designed to give you the skills necessary for a new career. Check with career centers, outplacement services, community colleges, and vocational schools for more information.

The cost of these educational options will vary according to the program you select. You can expect to pay anywhere from a hundred dollars to several thousands or more, depending on the length and the program specifics. Check with your employer before enrolling. Many companies will reimburse or cover the costs just as they would for college or university training.