If you’ve been working for ten years or more in a field where the employment opportunities have gone up in smoke. You’re not alone; while the national unemployment rate hovers around 9% that does not count the people who have given up looking for work so the real figure is substantially higher. But beneath those disheartening statistics is this fact: many professionals have found a way to repurpose their experience so that they are qualified to work in one of the job sectors that have emerged in concert with the global economy.
Shore up your Experience with some Academic Work
The internet has tens of thousands of sites filled with job hunting devices. What might make more sense in the long term is to find the jobs that recruiters are trying to fill and that have experience or educational requirements similar to your history. Take a look at what’s missing on your resume, and see if you can obtain the missing link by going back to school: a series of courses, a certificate program, perhaps even a master’s degree. You can do any one of these things online today, on a full time or part time basis. Once you start looking you’ll be surprised at the number of community colleges and state universities where you live have launched distance learning programs.
From Field Scientist to Teacher
If, for instance, you worked in a scientific field and have a bachelor’s degree in one of the hard sciences, you can enroll in an online Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) program that will have you in the classroom with a provisional teacher’s license within one year. It will take you two to three years to complete the degree, but you’ll be teaching in the meanwhile. The shortage of teachers in the STEM fields (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) is still a nationwide problem.
From Programmer to Sleuth
Some of the IT fields have gotten crowded with job seekers, in part because of the continuing specialization for both software and networking systems. It doesn’t take much to be an obsolete employee in information technology. But one of the areas that is growing rapidly and won’t be shrinking anytime soon is computer forensics, or cybersecurity. You can obtain a certificate in this field (provided you have the educational underpinnings) in forensic science, forensic investigation, digital forensics – and several other titles for training in this field.
From Data Management to Healthcare
If your company has consolidated its information systems department with offshore partners or subsidiaries and you find yourself out of work, there are several opportunities in healthcare – one of the fastest growing industries in the country. With a background in data management you can enroll in a health informatics certificate program that can open doors for you with healthcare delivery systems, in public health, and with large physician partnerships. You don’t need to be a highly trained systems engineer to work in this field; you need to understand the software and the basic legal tenets pertaining to patient privacy. The best online graduate degree programs in healthcare informatics usually offer a certificate option as well.
These are but three examples of repurposing your experience and education to align with jobs available in today’s market. Take some time to write up your skill set in some detail, and then take a look at some of the online job listings to see where you might fit with some additional training. Employers are not averse to hiring individuals new to a particular position but with years of experience; to the contrary, that experience can bolster a job application despite the fact that it was with a business or industry that has been crushed by the massive changes brought about by a truly multinational economy.