Going back to school to pursue a specific training program is a strategy that thousands of professionals use every year to further their careers. Refreshing your skills is never a bad idea, and there are several ways for you to reinvent your career without going broke or too much in debt. From company-funded re-training programs to government financial aid aimed at adults, there are plenty of options out there to help you retool your skillset.
Talk to your boss
Your employer is likely to be supportive of your desire to re-train if your new expertise can benefit the company in some way. Just have a frank conversation with your manager about your ideas and goals and you should be able to agree on a plan that satisfies everyone. Your employer can help you re-train by either being accommodating with your schedule, such as letting you miss a morning of work or two to attend class, or by paying for the training you’ll be taking, such as web development courses. If you’re considering re-training, make sure to talk to your boss before signing up for a program or applying for financial aid. Youmight be surprised by how supportive your employer can be.
The student centre is there to help
If you need additional financing for your re-education, there are countless government programs related to financial aid and bursaries that can assist you. The student centre at the college or university you’re thinking of applying to can give you precise directives in regards to the financial aid programs you’re eligible for and how they work. Moreover, if you’re interested in re-training but still feeling uncertain or nervous about making the plunge, the student centre can also give you more information about the job outlook for the program you’d like to apply to or talk to you about positive experiences other students in your situation have had. Still not convinced? Try asking if you can shadow a class. You’ll get to sit in the back for a class and experience for yourself what it would be like to be a student in this program.
Look for Second Career programs
Ontario has a great Second Career program in place that can pay for your tuition, books, living expenses, travel expenses and other costs. To apply to the Second Career program, you should visit an Employment Ontario assessment centre and talk to a counsellor to find out if you should apply. With Second Career, you’ll be asked to prove that the program you’re interested in will lead to employment down the road. If you’re interested in programs in high demand like business management training, architectural technician training or graduating from 3D animation colleges, this shouldn’t be a problem.