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Building Your Career Skills

Too often individuals fail to acquire new skills or freshen up existing skills to keep up with the ever-changing needs of today's workplace. Perhaps the best way to keep yourself in tune with today's fast-paced, technologically demanding workplace is to become a life-long learner; that is, seek continuing education in your existing job or in a field you are considering. The workplace of the 21st century requires that workers obtain a higher degree of education than ever before. Professional and vocational education is available through a variety of sources including, but not limited to, the following:

  • High Schools—adult education classes
  • Vocational Schools—trade skills
  • Technical Schools—technical and computer skills
  • Community Colleges—semi-professional or professional skills
  • Colleges and Universities—professional development and high-level management skills
  • Internships and Volunteer Work—valuable experience and exposure to different fields
  • Online coursework is available in a multitude of subjects.

Perhaps one of the most important skills you can obtain to make yourself more marketable is some degree of computer literacy. If you are currently between jobs, consider enrolling yourself in an introductory computer course such as word-processing or spreadsheet basics. Bone up on specific computer applications in your field.

But before you invest your time and money, make sure that these skills will add value in the eyes of a prospective employer. As with any investment, shop around not just for price, but value. You can enroll in these programs while currently working by attending night or weekend school, or you may choose to obtain additional skills on a full-time basis. Whatever your situation, make sure you make an informed decision.

SUGGESTION: Financial aid is often available to those individuals who qualify. In some cases, simply being on unemployment may qualify you for free tuition at local schools.

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