Juggling Work and School Pays Off With Rewarding Careers

Are you thinking about juggling work and school? Chances are you’re not alone. With the rising cost of living, along with increasing financial pressures, about 85 percent of part-time college students are employed, according to the National Center for Education Statistics. And this trend will only continue, as shortages in the workplace increase, especially among healthcare workers.


            But although combining a job with education—as well as family commitments—can be a tough balancing act, experts say that learning always pays off in the long run. Whether your goal is to be a medical or dental assistant, or pursue opportunities as a pharmacy technician or optical dispenser, with a little advance planning and wise time management, it’s easy to advance your career.


            Here are some tips for managing the challenge of attending your local career college while still earning an income—and how to make the most of your current work and school experience:


            * Choose a job with flexible hours: Whether you attend classes in the daytime or evening, there are plenty of employers who are willing to offer different shifts and schedule your working hours around your schooling. You might want to initially work a manageable amount of hours, and then, if you feel comfortable taking on more, ask your employer to add on additional days or work time.


            * Ask about financial aid: Money should never be an obstacle to your success. If you’re unable to meet your educational costs, ask your college financial aid office if you qualify for funding. Often students have several options for tuition payment. Grants and low-interest government loans are available based on financial need.


            * Cut back on expenses: Look at your budget and trim costs wherever you can, whether they be personal care, commuting, clothing, phone bills, entertaining and dining, or other expenditures. Remember that you will enjoy higher earnings when you finally receive your certificate of completion, which more than pays for your current sacrifices. This will be sooner than you realize, since many career college programs take only eight to 10 months to complete.


            * Ask for help: Don’t sweat the details—your career college can help you with the day-to-day issues that can seem overwhelming. If you need public transportation information, carpooling contacts, or child-care referrals, the school’s student services office can provide advice. Students can even receive assistance with conflict resolution or other personal needs.


            * Learn from your current job experiences: No matter where you’re currently working, take the time to observe the way the organization operates. This will be invaluable knowledge when it comes to looking for your next job. Use every job interview as an opportunity to practice your skills. Then, when you’re nearing completion of your certificate, talk to your career college job placement assistance department for help finding a job in your chosen profession. They can help with career planning and advising, interviewing skills, and more.


            * Look for work related to your schooling: Any experience helps when entering a new industry. If you’re interested in being a dental assistant, for example, perhaps you can get your foot in the door in an entry-level position before you even complete your course of study.


            * Make a schedule and stick to it: Set aside time to study, time to work—and time to relax. Be sure you’re well-rested so you’re able to concentrate on your homework assignments and lab work. Let your friends and families know that you need uninterrupted study time.



For more information about becoming an American Career College student, call 877-809-8686 or visit www.americancareer.com/start.html


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