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Questions to Consider
When Looking into
Further Career
Training Programs

Everyone wants to get ahead, but making the decision to advance your career and actually taking the positive steps necessary to move up the ladder are two different things.

What can you do going forward? You can rely on what you have learned in your current role and seek a promotion or another job. Or you can acquire new skills that increase your value to your current or future employer.

Education is the key to career advancement, but you don’t need a college degree or MBA to get ahead. Vocational and career training are an efficient and proven way to advance your career and acquire new job skills.

Download a PDF version of this checklist by filling out this form, or keep scrolling to read.

Questions to Consider When Looking into Further Career Training
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Chapter 1

Career Training Gives You a Leg Up the Career Ladder

Career training can come in many forms. You can get on-the-job training at work to make you more effective at your current job, but if you want to move up or change careers, you may need new skills. Career training can help you develop new expertise and specific skills to improve your efficiency and increase your value in the workplace. If you acquire new skills that make you more effective, then you can make a case for that promotion you have been after, or you have a better chance of finding a more rewarding position elsewhere.

Many companies offer career training for employees because they understand it’s good for business. Not only does career training give you the expertise you need for advancement, but it also improves job satisfaction and retention. Those who feel better prepared to do their job have been shown to get a more rewarding work experience. Of course, career training also gives you an opportunity to earn a higher salary.

Career training tends to also have long-term benefits that many people don’t consider. For example, acquiring new vocational skills gives you additional mobility and flexibility, offering you a wider range of career choices. Adding new professional skills shouldn’t be a one-time thing but instead often leads to a lifetime of investment in education and training with ongoing rewards.

Chapter 2

The Value of Certification

As part of your career training, you want your company or prospective employer to be able to verify your newly acquired skills. That’s why certification is important.

If you work in an office, for example, certification as a Microsoft Office Specialist (MOS) is proof of your prowess using the Microsoft Office suite of products, which makes you more valuable and even allows you to train other employees. Similarly, certification in project management, database administration, or systems administration demonstrates your mastery of complex technical requirements and your ability to step in and quickly become a valuable member of the company.

"There are so many benefits to learning new skills and receiving certifications in fields that are both interesting and lucrative."

The great thing about career training is that it goes with you. If you choose to change careers, then training gives you the experience and skills you need to step into a new role. Acquiring expertise and certification in a specific profession or technology makes you a more attractive candidate in fields where you may not have job experience.

There are so many benefits to learning new skills and receiving certifications in fields that are both interesting and lucrative. The first step is finding the right career training program for your needs.

We have developed a series of questions that you should ask before undertaking any career training
program. By asking the questions in this checklist, you will be able to find the right vocational training center to help you on your way to a better career.


Chapter 3

Are You Ready to Acquire New Professional Skills?

Before you start looking for the right career training program, you should carefully consider your goals. It’s best to understand your own motivations and what you hope to achieve in advance so you can put your best foot forward.

Here are some key questions you should ask yourself:

What is my motivation for career training?

How much time am I willing to invest in career training?

  • A few hours per week
  • 15-20 hours per week
  • More than 20 hours per week

What specific skills do I want to acquire or improve?

When do I want to take the certification exam

  • Within three months
  • Within six months
  • Within the next year

What are the next steps once I complete training and/or certification?

  • Seek a promotion
  • Seek a new job in my field
  • Seek a new job in a new field
  • Become an independent contractor
  • Other

Chapter 4

Comparing Schools for Career Training

Once you have a better understanding of your career training needs, you will be in a better position to find the right training institution. 

Here are some questions to ask about the career training programs and the school:

  • What types of programs and classes do you offer?
  • How will this program help me advance my career?
  • What do I receive when I complete a program?
  • How long are the classes?
  • How are your classes taught? In the classroom, online, self-study?
  • Are there virtual labs and hands-on instruction?
  • Do you offer online courses as well as on-site instruction?
  • Are there prerequisites for enrollment?
  • What types of course materials do you typically use? Textbooks, online modules?
  • What types of computers are available in the classroom?
  • What types of labs or learning centers are there?
  • What kind of guidance will I receive during and after the courses?
  • What is expected of the student?
  • Who teaches the classes?
  • How do your instructors stay current with the latest trends, best practices, and technologies?
  • What is the student/teacher ratio?
  • Can I contact the instructor directly for help?
  • Is tutoring available?
  • Do you have internships available?
  • Do you offer job placement assistance?
  • Do you have support for students with disabilities?

If you are interested in vocational certification, here are some questions to ask:

  • How do I receive certification?
  • How long does it take to complete certification?
  • Do you offer certification testing on campus?
  • Are certification vouchers or test preparation materials included in the training costs?

Be sure to ask about student costs:

  • What is the cost of a typical course or program?
  • What is included in tuition costs?
  • Do you offer tuition assistance?
  • Do you have a payment plan available?

Many schools offer special services for veterans:

  • Can I use my veteran education benefits to pay for training?
  • Can I transfer my benefits to my spouse or my children?
  • How can I apply my military or vocational training to the program?
  • Do you have job placement services specific to veterans?
  • Can you help me find on-the-job training?

Chapter 5

Comparing Schools for Vocational Certification

If you are ready to take the next step in your career, it’s time to take a serious look at career training programs. Consider your options and how you might benefit from career training.

Your first step should be to contact a trained vocational counselor to learn more about how you can get the most from career training. Our Education Advisors can help you assess your options and build the right career training program to reach your goals.

Consider setting up  a free career consultation with an Education Advisor from Career Development Solutions.

Our Education Advisors can help you:

We are here to answer your questions and help you take your career in a new direction. Contact us today to arrange an introductory meeting and get a tour of our campus.

Take charge of your career and acquire the skills you need to achieve success.

Download a PDF version of this checklist by filling out this form.

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