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Some people go to college to launch their careers. Others go back to college to hit the reset button.

Maybe you’ve been in a career for a long time and have burned out. Or maybe you just want to pivot into a related position or field, and figure that additional education will help you make the switch. That’s an accurate assumption… and you’re in the right place.

At Front Range Community College (FRCC), you have the opportunity to explore new passions and make a career change. Here are a few tips for getting started:

Research the field first.

Before diving in, research the field you’re considering. It’s a good idea to figure out exactly what you’ll need to get your foot in the door. That could be a certification. Maybe an associate degree is important for getting jobs—or doing an internship might be your best entry point.

Make sure you understand what employers are looking for so you can plan your educational path correctly. (Our blog post on Career and Technical Education gives you a snapshot of the job market for fields that require some postsecondary training but not bachelor’s degrees.)

Once you’re a student, meet with your academic advisor to make sure you stay on the right path to reach your goal.

Test the waters.

Here’s one great thing about taking classes at FRCC: They’re far more affordable than you’ll find at a four-year college or university. Perhaps you’ve been interested in the heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) industry but aren’t totally sure it’s for you. Take an introductory class in the A.A.S. in HVAC /R and see what you think. If you decide you don’t like it, you haven’t wasted a lot of money. You can easily try out something else.  

If you want to adjust your path, seek advice.

Some people are simply looking to revitalize their career, not start completely anew. Seek the guidance of the Career Success Center. Their coaches can help you figure out what you like about your current career, what skills you’d still like to put to use going forward, and of course, what you’d like to change about your current job situation. There might be a way to springboard from what you do today into your new chapter as you earn additional education.

Boost your experience.

Maybe what you really seek are the credentials that will allow you to pursue a related field that’s close to the one you’re currently in. Maybe you’ve worked your way up from wait staff to restaurant management, and are now interested in starting a catering business. The marketing, budgeting, and finance education offered by the Event Planning certificate might give you what you need to make your move.

Use school to freshen up your skills and résumé.

Let’s say you’re in a position where you have a gap in your work experience—from taking time to raise your children or pursuing an unrelated entrepreneurial endeavor. You might be concerned about how that will look to employers now.

That’s where education can help you update your skills and get back into the field in which you have experience… or into something similar. Perhaps you did computer science 15 years ago and are now interested in geographic information systems. That transition is quite feasible, and the A.A.S. in Geospatial Science can help you get there.

Make Today Your “Someday”

Yes, some careers require bachelor’s or master’s degrees—but if you’re looking to switch gears, there’s a good chance you can augment your skills and prior education or training with a career-specific associate degree or certificate. FRCC offers a wide range of options that can put you on the path to a new career. Check them out, and don’t be afraid to take a leap. This year could be your new beginning!

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