Stop by any university campus and you’ll find many students who have yet to determine their ultimate career path. Students at a career college, on the other hand, are usually attending with a defined employment goal in mind. They know the job they’re aiming for and they’re gaining the skills to land that position when they’re done.
Of course, when you’re talking about trying to land your dream job, you don’t want to take any chances. Choosing the right career college is crucial to your future success in the job market. With that in mind, here are a few important questions to ask yourself when exploring unaccredited and accredited career colleges.
Do They Offer the Courses You Need?
While this question may seem like a given, sometimes prospective students get caught up in the sales pitch of a particular career college and they lose track of their original focus. Before signing up for anything, make sure that the you can get the program and classes you need to land a job in your chosen field. Also, be sure that the school stays on top of recent updates, keeping course information in-line with current standards in the industry.
Do They Have a Good Track Record?
Just because a school offers the program you want doesn’t necessarily mean that they teach it well. When you’re considering a particular career college or trying to narrow down your choices, it’s a good idea to ask around. Find out if anyone you know has experience with the college(s) you’re thinking about attending. Even better, if you really want to know the bottom line, call the human resources departments of a handful of prospective employers and ask whether they’ve hired graduates of the specific program you’re considering. Also, try to get in touch with recent graduates of the program you’re considering (the school may be able to connect you) to get an idea how they’re faring since graduation.
Do They Provide Career Services?
Sometimes having an education in a certain area still doesn’t help you get a job. The successful applicant often not only has the training, but also knows how to create an impressive resume and knock the interview out of the park.
When you’re trying to narrow down your education prospects, be sure that the institutions you’re looking at offer career services. After all, starting your career is the ultimate goal. A good school will provide services geared towards helping students get into a job once they’ve completed their courses. Look for an institution that wants to establish a relationship with you from the get-go and that is happy to help you along your career path even when you’re a former student.
Career services usually offer help with crafting impressive resumes, and gaining interview skills. Some even provide business connections that lead to job interviews. Be sure to look for a career or technical college that seems invested in your success beyond the classroom.
Do They Offer Financial Aid?
Some people can go to college without any financial assistance, but many students need some help when it comes to paying for their courses. This is where financial aid services come in. The financial aid department of a career or technical college provides information and guidance to students about the types of aid available to them. They typically verify eligibility, dispense application forms, and notify students as to whether or not aid has been granted. If you’re unsure about how you’re going to pay for school, be sure to verify that the colleges you’re considering have financial aid services available.
Are They Accredited?
Having accreditation means that a review board has verified that the school meets a certain set of standards. Some employers prefer to hire applicants who have been trained at an accredited institution because they feel more confident that the students have received a quality education. When you’re researching unaccredited and accredited career colleges be sure to explore whether or not accreditation is important to employers in your field of choice.
As you can see, no matter your area of focus and personal needs, the key to choosing the right educational institution is research. Don’t jump the gun and sign up before checking the details that are important to you. Assess your situation and do some investigating and you’re sure to find the right school for you.