Sunday, August 03, 2014

Research Schools When Choosing a Career


With all the information that you have gathered and all the thinking you have done you should have only two choices left.  You should also have some good information about what you need to learn so choosing a school will be much easier than it would have been without the knowledge you have now.
When you start researching schools there will be several factors that you will want to consider.  Get good information on all of them and then make your decision based on everything you have learned about the school as whole.

Cost

How much the cost of the program is will usually be the first thing you ask.  And this is important if your budget is limited.  However, don’t let this be the deciding factor.  Remember that going to school is an investment, like buy a house or a car.  It is something that will hold value to you long after you have finished the course, so if paying more gets you further in the long run, do not be afraid of making the investment.

Funding

If you have limited funds to invest in school, don’t forget that there are many funding options. Sometimes an employer will reimburse you for money you spend on education.  There are also many government and private organizational funding options and there are bursaries that you may qualify for as well.  Every province will have different options so it is best to contact the financial advisors at individual schools to get accurate information about the funding options that are available to students that are taking one of their courses.

Location

Unless the school that you are going to attend is right across the street from you, location is going to be a factor you should consider.  Will you have to drive there or will you be able to take public transportation?  If you are taking public transportation, are bus routes easily accessible and are they safe?  If you are driving will you be able to find parking and how much will it cost?  Another factor to consider is that the location may be in a completely different town than you are in; if so, where are you going to live? 

Length of course

Course lengths can vary so you should think about the amount of time that you will be out of the workforce.  If you have a family to consider you may want to keep this to a minimum.

Reputation

Find out as much as you can about the school that you are considering going to.  Of course, you should talk to people that work at the school but you should also talk those who have attended the school as students.
You can ask them:
  • Did you like your course?
  • Did you like your instructor?  Were they helpful if you had problems in class?  Were you able to talk to them easily?
  • Did you use other supports at the school like counselors?  What was your experience?
  • Did the school help you in your job search?
  • Did you find a job in your field?
  • Would you go to the school again if you could make this decision now?

Professional Development

What sorts of professional development opportunities are available to students?
Look for:
  • A work practice placement or job placement
  • Speakers from the industry that come into the school to talk students
  • Career days
  • Career counselor
  • A job search segment
  • Help with resumes and cover letters
  • Access to the school’s resources after you graduate

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