Estimates are that by 2027, approximately 70 percent of jobs will require education beyond high school. The good news is that, no matter where you are on the learning continuum, you have lots of options when it comes to adding to your credentials. There are degree and credential programs to fit every interest, timeline, lifestyle and budget—and you can find almost all of them right here in Indiana. Go to INDemandjobs.com for a list of jobs and the academic training they require.
This is the traditional (but far from only) route to a post-high school degree and a good-paying job. Earn a bachelor’s degree the old-fashioned way (on a college campus) or remotely via online classes. Need to earn a degree over a longer period of time while working full-time? Going to school part-time, either in-person or online, is your best bet.
If you’re interested in a quicker path to a career but want the option of someday earning a four-year degree, an associate degree might be perfect for you. Ivy Tech Community College and Vincennes University are among the schools in Indiana that offer these two-year degrees, which cost a lot less than bachelor’s degrees and will qualify you for jobs in a variety of fields, from health care to manufacturing. Bonus: Many of the credits you earn on your way to an associate degree will count toward a bachelor’s degree if you decide to pursue one.
Certificates and credentials
One of the quickest and least-expensive routes to a rewarding career is a certification or credential earned at a trade school like Indiana Tech, a coding school like Eleven Fifty Academy, or through an employer or apprenticeship program. Many hands-on jobs, like plumbers and electricians, require this kind of training. Some certifications can be earned in a year or less—and some can be earned free of charge. (Indiana’s Next Level Jobs initiative provides Hoosiers with free training in high-growth, in-demand jobs via Workforce Ready Grants. See page 7) Certificates and credentials can be earned while working full- or part-time.
If you have a desire to serve your country, are physically fit and want a complete change of pace in education and lifestyle, consider joining one of the four branches of the military or the Indiana National Guard. The Army (GoArmy.com), Air Force (Airforce.com), Navy (Navy.com), Marine Corps (Marines.com) and Indiana National Guard (in.ng.mil), all offer a variety of career and training opportunities and the potential for adventure and travel. Check out opportunities at the various websites. If you are seriously considering the military, find a recruiter online who can explain more about this option. You’ll need to take the ASVAB (Armed Services Vocation Aptitude Battery) to determine your eligibility.