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Education Alternatives

Careers

Fast-Track

Adults are returning to school in record numbers, according to the National Center for Education Statistics. Market changes, economic factors and other life changes have spurred an increase in the desire for new or expanded education without the time commitment of a traditional college degree.

By Kay Rios

The number of non-traditional students enrolled in higher education programs is significant – and growing. According to the Council of Graduate Schools, between 1987 and 2007, the number of graduate students 40 years of age and over increased 87 percent, and the number of graduate students 30 to 39 years of age increased 28 percent. One reason more adults are going back to school is to adjust to labor market shifts. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the manufacturing sector declined sharply in recent years. At the same time, employment in service-based sectors such as leisure and hospitality, education and health services has continued to grow by leaps and bounds since 1995. The 2010 list from U.S. News & World Report still has the healthcare arena as one of the strongest areas for upcoming careers. People are also changing jobs more than in previous years, with Americans changing an average of 10 times during their working life, according to the Bureau of Labor statistics. The rise in the number of adults returning to school may also be an indicator that career changes are increasing. Adult education provides the means to change careers and/or increase a worker’s earning potential.

Richard Laub, CEO of Institute of Business and Medical Careers (IBMC) says, “About 20 percent of our students have bachelor’s degrees but can’t get a job. I think there is a huge need for programs like these.” The reason? “Students who come here have an immediate need,” IBMC President, Steve Steele, says. “It can be a life crisis, a spouse being laid off or something that creates a need to get into the job market quickly. An associate degree can take three or four years, and a four-year degree often takes five or six years. People look at how long that takes and get disillusioned, so I think people are attracted to something that has a start and a finish. These people are saying ‘put me out in the market.’ They want a career path and job opportunities and they don’t have years to spend,” he says. Northern Colorado has several options for those who might be looking for new or expanded careers and are not on the college path. Three of those opportunities are profiled in this article.

Institute of Business and Medical Careers (IBMC)

IBMC offers its students several main programs: medical billing and coding, therapeutic massage,

2010-04 Lydia's Style Magazine  

April - Northern Colorado Economy A powerful issue with an article focus on Northern Colorado’s business, building, economy, lifestyle an...

2010-04 Lydia's Style Magazine  

April - Northern Colorado Economy A powerful issue with an article focus on Northern Colorado’s business, building, economy, lifestyle an...

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