Whether you've recently been laid off or you're bored with your current job, distance graduate education programs can prepare you for exciting career changes. Over the past few years, Americans have grown more receptive to the idea of a second career. In fact, blending the insight from your most recent job with targeted training can help you find work in lucrative niche markets. Recent government career surveys and economic forecasts highlight five second careers with demand for skilled and passionate professionals.
Start Your Next Career in Psychology
A career in psychology once required moving to a college campus and putting the rest of your life on hold. Today's online PhD programs in psychology make it easy for students to participate at their own pace, without sacrificing existing work or family commitments. Professionals often cite three benefits of psychology as a second career:
- Exchanging hectic work habits for the relaxing atmosphere of a clinic or a research office
- Applying life experiences, such as coping with a loved one's death, to help other people
- Leveraging age and insight in a field that values wisdom and learning
Completing an online graduate degree program doesn't even have to mean conducting traditional client sessions. Many second-career psychology experts combine their graduate training with experience from earlier in their careers. A PhD in Psychology can qualify you to become a retail analyst, an economic forecaster, or even a disaster relief specialist.
Education: You've Got a Lot to Learn--But Even More to Teach
Online graduate degree programs make it easy for prospective educators to comply with state licensing requirements. In some instances, career changers enrolled in online grad schools can qualify for provisional approval to work in the classroom while completing formal training. Educators note that a second career in schools can:
- Make a positive impact on the next generation of a community
- Enhance job skills and developing a stronger workforce
- Meet a need that few other professionals have the time or the patience to pursue
As schools and districts compete for public and private financing, business-minded principals and superintendents can help their organizations win the support necessary to produce generations of future leaders. A PhD in Education can help a successful business professional evolve into a strategic school administrator or fundraiser.
Do the Numbers on a Second Career in Auditing
Rigorous reporting requirements at publicly traded companies and enhanced oversight of government agencies has created unprecedented demand for skilled auditors and accountants. These types of positions attract career changers who enjoy:
- Using insight from a first career to understand critical metrics within an organization
- Collaborating with team members on challenging projects
- Blending analytical talents with presentation and communication skills
The Enron scandal and its ensuing press coverage helped change the public's attitude toward auditors and accountants. Today, Americans see auditors as crucial to ethical and efficient management of private and public organizations. Employers often recruit former military officers who have completed online graduate degree programs in accounting, citing strong ethics and discipline combined with exceptional technical skills.
Use Your Experience with a Consulting Career
Retiring from a job you loved or selling off a successful business can leave a void in your life. Many business experts use consulting as a second career to:
- Extend a passion for an industry beyond working within a single business
- Elevate the craft of a profession by identifying and replicating best practices
- Leverage skill and talent without being forced to oversee large employee pools
In most industries, you can call yourself a consultant simply by printing up some business cards. Completing an online graduate degree program can give you the credibility necessary to close deals with clients. In some cases, online grad schools can also help you prepare to earn any required certifications in your chosen profession.
Offering Guidance: Second Careers in Career Coaching
Managers, teachers, and other professionals who develop strong workers often consider career coaching for their own second careers. This job rewards passionate workplace cheerleaders who enjoy:
- Helping other job seekers navigate their own career paths
- Uncovering hidden talents while showcasing strong candidates to employers
- Developing a recession-proof business that thrives in any kind of job market
Completing an online graduate degree program in a specialized field can give you an edge when working with potential placements. Likewise, a PhD in Psychology or a PhD in Education can help you build stronger profiles of job seekers on your roster.
All five of these career paths identified by government analysts share one thing in common: significantly higher salaries and stronger job opportunities for professionals who attend graduate schools in their chosen fields. Employers and clients value the credibility of a formal education. Online PhD programs offer the same results and benefits as traditional classroom learning, with additional opportunities to integrate work and life experiences. Training now for a second career tomorrow can give you a head start on the next chapter of your professional life.