So, you’ve decided to change your career. Awesome! What are your next steps?
Whether you’re transitioning into an entirely new field, or aiming to advance in your current workplace, earning a career college diploma can help you form professional connections, develop new skills, and gain relevant experience. The right career training program will prepare you to ace your next interview and land your dream job!
The best part? Now you can choose the learning format – in-person or online – that best suits your needs.
One of the main reasons we’re witnessing online learning at its peak is all about its convenience. Online diplomas allow you to train for your new career, studying around other commitments you have – like full-time work or taking care of your family.
And that’s only one benefit lying on the surface...
Why Choose an Online College Diploma?
Let’s highlight the core reasons many people choose an online college diploma to help them make a career change.
One of the most significant advantages of obtaining an online college diploma is the flexibility it offers. You can study at your own pace (within timelines), when and where you want, and tailor your learning schedule around your work and personal life.
For example, if you’re considering a career change while working your current job, taking an online college program will allow you to study after business hours, at night, or on weekends. Similarly, if you’re a parent who wants to pursue a new career, choosing an online college program – that can be completed from the comfort of your home – allows you to care for your children while studying.
Online education enables you to save money on transportation costs since you don’t need to commute to the college campus, be it costs associated with public transportation or your own car. Additionally, you can save money on after-school childcare since studying from home allows you to look after your children while earning a diploma.
Wide Range of Programs
Online college programs offer access to a wider range of programs and courses, which can be especially beneficial for individuals who are looking to change careers and need to acquire new skills, be it general or highly specialized skills.
For example, you can complete our General Business Management Course to enhance your skills as an entrepreneur, take Network Systems Administrator or Medical Office Administrator courses to develop tech-specific skills, or gain fundamental knowledge to launch a career as a Supply Chain Management Technician.
Value Well-Regarded by Employers
You may be wondering: Are online college diplomas recognized by employers like ones earned in-person? Spoiler alert: Yes, they are.
Today’s employers are more concerned with the reputation of the educational institution and actual set of skills that students have mastered, rather than the format in which the diploma was earned. That's why it's always a good idea to do your research and choose a trustworthy online college with a compelling reputation.
How long does it take to complete an online college diploma program? Many online diploma programs are condensed to cover the information you need in less time. The length of an online college diploma program can vary depending on the specific program and whether or not it includes a practicum placement. At Sundance College, for instance, online career programs range from 32 to 60 weeks (about 1 year 2 months) with most being less than a year and most include a practicum.
In summary, taking an online college diploma can be particularly advantageous if you are aiming to gain expertise in a new field and launch your career in as little as a year.
5 Steps to Successfully Change Your Career with an Online College Diploma
How can you use these online college diploma benefits to your advantage? Here’s our step-by-step guide:
Step 1. Look Back at Your Current Job: What’s Good and What’s Bad?
Before you jump into a new career, it's crucial to evaluate your current situation. Try to identify specific tasks or aspects of the job you enjoy and those you find frustrating or unfulfilling. Consider your skills, strengths, and weaknesses, as well as your interests and values. Be honest with yourself. This self-assessment will help you identify the type of career change that aligns with your personal and professional goals.
Step 2. Research Your Desired Career Field
Once you've assessed your current situation, research your desired career options. Understand the job market, required skills, and potential salary ranges. Familiarize yourself with the industry trends and identify any gaps in your knowledge or experience. This research will help you make an informed decision about pursuing an online college diploma to facilitate your career change.
Step 3. Choose the Right Online College Diploma
Selecting the appropriate online college diploma program is crucial to your success. Consider the following factors when making your decision:
- Availability of approved student load funding. Ensure the college you choose qualifies for the student aid funding provided by federal and provincial governments.
- Course curriculum. Review the course curriculum to ensure it aligns with your career goals and covers the necessary skills and knowledge required in the field of your interest.
- Student support. Choose a program that offers robust student support services, such as career services, technical assistance, and mental wellness support. These resources can significantly enhance your learning experience and help you succeed in your online diploma program.
- Google reviews. Examine the college’s Google reviews to learn whether the instructors were knowledgeable, helpful, and engaged with their students; how flexible the program was in terms of deadlines, assignments, and class schedules; how adequate the support and career services were; how user-friendly the online learning platform was, etc.
Step 4. Develop a Study Plan
Create a study plan that suits your learning style and fits your schedule. Set realistic goals and deadlines to keep yourself accountable and on track. Establish a dedicated study space and routine to minimize distractions and maximize productivity.
Step 5. Update Your Resume and LinkedIn Profile
A strong resume and LinkedIn profile can help you stand out to potential employers. While completing your online college diploma, update your resume and LinkedIn profile to reflect your new qualifications and skills. Highlight relevant experience and accomplishments that display your ability to excel in your new career. In addition, use the power of networking to discover new job opportunities.
Additional Tips for a Successful Career Change
Here are some extra tips to help you make a smooth transition into your new career after earning an online college diploma:
Gain Practical Experience
If you choose the right college diploma, you’ll gain both the theoretical knowledge and practical experience needed for your new career. For example, at Sundance College, we provide our students with 5 to 7-week practicums and Career Services support to help our students gain hands-on experience and enhance their resumes.
Develop Transferable Skills
Many skills are transferable across various industries, such as communication, problem-solving, and leadership. Focus on developing these skills during your online studies, as they can help you excel in your new career and make the transition smoother.
Stay Updated on Industry Trends
Keep up-to-date with the latest trends and developments in your chosen field. Read industry-related articles, join professional organizations, and participate in relevant online communities. Staying informed will help you remain competitive in the job market.
Be Patient and Persistent
Changing careers can be challenging, and it may take time to see the results of your efforts. Be patient and persistent in your job search, and don't be discouraged by setbacks. Remember that every step you take brings you closer to your goal of a successful career change.
Make the Leap With Sundance College
Changing your career with an online college diploma is a viable and effective option. The flexibility, affordability, and diverse range of programs make it an attractive choice for those seeking a new career path. By following the steps outlined in this article, you can successfully transition into a new profession and with it, start to earn more money, have more to give to your children, and take your life to another level.
Sundance College is committed to providing online career programs that equip students with the skills and knowledge they need to smoothly transition into a new career path. If you’re ready to master job-ready skills, prepare for interviews, and get a head start over other applicants, connect with our advisor to learn more about the programs we offer.