The Advantages of Fast Track Training

Fast Track Training

According to Forbes Magazine, people choosing to acquire some form of higher education, even a minimal amount, may increase their earning potential after graduating with a high school diploma. Not everyone has the time, money or even the desire to obtain a four-year degree. Some may not even able to complete a two-year degree. Whether they are unable to because of time constraints, family obligations or financial reasons, entering the workforce without higher education is a reality for many.

Lacking higher education is not always a negative. In fact, many are finding they can do very well by creating a different, more unique path, towards a career.

Some high school graduates prefer to enter the workforce first, working towards their career goals, without the use of a college diploma.

Some may have been in the workforce for many years yet aren’t satisfied. You are thinking of changing careers but do not have the time to attend college courses for lengthy periods. You may not even be sure which direction you want to take your career.

Fast track training can help in a variety of scenarios. 

Fast track training is one way to get you into a career with some college education but without the need to complete an entire degree program. It can also help you avoid jumping from one career to another without having a clear direction.


What is Fast Track Training?

Fast track training gets you working in a field as soon as possible with little education and experience. It is an effective stepping stone to helping you reach career goals that are non-traditional. Meaning, you are not attending a higher education institution to receive a degree, but to receive a solid foundation that will help you enter or move upward in the workforce.

Some areas benefiting from fast track training include Information Technologies, or Computer Systems and Software. Other areas include pharmaceutical technologies, surgical technology, medical and vocational assisting, and even heating, ventilation and cooling.

Fast track training usually takes less than a year and gives your career goals that extra boost needed to help you achieve advancement.

Keep reading to learn some of the benefits of fast track training.


Gives You More Time to Decide on a Career

Not everyone knows the area of work they want to do for the rest of their lives at eighteen years old. High school does not set you up to decide on an exact career. Many students can gain work experience while in school, but not enough to help them determine a career path.

Getting as much experience as possible before investing in a college degree program can be beneficial by saving people time and money.

While some careers require a college degree, others require a master’s degree or higher.

Fortunately, there are many careers that only require a certificate before they can hire or promote you. Therefore, you can start working, then decide later if and how you want to continue your career journey.

While deciding, you are gaining real world experience, which can be very valuable in itself.


Gives You Real Experience by Working with Professionals

You need role models in your career. Fast track training gets you working with career role models faster than if you go through a longer degree program.

While a certificate is not the same as a degree, it can sometimes be a better fit for you lifestyle.

Fast track training allows you to jump right into work, learning through on-the-job training, getting the hands-on experience others may not get if they focus only on education before work.

You get the benefit of working with other professionals in the industry.

Having certificates through fast track training is getting people recognized by employers and enhancing job applications and resumes.


Enhances Your Resume

Fast track programs can sometimes give you an edge over other job applicants. When an employer must choose between two great candidates, having completed a fast track program may give you an edge.

While short term in length, fast track training can provide you with up to date instruction in specific areas within your field. Employers will take notice that you are current with trends and changes happening in the workforce.

On your resume, you can list the many specific courses you have taken related to the job in which you are seeking. This lets employers know you are already prepared for the job. It lets them know that orientation and training may require a lot less effort if they hire you.

Employers want to hire the person who is most capable of completing the requirements of the job. A fast track training program increases the number of tasks you can do well.

Furthermore, fast track training  shows your employer you like to learn, that you are eager to grow and adapt to the needs of the company or organization.


Connected with Fastest Growing Industries

Fast track training programs are not focused on random types of courses. Most programs are built around the industries with the fastest growth and most need for a varied sample of employees.

Industries such as the healthcare field are growing rapidly. Each year there is a need for more employees with specific knowledge. Fast track programs focus on many areas in healthcare that can get qualified staff into a job sooner.

In the medical field, opportunities for medical assistants, dental hygienists, and technicians are rising. This is also true for sectors needing more trade skills that include plumbing, heating and cooling, and even heavy equipment operators.

Information technology needs include web developers and software technicians. Repairmen within the software industry are also in high demand.

There are many certification programs that lead to exceptional job opportunities, many of which pay better than if you have just a high school diploma.

After completing a fast track training program, you will be able to determine how gaining education can benefit your career. This can help you decide if you want to pursue further education, or remain in the workforce, or both.

How to Decide Between an Associate Degree and a Bachelor’s Degree

associate degree or bachelors

Deciding a career path takes more than just an idea of how you want to spend your time at a job. There are many factors to consider, like which type of college degree you need. This usually means choosing between an Associate degree and a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university.

Associate degree and bachelor’s degree programs will differ in completion time, tuition costs, level of study required and the jobs you will be qualified for once done. They also differ when it comes to labor statistics, including employment rates.

There are schools, both online and on campus, that offer both an associate degree and bachelor’s. Types of schools can include community colleges, business schools, private or public universities. They each vary in cost and course selection.

Associate degrees typically allow students to go at their own pace. However, it can take as little as two years to complete the program if you attend as a full-time student. An associate degree can also be a stepping stone to a bachelor’s degree program.

Below are several tips that can also help you determine the right degree path.


Know the Value of An Associate Degree and A Bachelor’s Degree

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, those with only a high school diploma earn significantly less that those who acquired an associate degree or bachelor’s degree. Unemployment rates are listed at 5.4 percent for those with no higher education. For those with an associate degree it is at 3.4 percent and 2.5 for those with a Bachelor’s.

There is also a difference in pay between those who have earned degrees and those who have not. People with a bachelor’s degree earn an average of $1173 every week, while those with an Associates earn an average of $836 each week. People with no higher education earn an average of $700 each week.

With an associate degree, you can earn a degree in the arts, sciences and applied sciences. Whereas with a bachelor’s degree, the educational field options are much broader.

There are jobs that earn more money with an associate’s degree than with a bachelor’s degree.

Depending on your short-term and long-term goals, both an Associate’s and a bachelor’s could be a stepping stone to helping you along the way. They both give you options you would not have otherwise. They can help you follow your desires and potentially feel more valued in the workplace.

You can start working on your goals by asking yourself why it is you want to attend college. Do you want personal enrichment or a specific degree? Do you want to make more money or gain knowledge in a particular area? Are you going through a transition in your life and want a complete change of career?

Start with long-term goals.


Know Your Long-Term Goals

Long-term goals are set with your future in mind. Look five, ten, even twenty years down the road. Where do you want your career to be during those milestones? Answering questions like this can help you decide if an Associate’s or bachelor’s will help you reach those goals.

Long-term goals can change based on completion or incompletion of short-term goals. For example, you may obtain an Associate degree and then realize you want to study further to get a bachelor’s degree. You may realize your strengths along the way and adjust your college goals to match where you are now.

Goal setting keeps you on track and focused throughout your college experience.

For every long-term goal, there are short-term goals. These are the tasks that will help you reach your long-term goals, the smaller duties to help you achieve success.


Know Your Short-Term Goals

Short-term goals can be set by deciding what a successful year ahead looks like for you. Does it mean completing as many courses as possible? Or making great grades? Or working while also going to college?

Your short-term goals may include more than just yourself, like family. Figuring out what it takes to be successful in all the areas of your life can help you determine if you are ready for an associate degree level of study or a bachelor’s level.

Your level of commitment to college can change based on your short-term goals. You may want to test the waters of higher education by taking a few classes. An Associate’s program could satisfy these short-term goals. You may know your exact career path and want to work through it quickly, making a bachelor’s program a more viable option.


Know What You Can Invest

The best investment you can make is in yourself and your education. Knowledge is one thing that cannot be taken away once it has been gained. Investing in your own learning is extremely valuable.

To invest wisely in learning, it is important that you know and respect your limits in all areas of your life. Remain in control of your finances and make wise decisions that will further advance you in reaching your goals of obtaining a degree.

Furthermore, know your lifestyle and how to overcome any obstacles that may affect your educational goals.


Know Your Lifestyle

How important is salary? Can you get a flexible work schedule? Do you have children with academic and sport scheduling?

These are just a few of the questions to answer when matching a college degree with your lifestyle. For everything you add to your life, some other area may get less attention.

If you are single with few major responsibilities and eager to get started towards your career goals, attending a bachelor’s degree program full-time may be ideal. On the other hand, if you are a parent of a young child who also needs to work full-time while studying, an associate degree program is better for your lifestyle.

The best way to help you decide between an associate degree and a bachelor’s degree is to do a lot of research, weigh the pros and cons of each. Find out everything you can on your chosen career.

Also, seek help from career counselors at different colleges and universities.