Gear Up For Post-Recession Success

This is the ideal time to upgrade skill sets and learn new industries

If economic forecasters are to be believed, the recession is nearing an end. As rumblings of the nation’s imminent recovery grow louder, workers and employers are gearing up for the post-recession job market.  Despite unprecedented job loss in most sectors, growth and stability are positive in education, healthcare, government, and green businesses. And—the financial sector’s bloodletting notwithstanding—jobs will return to that industry, particularly in risk management, according to Professor Robert Korajczyk, director of the Zell Center for Risk Research at Northwestern’s Kellogg School of Management.  “Given the meltdown and the Madoff scandal, there’ll be greater emphasis on mitigating risks for portfolios, mortgages, and credit cards,” he says, which will translate into increased job opportunities in these areas.

With the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act set to invest $90 billion in education, this is the ideal time to upgrade skill sets and learn about new industries.  As companies work to rebuild their businesses with fresh ideas and forward-thinking personnel, career and educational opportunities abound. From mini-MBAs to online certificate programs, here are several programs that’ll give workers the competitive advantage.

Graduate and Advanced Degrees
These days a bachelor’s degree will only get you through the door.  From teaching and healthcare to entrepreneurship and green-collar jobs, more employers are looking for candidates with post graduate degrees and specialized skill sets.  The field of engineering, for instance, is instrumental in rebuilding the country.  Civil engineers plan and design roads, highways, and power plants while electrical engineers are the designers of future renewable energy who will bring the promise of alternative power to life.  A graduate degree carries industry-specific academic knowledge and experience that will help bolster credentials, increase salary grade, and open doors to better opportunities.

M.B.A.s and Mini M.B.A.s
Personal financial advisers and financial analysts who can forecast economic storms and shelter nest eggs will be in high demand and so will M.B.A. holders.  An MBA will provide the necessary career training to predict and manage future storms–and with that comes competitive salary and a wealth of opportunities.

Many business schools, such as Wharton School of Business and Kellogg School of Management, also offer executive education non-degree programs on senior management, corporate governance, leadership, strategy, finance, and marketing. Mini M.B.A. programs–accelerated, condensed versions of major courses and concepts taught in business school–have gained popularity as well. Students receive continuation education credits, which some schools accept toward a degree program.  Tuition is often paid by the student’s company, but more people are now willing to pay out-of-pocket.

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