How to Choose the Right Career Training Program for You

We’re all better at something when we enjoy doing it, so choosing a career you love and excel at will set you up for lasting success and fulfillment. However, with so many different career paths and training options available, it can be overwhelming as you try to choose what’s best for you.

These are important decisions that will affect your future, so taking time to set your career goals, determine your needs, and find a career training program that fits your needs, are essential steps to get you into your new career. This week, we will explore the best ways to make these important decisions and the things you should consider as you go.

Set Your Career Goals

The first thing to consider as you plan your path toward a career you will love, is what are your career goals? You may already have a set goal in mind, such as becoming a doctor, or you may need help figuring this out for yourself. For those who are still undecided on exactly what their career goals should be, there are a few questions to ask yourself that will help you create your own personal career goals.

  • Why do you want to start a new career? Starting with the reasons you want to begin a new career is helpful because it will guide and motivate you as you begin this new journey. Are you trying to create a better life for your family? Are you just very self-motivated and driven? Or is there something else pushing you?
  • What are you looking for in a new career? To set career goals that fit you, it’s important to know exactly what you want from your new career path. Do you want an increased salary, better job security, more flexibility, the opportunity to help people, the ability to work from home, or something else?
  • What areas are you interested in? Figuring out what you’re already good at and what you are interested in will help guide you toward the right career path for you. For example, maybe you enjoy working with computers, or maybe you prefer to work with people instead. Whatever it may be, choose a career path you will enjoy and be good at.
  • Do you plan to continue advancing your career? Deciding now if you want to get your dream job and stay in it for a while, or continue advancing and climbing the ladder to a leadership role, will help you decide on goals that fit your now and your future.
  • Where do you want to be in five years? You know where you are now, and this question helps you visualize where you’re going. What exactly do you want once you meet your career goals? Do you want to be able to afford nice vacations? Is your goal to eventually buy a house? Or pay for your children’s education? Whatever is it that you want for yourself, creating a specific vision will help keep you motivated and inspired along the way.

After answering these questions, you should be ready to set career goals that will help create the future you want for yourself. Remember, any goals you set for yourself should always be SMART goals, which means they are specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and timely.

Here is a great example of a SMART career goal: I want to start a career as a practical nurse in Fayette County in one year.

Determine Your Needs

Now that you’ve created career goals for yourself, it’s time to determine exactly what you need to get there. Each career field has different degrees and training requirements, and you have specific needs that will help you reach your goals.

First, look at some of the job descriptions for the career you want to pursue. If you want to become a practical nurse, look at some of the local places hiring for this role. What education or training do they require? Will you need a license to practice? Do they want you to have completed clinical hours? Do you need experience? What skills will you have to perform while on the job? After you have looked at some job descriptions, make a list of the most common things you noticed. This list of education, skills, experience, and credentials is exactly what you need to gain in order to qualify for the job you want.

It’s important to know exactly what you need to get your dream job, but you also need to know which path will work best for you. Answering the following questions will help direct you toward the path that fits your specific needs.

  • What is your learning style? We all have different learning styles. Some people learn better by reading about a topic, some by hearing others explain it, and some by getting hands-on and doing it themselves. Figuring out your learning style will help you choose a career training program that teaches to the way you learn.
  • What is your personality type? In addition to different learning styles, we all have different personality types. Consider taking a personality test, such as the Myers-Briggs Personality Type Indicator, to find out your personality type, as this can help you throughout the process of planning the path to reach your career goals.

You’re now equipped with exactly what you need to qualify for your dream job and what you need from a career training program to perform your best.

Research Career Training Options

You have set your career goals and know exactly what you need to get there, so now you’re ready to explore the different career training options available and choose the one that works best for you. To do this, you will need to evaluate different programs based on how they help you achieve your career goals and how well they meet your specific needs.

  • Does the program train you for the specific job you want? It’s time to use the list you made in the last step of exactly what employers require for your specific job. Compare the career training programs you are considering to this list. Does it provide you with the knowledge and skills needed? Do you prepare for certifications? Is the program length aligned with when you want to start your new career?
  • Is the school aligned with your needs? Next, you need to determine if the school will work for you. Here are some questions to ask about each school. Do you have a dedicated admissions advisor to help you as you apply? Does the school offer resources like financial aid and grants/scholarships? Does the teaching style work with your learning style? Do students get personalized instruction?
  • What support is offered to students? Finally, you need to know what support is offered to students as they complete their career training and beyond. Here are a few things to ask. Is there a supportive environment for students? Do students receive additional help when needed? Are career services offered to help students get from the program to a job? Are there any resources that students will continue to have even after graduation?

As you evaluate the different alternatives for career training, feel free to make a pros and cons list for each to help you compare them. Once you have evaluated your career training options, you can confidently choose the one that will set you up for career success, because you know it’s training you in the exact areas you need, in the way that you learn best.

Get Started Today

Now that you’ve set your career goals, determined your needs, and decided on a career training program, you’re ready to get started! If you’re looking to start a career in the exciting field of healthcare, United Career Institute may be the perfect choice for you. We offer fast-track healthcare training programs in Practical Nursing, Medical Assisting, and Medical Insurance Billing and Coding.

Request information or contact us at (724) 437-4600 today, and one of our friendly admissions advisors will work with you to create a career plan customized for you!

Chelsea Lee – Student Highlight

Chelsea Lee is a student in United Career Institute’s Medical Assisting program. Chelsea also works at Applebee’s while she is going to school. Working while in school is common amongst United students and we strive to offer our students the services they need to balance family, work, and school life. Our fast-track programs are also designed to get students into the professional world as quickly as possible, helping to facilitate that balance even further. Chelsea has worked at Applebee’s since she was in high school, which coincidentally, is where she heard about United Career Institute. Meghan Murray, United’s High School Admissions Advisor, visited Chelsea’s school and piqued her interest in United. Chelsea was also a high-school scholarship recipient.

Chelsea says that she chose United because of the recommendation of a friend who recently graduated from United’s Medical Assisting program. “It seemed like a fun school to go to. The staff seemed helpful,” Chelsea says. Pursuing medical assisting seemed like a logical step for Chelsea. “I’ve always wanted to be a nurse and thought medical assisting would be a good start.” (Many United students choose to pursue a Medical Assisting degree before moving into nursing because it helps prepare them for the fast-paced Practical Nursing program.) When asked what her favorite class has been so far, Chelsea said that the anatomy and physiology courses were her favorite because she loves learning about how the body works. Chelsea also said that, while she likes all her instructors, her favorite instructor is Medical Assisting Program Director, Kelli Workman. “I enjoy all the instructors, but Kelli Workman is my favorite because she explains things so that they are easy to understand, she doesn’t give up on us, and she will push you until you get it.” United Career Institute prides itself on the one-on-one attention our instructors give our students and the support we offer to help our students reach their educational and career goals.

Chelsea’s ideal job after graduation is in a pediatrician’s office. She wants to work with children because they touch her heart. Her five-year goal is to become a pediatric nurse. When asked If she would refer a friend to United she quickly responded, “yes, it is a fast-paced environment, but at the same time the ultimate learning goal is accomplished.”

If your story sounds similar to Chelsea’s and you would like to learn more about United Career Institute’s fast-track programs and hands-on training request information here today!

United’s Live Classroom Experience

This year has brought many changes to our daily lives, which can make it hard to plan for the future. The uncertainty of when kids will return to school, not feeling secure in their job, and not knowing if it’s completely safe to go out in public are just a few of the issues that many people are dealing with when thinking about their future.

As you deal with the many unknowns of this difficult time, we want all current and future United students to know that we are with you. Our top priority is to give you the education and training you need to start a fulfilling and successful career. This has been our priority from the beginning and will continue to be throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.

At United Career Institute, our commitment to your success will always remain the same, even though things are a little different right now.

We know that education plays an important role for our students in achieving their career goals and creating a better future, so we have adjusted to the current uncertain times by offering students a live classroom experience, which enables you to attend classes from the safety of your home.

Some students may not yet feel comfortable coming to campus or may have children at home and be unable to attend in-person classes. We designed our live classroom experience so these students can continue their career training and stay on the path to a better future.

Our live classes at United provide students the ability to interact with their teachers and classmates, just like in a traditional classroom. Students learn the same material and gain the same knowledge, preparing for an exciting, new career in a way that’s just a little different, for now.

Just like any other time at United, our instructors are available for one-on-one help outside of the classroom, so that all students get the support they need to succeed in their classes. While students learn in a live classroom setting, instructors are still available to work with students outside of the classroom, to ensure each and every student gets the help they need.

Our purpose will remain the same, even during these difficult times, and that is to empower change by creating opportunity. Every student who attends classes at United Career Institute will continue to receive the education and training needed to start a new career with benefits such as small class sizes, our WE CARE atmosphere, and personalized attention.

We are still here to prepare you for a fulfilling, successful career, even though things are a little different for now. Learn more about our Practical Nursing, Medical Assisting, and Medical Insurance Billing and Coding programs to start your journey to an exciting, new career.

Request information now to get started!

How to Create SMART Career Goals

We all have goals that we want to accomplish in life and in our careers. Maybe you aren’t fulfilled in your current job and want a more rewarding career or maybe your goal is to be the first person in your family to graduate from a training program.

Regardless of what you want to achieve, setting SMART career goals can get you there! The most effective goals follow these five guidelines: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Timely.

Using these criteria to create your SMART career goals gives you a higher chance of success. How exactly do you create SMART career goals? Keep reading as we share with you exactly how!

Specific

First, SMART career goals must be specific, so that you know exactly what to do in order to reach them. Here is a great example of a specific goal: I want to graduate from a Medical Assisting program in Westmoreland County within 18 months in order to begin a more rewarding career. This is a specific goal because it answers the following questions:

Now that you have answered these questions and created a specific goal, you know exactly what to do to achieve the goal.

Measurable

Next, you need to make sure your SMART career goals are measurable. Creating measurable goals ensures that you can track the progress you make toward your goals. As you take steps to reach your goals, you will be able to tell if you’re on track to meet them or if there is something you need to change.

Separating your larger goal into smaller chunks is the best way to do this. With the goal of completing a medical assisting program to start a more rewarding career, you could create milestones along the way for each class that is part of the program. This way, you are one step closer to your goal for each class you complete.

Attainable

As you create your SMART career goals, it’s essential to create ones that are attainable, because it’s hard to stay motivated to work toward a goal that’s not actually achievable. An example of an unattainable goal would be going to Mars next month. While this sounds like a great goal, it’s not actually attainable, because the technology to go to Mars doesn’t yet exist. Setting super high goals can seem like a good idea, but it can actually be demotivating, because you know you can’t accomplish them anyway.

In our medical assisting goal example, some things you should consider to ensure the goal is attainable for you is if can you commit the time required for the program, do you have the support system needed, and do you have any prerequisites that are required.

Relevant

The next thing you must do is ensure your SMART career goals are relevant to you. Here are some questions you should ask about each specific goal: Is this something you really want to achieve? Do you care enough to put in the work? Does this goal align with your other goals? Does this goal fit into your long-term plans?

For example, our medical assisting goal is relevant because it will help reach your dream of starting a more rewarding career. By achieving this goal, you’re working toward a long-term goal of being in a career that brings you more meaning and fulfillment.

Timely

Last, you need to ensure that your SMART career goals are timely. Creating a timely goal means that it has a time frame that you will complete the goal within. If you create a goal with no deadline, there is no sense of urgency to work toward the goal.

Create a deadline to reach the goal, but also create smaller deadlines for the milestones along the way. For example, with our medical assisting goal, you can create a deadline for taking each class, finishing your externship, and passing certification tests.

Achieve Your Goals with United

Now that you’ve created your SMART career goals, you’re ready to achieve your professional dreams! If you want to work in healthcare, helping your community by providing excellent patient care, United Career Institute has the fast track programs to help you get there.

Learn more and request information about our Practical Nursing, Medical Assisting, Medical Office Administration, and Phlebotomy programs to get started today!