What if I need more education to get the job I want?
We may decide on a career or job that requires additional education. This means that we won’t be able to perform the tasks of the job until we have some education or training behind us that says that we are qualified to do so.
Education may take several forms. It may take the form of a General Equivalency Diploma (GED), or high school diploma, a college degree such as Associate degree (generally 2-year), Bachelor (generally 4 year), or higher (Master’s degree, Doctoral degree), a certificate (varies widely), or a training that shows that you have mastered certain knowledge or skill.
There are programs that can help you get into school. For example, state Vocational Rehabilitation agencies can provide or arrange education or training that is directly linked to your vocational goal.
Once you are in school, you may want to get support to be successful in school. After all, you have decided that you need this education for the job you want! In some areas you may find Supported Education programs that help individuals with mental health conditions to choose, get and keep an educational goal and to obtain necessary supports. Supported Education is an evidence-based practice, meaning that it has been shown to be effective at supporting people with psychiatric disabilities in school settings.
Most colleges and universities have Disability Support Services to assist student through the program, help obtain accommodations and educational adjustments, and make referrals to other services when needed.
Resources to help you find a training program in your area:
Federal Employment Training Program Finder: The federal Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) offers a comprehensive range of workforce development activities through state and local organizations. Here you can search by state to find a WIOA eligible training provider.
Education and training programs should be selected based on the interests and abilities of the student but also based on the probability of obtaining employment at graduation. Don’t wait until graduation to consider the employment options, but pursue placement resources throughout the process (McMullen).
Student employment can also help to stretch the dollars for education. The best place to look for student employment is through the school/college placement office. Some students who have federally supported college loans can access work study jobs that are federally subsidized. The schools prefer to hire these students to significantly reduce the cost of wages.