Beefing up your résumé without a full-blown degree

Going back to school could land you a job at a law office.

Whether you’re looking to improve prospects in your current career or switch to a new one, consider a continuing education program.

Jim Kane, director of continuing studies at Villanova University, says  noncredit classes can help students beef up their résumés without a huge investment of time and money.

“‘Noncredit’ just means it doesn’t count toward a [bachelor’s or master’s] degree,” Kane emphasizes. “These programs can lead to direct career benefits, including more money and better opportunities.”

The pursuit of continuing studies provides a good route for people looking to enter a new career.

One growing career field is substance abuse counseling — the Bureau of Labor Statistics projects it to be one of the top 10 growth fields over the next five years. Villanova’s program prepares people who already have bachelor’s degrees to take the Pennsylvania state exam. 

Paralegal studies is also a field with strong job growth. “We have students who do it as a stepping stone to law school,” Kane says. “But we have many others who know there are more jobs for paralegals than lawyers these days.”

Another reason to go back to school is to study for a career that didn’t exist when you were in school the first time, according to Kane.


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