As veteran blogger and commenter Suzanne Wheeler (she writes “Views from the PIT-People in IT” blog here) noticed about my previous blog, it’s important to factor other sources of financing into the equation when job loss, underemployment, or other circumstances lead people to ponder the suitability of and financing for continuing adult education. Thus, I am very nicely reminded to point out the following potential sources of funding for those in need of additional support for a training, skills development, or “back to school” adventure:
- Federal Student Loans, about which information is available on the Web at http://studentaid.ed.gov/. See also this nice third-party overview of available programs at SallieMae’s CollegeAnswer.com.
- State employment or unemployment programs (use the search engine on your state’s Website, or Google something like “Oklahoma education assistance” or “Oklahoma employment assistance” for more information). See also the State Unemployment Insurance Benefits page from the US Department of Labor.
- Be sure to ask at local employment or workforce centers about available training benefits, vouchers, or programs as you apply for benefits, or otherwise interact with such offices.
- Check with local community colleges to see if they have any free or discounted training offerings for unemployed or underemployed workers: many do. Community College Week Magazine sponsors an active an informative Website that you can use to find such resources in your geographical area.
If you can’t come up with the money for continuing education, IT certificaiton, or skills and knowledge development entirely on your own, please don’t be bashful about looking for–and, more important, asking about–other sources of help and funding. This is a case where some persistence and lots of knocking on doors can really make a big difference.