Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Recession Blues? Six Certifications You Can Earn in Six Months

/PRNewswire/ -- For those facing unemployment, the idea of retraining for a new career can seem daunting--especially for adults who don't have the luxury of attending a two- or four-year college. America's career-training institutions can offer hope, though. Here are six careers you can become certified for in six months or less:

Computer Technician: The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that careers in the IT field will increase by 27-53% by 2016. In fourteen states, offers accelerated, classroom-based courses to prepare students for Microsoft Certification (MCP, MCTS and MCSA) in six months.

Medical Careers: According to the Department of Labor, Medical Assistant is one of the fastest-growing fields in America. Training programs to become a Medical Assistant, Dental Assistant, Medical Billing Technician or Phlebotomist vary in length depending on certifications, starting at eight weeks.

Culinary Arts: Schools now offer training in classic culinary techniques and pastry arts in as little as six months.

Cosmetology: Courses have evolved beyond one-year courses in hairstyling and now include shorter, specialized courses beyond hairstyling, including accelerated courses for manicures, facials, or makeup application.

Massage Therapist: A massage therapy education is typically based on hours, rather than weeks or months, of experience. Most students are ready for the exam in as little as 300 hours and certified after 1,000 hours--about the equivalent of six months of full-time work.

Pharmacy Technician: Pharmacy Technicians can receive on-the-job training, but employers favor candidates who have completed a formal education and certification process.

Jerry Collins, Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of says he's already seeing an increase in inquiries. "As the recession has spread, we've seen more and more people looking for new career choices, rather than simply waiting for an old job that might never return," he said. "Even people who have earned college degrees for their former jobs are retraining for opportunities created by changing technology."

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