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Retraining and More Education: Is this the answer for the unemployed?

Updated on July 21, 2010

 If you have ever been unemployed for a length of time exceeding three months, I am sure you have thought maybe your career or trade was done and it was time to retool. Retool to update skill sets, education, get that degree, finish something left undone. If you have never, consider yourself lucky.

In today's job market, 7 million have been out of work for over a year, more out of work for six or more months, many are re-evaluating their life, careers and goals. Many end up thinking the only way out is to get into a training program, go back to school, take more courses. In times past, this was the SOP, however, because there are six applicants for every job, the money paid to retrain does not always translate into a job, and if you paid $10,000 for it, you still have to pay the loan.

Many have done the training programs, the private vocational schools, gone back to college while unemployed and completed it only to find it did not help at all-they remain unemployed. Few are hiring and the competition is simply disheartening-hundreds apply for a low level job with only two openings. Employers have the pick of the litter and demand excessive skill sets for the gig.

In a study of a 160,000 unemployed workers in 12 states in 2003-05, a time when jobs were plentiful and recruiters called you, found that those who went through training wound up earning a little more than those who did not-ever four years later! The unemployment situation is so bad that no amount of retooling, education programs (private or federal), education can solve the problem. Training does not create jobs, it only adds more qualified people to compete for the few jobs demanding those skills.

Many college recruiters or advisers seem to promise jobs if a student completes the requirements. What is happening more is the student completes the course, gets the degree with a $50,000 student loan debt and no job. Too many graduates for only so many jobs.

So, before you pay for additional education, consider that after you complete the course you may still be in the same identical unemployed situation owing considerable money and no means to do it. Everyone is thinking along the same lines- go back to school- get new skills-be more marketable-only to be frustrated.

Even the $10 hr jobs are taken by overly qualified, college educated, people.


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