One of the biggest challenges we hear from spouses looking for work is that they need more education to get the job they want. A degree, a professional certificate, more training. Enter the Institute for Veterans and Military Families at Syracuse University, which has just opened enrollment in its Veterans Career Transition Program to military spouses. (Are you singing in glee? You should be.)
Now - completely for free - you can take online classes in Professional Skills, Technology, Human Resources, and Independent Study programs like web design, Six Sigma Green Belt, and other professional certifications from Syracuse University that can really elevate your resume and application on the job market. Registration ends on Sunday, December 15 for classes that start in January, so hurry.
What they offer:Professional Skills: In this track, you'll get the skills and resources to effectively prepare for and execute a job search. I write about spouse employment for the Spouse Channel, and let me tell you: looking for work is a full time job in and of itself. This kind of program can make all the difference in how successful your search is. You will learn how to do company research, write a strong resume and cover letter, and learn the real ins and outs of Microsoft Office, Word, Excel, Power Point, and Outlook. (Most people think they know how to use Microsoft Office. But it's a lot more than Edit, Print, and Save.) If you're looking for a job in an office environment and don't know about the magical Mail Merge, this class is for you.
Technology Track: The Census Bureau estimates that 778,000 IT jobs will be added in the next decade. One of them could be yours. The IT track helps you prepare for these jobs with classes in web design, technical foundation, IT support desk training, Java, and server network infrastructure to name a few. The program offers fully funded industry certification where applicable and participants actually become official Syracuse University students. Go 'Cuse!
Human Resources: This track is brand new and begins with the start of the January term. It will serve to educate people who are brand new to the HR field as well more experienced, existing HR professionals. The program offers PHR certification exams and the training is certified by the Human Resources Certification Institute, the certification arm of the Society for Human Resource Management. The median salary for a certified Human Resources Professional is $45,000, and there are HR jobs wherever you are currently located. And every company has some... so there will be more wherever you move next, too.
Independent Study: The Independent Study track is a great resource for anyone who has been looking to add a certification to their resume but hasn't found the time, program, or money to do so. (Again, the whole thing is free!) This program gives you six months to access a large library of online classes from Syracuse that cover all manner of subjects and 25 full courses focused on things like professional and personal development, leadership, IT, accounting, operations, and finance. Participants who complete the entire course can have the program pay for their industry certification exam. (This is awesome, because it includes things like the Six Sigma Green Belt and Black Belt program, which are THOUSANDS OF DOLLARS in real life.) Anyone thinking of applying for jobs in the buzz-wordy business sector that would focus on things like "project management" should spend some time reviewing the various courses available. See a full list here.
Classes are open to all active duty spouses and all spouses of Reserve and Guard members and veterans who have served at least one day on active duty since 9/11. The program is paid in full by JPMorgan Chase so you don't have to use any of your education benefits at all. For the first time, when someone says "free," they actually mean "free."
If you can come up with more than one reason (I'm busy, it's Christmas - not a good enough reason!) that you can't get your application in, come talk to me. I'll talk you out of it. It's not every day spouses are offered the chance to take actually helpful classes FOR FREE from a highly respected university, and we should all jump at the opportunity. (I am going to register for the HR track! I'm so excited!)