Education for a new career
Time for a career change? You've got options.
Go back to school
Searching for a job is hard enough without feeling as if you’re stuck looking in a field you loathe. Maybe it’s time to stop putting yourself through the wringer and rethink. What did you want to be when you grew up? Probably not an investment banker/lawyer/(insert your old job here). It’s not too late to make a switch.
At the Tricoci University of Beauty Culture, you can get prepped for a future in primping. Hands-on experience is plentiful thanks to the TUBC campus clinics, where students perform services on paying guests. The costs are not negligible—$17,750 for a degree in cosmetology at a Chicago-area campus—but scholarships are available based on need or for current employees of Tricoci-friendly salons. Various locations, tricociuniversity.com.
East of Eden
Turn your skepticism of Western-style pill-pushing medicine into a career as a holistic healer at the Pacific College of Oriental Medicine. A master’s degree in acupuncture and traditional Oriental medicine requires about 3,530 hours and qualifies you for state and national practitioner licensing exams. Bachelor’s and associate’s degrees are also offered for a smaller time commitment. 3646 N Broadway, 773-477-4822, pacificcollege.edu, tuition starts at $17,190 for an Associates degree.
Cook up a new career
Culinary school doesn’t have to cost a small fortune. For budget-minded future chefs, the Washburne Culinary Institute offers a Basic Certificate in Culinary Arts starting at under $4,000. A full five-semester Associate In Applied Science Degree in Culinary Arts can run less than $15,000. Washburne prides itself on its modern, open-plan teaching kitchens: They certainly don’t look budget. 740 W 63rd St, 773-602-5487, kennedyking.ccc.edu/washburne.
Ad to your skills
Chicago’s got a rep as a hub of the advertising industry, but you can’t just waltz into Leo Burnett and demand a job. Northwestern University’s School of Continuing Studies’ courses in advertising can start you on the path. The school offers a three-course sequence (ADVT 311, 312, 313) geared to getting you ready to write and art-direct ads in print, radio, television and direct mail. At the end of the sequence, you’ll have an interview-ready portfolio of ads. 339 E Chicago Ave, 312-503-6950, scs.northwestern.edu, $1,368 per course.
Do the MAPH
When you tell people you’re in the MAPH program, they are going to think you’re studying math and have a lisp. Never mind them; the University of Chicago’s one-year Master of Arts Program in the Humanities educates modern-day Renaissance men and women, who go on to careers in fields such as teaching, publishing and museum administration. 1010 E 59th St, Classics Building Room 117, 773-834-1201, humanities.uchicago.edu/depts/maph. $12,834 per quarter, three quarters required to graduate.
Broker, not poorer
This may not seem like the time to get into real estate, but there’s nowhere to go but up, right? And hopefully the outlook will be rosier by the time you finish the 120 credit hours of instruction required for a broker’s license. Start with the Chicago Real Estate Institute’s 45-hour Salesperson’s Pre-licensing Course. Going to classes two nights a week, you can be an Illinois real-estate salesperson in two months. 2711 N Halsted St, 773-880-7400, chicagorealestateinstitute.com, $575 for complete saleperson and broker sequence.
Your friends already come to you with their problems because of your compassion and insight—why not go pro? The Adler School of Professional Psychology teaches a big-picture, socially responsible approach to counseling, with both master’s and Psy.D degrees available. 65 E Wacker Pl, 312-201-5900, adler.edu. The two-year Masters in Counseling Psychology (61 credit hours) program starts at $53,680.
Folks thinking about business school—but wary of the price tag and time committment—can take a test drive with DePaul University’s 15-week MBA Primer course. Professors introduce topics covered in traditional two-year B-school programs, such as managerial skills and business theory. The next sequence at the Loop campus begins Sept 3, 312-362-5295, depaul.edu, $3,995.
With shelter mags like Domino shuttering (may it RIP), people need professional design help more than ever. You can fill the void: The Associate of Applied Science in Interior Design program at Harrington College of Design nourishes student creativity while teaching marketable techniques. 200 W Madison St, 866-590-4423, interiordesign.edu, $785 per credit hour.
If you’re (1) over 50, and (2) have a car, Roosevelt University’s Institute for Continued Learning is a smart way to keep your brain stimulated while you look for work. The membership program hosts weekly study groups at its Schaumburg campus, plus plans cultural field trips around Chicago. You may be chilling with some grandmas and grandpas, but it’s worth it: An ICL membership allows you to audit regular courses at the Schaumburg and Loop campuses. Go to roosevelt.edu for more info, $110 for one-year membership.