New Year, New Career


Start your 2012 new career planning now.

By Lisa Manterfield    

Come January 1st, gym memberships sky rocket and diet books fly off the shelves as people strive for self-improvement in the New Year.

If your resolution, however, is more about changing careers for the better, it may be time to start planning now.

Want to make 2012 the year you start preparing to launch a new career? Check out these career change options and find out what education you'll need to get started now.

Career #1 - Paralegal/Legal Assistant

If you've always loved the law and want to use the New Year to start preparing to transition into this exciting field, consider this as a career option: paralegal/legal assistant. These helpful workers perform many of the duties once handled only by lawyers, which includes preparing legal documents, interviewing clients, scheduling court dates, and maintaining important records.

Click to Find the Right Paralegal Program for You.

2012 New Career Plan: This is a great career-change option, as an associate's degree in paralegal studies could be completed in as little as two years, the Department notes. If you already have a bachelor's degree in another field, you may be able to complete a paralegal certificate program in as little as a few months.*

Career #2 - Computer Support Specialist

Computers aren't for everyone, but if you happen to have an affinity for them, you might enjoy pursuing a new career as a computer support specialist. In this position, your responsibilities might include providing technical or help desk support, diagnosing problems, and educating fellow employees.

Click to Find the Right IT Program for You.

2012 New Career Plan: If you want to make the switch to this career, you should have a solid grasp of computer systems. A bachelor's degree in computer science, computer engineering, or information systems is required for some positions, the Department reports, while an associate's degree in a computer-related field is sufficient for others.*

Career #3 - Bookkeeper

Bookkeeping, accounting, and auditing clerks are employed in just about every industry you could imagine, so preparing to pursue a career in this field could be a smart New Year's resolution option. As a bookkeeper you might maintain company financial records, handle payroll, prepare tax information, or manage purchasing and invoicing.

Click to Find the Right Accounting Program for You.

2012 New Career Plan: If you think this all-about-numbers career could be for you, consider going back to school to earn an associate's degree in accounting or business, which is required for some positions, according to the Department.*

Career #4 - Pharmacy Technician

With the health care field predicted to generate about 3.2 million new jobs between 2008 and 2018, according to the Department, prospects for pharmacy technicians are looking good. This job carries a lot of responsibility, as you'll likely be working with patients, processing prescriptions, and filling and labeling medications.

Click to Find the Right Pharmacy Technician Program for You.

2012 New Career Plan: Think you might enjoy a career as pharmacy technician? You could have a shot at pursuing this career if you're armed with a pharmacy technician certificate - which employers favor - reports the Department.*

Career #5 - Registered Nurse (RN)

If you have an interest in helping people, you might enjoy pursuing  a registered nurse career. RNs often work closely with patients, administering treatments and medication, and creating and employing patient care plans. They also provide education and emotional support for patients and their families.

Click to Find the Right Nursing Program for You.

2012 New Career Plan: Does this hands-on career intrigue you? Great news: An associate's degree in nursing, which could take as little as two to three years to complete, could help you prepare to pursue this career, according to the U.S. Department of Labor.*

*All career and education information comes from the U.S. Department of Labor using May 2010 data.

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