Careers For Dummies
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Most people can and do train for their career the traditional way: a college or graduate degree. But increasingly, people are getting some or even all their training with a certificate program or individual courses: in-person and online. These tips can help you get the most from them:
  • Curriculum matters. A program’s curriculum is key to choosing a degree program that will fits your career goal. For example, a psychology program could emphasize Freudian psychology or physiological psychology. An MBA could focus on entrepreneurship or on international business. Choosing a degree program with a curriculum that matches your career goal can make all the difference
  • Your advisor matters. In a degree program or even a certificate program, your advisor can be your mentor, help you choose the right courses and culminating project, and give you job leads and a reference that can open career doors. For each program you’re considering, check out the professors’ bios, which usually are on the institution’s website. Then for one or two professors that are intriguing, phone or visit during office hours.
  • Choosing courses wisely. So many courses are available in-person and online. For example, prestigious universities offer courses that are open to anyone, often at low cost or even free. Thousands of such courses are aggregated on and Additionally, many practical courses are offered through university extensions and on websites that aren’t affiliated with universities, for example, and It’s easier than ever to vet such courses because syllabi and student reviews are usually posted.
The section in Careers for Dummies, Getting Trained, offers much more, for example, how to convince an employer that a You U “grad” is at least as worthy of being hired as a degree-holder.

About This Article

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About the book author:

Marty Nemko, PhD, has been career coach to 5,400 clients, enjoys a 96% client-satisfaction rate, and was named "The Bay Area's Best Career Coach" by the San Francisco Bay Guardian. He has been interviewed in hundreds of major publications from the New York Times to theLos Angeles Times, and has appeared onThe Today Show andThe Daily Show with Jon Stewart. He hostsWork with Marty Nemko on a National Public Radio station in San Francisco. His first job? Piano player in a Bronx bar at age 13. His second? Taxi driver.

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