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Showing posts with label felon education. Show all posts
Showing posts with label felon education. Show all posts

Wednesday, October 21, 2020

Jobs for Felons: Beware of Career Schools

Jobs for Felons: Beware of Career Schools
If you are at home in the daytime, I'm sure you have seen countless commercials from career schools promising  new careers and brighter futures for unemployed people.  If you don't have a job or have no idea where your life is going, these schools appear to the be the answer to a lot of prayers.

These career academies or adult education schools offer the hope of well paying careers as Cosmetology, the medical field, fashion designing, automotive repair, culinary etc.  They even offer help with financial aid (usually loans,) and job placement after you graduate.  I even saw one that claimed upon completion of their Medical Billing a Coding course, you would be able to do billing and coding from home.

I often get emails and letters from ex-offenders and felons asking if the investment in time and money would help their situations.  Before I answer this question, let's look at how these career schools work.

Jobs for Felons: Beware of Career Schools

As stated above, these schools train students for a variety of in-demand careers.  In most cases, these schools operate for a profit.  The exception to this are community colleges that offer career training.  Because vocational schools are profit oriented, the want to make their training very attractive to those who are serious about training for careers.  While many of these schools are reputable and do an excellent job preparing students and assisting them in getting placed, there are others who record is not as good.  To drive more students to their programs, they may offer misleading information about the need for qualified people to fill jobs, the earning potential or the ability to place their graduates.
I encourage ex-offenders and felons looking for jobs and careers to carefully explore all of their options for training before such a big investment of time and money.  First I suggest your local community college.  Many community colleges are committed to providing quality education and some include career and vocational education.  Community colleges also have very qualified financial aid, counseling and dedicated placement personnel.  If your local community college does not offer training in a field you are interested in, you may have to turn to a private career school.  Before choosing a school you have to ask some very important questions.

Is the school accredited?  Accreditation is an evaluation by a nationally recognized agency.  If a school is accredited , it means it has met certain quality standards and probably is a good school.  You can simply ask a school representative "Is you school accredited and by what agency?"

What is the total cost of the program and what financial aid is available?  You may require a loan to finance your training.  If you are unemployed, you may be eligible for assistance through your state's department of labor.  You can find a department of labor representative at your local One-stop Career Center.  You can find the center nearest to you here:

 If you need a loan, I suggest government sponsored financial aid.  You can get information about federal financial aid and other financial aid options here: What Is Financial Aid and How Does It Work?
What is the school's placement record?  Ask about the school's placement record.  Find out what percentage of graduates in your field and the average have been placed and .  Find out what employers have hired the school's graduates.  This is very important.  You should contact these employers to see if they hire ex-offenders or felons.  You may also find out if a license is required and if your conviction would keep you from being licensed.

Choosing a career a great choice for felons looking to put criminal records behind them.  Choosing the right school can help them do it.

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Jobs for Felons: Beware of Career Schools

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