Quick skill acquisition
January 25, 2017 9:34 PM   Subscribe

I am 60 years old, a retired teacher, working at a pretty good job as an assistant in a program for emotionally disturbed 8th graders. But I would like to get a quick certification in something, maybe in a medical or IT area, that would get me another, better paying job. I could study in the summer, weekends or evenings. Any ideas? Thanks!
posted by Kazimirovna to Education (9 answers total) 18 users marked this as a favorite
Would you mind sharing what your target salary is?
posted by the thorn bushes have roses at 10:26 PM on January 25, 2017 [2 favorites]

You could look at getting an IT project management certification. Maybe scrum master or PRINCE2?
posted by oh pollo! at 1:41 AM on January 26, 2017 [2 favorites]

In my jurisdiction, early childhood intervention is supposed to be a good, well paying gig for teachers who add that certification.

I've heard individual glowing accounts of medical billing as a part retirement career.
posted by Salamandrous at 3:13 AM on January 26, 2017

If you want to teach IT, or be a TA, get your CCNA or MCSE.
posted by GiveUpNed at 6:30 AM on January 26, 2017

a coworker's dad transitioned from IT to radiology technologist
posted by metaseeker at 6:46 AM on January 26, 2017

Teacher? I'm thinking IT training. Short term contracts. Can't help on a specific cert, though.
posted by Leon at 6:49 AM on January 26, 2017 [1 favorite]

CCNA is a beefy cert, but you can choose to get it in two stages, the first half being CCENT, Cisco Certified Entry Networking Technician, and the second is the full CCNA (Network Administrator). CCENT will get your foot in the door. Both/either cert have to be re-certified every 3 years, IIRC. You can self-study CCENT/CCNA, and there are a ton of free online courses. The official cert guide from Cisco is important, but there are other books as well.

Get network basics in with CompTIA Network+ (which is network basics desired by a consortium of tech companies, including all the ones you've heard of, called CompTIA). You can self-study this one as long as you have basic computer knowledge, even if you're starting from scratch on the network knowledge. I used Mike Meyers' excellent "All-In-One" book, which is informative and readable. (No, not that Mike Meyers.)

Need more basic? Try CompTIA A+ (Mike Meyers' book here, also excellent for self-study) which will qualify you as a desktop technician. It's a two part test; the first part everyone takes, and the second part is one you select from 3 options, all with slightly different job focuses, but all 3 options are pretty similar; unless you're specifically going for a Depot Technician job (e.g. Geek Squad) or have a job lined up that prefers one over the other option, it's best to just choose "IT Technician." The stakes of this choice are very low.

However, as an older person you've got a lot of life and work experience, and Project Mgmt is a great route to go down, as suggested above. I don't know what the right certs are for that, so I'd start with oh pollo!'s suggestions.
posted by Sunburnt at 9:33 AM on January 26, 2017 [1 favorite]

Check with your local community or technical college. We offers tons of these certifications!
posted by KleenexMakesaVeryGoodHat at 10:45 AM on January 26, 2017 [3 favorites]

You can get certified through the AAPC for medical coding & billing on your own timeline. I already had medical experience and it cost me about $1200 to do a bootcamp and take the test...it'll cost more for the whole course but certainly less than the $27k a coworker spent to get the same certification through a tech college. Salary range for full-time, experienced coders is $35,000-$45,000/yr.

The other main certification is AHIMA, which you may want to look at if you're more interested in in-patient/hospital coding.
posted by kattyann at 5:07 PM on January 27, 2017 [2 favorites]

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