Boosting educational attainment excellent New Year’s resolution

By Teresa Lubbers

Many people begin the new year with hopes of improving their lives over the next 12 months.

Jogging off holiday cookies, paying down debt or giving up a costly habit are all worthwhile resolutions. But most of us know from experience that, as the year progresses, the benefits of those good intentions can fade.

There is one resolution that produces a lifelong reward: returning to school. Like any other resolution, going back to school takes determination. But the cost of a certificate or degree shouldn’t prevent you from returning to school. If you are ready to put in the work to advance your skills and build your workplace value, Indiana stands ready to help.

If you haven’t yet earned a degree or certificate beyond high school, enroll now in a high-demand certificate program at Ivy Tech Community College or Vincennes University, and Indiana will cover your costs. Visit NextLevelJobs.org to learn more.

In 2017, Gov. Eric Holcomb introduced Next Level Jobs, a campaign to pay for the education of Hoosiers who want to skill up for careers in Indiana’s fastest-growing industries — advanced manufacturing and logistics, technology, healthcare, in-demand business services (like accounting) and skilled construction trades. Next Level Jobs provides free tuition for more than a hundred programs at Ivy Tech and Vincennes, ranging from technical certificates requiring a few months of study to longer, high-value certificate programs.

Our state enters 2018 with a strong economy, but we continue to hear from employers who are unable to find qualified workers for the kinds of skilled positions that are becoming increasingly common in our state. According to the Department of Workforce Development, Indiana will need to fill more than a million job openings over the next decade — most of which will require some kind of education after high school.

There are good jobs available for prepared Hoosiers in these fields, and the training available at Ivy Tech or Vincennes can be tailored to fit your personal schedule. And while many people may use Next Level Jobs to boost their earning power, we also know some will return to school to fulfill a lifelong personal goal or to chart a new path for their family that includes higher education.

Whatever your reason, Indiana has made it easier than ever for you to receive the training you need to move to the next level of your career in one of the state’s hottest careers. This is one resolution you will not regret.

Teresa Lubbers is the Indiana Commissioner for Higher Education. Send comments to editorial@therepublic.com.