So, you’re considering a FastForward program to broaden your career horizons? You might be asking yourself how to get started.
The first thing you should know about the program is that it works, because our students have the ability to earn credentials in some of the fastest growing industries in the country in just a few short weeks. And many FastForward graduates can attest to that.
In order to prepare yourself for an enjoyable and successful FastForward experience, we encourage you to keep in mind the tips below.
Do your homework
When choosing a program, ask yourself the following: What drives me; can I see myself doing this long-term; what are my overall financial goals; and how can I fit training into my life.
Next, do some research on your industry of choice to learn the average pay, benefits, work environment and potential ongoing educational requirements that will need to be fulfilled on a regular basis.
And if you’re still having trouble choosing the right career and program for you, the next tip is for you.
Talk to a Career Coach
FastForward has a number of expert career coaches who can guide you on your journey – each of Virginia Community College’s has at least one coach available to help.
Many career coaches will have students take a personal assessment to more accurately determine which educational path is the best fit. An excellent resource many of our coaches use is Virginia Career Works, which is partnered with both Virginia’s Community Colleges and the Virginia Employment Commission.
Once you begin your FastForward program, your career coaches will continue to support with needs like sourcing financial assistance, preparing for job search and even pointing you in the right direction if you need help outside of school – with things like transportation and childcare.
The average cost of FastForward training is $1,100. However, if you apply for additional funding through the various programs offered by Virginia Community Colleges, you may end up paying close to nothing. Other programs like Virginia Ready provide incentives for completing FastForward programs and filling in-demand positions.
Chart a new course
After you have done the research, spoken to a career coach and sourced funding, the final and most important step is to simply go for it! Your life is yours to shape and direct, and FastForward’s goal is to support you in your quest.
Whether you want to work in healthcare, early childhood development or welding, FastForward is ready to get you out in the field and doing what you love.