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Unable to attend school for a career change because you have a Bachelor's Degree

by Atiya Pope
(Philadelphia, PA USA)

Good Morning:

My name is Atiya Pope and I am from Philadelphia, PA. Today I inquired about going back to school to pursue my Associates in Nursing to become an RN. The issue is that I have a Bachelor's Degree already. I was told that I will be unable to get funding through Unemployment because I have already furthered my education in Business. I do not believe that its fair because I want to change careers and I feel like I am being punished for having already gone to college. Yes there are people who have not had the opportunity to go to college and those who did not should attend. But what about those of us who wants to change careers and need to get the necessary training to do so? Why are we left out? I will be emailing Governor Rendell regarding this issue.

Hi Atiya,

You may have a point, but I also know that unemployment benefits (including funding for school and training) is meant to help people expand their job markets to find employment.

I think just wanting to make a career change alone without accompanying labor market analysis to show there are no jobs in your present field is contrary to the purpose of what all the benefits are for .. to get people back to work in a field that is in high demand vs. a field where there are jobs and you have the qualifications to fill one of them.

But I certainly don't think you should let possession of a BA degree stand in the way of following your dreams and desire to change career paths. Find a solution that still makes it possible to work and most importantly, be fulfilled by the work.

PHEAA or Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency might offer some alternatives for you or others from PA to do this.

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