Show Notes | April 5, 2021 | Episode 98
This episode is sponsored by our military spouse employment partner Stay at Home Profit.
Are you hesitating to pursue your next career certification due to cost or confusion about how to qualify for the exam? We’ve been there!
You may be thinking how am I going to fund my next career advancement in the middle of a PCS, raising my kids or figuring out how to pivot my career?
While certifications come with a fee, they are worth it! Certifications are an investment in your future. They often have a direct correlation to your next salary bump or promotion.
Today we are talking about how you can get your next certification absolutely free.
Onward to Opportunity (O2O) provides no-cost training and one free certification to members of the military community. They will also pay your exam fee.
Between transitioning service members, veterans, spouses and guard/reservists O2O helped more than 14,000 people get certified last year.
To be eligible for O2O there are four categories:
Transitioning service member with at least six months of service leftVeterans with at least an honorable dischargeGuard or reservistsSpouses of all those individuals
Certs are very important to pay attention to because employers value them. If you present as being certified it shows the employer you have gone through a training and testing process so the employer knows you are prepared.
As a jobseeker you can be assured that when you take on training your skill level will come to a competitive level that is valued by employers who are looking for top performers.
Certs are a lot faster than getting a four-year degree, and they give you more confidence and more options in your career development.
For most of the certs you must have coursework credits to sit for the exam. O2O front loads you with the coursework you need to pass the exam, provided through free online training set up by the certifying agency.
Each O2O cohort has virtual study groups for support, so students can chat about the challenges of the coursework.
You have 180 days, or six months, to complete the course work and pass three practice exams with an 80% or better for O2O to cover the exam fee. Of all the certifications in O2O’s repertoire the most expensive is nearly $1,000.
If a milspouse wanted to get the most out of O2O, they could potentially use the first three months to go through coursework get an exam scheduled, and then spend the last three months studying for another cert.
Before you finish the coursework someone from Hire Heroes USA will contact you about your resume, cover letter, LinkedIn profile and conduct practice interviews. They also have 900 employment partners across the country.
If you are moving, they will contact their corporate partners to see if they have a branch in that location or even better a remote opportunity.
Every graduate becomes part of the 14,000-member alumni program where you can network and complete additional training. Graduates are also alumnus of Syracuse University.
O2O currently offers 30-plus certs you can get for free, listed on its Learning Pathways website.
Knowing which cert to get requires you to do a deep dive to figure out what you want for yourself, your next job and your career. You should take a free self-assessment online or consider talking to a career coach.
O2O never lets anyone go down a wrong pathway.