See how three people are changing careers in their 20's, 30's, and 40's.
Think it's too late in your life to make a career change? Think again.
Tom Mackey, dean of the Center for Distance Learning at State University of New York (SUNY), Empire State College, says people have an opportunity to reshape their professional lives by going to school.
"Higher education is a catalyst for change," Mackey says. "It gets you to think in a new way and it provides you with new skills. College also broadens your career options and choices because it provides you with the credentials you'll need."
Whether you're in your 20's, 30's, 40's, or beyond, making a career change at any age is possible.
Check out these real-life stories from people in the midst of taking their professional lives in new directions.
Katie Thompson: Age 27
Career Transition: Occupational Therapist
Katie Thompson's passion in life has always been about helping others.
"I find it very fulfilling to give back to people and the community," says Thompson, a native of Charleston, W.Va.
For three years, Thompson worked in Tucson, Ariz., as a one-on-one teacher's aide for special needs children at a public school. She says she enjoyed the work, but started thinking about changing her career to something with better salary potential and job growth.
"There was not a lot of room for advancement where I was, and I was not making enough money to live on," Thompson says.
In June of 2011, Thompson moved to Pasadena, Calif., after enrolling in a master's in occupational therapy program at the University of Southern California. Now more than halfway through the program, Thompson says she finds her new educational path challenging and stimulating.
"The science part has been the hardest," says Thompson, who earned a bachelor's degree in English and drama six years ago from Kenyon College in Lambier, Ohio. "The medical aspects have been kind of a stretch for me."
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During the traditional full-time program, Thompson says she has taken courses in anatomy, physiology, and neuroscience, and focused on two practice areas - mental health and pediatrics. This fall semester, Thompson has been learning about physical disabilities and geriatrics.
Thompson has some experience working with older adults, having held part-time summer jobs as a caregiver for people needing daily living assistance in a home-health setting.
"I like working with different kinds of populations," says Thompson, who supports herself by working part-time as a graduate assistant in occupational therapy. "It makes my day to make someone's life easier."
When her program ends, Thompson envisions herself working with children again as an occupational therapist.
Source yahoo by Tony Moton