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Financial aid blues

There’s good and bad news about loans for IT training: Only degree programs are tied to Federal aid agencies, but a four-year degree is what most employers want anyway. Hed: Financial aid blues Dek: There’s good and bad news about loans for IT training: only degree programs are tied to Federal aid agencies, but a four-year degree is what most employers want anyway.

Dear Molly: I am trying to find an IT training school that participates in federal financial aid tuition plans, but I haven’t had any luck. All the schools have their own loan programs. What should I do? I want to get into the IT field, but I need training. I thought there was a shortage of trained IT people. If that’s true, why it this so hard?

Molly says: If the school offers accredited college-level courses and you’re enrolled in a degree program there, I don’t see why you would have problems. However, if you’re talking about the IT schools that exist just to teach classes that lead to various certifications, I doubt you’ll find any that participate in financial aid programs–they’re not in the same kind of business as colleges and universities.

If you don’t have a four-year degree, I strongly urge you to find one in your area that offers an accelerated degree program and start working towards either a business or computer science degree. Most employers would rather see a four-year degree with either of these two majors than a certificate earned after participating in a crash course of some kind–particularly for high school graduates.

There is indeed a shortage of trained IT people. That’s because becoming the kind of IT person companies are looking for–one with experience and appropriate training–takes time, discipline and money.

Molly Joss also writes the monthly Career Advisor column for ComputerUser magazine. Ask a career-related question at [email protected]

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