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Working Your Way Up
How to Change Your Career
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How to Change Your Career

(ARA) - For many people, springtime may signal a new direction, including a new career. To make that transition, a return to school may be just the ticket.

While college can seem unreachable for many due to cost and time constraints, there are programs that are tailored for the busy adult student seeking a better career. Take Cheryl Mylacraine, for instance. As a graduate of Georgia Medical Institute in Norcross, Ga., Cheryl changed her life and found success by earning a diploma in massage therapy just last April.

“After some success in competitive body building and 10 years as a personal trainer, I entered the sales end of the gym business,” explains Cheryl. “Seeking a better income through sales, however, just led to more stress and instability. I became very disillusioned with life at that point because I’m just not a sales type of person. I truly hated my job and dreaded going into work every day.”

Today, just months after earning her diploma, Mylacraine is excited about both her career and her future. “I was always interested in massage therapy and when I found Georgia Medical I knew it was going to change my life,” she says. “The instructors and staff at the school were great. They were flexible and willing to work with me. I can honestly say that I have never had a job that I truly loved until now.”

Mylacraine works for Donna’s Massage, a small chain of salons in the Atlanta area. She is also providing massage services to a corporate client, and best of all, planning to open her own room in a chiropractor’s office. “Having my own room is a dream come true,” she says.

“Career changers are often seeking a new direction in their lives,” says Camella Boles, Director of Career Placement at Georgia Medical. “While they may have a job, they don’t have a career that they love. Many people are drawn to the allied medical profession because of the stability of many of the fields and the chance to help people through their work.”

The fact is, opportunities in allied medical fields are growing at a faster rate than most other professions. Fields such as medical assisting and massage therapy are booming, growing faster than average (27 percent or more over a 10-year period) compared to other professions, according to the U.S. Department of Labor’s 2006-2007 Occupational Outlook Handbook. The Handbook credits the increase in opportunities for skilled massage therapists to an increased interest in alternative medicine and holistic healing. The Handbook also cites that the growth in medical assisting is largely due to the increase in the number of group practices, clinics and other healthcare facilities that require a high proportion of support personnel.

One career changer who took advantage of the growth in medical assisting is Valerie Williams, an information technology employee who was earning a good income before a layoff prompted her to seek a new direction. After earning her diploma in medical assisting in January, Valerie now works as a pharmacy assistant with Kaiser Permanente. “I came to Georgia Medical for a new direction and found it in the medical field,” she says. “I’m doing something that is so much more rewarding and I enjoy it.”

“People seeking a career change need to conduct a thorough self-assessment to ensure that they land a career they love,” cautions Boles. “There are many resources out there to help with that assessment, including Web sites and the schools themselves that can provide all the information a student needs regarding their chosen career.” Just ask Cheryl Mylacraine and Valerie Williams. Earning their diplomas has truly changed their lives.

Georgia Medical Institute ( offers healthcare diploma programs in medical assisting, dental assisting, massage therapy, medical administrative assisting, medical insurance billing and coding, surgical technology and pharmacy technician training. Georgia Medical is part of Corinthian Colleges, Inc., one of the largest providers of post-secondary education and training in North America. (ARA)


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