Grants for Career Change are Available to People in All Walks of Life

career changeAll types of people in all stages of life choose to change careers, and often it is necessary to find financial aid to do so.  It may be that the company is closing and it is time to find a new job.  It may be the company asking employees to work in other departments, or it may be employees simply tired of what they are doing.

Whatever the reason, additional training, travel, and expenses during the transition can cost a lot of money.  There are ways to finance this type of change however, and grants can play a big part.

Knowing where to look and what to look for can go a long way toward finding career change grants.  There are many different possibilities.

There are some government grants for career changes, and often special interest groups offer aid as well.  Companies sometimes offer grants to those looking to change careers within a company.  An example would be someone in a factory who wants to transfer to accounting for the same company.

Some employers offer financial aid to go back to school in this type of situation.   Women, minorities, and specific fields of study have more opportunities available.   Grants for careers change to a field that is hard to fill are fairly common as well.  Examples include teachers in specific geographic areas or subjects, scientists in specific fields, and physicians in specific areas of practice or geographic areas.

These change often, and as a result so do the grants available. Some great sources of information as to what is available and who it is available include to are and the Employment and Training Administration.

AAUW Career Development Grants for Career Change

The AAUW offers grants for career change in amounts ranging from $2,000 to $12,000.  These AAUW Career Development Grants are reserved for women only, and they must already have a bachelor’s degree.

They are designed to help women who meet the criteria re-enter the workforce, advance their career, or change their career.  Primary consideration is given to women of color, as well as those that are pursuing their first advanced degree or pursuing credentials in a non-traditional field.  They provide funds to support tuition, fees, local transportation, dependent care, and books.

The funds are available to those who meet the previously mentioned criteria and that are United States citizens or permanent residents that received their last degree before June 30, 2008.

Course work covered includes master’s degrees, second bachelor’s degrees, certification programs, and specialized training in technical or professional fields. It must occur at a 2 to 4 year accredited university or college in the United States,  or a technical school fully licensed or accredited by the U.S. Department of Education.  Funds are not available for PhD level work.


One of the specific government grants for career change is the NAFT Transitional Adjustment Program.  As might be expected, assistance under this program is available only to those who have either lost employment or lost significant hours due to a transition of their job to Canada or Mexico under the North American Free Trade Agreement.  It provides funds for training in a new career, as well as financial support during the training and transition.

Pell Grant

Another of the options for government grants for career change is the Pell Grant.   These are needs based grants that are available to those who do not already have a bachelor’s degree.

Apply by filling out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid.  If denied, a professional judgment can be sought from the financial aid department at the school to be attended that may offer an exemption based on unemployed status and inability to find a job in current line of work.

Second Chance Act

The Second Chance Act offers career change grants for those with a criminal history.  This type of flaw in work history can make find a job nearly impossible, but with the right funding and training there is hope.  These funds can be used to go back to school, learn a new skill, and begin a career completely different than work that was done before the criminal act took place.

These are not by any means the only career change grants available.  They are, rather, just the tip of the iceberg.  These are a sampling of the different types of grants for career change available, and there are many of each type out there.

There is so much available to help those in all walks of life, from being laid off and forced to start a new career to those who have simply decided they would rather take a different path.  The only way to find out what is available to you is to explore all available resources and ask for help.


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