Have you recently taken a close look at your resume and thought something is lacking? If so, you’re like many working adults who want to add some zing to their most relevant employment document, the personal resume. What works? 

In addition to earning a short-term certificate in a subject like teaching, medical assisting, or accounting, consider aiming for a traditional four-year degree, taking a top-ranked computer coding or programming course online, or learning a trade. And, if you’ve never formally completed high school, set your sights on a GED (general educational development diploma). Don’t let finances slow you down. Many courses cost little, and student loans are available for those who choose to pursue a four-year college degree. Here are some of the top choices for people who want to polish their resumes and aim for a more rewarding career.

Earn a Certificate

Hundreds of top universities, colleges, and community-based schools offer certificates for career-minded students. Some of the most popular areas of study include medical assistance training, accounting essentials, high school and grade school teaching, mechanical services, and more. Course length varies from a few weeks to more than a year. Costs also run from very low to quite high. Take time to shop around online and with local schools for the best prices and most reputable programs. Doing this as a precursor to a traditional degree can help you improve your grades in college once you get there as you will already have some knowledge under your belt. 

Get a Traditional Degree

Getting a degree and paying for it are two completely separate tasks. Fortunately, as long as you’re willing to put in the effort to earn good grades, there are commonsense options for covering the cost of a diploma. For a large number of prospective students, the ideal strategy is to work with a private lender in order to get the best interest rates, repayment periods, and loan terms. It’s best to apply as early as possible so you won’t have to worry about finances during your studies. That way, you can focus on getting excellent grades and adding a relevant, career-enhancing degree to your resume.

Take a Comprehensive Coding Course

Computer coding is a high-demand skill you can learn online or at a community college. Courses range in length from a month to a year, but most are targeted to help graduates land jobs as soon as they complete school. You don’t need any special background or prior degrees to learn to code. Take a short introductory class before committing to longer programs. That way, you’ll get an idea of what’s right for you and which programming languages you prefer.

Get a GED or Associates Diploma

General Education Diplomas are considered the equivalent of a high school education. Keep in mind that many GED training programs are free to students who are on a limited income or who work in certain fields. Community colleges offer two-year degrees, called associates’ diplomas, in dozens of fields. Getting a two-year degree immediately after completing a GED is a low-cost, efficient way to get started on a four-year college diploma. It’s actually quite common for holders of associates degrees to apply directly to four-year universities and begin as third-year students.