Affordable Ways to Train for a New Career: Your Guide

Posted April 5, 2022 by in Career
A Woman Using Laptop

Switching careers is a dream for many people. That doesn’t mean that it’s easy, however. A few things could get in the way.

Skills are one of the most notable. Despite how much you might want a role, you mightn’t have all of the necessary qualifications.

While this may seem like a small hurdle, it becomes much larger if you can’t afford to attend university to earn them. That doesn’t have to be as large of an obstacle as you could assume, however.

Figuring out how to train for a new career without spending much money doesn’t need to be as tricky as expected. There are multiple low-cost options that you could choose.

How To Train For A New Career: 7 Affordable Options


The internet has upended countless industries in the past few decades. Education has been no exception to this. You can learn quickly from the comfort of your own home.

You can even level up your skills in aviation, if that’s the career you wanted to pursue. Many of these classes can be free to attend, although the better quality ones normally come at a cost.

These are more affordable than you’d expect, however. You’ll only need to pay for the classes you’re interested in, with the overall price typically being low.

Local Incubators

Quite a few cities – especially those with larger educational institutions – have multiple incubator and accelerator programs. These focus on helping local startups launch their business.

They can also be used to find opportunities to train for a new career. While the pay mightn’t be as high as you’d like, you’ll likely receive some form of payment.

Such companies also don’t have much of a budget for employees. Though this means possibly working for below market rate, that should only be the case as you’re learning the necessary skills.

Once you do, you could start looking elsewhere. An extra benefit of this approach is that you also get hands-on experience in the role, which is appealing once you start applying for jobs in your new industry.


You could think of apprenticeships as something for younger people looking to learn a specific skill. In popular imagination, all of these revolve around electricians, carpentry, and similar areas.

While these can all be recommended options, they’re not the only ones you could consider. You could be surprised by the industries that offer apprenticeship programmes.

Many of these are offered by specific companies. Though undertaking these apprenticeships typically means signing a contract of a minimum length, this is typically short.

With this option, you’ll be paid while you’re learning the skills you need. It’s a much more affordable way of training for a new career than you’d see elsewhere.

Low-Cost College Options

While university might be out of the question for you, that doesn’t mean you can’t attend college. Many larger options offer short, low-cost classes that you can attend.

While these mightn’t result in a bachelor’s degree or greater, they can help you learn the skills needed for your new career. Once you graduate, you’ll receive a certificate that shows you graduated.

That should be more than enough to show new employers about your training. While this could take a bit of work scheduling around your life, it could be quite simple with a proper schedule.

Many of these classes typically take place a few times a week, so they shouldn’t be too hard to plan around.


When many people think of volunteering, they expect to use their current skills to help out a colleague or charity. That doesn’t have to be the case.

You could donate your time to projects that let you develop the skills needed for your dream job. Doing this with a non-profit also means that you can give back to the community while developing these skills.

You don’t need to restrict yourself to charities, however. Volunteering to work on projects in work where you can develop these skills is also recommended.

You could ask your boss if you can split your time between current projects and those in other departments. They could be more receptive to the idea than you’d expect.

Find A Mentor

Having someone to mentor you can help you train for a new career more than you’d think. It’s also easier to find someone to help you than you’d think. You could choose from multiple mentorship programmes.

Many of these could be located in a city near you, although there are also options available online. There are multiple benefits to this.

Many mentors are happy to teach you the ropes of a specific industry. They can also point you toward resources you can use to train for a new career.

They’ll keep your budget in mind when doing so, so they shouldn’t have a problem helping you find ways to train for the career that you can afford.

Ask Work For Help

What many people mightn’t realize is that their employers may be willing to pay for their education. You could already be aware of the ongoing education initiative that your employer offers.

If there is one, you should take full advantage of it. It also doesn’t need to be as restrictive as you’d think; you mightn’t be limited to options that directly relate to your current position.

Check what you can and can’t do with your employer’s continued education initiative. If you can study for your dream job by getting your employer to pay for it, then do.

It’s worth noting, however, that you may need to highlight how the degree or course you want to study for can benefit your career. Once you do, your employer shouldn’t have an issue paying for it.

Woman sitting in yellow chair using laptop at a co-working space

Figuring out how to train for a new career doesn’t have to be tricky. You have multiple options available to you.

While you may need to juggle work and other commitments around this, it’ll be worth the effort. Once you’re able to get the job of your dreams, you’ll reap the dividends.