This is a guest blog post from Ed Carter who runs AbleFutures, which offers tools, original articles, and other resources that provide helpful financial information to members of the disabled community.
Young adults with disabilities may experience uncertainties about their career options and job market opportunities. Undeniably, the United States has a long way to go to create wholly disability-friendly workspaces. That said, the last several years brought generous advances in the quest to make disabled citizens and employees feel empowered. Young adults with disabilities may find an ideal fit in a business career.
Lucrative Degree Options
Before enrolling in a degree program, disabled young adults should understand the most lucrative degree options. Examples include business marketing, business economics, finance management, business administration and e-commerce management. Up-and-coming business people with disabilities may also enjoy an impressive salary focusing their education on healthcare management or entrepreneurship.
Online MBA Program
After exploring degree options and finding one that's the right fit, it's time to put in work to earn a degree. Enrolling in a distance-learning MBA program offers all students the flexibility and convenience of learning at their own pace. That way, learners have an easier time juggling personal responsibilities, family life and work. Such programs reveal and sharpen business skills such as accounting, marketing, statistics and human capital management. Online MBA programs help prepare scholars to become facilities managers, business administrators, and operations directors.
Depending on the school, young adults with disabilities may have internship opportunities where they gain firsthand experience in the business world. Not only do internships give students an idea of the work environment and job duties they may one day have, but they also provide disabled students with the opportunity to see which companies accommodate disabled employees.
Business professionals recommend seeking internships early and while still in school. Otherwise, applying for internships soon after graduating presents the second-best option. No matter when students apply for an internship, they should submit a strong resume and cover letter and apply on time. They should also seek out opportunities that are of great interest to them. For example, if a young person is interested in computer science, they should seek out internship opportunities at relevant companies or if they struggle to find an internship opportunity, research relevant tools, such as Blocksmith’s 3D Creation Tool, so that they can continue to build their skills as they pursue other relevant opportunities.
Regardless of the business degree or internship that disabled students select, they may feel apprehensive about entering a competitive business market with those who do not face their struggles. During such times, it may help to stay focused on the skills and abilities one brings to the table and how disabled young adults have an advantage in their chosen field.
Mentorship and Other Educational Opportunities
Besides an internship, it's a good idea to seek mentorship with experienced business people. Internships offer valuable firsthand experience, but a mentor may offer practical advice, improved confidence, and improved hard and soft skills. Some mentors may have experience with disabilities, making them especially well-suited to work with disabled students and interns.
In addition to a mentorship or if a mentorship is currently not an option, young people with disabilities can seek out other local educational opportunities. For example, for anyone interested in STEM industries, the Idaho STEM Action Center offers a wide variety of opportunities, including scholarships, career guidance, and special events.
An internship may lead to a job offer, but even if it doesn't, it imparts discipline lessons that students can use their entire careers. Interns and students who must look elsewhere for their first job could start searching with their school, teachers, friends and professional network.
Depending on the person's disposition and career goals, it may make sense to consider a home-based business. Options are vast. One can start a home business as everything from a translator to a pet sitter to a bookkeeper. That way, the individual sets her or his own hours and creates his or her own work environment without compromise.
While attending school, applying for internships, starting a company, or looking for work, disabled students may have access to financial resources. Disability scholarships, loans, and grants may offer opportunities and ease the financial burden of starting a career in business.
Young adults with disabilities should not feel they must settle in their professional lives. The right resources, degree programs, and opportunities can help them enjoy satisfying and well-paying business careers.
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