University Park, IL,
13:24 PM

Mama Got Skills

First-time moms heading home from the hospital with a newborn sometimes wish the baby came with an instruction manual. But imagine their shock at learning some of the skills they’ll need to have: time management, planning, prioritization, crisis management, problem solving, communication and negotiation, to name a few.

“As a mom, you are doing 100 different things in a day. You don’t even realize you have these skills that are so valuable in the workplace,” said Sharon Morrissey, Program Director of Continuing Education at Governors State University.

Stay-at-home mothers who have been focused on their child’s development may not realize it, but they’ve been honing the talents they need to head into the workforce.

Ask any mother. It takes a lot more than the ability to wipe noses and whip up a good peanut butter and jelly sandwich to make it through the day. In fact, researchers who looked into the day-to-day experience found that moms who stay at home take on a bunch of “hybrid” roles like executive housekeeper, facilities director, interior designer, nurse and teacher. A survey by, a job search website, estimated in 2018 that hiring someone to do everything a mom does was worth $162,500 annually.

That’s something moms can keep in mind when they need to go back to work, a daunting challenge, particularly for those without a college degree. Friends and family who are currently working can provide plenty of advice and much needed support, but reaching out for professional guidance can save lots of time and make the transition easier and faster. For instance, GSU’s School of Extended Learning offers courses that help students update resumes and qualify for professional certifications, among other useful classes.

And while moms are always busy and stretched for time, being able to attend classes remotely or during evenings can make it workable. At GSU, programs are primarily online, so they can easily fit into a mom's busy schedule.

Amy Barsha, Executive Director of Continuing Education at GSU, points to a federal training program under the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) that could lead to high-demand occupations. GSU students take advantage of WIOA dollars to earn bachelor’s degrees in selected areas of study.

Many of our current students using federal WIOA funding for training and re-training are single moms,” Barsha said. “They are excited to translate their mom skills into job skills that will prepare them for in-demand career fields.”

GSU is currently helping students earn certificates to work as contact tracers, paralegals and pharmacy technicians and to earn certification in project management (CAPM) and human resources (PHR/SPHR). GSU also offers bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral programs in arts and sciences, business, counseling, healthcare administration and nursing, online teaching and learning, psychology and technology.

“GSU provides a bridge that can get stay-at-home moms back into the workplace,” Morrissey said. “We’re here to help.”

To get the help you need to get back to work, register to train today.