Given the uncertainty that many baby boomers around the country are now facing with regard to their preparations for retirement, some are now considering ways of boosting their professional skills.

In their pursuit of more career opportunities so that they can increase their income prospects in the final years before they retire and, therefore, better ensure their quality of life once they stop working, many boomers are now turning to supplementing their education. A large number of colleges are now offering courses to older workers. Many courses are given online, and these allow workers to increase their preparedness for today's business world, which may be important as they draw closer to their official retirement ages.

This will likely be important to boomers because there are a large number of people between the ages of 45 and 64 across the country who were out of work as recently as May. Due to the financial difficulties that were brought upon many families during the recent national recession, millions may now believe they are behind on their planned retirement savings efforts and will, therefore, need to stay in the workforce longer. Problematically for many older workers, those who find themselves unemployed tend to stay that way longer than younger jobseekers.

Often, older workers may be forced out of their jobs when layoffs come because they carry higher salaries and may not be able to do as many things that their companies find valuable as their younger counterparts. Thus, many older workers are seeking out certificate programs that will enhance their skills and keep them as viable options for their employers.

These courses, which are now being offered by many institutions of higher learning across the country, can be invaluable in enhancing career prospects for those approaching retirement, and many programs are designed to be completed in less than a year and are relatively affordable.

Boomers who are in the final few years before their retirement ages should take the time to carefully assess both where they stand and where they want to be in their final preparations. This will help them to understand exactly how much work they have to do to be financially prepared to stop working. If they feel they're not where they want to be, it may be a good idea to delay retirement by a year or two.