Posted July 18, 2019 by

Community College Graduates: An Overlooked Sweet Spot

Community College Graduates: An Overlooked Sweet Spot

When you say the word “college,” most people automatically think of four-year institutions that award degrees in traditionally white-collar fields like marketing, accounting, journalism or human resources. When you’ve earned that college degree, you’ve got your golden ticket to prestige and (hopefully) a good-paying job.

On the other hand, talk about community colleges and the stereotypes kick in: “It’s just a cheap way to get your basic classes in.” “They’re for students who can’t get into real colleges.” “Easy way to pull a 4.0.” “You know, the teachers aren’t real professors—they have day jobs.” “All the degrees are useless these days.”

Let’s quash those stereotypes now. Long derided as the last bastion of education for disappearing industries like manufacturing, the fact is community colleges are adapting to changes in today’s workforce at an admirable rate. Today’s students leave community college prepared for their future careers, both specific and translatable to a number of other fields.

To give you an idea of the types of programs being offered these days, here are just some of the associate degree offerings available at Washtenaw Community College in Ann Arbor, Michigan:

  • Engineering Technologist – Manufacturing
  • Welding Technology
  • Automotive Service Technology
  • Powertrain Development Technician
  • Accounting
  • Business Office Administration (Administrative Assistant or Law Office Administration)
  • Management
  • Retail Management
  • Supply Chain Management
  • Early Childhood Education
  • Child Development
  • Construction Management
  • Construction Technology
  • Heating, Ventilation, Air Conditioning and Refrigeration
  • Criminal Justice
  • Paralegal Studies/Pre-Law
  • Criminal Justice – Law Enforcement
  • Baking and Pastry Arts and Management
  • Culinary Arts and Management
  • Digital Video Production
  • 3D Animation Arts
  • Graphic Design
  • Photographic Technology
  • Web Design and Development
  • Computer Science: Programming in Java
  • Information Systems: Programming in C++
  • Computer Systems and Networking
  • Cybersecurity
  • Nursing – RN and LPN
  • Physical Therapist Assistant
  • Radiography
  • Surgical Technology
  • Broadcast Media Arts
  • Journalism
  • Technical Communication

This list doesn’t even include the many transfer programs for students who plan to continue their education at a four-year college—or remain at the campus to finish their bachelor’s degree through one of the many community college-university partnerships available these days.

It also doesn’t include the dozens of certificate and advanced certificate programs available to students and professionals for continuing education. And depending on the size of the institution, many community colleges offer other types of programs for ever-in-demand professions like emergency medical services, diagnostic medical sonography, respiratory therapy, civil technology, plumbing, fire science and much more.

The next time you update your recruiting plan, be sure to include community colleges. Especially since a major segment of students are 25 years and older (7.6 million students in 2018, according to the National Center of Education Statistics) you may very well be pleasantly surprised at how easily graduates’ education and skills translate to the positions you’re looking to fill.

Sources:

https://nces.ed.gov/fastfacts/display.asp?id=372

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