Careers to provide income and steady employment
Community Colleges and trade schools depend upon attracting students with the promise of gainful employment and an income source. These learning institutions focus on careers in occupations that are continually in demand, and many of the careers offered at these trade schools and community colleges do not require several years of training that traditional four-year colleges require.
Student Loan Debt
Accordingly, many high school graduates seeking gainful employment and avoidance of debt are electing to attend community colleges; traditional 4-year colleges require a commitment of time and expense that many cannot afford.
A student who decides to attend a trade school or community college needs to determine a career path. The aspiring student can determine the best career path by consulting various resources about the labor force and projected job growth.
The Hottest Careers Broadcast
In the article “Tomorrow’s New Hottest Jobs,” Carol Tice named the professions projected for growth: biomedical engineer, financial examiner, medical scientist, physician assistant, biochemist/biophysicist, skin care specialist, and athletic trainer.
For the student with limited funds, professions (like biomedical engineering and medical science) that require years of extensive education are unattainable except as long-term goals. These students instead opt for careers that are high in demand but that require months of training instead of years.
Such professions are the mainstay of community colleges that prepare students specifically for gainful employment and job stability. USA Today columnist Sandra Block writes that “community college enrollment is soaring” in her appropriately titled article “In a Recession, is College Worth it? Fear of debt Changes Plans.”
Cooking Schools, Healthcare Careers and Professionals in Demand
More students are avoiding student loan debt and predatory lenders by choosing to train for high-demand careers that yield a fast return on their education investment and don’t require extended years of training and student loan borrowing. These students search for schools that teach practical skills, provide practical services like employment assistance, and have practical goals like job stability.
Careers in the food industry, videogame industry, and healthcare industry are popular, and a student can become a part of these growing industries by completing a series of courses that last several months to two years. These industries continue to grow and provide employment opportunities.
Certified nursing assistants, home health aides, dental hygienists, x-ray technicians, and culinary experts are the some of the professions that don’t require several years of study yet may lead to good job prospects for several years. Author Liz Wolgemuth notes in U.S. News Today article “Best Careers of 2010,” that “not everyone can go back to school for six years.” Options for a short-term education with long-term financial benefit are attractive to individuals with limited finances and time for education.
Bills to Pay and Limited Time for Education
Community College and trade school educators develop curriculum that appeal to students with bills to pay and a limited time for education. The educators strive to develop education programs that provide the best careers in the shortest amount of time.
Also, careers that require years of education – such as a computer software engineer or physician’s assistant – may began with courses at a community college or trade school that introduce the student to the industry. Some videogame designers even began their careers as videogame testers.
Community College or Trade School
Lest one assume that trade schools and community colleges are a fool-proof investment. Author Stephen Burd of Washington Monthly warns that “while some proprietary schools offer a good education, many more are subpar at best. Thus large numbers of students leave with little to show for their effort other than a heap of debt.”
Burd tells a cautionary tale of a student, Martine Levique, who attended a licensed vocational nursing program. Levique insists that school representatives promised “she would receive hands-on training from experienced nurses in state-of-the-art labs with the most modern equipment.”
In reality the “equipment was broken down and shoddy….the instructors had little recent medical experience. Instead of really teaching, (says Levique), they usually just read textbooks aloud in class.” Levique unfortunately had “little to show for (her) effort other than a heap of debt.”
Evaluating the School or Program
Dishonest representatives from a school may make claims about the curriculum and school resources that are not true. The lesson to learn from Martine Levique’s experience is to conduct some research and thoroughly evaluate an institution before making a commitment to attend. Former students are one source of information while one of the worst sources may be school representatives who may (or may not) be interested only in financial profit.
With the advent of the internet and various social networks, disgruntled students are likely to broadcast any grievances with school policy or curriculum. A search on the internet will likely yield an opportunity to hear a student’s candid point of view. Also determine whether the school provides financial aid and employment assistance after graduation. And be cautious when signing for student loans.
A Job Instead of a Degree
As noted in the article “Does College Lead to a Job and High Income?” some students who attended traditional colleges and received college degrees discovered that their higher education did not translate into a job; furthermore, their expensive student loans had placed them in debt.
As the dilemma of these degreed students receives more attention, more individuals facing the economic challenges of a recession are choosing to invest in a community college or trade school education because these schools provide practical job skills. To ensure a good investment in his/her future the prospective student needs to carefully evaluate the school that he/she plans to attend, but a good community college or trade school can ultimately provide necessary income and an introduction to an industry.