Getting Started

Everything you need to know about the earnings potential of a community college degree. From fast track training to careers suited for introverts, we’ll cover a variety of career related topics. Learn more about a recession proof careers, casino dealing certification and theology programs at community college.
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Students entering into the California Community College system will now have another tool to help them choose a degree program and motivate them to complete that program. Through a new online tool, California students will be able to see how much they can earn with the various degrees offered through their school. The tool was recently unveiled by the California Community College Chancellor’s Office.
 
Introducing Salary Surfer
 
The new website, dubbed Salary Surfer, will allow students to track a person’s potential salary in California for five years after earning a two-year degree. The site uses data from graduates across the state, to compile significant information that can help students choose the best degree program for them. The Huffington Post reports that Salary Surfer shows the median annual incomes for 179 of the most popular community college programs in the state.
 
The website does not include data on students that transfer to four-year institutions. It does not have information on federal employees or self-employed graduates. Graduates that move out of state are also not included in the salary averages listed at Salary Surfer.
 
EdSource reports that Salary Surfer is the first online database of its kind in the state. The website tracks average annual salaries for the various programs two years after graduation, and again five years after graduation. Students can see how much they might expect to make in their discipline and compare that to what they were making prior to graduation. They can also see the type . . . read more

Ready to kick your dead end job in favor of more lucrative prospects? A community college degree might be just the ticket. Many of the jobs in the U.S. that were hot at the end of the 20th century are barely simmering today. Now might be the perfect time to make a career change with the help of the two-year school in your area. Check out these jobs gaining ground and alternatives that might put you back on a positive career track once again.
 
Desktop Publisher
This job was a hot one at the end of the last century, as many small business owners turned to pros to turn out their marketing material and newsletters. However, new and improved software has made the job significantly easier, which makes the job of the desktop publisher less cost-effective today. Some companies are also outsourcing this type of work to save a buck. According to Yahoo Finance, this field is expected to decline by more than 14 percent over the next decade, as businesses turn to other sources for their publishing needs.
 
Instead of stagnating in the fading world of desktop publishing, Yahoo Finance suggests an alternative career in drafting. Drafting takes you from published designs to manufacturing designs, creating technical drawings and plans for everything from the cardboard holder for your coffee cup to full-size building structures. Many community colleges across the country offer two-year degree programs to help you launch a new drafting career. Average annual pay for drafters is . . . read more

A two-year degree can launch a lucrative career in a variety of industries today. For those looking for the best job stability and security after college, high-growth careers are a good option. These fields are predicted to enjoy faster than average growth over the next few years, ensuring more jobs will be available for those trained to move into positions. Check out these high-growth jobs you can land with a two-year degree to determine which career is right for you.
 
Nurse
The field of nursing is one of the hottest in terms of growth right now, according to Yahoo Education. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) predicts this field while grow by 26 percent through 2018. As the baby boomer population ages, the need for health care workers, particularly nurses, with continue to increase. Many enter this field with an associate degree in nursing and vocational certification. The average annual salary for a registered nurse is $60,010.
 
Dental Hygienist
Yahoo Finance states that the predicted job growth for dental hygienists through 2018 is a whopping 38 percent. This field also offers excellent income potential, with an average annual salary of around $68,000. Many earning that amount work part-time hours. More dental hygienists will be needed as the demand for high quality dental care increases across the United States. Most dental hygienists enter the field with a two-year associate degree.
 
Medical Coder
Medical coders and medical information technicians maintain patient records for doctors’ offices, clinics and hospitals. . . . read more

In a proactive approach to employee Massachusetts residents, community colleges are partnering with a number of entities to bring casino training to their campuses. The new addition will be in preparation for the construction of at least one casino in the western region of the state. Training will be offered in all aspects of casino operations, from entry-level jobs all the way to management positions.
 
Collaboration Involves Multiple Partners
 
The new training collaboration brings a number of entities in the state together, including the Massachusetts Casino Careers Training Institute (a consortium of 15 community colleges and some four-year schools in the state), Penn National Gaming, MGM Resorts International, Western Massachusetts Development Associates, and Mohegan Sun. MGM, Penn and Mohegan Sun are all vying to put a casino into the state. According to state law, as many as three new casinos could be built in the state, although specific plans and locations are still pending.
 
Despite the uncertain plans for the casino additions, plans to train up workers for the industry are already being put into place. Mass Live reports that the college consortium and casino developers have signed worker training agreements with four prospective casino developers, and also have a signed agreement with the Massachusetts Gaming Commission. It is this latter organization that will be responsible for choosing the Western Massachusetts casino.
 
The two schools leading up the consortium are Holyoke Community College and Springfield Technical Community College, which are both located near the area where a western casino . . . read more

Looking for a lucrative way to manage your “midlife crisis”? Maybe a career change is the answer. The good news is you don’t have to spend years preparing for a midlife career change today. Thanks to the wealth of options available at your local community college, you can explore a whole new profession in two years or less.  Check out some of the top community college degrees for midlife career changers.

Accountant
Love crunching numbers? Perhaps now is the time to launch a brand new career in the accounting industry. Whether you lean toward tax preparation or financial planning, your community college degree in accounting or finance can get you started on a rewarding career path. Use your previous professional experience and your new training to land a position and fit in perfectly with the financial industry. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates the average annual salary for accountants to be $61,690.
 
Interior Designer
Creative types can move away from the office grind by training for a new career in interior design. This field is a good choice for those who are high on taste and just need the education to back up their talents, according to the Grindstone. This highly flexible job even allows you to begin working on small projects, perhaps under the watchful eye of a professional designer, while you are completing your education in your newly chosen field. Currently, the average annual salary for an interior designer is around $46,280.
 
Assisted Living Assistant
Seniors living . . . read more
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