Many students who are considering attending community college want to know what their career opportunities are after graduating. If you are contemplating community college, then you are in for good news!
The professional prospects for a community college grad are very promising. According to the American Association of Community Colleges (AACC), who analyzed data presented by the US Department of Education and College Board, the average community college graduate earns significant more than a high school graduate. When it comes to the average expected lifetime earnings, those with an associate’s degree earn $1.6 million, which is significant more than the $.4 million a high school graduate will earn. From this perspective alone, graduating from community college will earn your bank account an extra $1.2 million in your lifetime!
Popular community college majors
Although the majors and careers found in community college are quite diverse, ranging from art to zoology, there are several majors that are highly popular, according to the AACC. The five most popular majors in community college are:
- Computer technologies – 1,017 programs throughout community colleges
- Registered nursing – 755 programs offered in community colleges
- Law enforcement – 751 programs offered nationally through community colleges
- Licensed practical nursing – 528 programs throughout community colleges
- Radiology – 269 programs offered through community colleges
The working applications of community college
The AACC estimates that there are 11 million students enrolled in community college; with the sheer numbers of the community college student population, employers have taken note of the high caliber of talent that emerges from community college. According to surveys conducted by the AACC, 95% of all businesses that employ graduates of community college give high recommendations for the training and education given in community colleges. Thus, community college grads demonstrate their ability to excel both academically and professionally.
According to the AACC, community college grads dominate certain professional fields, including:
- Healthcare Professionals: More than 50% of new nurses, as well as a large majority of new healthcare professionals, obtain their education from community colleges.
- Homeland Security Careers: Nearly 80% of all law enforcement officers, EMTs, and firefighters receive their credentials from community colleges.
Future demand for community college grads
According to experts at College Board, research demonstrates that the demand for community college grads will continue to grow significantly in the next ten years. Below are the ten occupations that will experience the greatest growth, and thus demand, for community college grads in the next decade:
- Dental hygienists: 43% increase in demand
- Preschool teachers (exclusive of special education): 33% increase in demand
- Legal assistants and paralegals: 30% increase in demand
- Registered nurses: 30% increase in demand
- Computer and network support specialists: 23% increase in demand
- Nursing aides, attendants, and orderlies: 22% increase in demand
- Licensed vocational and practical nurses: 17% increase in demand
- Automotive technicians and mechanics: 16% increase in demand
- Cosmetologists and hairstylists: 16% increase in demand
Research demonstrates that the professional opportunities available for community college graduates can be prestigious, lucrative, and highly in demand. Whether you choose community college as a springboard into the professional world, or as a financially smart stepping stone into a bachelor’s degree, beginning your higher education at a community college campus is an excellent choice, professionally and academically.
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