Students all understand the benefits of internships, but have you explored the advantages of an apprenticeship? In today’s competitive job market, apprenticeships are becoming more popular than ever. For example, at Guam Community College, the number of apprenticeship program participants has reached a historical high.
Similar to internships, apprenticeships provide excellent opportunities for students to work alongside industry professionals, gaining hands-on experience, mentorship, and real-life guidance. Most apprenticeships focus on vocational trades and crafts, providing an excellent way to strengthen your resume and skills before entering the workforce.
This video reports on apprenticeship programs in community colleges.
Apprenticeships are generally reserved for skill-based careers and services, and community college students pursuing studies in the following categories may benefit most from apprenticeship experiences:
- Bricklayer masons
- Building maintenance personnel
- Drywall hangers
- Ceramic tile setters
- Cement finishers
- HVAC technicians
- Maintenance electricians
- Fire sprinkler installers
- Elevator constructors
- Floor layers
- Manufacturing plant electricians
- Sheet metal workers
- Sheet metal workers
- Telecommunication technicians
Offering apprenticeship opportunities in all of the aforementioned categories are schools such as Lane Community College, located in Eugene, Oregon, wherein students are encouraged to “Learn the aspects of a highly skilled occupation through on-the-job training and related instruction.” Better yet, students can simultaneously earn an income during their apprenticeship.
Additionally, with apprenticeship experiences, students can effectively apply information learned in the classroom to experiences in the “real world.” From an employer’s perspective, apprenticeships help the student bridge the gap between theoretical knowledge and practical skills.
Indeed, there are many benefits associated with an apprenticeship, and thankfully, community colleges around the country are being recognized for their comprehensive apprenticeship programs.
This video reports on the apprenticeship programs at Howard Community College.
Pursuing an Apprenticeship
If you are considering or currently enrolled in an apprenticeship-related program, your local community college’s advisory center is a great resource for you to learn more about apprenticeship opportunities.
Each school has its own program guidelines, and thus, details for individual programs may vary. Generally, however, the mandates for an apprenticeship position require a specific set of previous skills and experiences. For example, students attending one of the apprenticeship programs in the San Diego Community College District are required to meet both English and math proficiency standards. To prove eligibility, applicants to the program must pass formal tests as well as successfully complete an oral interview conducted by members of the school’s apprentice training program.
In further evaluating SDCCD’s apprenticeship guidelines, participants can only successfully complete their apprenticeship programs once they have passed all required college courses and completed all mandatory on-the-job training opportunities. Upon meeting all the established mandates, students are awarded with a “Journeyperson” card provided by the California Division of Apprenticeship Standards.
Other community colleges have different requirements. For example, at Honolulu Community College located in Hawaii, their Apprenticeship/Journeyworker Training Program allows some students to apply apprenticeship work towards an associate’s degree. This program comprehensively includes both the apprenticeship and related coursework, with classes scheduled during nights and weekends.
How Apprenticeships Improve Your Resume
While many apprenticeships provide students with an income and/or college credit, the greatest benefit of these opportunities can be found in the amount of credibility that’s added to your resume.
In today’s competitive job market and soft economy, employers are hiring only the most experienced, skilled, and reliable employees. With the experience of an apprenticeship included in your work resume, your candidacy is significantly strengthened with industry skills and first-hand experience. In addition, from an employer’s perspective, a candidate who has successfully completed an apprenticeship does not need additional training – further enhancing his strength as a job applicant.
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