March 1, 2017
Career
The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. And while you might not be thinking about your long-term future on the first day of your community college educational journey, you’re undoubtedly setting yourself up for success down the road. Here are some of the places you can go after you finish your time at community college.
Greg Jarboe
Where Can Community College Take Me?

The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. And while you might not be thinking about your long-term future on the first day of your community college educational journey, you’re undoubtedly setting yourself up for success down the road. Here are some of the places you can go after you finish your time at community college.

Employment

Most people go to college in the hopes of landing a better job. Community college enables you to jump right into the workforce in some cases, giving you the opportunity to earn valuable experience and grow in a professional environment.

It’s a fairly common belief that you need a bachelor’s degree to get a really good job, but that’s not necessarily the case. There are several fields that you can enter with only an associate’s degree, and earn good money in the process. According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, air traffic controller is the highest-paying job that requires no higher education than an associate’s degree; a career in this profession has a median salary of more than $120,000.

Becoming a medical assistant is also possible without a four-year degree. Dental hygienists, therapy assistants and cardiovascular technicians are all careers that begin with an associate’s degree, and each profession pays more than $50,000 annually. Additionally, you can become a Web designer, computer network specialist or an engineer without a bachelor’s degree.

Four-Year College

Although there are plenty of options for those who want to enter the workforce immediately after community college, some careers do require a bachelor’s degree, or even some post-graduate education. Community college can help you to achieve these goals in a cost-effective manner.

No matter what major you choose, you’ll be required to complete core courses in basic disciplines such as English, math and history. Taking these classes at a community college means you’ll save a lot of money when compared with a four-year school. This leaves you with more time to devote to the classes you’re really excited about when you’re ready to take classes dedicated solely to your desired field of study.

This benefit isn’t limited to full-time community college students. If you’re already enrolled in a bachelor’s degree program, you may be able to complete these core courses over summer or winter break, earning necessary credits at a fraction of the cost you’d pay at a four-year school while accelerating your graduation date at the same time. Community college courses are highly

transferrable to four-year institutions, making this a slam-dunk option for interested students.

Community college also provides you with the valuable opportunity to try out courses in some interesting subject areas and see if they’re right for you. As many as 80 percent of college students change their majors, adding time and considerable expense to their college experience. Enrolling at a community college and sampling the topics that interest you allows you to hone in on what you really want to study when you move on to a four-year school. After all, most college freshmen are undecided regarding their major. Learning as much as you can about various disciplines in a community college is a prudent strategy that will minimize the financial burden of your education.

Career Advancement

If you’re already working, you may have already found out that the workplace can sometimes be a cruel environment. As a result, it’s easy to get stuck in a job you don’t really like, and there might not be an easy way out if you’re not learning anything new skills at work.

Community college is a blessing for people in this situation. Whether you want to earn a certification in your field or you want to go for an entirely new degree, you can accomplish your goals at a community college. Night-time classes and online course availability allows the educational experience to revolve around your schedule, ensuring that you never become overwhelmed by juggling school and life.

Many people feel as though they have to enroll in a time-consuming master’s degree program to get ahead at work. However, a simple certification may be just as helpful, if not more so, in terms of moving up to the next level. Community college represents a major lifeline to those in need of a little push up the corporate ladder, at a price that’s extremely affordable for even the most cash-strapped professionals.