When is Community College Right for You?
A question I often receive is whether or not community colleges provide adequate education and perpetration for entering into today's job market. Lets first define what a "community college" is. I use the term to describe any institution offering two-year programs leading to certificates, diplomas or associates degrees. These could include technical or junior colleges. Let's look at a few things one must consider before electing to attend a community college:
1. What is your intended career path? - Most community colleges offer a very specialised curriculum. Theses schools do not offer the divers class offerings of a full-scale college or university. Therefore it is important for you to thing about your intended career path. This will help determine whether a community college is right for you. As a general rule, community colleges are focused primarily on preparing you for a specific job or job function. Examples could be radiologists, dental hygenists, automotive repair and diagnostics, information technology, etc. Jobs in these fields often require specialised learning that can be accomplished at a community college just as easily as at a full university.
2. Do the credits transfer? - Before selecting a community college, do some research into whether the credits will transfer to another institution. Many students are electing to begin their college education at a community college before transferring to a full university. Doing so can save them time and money. You will need to check with both the community college and the university you plan on attending to ensure credit compatibility.
3. Are you limiting your future? - In today's job market, many of us are not utilising our degrees in their "intended manner." You hear this story everyday: an English major doing IT work, a business major working in marketing, a marketing major doing sales, etc. With obvious weakness in the job market, workers are forced to go where they can find work. Ask yourself whether getting a specialised degree or diploma will limit your options down the road, and render you less capable of stepping off of your intended career path.