Monday, August 10, 2009

Need Skills for a Job - Consider a Community College

A timely article from our local newspaper, the Asbury Park Press. Hot jobs with 2 years of education
The recession has lots of people thinking about going back to school and changing careers. Those who have been laid off are looking for new career opportunities, and more importantly, they want a job once they get out of school.

While no career is recession-proof, here are some fast- growing occupations that require two years or less of college and that are poised to be popular through at least 2016, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Here's number 5 on the list, a program near and dear to my heart - network administration. At Brookdale Community College, we have a two-year networking degree that provides students with a variety of networking skills and knowledge, including the Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA). The CCNA portion of the program is 10 credits and can be completed in just two semesters - for a very reasonable $1150 in tuition and $276 in fees. [These costs are for Fall 2009 and do not include books or lab fees]. These costs are particularly attractive when compared to four-year, commercial and propriety schools. Nearly everyone of the over 1100 community colleges in the country has similar inexpensive programs, serving a whopping 46% of the undergraduate students nationally.

More on Network Administration!
Why it's hot: The explosion of computer networks and the Internet has created a big demand for specialists to make sure networks function well.

What to know: Students should be detail-oriented, said Fernando Garcia, a Cisco certified instructor at Glendale Community College.

They don't necessarily need to know anything about computer networking when they start the program, but attention to detail is critical.

What they do: Set up, wire and work with computer networks and the Internet.

Training: Three-semester program.

Starting salary: High $20,000 to low $30,000. Students can get additional certifications and the more experience they have, the higher their salaries.
Clearly the message has gotten out. Our networking courses are nearly all full - with students trying to get into already over-subscribed sections - we try to accommodate as many as possible.

On a side note, it's interesting(sad) that our 'local' newspaper re-printed this article from The Arizona Republic, with a quote from a Cisco instructor at Glendale Community College. The data from the article is easily pulled from the Bureau of Labor Statistics' Occupational Outlook Handbook and I or any of my colleagues (from the community college that serves the same population as the Asbury Park Press) would have been happy to speak to them. Oh well - another missed opportunity!

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