Community colleges and technical institutes provide intensive training and include advanced math and science courses. Both award associate degrees or certificates upon completion, and have alumni in the field that can often provide access to jobs for their graduates. The key difference is that credit for courses taken at community colleges is often transferable to other colleges and universities.
Post-secondary vocational programs teach a specialized skill or trade in a relatively short time. Programs are hands-on, flexible, day or evening classes that range from several months to a couple of years. Good programs use modern, state-of-the-art equipment, have certified instructors with related work experience, and provide job placement assistance.
Apprenticeships allow you to learn a skilled trade and gain valuable, hands on work experience at the same time. Those who complete apprenticeship programs qualify for good-paying jobs in carpentry, electrical, plumbing, general construction and many of the new technology fields. Most apprenticeship sponsors require applicants to be at least 18 years old and have a high school diploma.
Online learning is the most flexible form of training, letting you control where and usually when the training takes place. Many community colleges offer a wide range of online courses leading to college credits or industry-recognized certificates.
Adult Basic Education (ABE) and English as a Second Language (ESL) training programs are available through the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education. Courses are often offered through Community Based Organizations, public schools, or local training providers. Eligible individuals can learn more about these courses by speaking with a career counselor at the One-Stop Career Centers.
Many of the One-Stop Career Centers also offer onsite computer training programs. The programs start with entry-level courses, such as Basic Computer Skills, Using A Mouse, and Keyboard Skills and then advance to the full Microsoft Office Suite training package.
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