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Article posted: 3/17/2013 4:40 AM

Good jobs available with 1-year degrees

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Good jobs available with 1-year degrees

At Elgin Community College, helping our students succeed in the workforce is an important part of our mission. That is why I am pleased to see two reports from Georgetown University's Center on Education and the Workforce that substantiate our work.

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According to the report, "Five Ways that Pay Along the Way to a B.A.," associate degrees and postsecondary certificates are two of five ways to get access to 29 million "middle jobs" paying average wages of $35,000 or more per year. As the study points out, these good-paying jobs don't require bachelor's degrees.

The other report -- "Certificates: Gateway to Gainful Employment and College Degrees" -- states that someone who earns a postsecondary certificate is on average likely to earn $240,000 more in their lifetime than a high school graduate. Both reports demonstrate that the skills and training you need to access these jobs and wages are affordable and closer than you realize. You can earn them here at Elgin Community College or any Illinois community college.

Over the past two years, ECC has been top 60 in the nation and top five among Illinois community colleges in awarding one-year certificates. Since the summer of 2009, ECC has awarded more than 3,000 associate degrees -- a number that continues to grow each year. While these certificates and degrees may lead to bachelor's and graduate degrees, the important thing to note is that they can put you into position for a good job in approximately one to two years.

The job demand is there. According to a 2010 report from the American Association of Community Colleges, entitled, "Reclaiming the American dream," our country will need to replace almost 20 million employees between now and 2025 as skilled workers retire.

Will you be ready to take advantage of those opportunities?

David Sam

President, Elgin

Community College

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