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Colleges and universities refocus continuing education programs


Monday, March 05, 2012
Since August 2011, the national unemployment rate has been dropping steadily, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). However, as many Americans are still out of work, a number of two- and four-year colleges and universities have expanded or revamped their continuing education programs to help people find jobs.

In a recent New York Times article, Steven Greenhouse reported that postsecondary schools are refocusing their continuing education programs by offering courses that will prepare students for jobs in the in-demand fields that are seeking qualified employees.

This news follows a speech President Barack Obama made on February 13 about the important role the nation’s community colleges play in equipping individuals with the knowledge and skills they need to find employment.

"Everybody in America should be able to get those skills at a community college," Obama said in a speech at Northern Virginia Community College. "Companies looking to hire should be able to count on these schools to provide them with a steady stream of workers qualified to fill those specific jobs."

Individuals who are looking to upgrade their skills to become more marketable will find a variety of continuing education options that are designed to prepare them for careers in fast-growing fields.

For instance, one university the news outlet highlighted provides programs that offer continuing education in various health care fields, such as nursing and pharmaceuticals, two areas that are expected to face excellent job prospects over the next six years, according to BLS. In fact, employment opportunities in both fields are projected to see faster-than-average growth.

Another school singled out by the news source is a community college that is now offering a continuing education program in cybersecurity. With each passing day, greater numbers of people and companies are relying on technology. As a result, there will be a need to protect the nation’s computer networks, power grids and telephone systems. These are just a few reasons why BLS projects favorable job prospects in this field through 2014.

Technology is also responsible for the overhauls many fields are experiencing. For instance, some marketing professionals may have had to adapt to changes brought about by social media Web sites like Facebook and Twitter. The Times reported that one university has introduced a continuing education certificate in digital media marketing to help students acquire the skills they need to work with new media in their existing job or to seek employment in this expanding field.

Whether individuals are looking to take a few courses or earn a certificate in a specific topic, they may find a college or university that offers the right program for them.ADNFCR-16000756-ID-800723410-ADNFCR

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