It’s important today to know where to search for jobs. Networking with former bosses and co-workers, using social media sites to reach out to business contacts and incorporating the latest interview tips and strategies are all keys to landing new work today. But there’s another tool that can make your job search a bit easier: a degree from a community college.
According to the latest figures from the U.S. Department of Labor, employers today are more frequently looking for applicants who come armed with a two-year Associate’s degree, the kind handed out by community colleges across the country.
The Power of the Two-Year Degree
According to the Labor Department, during the last six months, employment for U.S. residents with at least an Associate’s degree jumped by 578,000. Employment for those with at least a Bachelor’s degree – a four-year degree – has increased by just 314,000 during that same period.
There’s another benefit to an Associate’s degree: It costs a lot less. Many graduates with four-year degrees are soon swamped by overwhelming student-loan debt. Two-year degrees, though, don’t burden their recipients with nearly as much debt.
An Important Trend
The news that community college graduates are in greater demand is good for the entire country. It might be a sign that many of the mid-skilled jobs that left the country during the recent recession are returning.
A recent story by USA Today said that some of these jobs that are now in high demand include heating-and-air-conditioning technicians, X-ray technicians, medical records specialists, and low- to mid-level managers.
Pros and Cons
Of course, there are pros and cons with every degree. While a two-year Associate’s degree is less costly and can lead to mid-skill jobs, a four-year degree also comes with its own benefits.
For instance, the jobs that are available to graduates with a four-year degree are generally higher-paying. They also tend to offer more advancement.
Then there’s the fact that graduates with a four-year degree experience a more well-rounded education. They take a wider variety of classes during their time at the university level.
The good news, though, is that there are so many options for people. For some job seekers a two-year’s degree is perfect. And that degree, armed with resume tips, social media savvy and networking skills, can give these people a significant boost in today’s challenging economy.
Of course, no matter what degree you earn, you’ll still need to know where to search for jobs. The unemployment rate remains high, and so does the competition for unfilled jobs.
If you need help formulating the winning job search strategies, sign up for our Get Hired Boot Camp. Our career pros can help you craft a successful job search plan.