What do Walt Disney, George Lucas and Tom Hanks have in common? (Hint: it’s not the film and entertainment industry.)
They all attended community colleges!
While community colleges may not have the prestige or esteem of some of the world’s largest tertiary education providers, they shouldn’t be overlooked in your quest to forge your dream working life. Below are five ways that a community college can really help to elevate your career.
Tuition Is Usually Cheaper
Lower fees don’t impact the quality and standard of education, but they can have a lasting effect on the quality of your lifestyle. It can take the average graduate ten years or more to repay a $20,000 tertiary education debt. While many financial professionals argue that study debt isn’t generally ‘bad’ debt to carry, it is still something that many of us are going to be paying off for a really long time. In most industries, where you got your degree from isn’t as important as the qualification itself and the experience you’ve gained since graduation, so why rack up higher than necessary debts?
Living Costs Are Lower
Unless you’re doing a course that is delivered exclusively online, chances are, if you have your heart set on a particular school, you’ll probably have to relocate to complete your studies. If you choose a college or university closer to home, you may be able to stay in your current living arrangements until you graduate, which can help reduce financial pressure while you’re studying.
There’s More Personal Support
Community and private colleges tend to have better student-to-teacher ratios, which means they can really tailor and personalise the education experience. Some places, such as Evocca College, even have one-on-one tutoring for all their students, which is definitely something you don’t get at some of the larger tertiary education providers.
Better Links to Industry
While most colleges and universities work closely with local businesses and industries, the relationship is a little different with community colleges. It tends to be a closer, more hands-on working link that actually produces a flow-on benefit and tangible networking opportunities for students. Larger education providers still have the relationships, but usually at a higher, more executive level that doesn’t always directly benefit students.
Often, courses that would take four years to complete at university can be done in two to three years at a community college. Again, this doesn’t mean that it’s a lower standard of education, just that community colleges are able to leverage their small class numbers to eliminate superfluous preparatory subjects and get right into the real coursework sooner.
With quality, accredited courses and a high proportion of graduates successfully obtaining fulltime work in their field of study, community colleges should not be overlooked. In some ways, their long term benefits actually trump some of the bigger, better known schools.
What do you think the main benefit of attending a community college is? Do you agree that a community college can help boost a person’s career just as much, or even more than, a more prestigious university can? Share your thoughts in the comments below.