Technical Schools Welcoming More Students

Lori Johnston | November 3, 2009

technical-schoolHere’s some encouraging news out of my home state of Georgia: Record numbers of students are enrolling in technical colleges, inspired to try new career fields and seeking to quickly gain the knowledge needed to land those jobs.

Data from the Technical College System of Georgia shows a 24 percent increase in 2009 enrollment compared to 2008, with 110,254 students in the state’s 28 technical colleges. The previous record: 91,838 students, in 2003.

Officials say the enrollment increase is due to the downturn in the economy. The education provided by technical schools can provide marketable skills that open doors to jobs in high-demand fields such as healthcare, business and office technologies, and computer information systems.

You can gain that knowledge faster than at traditional four-year colleges and universities.  In Georgia, its 600 certificate, diploma, and degree programs can be completed in six months to two years, depending on the program. That’s much like other areas of the county, and the costs are low ($2,100 is the annual tuition and fee average in Georgia).

And the interesting thing is that technical colleges have a diversity of ages among the students enrolled. The schools in Georgia are seeing an increase in students under 21, with recent high school graduates joining experienced workers in the classrooms. Having that diversity of ages in programs is beneficial to everyone, preparing you for a multi-generational workplace.

You may be among those who have lost jobs or are just ready for a different career path, and technical colleges are an affordable route worth considering.

-Lori Johnston

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