Career Education Students Land Local Jobs by Gaining Skills Employers Need

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Programs Offer Industry-Specific Knowledge, Certificates and Nontechnical Skills

All six community college districts, including their continuing education centers, in San Diego and Imperial Counties are targeting job openings with specific programs and certificates in the Health and Information Communication Technology/Digital Media industries, two of the top nine in-demand industry sectors in the region.

A report last year by the San Diego Workforce Partnership uncovered that employers faced significant hiring difficulties in priority industry sectors, including Health and Information Communication Technology industries.

A lack of industry-specific knowledge was most often rated as a significant reason for hiring difficulty across priority industries, followed by a small applicant pool and insufficient non-technical skills and certifications.

Additionally, when asked about the importance of specific skill sets, interpersonal skills were rated as “very important.”

  • Health employers rated “social and verbal communication” and “problem solving and critical thinking” as very important; and
  • Information Communication Technology employers rated “problem solving and critical thinking” and “technical skills” as very important.

Whether starting out in the workforce or switching jobs, Career Education students like Leslie Miles and Javi Moreno are benefitting from the region’s new focus on aligning Career Education programs with in-demand jobs and offering the real-world skills needed to land them.

Leslie Miles, Grossmont College Alumnae, Cardiovascular Technician

Leslie Miles had two job offers when she graduated from Grossmont College in May.

Deciding she wanted to pursue a new career in a specialized avenue of health care, Miles attended Grossmont when she found exciting program options. While continuing to work, Miles earned an associate degree in Cardiovascular Technology and specializes in electrophysiology.

“My instructors are so entrenched in the community and seem to know everyone in the field, which made it very easy for me to connect with local employers,” said Miles, a Cardiovascular Technician at Sharp Memorial Hospital. “Because they were so knowledgeable, my instructors made the transition to the health care field so fluid.”

Javi Moreno, Studying Graphic Design and Digital Media Production at San Diego City College

“My instructors’ advice and support, as well as the technical experience I’ve gained through City’s programs, have given me the confidence to push myself into exciting career directions I would otherwise not have pursued,” said Javi Moreno, a graphic design student at San Diego City College.

In May, Moreno will earn two associate degrees: one in Graphic Design and the other in Digital Media Production. Moreno will also earn a Certificate of Performance in Special-Effects Makeup. San Diego City College is the only community college in the country that offers this specialized certification.

“City’s diverse programs have allowed me to explore all my creative paths,” Moreno explained. “While I’m still technically a student, I was encouraged to begin working as a graphic designer on day one, taking on projects to create business cards and invitations for local businesses.”

About Career Education in San Diego and Imperial Counties

San Diego and Imperial Counties’ community colleges and continuing education campuses have united to fill the growing regional middle-skill labor gap by promoting Career Education programs to target these well-paying, in-demand jobs. Whether learning new skills, completing short-term free career training, or earning a certificate or an associate degree, Career Education students gain real-world experience that prepare them for in-demand, well-paying jobs. With more than 200 programs to choose from, students learn by exploring, collaborating and doing, with hands-on training taught by instructors and professionals in their field of study.

The community colleges and continuing education centers in San Diego and Imperial Counties offering students the opportunity to “Learn More. Earn More.” are: Cuyamaca College, Grossmont College, Imperial Valley College, MiraCosta College, Palomar College, San Diego City College, San Diego Continuing Education, San Diego Mesa College, San Diego Miramar College, and Southwestern College. To learn more, visit CareerEd.org.

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Sheri Aguirre
Civilian Agency
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