New research findings are changing perspectives on post-secondary education, particularly the exceptional record of achievement among career colleges. Over the last decade, they have become a critical resource for those looking to enter specialized fields of the workforce and for employers seeking highly qualified employees and ongoing professional development for their existing workforce.
According to the Department of Education’s National Center for Education Statistics, career college students are nearly 70 percent more likely to graduate than their counterparts in public community colleges. And those graduates are doing exceptionally well in the marketplace. Bryant & Stratton College in Milwaukee, for example, had a 91-percent job placement rate last year. This success is leading more and more students to consider career colleges and driving record enrollments. A vast majority of these trained graduates remain in Wisconsin to help counter the cry to stem the “brain drain” of our talent.
There are many reasons for the success of career colleges.
First, many graduates of traditional colleges take positions for which a degree may not have been necessary, or a position outside of the discipline in which they were trained. Students attending colleges such as Bryant & Stratton College specialize in a field and receive lifetime job placement assistance to ensure they secure a job in their field upon graduation.
Second, reputable and successful career colleges are governed by accreditation bodies, which uphold high academic standards.
Third, career colleges work closely with the local business community to identify areas of need and to create and/or modify education programs to meet those needs. This ensures a high quality education that prepares graduates to secure quality employment opportunities immediately upon graduation, as well as to enhance ongoing professional development.
As licensing, certification and continuing education training become increasingly important, and the number of career colleges continues to grow, many companies are utilizing career colleges as a professional development resource for their employees. In fact, Bryant & Stratton College had a record enrollment this year, increasing by 25 percent over last year’s enrollment numbers.
By taking advantage of training workshops and licensing and certification courses, professionals can enhance skills in a variety of fields including financial services, information technology, health care and law/government.
Career colleges are seeing a growing demand for such programs. Bryant & Stratton College, for example, recently added a Certified Financial Planner course to the curriculum to meet the needs of local employers. The course is accredited by the Certified Financial Planning Board of Standards and is intended to prepare graduates to take the national CFP Certification Examination, which is administered nationwide three times annually.
The success and value of career colleges is a story that often goes untold, and I urge everyone to take notice of the impact these institutions are making in our business community and the lives of our students.