According to “Why the State Is Talking Up Technical Colleges to High School Counselors,” an article that Emily Siner wrote for on February 2, the state of Tennessee has discovered some compelling reasons why technical colleges are a great option for many students who are graduating from high school:

  • Completion rates are high. Eighty-four percent of students who study at technical colleges graduate, compared to 26% at community colleges.
  • Technical colleges are tuition-free to Tennessee students, through the state-administered Tennessee Promise and Tennessee Reconnect programs.
  • In only six months, students can earn a welding certificate from a Tennessee community college – and stand a good chance of getting a job.

Those statistics help explain why Tennessee has recently begun to urge high school guidance counselors to encourage students to apply for admission at one of the branches of the Tennessee College of Applied Technology that are located throughout the state.

How Useful Are Nondegree Work Credentials?

According to “Adult Training and Education: Results from the National Household Education Surveys Program of 2016,” a report published by the National Center for Education Statistics:

  • A majority of adults reported that their most important work credential was very useful for getting a job (82%), keeping a job (80%), remaining marketable to employers (81%), and improving work skills (66%).
  • Among adults who reported completing a work experience program, 64% found them to be very useful for getting a job, 66% thought they were very useful for improving work skills, but only 37% thought they were very useful for increasing pay.
  • The two most common occupational fields in which certification holders worked were healthcare (17%) and business management and operations (14%); the two most common occupational fields in which license holders worked were healthcare (25%) and education and library occupations (16%).
  • Most work credential holders reported that their most important credential was being used in their current jobs (85%).

Is a technical college, community college or a 4-year college the best path for you? Participate in the National College and Career Pathway Study and you will be empowered with new information to make career and educational decisions that ultimately align with your interests, passions, and aptitudes.

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