It’s Your Option: Choose the Course of Study That’s Right for You

There are many educational options available today beyond just attending college for four years to obtain a degree. By researching the careers you are interested in before enrolling in college, you could save yourself years of time and a good deal of money.

If you choose to attend a community college, you can major in just about any field you want. Community college classes cover subjects as diverse as radiology, child care, and food service.

Look through want ads and see what kind experience and education employers expect in their applicants. You might be surprised how many do not require a bachelor’s degree. Below are three courses of study common at community colleges. Any one of these might be right for you.

Associate degree: An associate degree, either an Associate of Arts (AA) or Associate of Science (AS) is typically a two-year program offered by community colleges. There are many careers that only require an associate degree. The top ten paying jobs, according to a CNN report (based on statistics from the Bureau of Labor Statistics) are:

  • Computer specialist
  • Nuclear technician
  • Dental hygienist
  • Radiation therapist
  • Nuclear medicine technologist
  • Fashion designer
  • Aerospace engineering and operations technician
  • Diagnostic medical sonographer
  • Registered nurse
  • Engineering technician

There are many other careers available to someone with an associate degree. Some of these are broadcast or sound technician, desktop publisher, flight attendant, and physical and occupational therapist.

Certificate: Taking community college courses toward a certificate usually requires fewer credit hours than an associate degree, but with more specialized training. It allows students to get into a career quicker, often in as little as a year. The hours are usually applicable toward a degree later. Community college majors leading to a certificate include:

  • Food services
  • Child care
  • Nutrition
  • Computer-aided drafting (CAD)
  • Dental or medical office assistant
  • Laboratory phlebotomy

Diploma: Some schools offer a specialist diploma program that allows people who are currently employed to further their education for career-development and advancement purposes. Community college classes that count toward a diploma usually focus on a specific area of employment, rather than general subjects such as math, science, or English.


This article was written by Shari Armstrong

Shari Armstrong is the administration director for Extreme Women, the e-magazine for Sister2Sister4Christ Ministry. She has a Bachelor of Music Education and a Master of Music Education. She is a former teacher, music librarian, childcare site director, and nanny. She owns Eagles' Wings Writing (, a freelance writing and editing service. She can be contacted at



    I needed some resource info that I am having trouble finding does the Tech school in Jasper, Ga have an Esthetician program? Just trying to figure out if they do first. Then I had already started in Athens Tech ,ga August 23rd, so I was wondering about transferring due to marriage is any of this possible?

  2. Samuel H. Barrolle

    I am interested in doing a certificate program in Criminal Justice ( Juvenile Probation Officer). Will appreciate your help in locating a school. Thanks

  3. marilyn ganter

    I am Iinterested in a certifirate program in Food Service an to get information about financial aide thank you.

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