Benefits of Community Colleges

Computer class at a community college

In a recently published article, Your Next Great Hire Is Graduating From a Community College, EdSurge encourages employers to consider two-year institutions for their next hires. They state that companies who establish strong partnerships with local schools return year after year to find a new class of workers with skill sets matching their specific needs while also factoring in diversity and inclusion. These relationships are a great way for businesses to add to their workforce and strengthen ties to the community. 

Many employers know the benefits of community colleges, so we thought we would take this opportunity to educate potential students. These institutions are a great place for students who are not sure what they want to study, have had an extended leave from being in a classroom, have a specific skill or trade they want to learn, or prefer not to make a large financial investment. Students who graduate from these schools not only have needed and desirable skills, but ties to the community without the additional burden of college debt.  

Affordability

As college costs continue to rise, community college is an affordable option. The average price is $3,770 per year for in state students. Students may also be eligible for financial aid that can offset some of the costs. Those who are working may be able to take advantage of tuition reimbursement offered by their employer, leaving very little for the individual to cover out of pocket.  

Flexibility

The community college offers flexibility for those trying to balance working full time and family responsibilities. Evening classes are offered and many schools have expanded to not only online courses, but fully online degree programs. Believe it or not, class sizes are smaller and students often receive more attention in the classroom and an increased ability to develop relationships with their professors/instructors. This support can help a student be successful in their education journey.  

Variety

Local community colleges offer a variety of degrees, certificates, and training programs. They assist students trying to gain experience in an area that will help them grow within their company. Those coming from community colleges possess basic skills and knowledge that they can combine with on-the- job training to make them successful employees who can later grow with the company.  

After completing an associate’s degree, students often determine if they want to continue on for their bachelor’s degree. Many schools have articulation agreements with public colleges that allow seamless transfer of credits towards a baccalaureate. However, once the associate degree is earned, it can open up additional doors and career opportunities. It can also lead to increased earnings for the employee and less turnover for the company.

Written by: Beth Feinberg Keenan

May 4, 2021

About the Author

Beth Feinberg Keenan head shot

Beth is a member of both the EdAssist Solutions and College Coach teams of college finance experts. She previously worked as a Senior Financial Aid Officer at Northeastern University and holds an MBA as well as a Master’s in College Student Development and Counseling.