WITC poised to help in economic recoveryWith some of the fastest-growing occupations requiring an associate’s degree or technical diploma, technical colleges are posed to help Wisconsin on the road to economic recovery.
With some of the fastest-growing occupations requiring an associate’s degree or technical diploma, technical colleges are posed to help Wisconsin on the road to economic recovery.
The Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction and Wisconsin Technical College System are using February’s Career and Technical Education Month to emphasize the importance of CTE to the state’s economic growth. The theme, “CTE: Learning Today, Earning Tomorrow,” highlights the critical need for CTE programs to provide high school and post secondary students with the knowledge and skills necessary to be competitive in today’s global economy.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, nearly one-third of the fastest growing occupations will require an associate’s degree or a postsecondary vocational certificate. Many of those career programs are available locally at the New Richmond campus of Wisconsin Indianhead Technical College.
Healthcare occupations are expected to make up seven of the 20 fastest-growing occupations. Careers such as nursing, home health care, dental assistant, medical assistant and occupational therapy assistant, all of which are offered at a WITC campus, are expected to grow by 2018.
WITC is also setting itself ahead of the green industry curve. The American Solar Energy Society and Management Information Services Inc. forecasted in 2009 that the renewable energy and energy efficiency industry could generate up to $4.3 trillion in revenue and create more than 37 million jobs by 2030. Already, WITC offers degrees and certificates in the green industries, plus many other career programs highlight sustainability within the curriculum.
Other occupations with the largest employment growth, according the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, include accountants, administrative assistants, receptionists and child care workers. WITC offers technical diplomas and associate degrees in those fields.
Research also indicates that 80 percent of current and emerging occupations require two-year technical degrees, while just 20 percent require bachelor degrees. Wisconsin students can begin career and technical education in high school and continue into postsecondary education, seamlessly and efficiently.
“Career and technical education prepares both youth and adults for a wide range of careers that may require varying levels of education—from high school to postsecondary certificates to two- and four-year college degrees,” said State Superintendent Tony Evers. “By partnering with the business community, CTE programs are investing in students’ lives with the latest technology and skills that will prepare them to become successful employees as well as future leaders.”
“Wisconsin’s 16 technical colleges have forged strong local partnerships with business and industry, as well as beneficial collaborations with area public school districts,” added Dan Clancy, president of the Wisconsin Technical College System. “Successful implementation of the resulting career pathways will ensure that educational opportunities align with industry needs and students see a clear path to future career success.”
WITC serves the educational and career needs of more than 30,000 residents of northwestern Wisconsin each year. As one of four campuses in the district, WITC-New Richmond offers career-focused associate degree programs, technical diplomas, customized training and a wide array of courses for personal or career enrichment. WITC is a member of Wisconsin Technical College System. For more information, call 800-243-WITC or log onto witc.edu.