PRCC offers skills for those searching for careers

Published 7:00 am Thursday, January 7, 2016

If you or someone you know has resolved to get a new career this year, a good place to begin is Pearl River Community College.
Obviously the community college provides an affordable, nearby introduction to a liberal arts education, but the community college also offers quick, cheap certifications in a variety of trades.
This week, the school is enrolling students in welding, pipe fitting and masonry night classes. The masonry course is $150 and the other two are $250 each, and the courses run through the spring semester. We should note that some low-income students may be eligible for tuition assistance, so the course fees should not present a barrier.
Given the cost of a four-year liberal arts degree, one could easily make the case that a trade certification is a much more valuable investment.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average annual wage for a welder in Mississippi in 2014 was $41,420.
That’s more than a living wage in Mississippi. For comparison, the state’s Department of Education lists a teacher with five years’ experience and a top certification level of earning $41,490.
And, much like teachers, every state in the nation needs skilled trade workers.
Granted, welding is a physically demanding and tough job, so it is not for everyone. But, if during the welding or pipe fitting course a student realizes a trade job is not in their future, we are certain PRCC will be happy to offer more traditional liberal arts coursework.
However, for younger people who are physically fit, skilled trade positions can provide years of steady, comfortable paychecks.
Like most careers, trade jobs require certain skill and they demand responsibility.
A welding certificate may be attainable for those willing to put forth the effort, but a certificate does not necessarily guarantee easy money in the field.
PRCC offers is an opportunity for those who are willing to work for a chance to succeed.

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