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Aug 23, 2020 @ 01:00


Career and Technical Education

Your local community college has a lot more to offer than just an associate’s degree. The Career Technical Education (CTE) courses available through our community college system can serve as a gateway into further study in a particular area or provide certification to immediately enter the workforce. Whether you’re looking to get started on career-focused classes while still in high school or planning your next steps after graduation, CTE certificates can be a great place to start. Here are some interesting certificates available through the community college system that do not involve any of the core courses required for an associate’s or bachelor’s degree. Many certificates can be completed in a year or less of full-time enrollment.

  • Automotive Technology – These programs are designed to prepare learners for employment as automotive technicians. Students will receive training for skills in the operation, maintenance, and repair of all automotive systems. Approximately 30 units to complete.
  • Cosmetology – These programs will prepare learners for California State Board Exams in cosmetology and/or esthetician skills to receive a license. Courses through the community college can be significantly cheaper than going through a private school. Approximately 45 units to complete.
  • Graphic Design – These programs will prepare learners for certificates in various graphic fields, such as computer graphics, graphic communications, graphic design, and illustration/animation. Approximately 20-30 units each to complete.
  • Heating, Ventilation, Air Conditioning, and Refrigeration (HVAC-R) – These programs prepare learners to repair, install, service, and maintain heating, air conditioning, and refrigeration systems. Approximately six semester courses to complete.
  • Medical Assistant – These programs prepare learners for employment as a medical assistant in a physician’s office. Certificates are available in both administrative (front office) and/or clinical (back office) medical assisting skills. Approximately 30 units to complete.
  • Microcomputer Technician – These programs will prepare learners for the A+ Certification and Cisco Certified Networking Associate exams. Can range from 20-40 units depending on the program.
  • Real Estate – These programs will prepare learners for careers in real estate sales whether it be as a real estate broker, appraiser, property manager, mortgage broker, mortgage banker, underwriter, mortgage loan processor, escrow agent, or title representative. Approximately 12-18 units to complete depending on area of focus.
  • Welding – These programs prepare learners for entry-level employment in industries such as steel construction, maintenance and repair, and general fabrication. Can range from 20-40 units depending on the program.
Search the CTE offerings at your local college to see which certificate programs are available. If you need extra guidance, reach out to or your academic counselor.


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