Hennepin Technical College Sees Enrollment Jump, Some Seek New Career
Many people are looking for jobs due to the economic impact fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic. Some of those job seekers are stepping out of their comfort zones and into the classroom.
The unemployment rate in Minnesota is 9.9 percent, which is lower than the national rate of 13.3 percent. However, those numbers can be hard to hear, especially if you’re one of the people looking for work. Some folks are using this time to change careers or go back to school to enhance their skills.
“We definitely see an uptick in new students,” said Alison Leintz, academic dean at Hennepin Technical College. “All of our programs are completed in two years or less. So, they’re all short-term programs, but some of our programs can be completed in a year or less, and sometimes as short as four months.”
There are a variety of short-term programs including culinary, computers, carpentry, plumbing and plastics engineering.
“Students can come to the college and usually get like six classes taken and then get out and get into the workforce right away,” explained Leintz. “They can add on additional certificates which will eventually combine together to create a full diploma or associate degree.
Job Chances Increase After Earning Certificate
Many of Hennepin Tech’s programs have flexible schedules. And there’s a good chance you’ll land a new job after you’ve earned a certificate, said Leintz.
“Ninety-nine percent of our students obtain work in the industry that they’ve studied within a year of completion,” she said.
Hennepin Technical Colleges offers many scholarships and work-study programs to help afford classes.
Meanwhile, this week the White House-backed a national ad campaign highlighting alternative ways to start a career, an initiative targeting students, mid-career workers and the millions of people who are now unemployed because of the COVID-19 pandemic.