Think mountain ranges for skiing, desert areas for hiking and every level of fun and outdoors adventure in between. It's said that the skies are clear in Nevada 360 days of the year - that's almost 365! - making the Silver State a great place to think about attending college. And that doesn't mean just for a four-year education, but vocational, trade school, and two-year colleges, too. These alternatives can provide a quick start to career training, whether that's an interest in leisure and hospitality, business, allied health or any other field.
Trends at Vocational Schools in Nevada
Community colleges and trade schools in Nevada offer educational programs taking up to two years to complete, but other programs can take a year or less to finish. Jobs can be sought in many different fields, too, but with Las Vegas and Lake Tahoe located in Nevada, the state also is a popular tourist destination. From business to hospitality and even event planning, there are many employment fields that could pique your interest and align with state occupational demand.
- Leisure and Hospitality: Among the largest employment sector in the state, the leisure and hospitality field offers jobs in gaming, tourism, dining and more. Students at vocational schools in Nevada could pursue a certificate or associate degree in tourism, convention and event planning, casino management, culinary management, the culinary arts and hotel management. Students could even specialize in courses such as Blackjack dealing, Craps dealing and Poker dealing.
- Professional and Business Services: Whether it's a certificate program or an associate degree, you can pursue an education at Nevada vocational schools in areas like accounting, business, economics and entrepreneurship. The housing market in Nevada also has strengthened since the Great Recession, meaning opportunities could be available for individuals wanting to pursue classes in real estate, and hoping to learn more about real estate state law and regulations.
- Health Services: The health services sector also is a significant employment sector in the state, accounting for jobs that range from licensed vocational nurse to phlebotomist, medical assistant and cardiovascular technician. Trade schools in Nevada and community colleges could also allow you to build career skills for occupations such as nursing assistant, emergency medical technician, lab technician, coding specialist, dental hygienist and many others.
Career Info for Nevada Trade School Grads
Construction, tourism and consumer spending are the cornerstones for a recovering economy in Nevada, according to a Las Vegas Review-Journal report. In fact, it's expected that the state will once again reach the economic levels of growth that it had before. Tesla, an electric car manufacturer, is building new headquarters in the state and is expected to draw in many new employees, including in fields such as engineering, manufacturing, and facilities positions.
Additionally, a recent study out of the University of Nevada Las Vegas shows that the economy is now being driven by growth in three main areas, including construction, motel occupancy and the number of passengers traveling through the airport in Las Vegas. The chart below shows some of the common skilled-trade jobs, with salary info and employment availability in the state of Nevada:
|Career||Total Employment||Annual Mean Wage|
|Automotive Service Technicians and Mechanics||5640||40700|
|Brickmasons and Blockmasons||670||48700|
|Construction and Building Inspectors||800||72090|
|Heating, Air Conditioning, and Refrigeration Mechanics and Installers||1910||54190|
|Plumbers, Pipefitters, and Steamfitters||3630||49900|
|Welders, Cutters, Solderers, and Brazers||1790||44610|
Expert Advice on Vocational Education in Nevada
To get more insight about the importance of vocational education or technical training in Nevada, we spoke to a school representative. Sidney Sullivan is manager of Truckee Meadow's Community College Career Center, in Reno, and answered some of our frequently asked questions to help guide prospective students in the state.
Sidney Sullivan is manager of Truckee Meadow's Community College Career Center in Reno
RWM: What are the benefits or drawbacks to vocational education?
Sullivan: Benefits at a public community college often include lower cost, flexible scheduling, online class availability, student support programs, and financial aid and scholarships. Truckee Meadows Community College offers a wide range of training and courses culminating in a variety of credentials, from skills certificates to associate and bachelor degrees. Community college students who reach their educational goals can transfer to a university, start their career, or receive specialized training.
RWM: What should students look for in a vocational program?
Sullivan: Students should take into account their personal fulfillment and enjoyment, and pick a career that will interest them. They should also consider the market demand for that profession in the area where they want to live. Are there jobs available, or on the horizon? Finally, students should research the salary ranges and cost of living in their chosen field. TMCC has resources available to assist students with investigating career options as well as industry forecast information for northern Nevada.
RWM: Which industries are good for vocational education, especially for Nevada?
Sullivan: Northern Nevada is seeing an explosion of industry growth overall, with expanding job opportunities across the board. For example, a manufacturing company would need to hire employees with experience in advanced manufacturing, but would also hire in the fields of logistics, IT, HVAC, bookkeeping, and administrative professionals, among others. According to Mike Kazmierski from EDAWN, in an article published in the Reno Gazette-Journal: Eighty percent of the new jobs in the region require employees with technical skills or certifications, not four-year degrees.
RWM: What makes vocational programs in Nevada different or unique?
Sullivan: The Nevada System of Higher Education is supportive of TMCC as the college endeavors to respond quickly in its ability to design and implement programs based on industry needs. For example, the demand for logistics operations has exploded in the last couple of years, as reported by the advisory boards who serve the college's existing programs. TMCC has since unveiled a bachelor of applied science degree in Logistics Operations Management in response to the demand.
RWM: Which types of students is a vocational degree right for?
Sullivan: Community colleges strive to serve the community at-large and provide a variety of support for students from all backgrounds. For high school students, dual credit classes offer the chance to earn high school and college credit at the same time, while gaining skills and training for a career. For the recent high school graduate and for the working adult, courses are offered in a range of formats to meet their educational needs without interfering with their ability to earn a paycheck. For the person who is changing careers or needs a new path, support services are offered to help determine that path and support him/her with tutoring, counseling, advising, and career services. Students may also qualify for additional support through resources for special populations such as veterans, single parents, first generation, and other groups.
Financial Aid at Trade Schools in Nevada
The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) can be a way to discover whether you qualify for federal school loans, grants or even work-study programs, which may be applied at community colleges and trade schools in Nevada. Start by heading onto the FAFSA website and filling out the online application there. Be sure to have your financial information-or that of your parents-ready. Other options for financial aid in Nevada could include:
- Soroptimist International Women's Opportunity Scholarship: Up to $10,000 is available to female students who provide primary support for their families and are enrolled in a vocational program or undergraduate degree. Financial need must be demonstrated.
- Nevada Women's Fund Scholarships: Scholarships are made available to women pursuing a program of study in Northern Nevada, including at the vocational level, but the scholarships also are available for undergraduate and graduate study.
- Millennium Scholarship: This scholarship is available to students who want to attend a public college program in Nevada, including at Western Nevada College and Truckee Meadows Community College. Students attending a community college must have at least a 3.25 high school GPA to be eligible and can receive $40 per credit hour in scholarship money.
- Career College of Northern Nevada Scholarships: These scholarship are available to high school students who demonstrate financial need, but who also are interested in pursuing an education in allied health, tech or a trade. Selection criteria are determined by area high schools.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that individuals with some type of college education or an associate degree have higher weekly earnings on average than those with only a high school education. So, whether you are interested in a career in business, the health services, tech or another field, Nevada vocational schools could help you head toward your goals.
- Business Division, Truckee Meadows Community College. http://www.tmcc.edu/business/
- Center for Business and Economic Research, University of Nevada Las Vegas. http://www.unlv.edu/business/cber
- Education Matters, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. http://www.bls.gov/careeroutlook/2016/data-on-display/education-matters.htm
- Employment at a Glance, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. http://www.bls.gov/eag/eag.nv.htm
- Kenny C. Guinn Millennium Scholarship, Nevada Treasurer. http://www.nevadatreasurer.gov/uploadedFiles/nevadatreasurergov/content/GGMS/Forms/Doc-FactSheet.pdf
- List of Scholarships in Nevada, Nevada Department of Education, http://grant.nv.gov/uploadedFiles/grantnvgov/Content/Grants/List%20of%20Scholarships%20and%20Grants%20for%20Students%20in%20Nevada(3).pdf.
- "Nevada forecasts massive job growth through 2017," Las Vegas Review-Journal. http://www.reviewjournal.com/news/las-vegas/nevada-forecasts-massive-job-growth-through-2017
- Scholarships, Career College of Northern Nevada. http://www.ccnn.edu/financial-aid/scholarships/
- School of Business, Hospitality and Public Services, College of Southern Nevada, https://www.csn.edu/programs/casino-management.
- Tesla Gigafactory, Tesla. https://www.tesla.com/gigafactory