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Pursuing an Interest, Advancing a Career

At the start of the spring term at Yavapai College, the convocation keynote address was given by the incoming college president Dr. Lisa Rhine. During her talk, she made mention of the ratio 1:2:7 in today’s job market and how that impacts education.

The 1: 2: 7 ratio means: one job will be available with a master’s degree or higher, two jobs will be available with a bachelor’s degree, and seven jobs will be available with an associate degree or certificate. “Success in the New Economy,” a video by Kevin Fleming and Brian Marsh, explains where we are in today’s economy. The short film also touches on the reason why businesses are having a difficult time hiring qualified individuals for their open positions.

I have been in the career coaching field since 1996, after working in various industries, and have found that this ratio has not changed through the years. During coaching sessions or classes, I would always start with self-exploration, so an individual would know and analyze his or her talents and their strengths. Next, we would move into career exploration to identify areas of interest. Only then would a career plan be developed. The goal was always to align an individual’s knowledge, skills and abilities with a career that was a good fit.

For the past six years, I have been a career coach at Yavapai College’s Career and Technical College, working with students in more than 10 technical AAS degrees and 35 technical certificate programs, most of which are STEM related.

In reviewing the Department of Labor’s CareerOneStop data for 2018, median income for our technical programs ranges from $21,040 to $124,540 annually. These income levels reflect both certificate and AAS degree programs. The college combines both education and applied technical skills. The college also is a catalyst for industry-driven credentials and developing specific preparation for employment in today’s job market by working with and listening to industry representatives through advisory boards for each program, staying current within budget limits and providing some of the best labs for students to have hands-on experiences.

In addition, the college also has grant-based paid internships and apprenticeships for some of our high industry demand programs. These internships and apprenticeships can range from 10 to 16 hours per week at the current pay rate of $14.25 to $14.75 per hour, with a term limit of 14 to 16 weeks. The experience that students receive in their chosen field while working at companies enables them to determine whether this is a good fit for them, gain industry experience for resume building, enhance their academic achievements, and add to their personal growth.

In today’s workplace, one has to accept that lifelong learning is a reality for continued success in the job market. The average age of our students at CTEC is 28 years old, with an age range from 16 to mid-50s and older. The younger students are seeking and exploring their first career path. The mid-range age group is looking to improve a current position with a company, change careers completely or pursue professional development. The older age group is focused on personal development and learning for the sake of learning. I just need to mention: individual success is usually tied into having a passion for what an individual achieves. QCBN

By Jim Voska

To explore career technical programs and careers at Yavapai College’s Career and Technical Education College, go to

For more information on Yavapai College’s technical (STEM) programs, contact Linda Brannock ( Career Coach Yavapai College Enrollment Services and/or Jim Voska ( Career Coach, Yavapai College, Career and Technical Education College.

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