Education

Reinventing Yourself Can Lead to Higher Pay

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Whether you’re underemployed or looking to change occupations, career experts say your first step should be training. A certificate or degree can often equate to an immediate bump in pay and a higher perch on that career ladder.

The Fast Track Program at McHenry County College is a good example. Some students have landed higher paying positions after just two semesters.

“Earning my degree helped me get my dream job,” said Pauleen McCollum of Crystal Lake. “I’m happier than I've ever been and so glad I decided to pursue my degree.”

“I was immediately promoted after receiving my degree…and my level of confidence skyrocketed,” agreed Angel Torres of Harvard.

Through the Fast Track Program, MCC offers certifications in Manufacturing Management, Construction Management and Engineering Technology, and, with more classes, can lead to an AAS degree in two to four years. The programs are popular with both working adults and traditional students. A major draw is scheduling.

“Most classes are scheduled one night a week, so students can still work during the day,” said Heather Zaccagnini, instructor of applied technology. Students can also take many classes online.

“The management programs are designed specifically for people who have industry experience but who want to move up into leadership positions, earn more money and move into a position leading technology or people,” Zaccagnini said.

MCC’s Engineering Technology Program draws many students right out of high school as well as working adults who want to get more technical expertise to advance their careers, Zaccagnini said.

That program uses industry software packages like Solidworks, Mastercam, and other CAD programs and includes a manufacturing lab where students use hands-on technology like measuring equipment and machining.

Engineering Technology graduates can enter many careers including design, quality or manufacturing engineering, Zaccagnini said.

Registration for fall Fast Track classes is going on now. For details and schedules, visit www.mchenry.edu/fasttrack.

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