Start close. Go far.

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LoneStar_start_closeBetter careers start here

The greater Houston area continues to grow and boasts one of the most vigorous and vibrant economies in the world.

So what does that mean to you? There are employment opportunities in industries that include logistics, machining, live entertainment tech, automated manufacturing, process technology, visual communications, graphic design, HVAC-R, construction, Information Technology, automotive repair and much more.

Many of these jobs are “middle-skills” jobs that require training that is more than a high school degree but less than a bachelor’s degree, and they pay off in challenging and interesting work with good wages and stable employment.

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LSC students take advantage of small classes, flexible schedules and campuses that are close to home. #StartCloseGoFar

Lone Star College offers a wide variety of programs related to these opportunities where you can start close and go far. With six state of the art campuses, eight technology centers and LSC-Online, there is sure to be a program close to you at LSC.

At Lone Star College, students have access to industry-developed, competency-based instruction with the most up to date and complete training possible to fit many of the opportunities in the market today. In other words, because LSC works closely with local employers, you will learn the skills they are looking to see in their employees.

“I wanted to do something that would interest me and better support myself,” said Lana Stegall, former LSC student who came to LSC to learn welding. After studying at LSC she now is employed fulltime as a welder.

But don’t wait, the time to act is now – according to a national report by Georgetown University, 65% of all jobs will require training other than high school by 2020 and many fall within the middle-skills training spectrum.

And if you don’t think getting more training would be worth your time, think again. Studies show that people who earn an associate degree can, on average, earn 25 percent more money than someone with only a high school diploma.

“My life is dramatically different from what it was just 15 short months ago,” said Gerald Hallford, LSC graduate. “I am thankful beyond measure for the opportunity provided for me by Lone Star College.”

Hallford graduated with an associate degree and is planning to continue his education to become a counselor.

If you’re unsure of where to start, LSC can help you get on the right track. A couple of simple steps will get you started.

Do what YOU are

What skills and abilities do you have and what do you like to do (or not do?) If you love being around people, you would probably thrive in an environment where you interacted with people on a daily basis. For example, LSC offers three certificate cosmetology programs in conjunction with the world-famous manufacturer of CHI hair products at its CHI LSC-North Harris School of Cosmetology. As a cosmetologist, your daily routine would involve interacting with your customers.

On the other hand, if you’re more comfortable working on your own, there are industries where daily interaction with customers is not the top priority.

Look to the future

While the Houston area continues to grow with many opportunities, it’s also a good idea to consider a career that is sustainable. In other words, you would want to join an industry that is poised for growth that matches your skills and abilities.

Lone Star College offers a number of career and assessment tools at LoneStar.edu/Career-Services. Here, you can find tools that will help you match your interests, personality and values with a career that would be satisfying to you. There are also links to sites such as the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics and its Occupational Outlook Handbook – an excellent resource to investigate the most popular and growing industries. Another resource, Texas CARES, is designed to help you explore different careers and match those with education opportunities in Texas.

Once you decide on a career you’d like to consider and you’re ready to get started, Lone Star College has advisors available who can help you chart your academic course of action. They can walk you through the entire process – registering for classes, obtaining financial aid, online options, and more.

You don’t have to go far to get started and the first step is closer than you think.  #StartCloseGoFar

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