Be In Demand

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NICC_be_in_demandYou have probably heard about careers that are “in-demand.” But what does “in-demand” really mean, and why should it matter to you?

In-demand careers are found in nearly every employment area. Shortages of skilled employees drive hiring demand, and companies with need represent the advanced manufacturing, agriculture, construction, healthcare, information technology and transportation industries, just to name a few.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (2013), this employment climate, and what most job openings require, can be expressed with three numbers – 1, 2, 7. For every 10 job openings in our region, only one requires a master’s degree or higher, two require a bachelor’s degree and seven require an associate’s degree earned from a community college or two-year technical school.

Employers are clamoring for skilled career and technical program graduates at Northeast Iowa Community College (NICC) for this reason. In fact, there are currently more job openings in the College’s district than there are qualified workers to fill them, and it’s common for local employers to contact NICC instructors directly to inquire how many qualified students will be graduating from specific programs each semester. Employers are eager to hire the right people for their workforce, sooner rather than later.

The Future Ready Iowa initiative, led by Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad, is raising expectations of colleges throughout the state. Future Ready Iowa calls for 70 percent of all Iowans to have earned at least some post-secondary training and education beyond high school by 2025.

2025 is closer than you think, and employers who have skilled workforce needs cannot afford to wait for prospective hires to complete a full four years of college. Community colleges are in the best position to train and educate students to meet these objectives – affordably, quickly and effectively.

As an example, many healthcare providers have critical workforce needs for trained medical assistants. Katie McClain, a senior human resources generalist for Medical Associates Clinics & Plans, emphasized how effective the College’s hands-on approach is for training healthcare professionals. Clinical experiences required of graduates prepare them more effectively for their careers.

“An essential part of the Medical Assistant program at Northeast Iowa Community College is the hands-on clinical experience each student gets to participate in. It helps prepare them to be successful in a real medical assistant setting,” McClain said. “Students are exposed to situations they will experience as a Medical Assistant and train closely with the entire clinical team; including other medical assistants, nurses, physicians and advanced practice providers.”

Programs at the College train you for entry- and middle-skills level positions in many career areas. Not sure what career direction to take? Take the career interests quiz and find a career just right for you and your interests! Or review the A-Z guide of all programs the College offers, or visit


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