Many seek new career opportunities following divorce. It isn't uncommon for these new career paths to require a certification or degree. Community colleges offer degree programs that, upon completion, provide graduates the qualifications necessary to attain better jobs than those without post-secondary education.  Many people choose these colleges over 4-year universities due to their affordability, location and programs designed for working adults. 

In fact, based on the College Board, Trends in Higher Education Series, full-time students, on average assumed enough grant money and tax benefits to cover their total costs for tuition and fees for the academic years 2018-19.  

As of January 2018, reported 980 Public Community Colleges registered with the AACC (American Association of Community Colleges) in the United States.  

Between being affordable and accessible in most areas, your local community college is a perfect place to obtain an education for a new career in 2 years or less. 

We have put together a simple step-by-step process to help you select your new career, along with a list of popular programs, degrees and certificates you can obtain to achieve it.  They are offered at many community colleges around the nation with some variation specific to your local college.

Contact your local college

Once you select a program, degree or certificate of interest from this article, contact your local college to see if they have a matching or similar program to help you achieve your education goals.  Many will offer options that include online, in classroom or hybrid programs (classes that incorporate both).

Select one or more professions

Once you find the program, degree or certificate at the college of your choice, select professions with the corresponding educational requirements that you selected.

Research pay and demand of professions of interest

Upon selecting one or more professions that require your potential degree or certificate, check out local job sites to determine the demand for that career (based on number of jobs available compared to job listings for different careers) and average entry-level pay (based on qualifications inclusive of the degree or certification you would receive) upon completing the program.  Also, consider the median income compared to other positions with an equal amount of schooling. 

Contact the college admissions department 

If you're satisfied the educational commitment, pay and demand for the corresponding career is right for you, contact the admissions department and follow the procedure to begin enrollment and apply for financial aid, as needed.  Check out our article "Before Going Back to School" for a checklist of what to do to get started with your new education!

Popular Community College Degrees - 2 Years

      • Associates of Arts - Arts, humanities, business and social science towards a four-year degree A.A.
      • Associates of Applied Science - Science or technology towards a degree as a paralegal, lab tech, machinist, draftsman or teacher A.A.S.
      • Associate of Science - Biology, physics, chemistry, math, computer science towards a four-year degree A.S.
      • Online Associates Degree - Good for transfer credits to a four-year university 

Popular Associates Degrees in Specific Fields - Each degree is a specialty of the following: A.A.S. or A.A. or A.S. (most are designed for transfer studies).  

Most degrees can be obtained in approximately two years.  Some may require acceptance into the program with pre-requisite education met prior to acceptance.  Check with your school for details.

      • Associates Degree in Business Studies
      • Associates Degree in Marketing
      • Associates Degree in Accounting
      • Associates Degree in Finance
      • Associates Degree in Criminal Justice Transfer Program
      • Associates Degree in Law Enforcement 
      • Associates Degree in Business 
      • Associates Degree in Information Technology
      • Associates Degree in Management
      • Associates Degree in Administration Studies
      • Associates Degree in Elementary Education Transfer Program
      • Associates in Secondary Education Transfer Program
      • Associates Degree in Economics
      • Associates Degree in Geography Transfer Program
      • Associates Degree in History Transfer Program
      • Associates in Political Science Transfer Program
      • Associates in Psychology or Sociology Transfer Programs
      • Associates Degree in Computer Science
      • Associates Degree in Skilled Trades
      • Associates Degree in Welding
      • Associates Degree in Supply Chain Logistics
      • Associates Degree in Multi-Media
      • Associates Degree in Networking
      • Associates Degree in Graphic Design
      • Associates Degree in Pre-Pharmacy
      • Associates Degree in Hospitality
      • Associates Degree in Paralegal Studies
      • Associates Degree in Tourism
      • Associates Degree in Theatre Transfer Program
      • Associates Degree in Fashion
      • Associates Degree in Exercise Science
      • Associates Degree in Human Services
      • Associates Degree in Nursing R.N.
      • Associates Degree in Health Information
      • Associates Degree in Emergency Medical Science
      • Associates Degree in Food and Beverage Studies

Popular Certificate Studies - (with credit)

Most certificates can be obtained in 24 months or less.  Check your school for details.

      • Design Media
      • Photography
      • Web Media
      • Accounting
      • Banking 
      • Finance
      • Business Administration
      • Marketing 
      • Management
      • Customer Service
      • Desktop Publishing
      • Computer Applications
      • Computer or Cyber Security
      • Data Management
      • Desktop Support
      • IT Project Management
      • Networking and Networking (Routing and Switching)
      • Programming and Programming Languages
      • System Administration
      • Web Development
      • Web Design
      • Creative Writing
      • Law Enforcement
      • Autism Specialist
      • Medical Assistant
      • Practical Nursing
      • Global Studies
      • Welding
      • Computer Aided Drafting (CAD)

Popular Certificate Studies (non-credit)

      • Basic Life Support for Health Care Providers
      • Certified Medication Technician
      • Certified Nurse Assistant
      • Clinical Supervisor
      • IV Therapy
      • Medical Transcription Editor
      • Phlebotomy
      • Medical Transcription Editor
      • Certified Medical Administrative Assistant
      • Certified Electronics Health Record Specialist


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