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May 6, 2009 > Counseling Corner: An easy way to revamp your career

Counseling Corner: An easy way to revamp your career

By Anne Chan, PhD, MFT

Did you know that you can upgrade your skills or even pursue a drastically different career path - without leaving the Tri City area and not spend a whole lot of money?

Sounds too good to be true? Well, the news gets even better - Chabot College in Hayward and Ohlone College in Fremont offer a variety of career training programs that can lead to well-paying jobs. In as little as several months (depending on the track you choose), you can earn a certificate that will qualify you for a whole new set of career options.

More good news - these community colleges charge only $20 per unit, making it very affordable for anyone wishing to get post-high school training.

Even more good news for those wishing for a college degree - you can earn a two-year college degree at these colleges and many of the courses you take at the community college level are accepted by four-year institutions toward a Bachelor's degree.

Here are my picks of interesting and cool training programs that are offered right here in the Tri Cities:

Health Careers
Even in a down economy, healthcare careers are still hot. Plus, the following jobs give you the opportunity to work closely with people and be a part of their well-being and health:

Dental hygienist

Phlebotomist (for those not afraid of blood)

Respiratory Therapist

Physical Therapist Assistant

Technology and Biotechnology Careers
If you've always wanted to enter the technology sector, now's the time to learn or upgrade your skills. Chabot and Ohlone both offer excellent programs that can put you on a technology career track. Here is just a sampling:

CAD - Computer Aided Design

Electronic Systems Technology

Biotechnology career paths

Microscopist (this one is offered in Merritt College in Oakland, but I had to add it in the list because it is such an interesting career choice)

Two more to consider

Do you know that the demand for welders is greater than ever? The State of California has allocated millions of bond money for all types of construction projects, some of which require welders. For those inclined toward the industrial arts, Chabot offers a welding program:

Geology or biology or naturalist field assistant
Here's a career path for those who like the outdoors and scientific discovery - be trained as a field assistant!

Even in the midst of this downturn, we are all very lucky to have the opportunity to live in the beautiful Bay Area with its array of rich resources. One of these resources is the community college system - do take advantage of this tremendous resource that is right in our backyard!

Anne Chan is a career counselor and licensed psychotherapist in Union City. She specializes in helping people find happiness in their careers, lives, and relationships. She can be reached at 510-744-1781. Her website is

(c) Anne Chan, 2009.

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