Automotive Technology Photo

If so, you’re not alone. A recent study by Strada Education found that 62 percent of Americans are concerned about losing their job. Even jobs that were once considered stable, permanent options may not be a best bet in these unprecedented times.

You don’t need to go into thousands of dollars in debt in order to attain a degree or certificate that can provide you with better earnings and a higher standard of living.

If you’re thinking about pursuing a new career path, resilience is what you’re looking for. Here are some of your best options.

Computer Science

Information technology is a broad category that encompasses a lot of different career choices. As many employers made the shift to working at home, IT workers were in more need than ever. Assisting employees with home set-up and managing company networks from afar proved to be some of the most important tasks in a remote world. While the long-term effects of remote work are yet to be seen, it’s possible that the work landscape has changed for good—many employers may continue to keep a section of their workforce remote, allowing for flexible hours. That means IT workers will be even more in demand.

Major in Computer Technology, Associate Degree in Applied Science – 70 Semester Hours
Computer Specialist Certificate – 40 Semester Hours
Cybersecurity Certificate – 34 Semester Hours

Computer Support Specialist
2020 median pay: $55,510

Pharmacy Technicians

The job outlook for pharmacy technicians has trended toward growth. The projections for 2019-2029 were faster than average for other industries, at 4 percent growth rate—in 2019 there were over 422,000 workers employed as pharmacy technicians. Just because the economy slows, doesn’t mean people stop getting sick or don’t need medicine. You can train to become a pharmacy tech at Central Carolina Technical College, very quickly. This job can be a great springboard into other careers in the medical industry as well.

Pharmacy Technician Certificate – 31 Semester Hours

Pharmacy Technician
2020 median pay: $35,100


Do you enjoy working on cars in your spare time? Why not use this recession as an opportunity to turn your hobby into a career? Even though many are working at home, people still need their vehicles to get to the grocery store and doctor’s appointments. And with the increase of industries like DoorDash and other food delivery services, those workers will need to have reliable sources of transportation. They will turn to auto repair shops they can trust, who employ certified mechanics. You could also seek a career as a mechanic at a dealership.

Automotive Technology Certificate – 39 Semester Hours
Automotive Diagnostic Technology Certificate – 37 Semester Hours

Automotive Mechanic
2020 median pay: $44,050


It goes without saying that hospitals need nurses. Even before the pandemic, the projected job growth for nurses was much faster than average, at 7 percent from 2019-2029. Maybe you’ve been thinking about getting your nursing degree for a while but haven’t had the chance to make the career switch yet. Or maybe the career field you imagined you’d be in isn’t the best choice at the moment. Either way, nursing is a challenging but rewarding job.

Pre-Nursing Preparatory Certificate – 30 Semester Hours
Major in Nursing, Associate Degree in Applied Science – 66 Semester Hours
Major in Nursing, Associate Degree in Applied Science, LPN to ADN Option – 66 Semester Hours

Registered Nurse
2020 median pay: $75,330

Medical Record Coding

Medical record coders organize, manage and code health information data. They use various classification systems to code and categorize patient information for insurance reimbursement purposes, for databases and registries and to maintain patients’ medical and treatment histories. This is a career option that is in great demand, with a projected 8 percent growth outlook for 2019-2029. This program at CCTC is a completely online certificate program.

Medical Record Coding Certificate – 38 Semester Hours
Inpatient Medical Coding Certificate – 20 Semester Hours

Medical Record Coder
2020 median pay: $44,090