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Our View: Cheers for NTC graduates on to second careers

2:17 PM, May 23, 2013  |  Comments
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One of the effects of the Great Recession has been to force displaced workers to take stock of their skills and employment prospects and consider whether they need to change careers.

And it's not just displaced workers. People of all ages, employed or looking for work, have confronted the question in the last five years of what skills they bring to the table and how those skills might need to be burnished for future job prospects. This situation has contributed to massive enrollment increases at Northcentral Technical College and other secondary education institutions.

At NTC's commencement ceremony on Saturday, more than half of the 754 students graduating were 25 or older. Almost 10 percent of the graduates were 50 or older.

It takes courage to return to school later in life. There are plenty of benefits to lifelong learning: increased employability, potential for career changes and the intrinsic benefits of learning. But there are also plenty of reasons that being back in the classroom might be intimidating for anyone who has gotten out of the habit of things like homework and cramming for tests.

But these students did it. And although they graduate into a still-uncertain job market, they do so in a much stronger position than before they went back to school - and that's true whether they're 25 or 55. There is no single factor more closely aligned with economic success than education.

All of the region's graduates have achieved something important. But we feel especially cheered by the success stories of those who returned to school, and we wish them all luck in their job searches.

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