According to a recent survey conducted by Strada Education Network, American’s intent to enroll in postsecondary education and training has not increased compared to 2019.

However, their intentions about where to enroll have shifted. Rapid skill development provided through non-degree and skills training programs is proving to be a strong preference among many Americans. Among adults considering enrolling in education of training programs, 62% prefer a noon-degree program course of study.

“In these unprecedented times, we still have employers seeking skilled workers,” states Dr. Jim Barrott, executive vice president of TCAT-Chattanooga. “Now is the time to prepare for jobs requiring highly skilled individuals coming out of our TCAT programs.”

The Tennessee College of Applied Technology [TCAT] at Chattanooga State is a leading provider of hands-on, high-demand skills training programs. With more than 25 programs of study, many students are able to start their career in one year. Medical Assisting, Machine Tool Technology, Massage Therapy, and Motorcycle and Marine Technology are just four programs designed to prepare you for the job market in one year or less.

• Medical Assisting is among the new front line occupations in the health professional field with an expected growth rate of 23 percent and an average salary range of $34K-plus according to Bureau of Labor Statistics [BLS] data. The three-semester diploma program prepares entry-level medical assistants in the cognitive (knowledge), psychomotor (skills) and affective (behavior) learning domains. Medical assistants can expect to find positions in physicians’ offices, hospitals, outpatient clinics and other healthcare facilities. Over the past five years, the program has enjoyed a 100 percent satisfaction rate by employers.

• Machine Tool Technology program graduates enjoy an average salary of $34K-plus. Students in this 3-semester diploma program certified by National Institute of Metalworking Skills (NIMS) set-up and operate machine tools to produce precision metal parts from a blue print, instruments, and tools. Additional training on Computer Numeric Controlled (CNC) lathes, machining centers, and grinders, along with Computer Aided Design (CAD) systems are included.

• Massage Therapy graduates, with a 100 percent job placement rate, earn an average salary of $42K-plus. According to the BLS, this field will experience a 22 percent growth rate over the next few years. The two-semester certificate program prepares graduates for employment in an array of settings such as spas, health clubs, physicians’ and chiropractors’ offices, hospitals, and fitness centers.

• Motorcycle and Marine Technology graduates enjoy an impressive 100 percent job placement rate thanks in part to the area’s motorcycle and boat enthusiasts. Power sports and power equipment engines are more sophisticated and require technicians to have extensive technical training to inspect, service, and repair them correctly. Graduates earn their diplomas in three semesters and can look forward to average salaries in the range of $37K-plus. Job opportunities remain steady and continue to grow at a 6 percent rate according to BLS.

TCAT-Chattanooga students are eligible for the Wilder-Naifeh Technical Grant and may be able to attend tuition-free using Tennessee Promise or Tennessee Reconnect scholarships. Your future starts at TCAT Chattanooga. Enroll now at chattanoogastate.edu/tcat, email TCATSS@chattanoogastate.edu, or call (423) 697-4433 for more information.