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Trump tells Reuters he fears a perjury trap. Also on the Tuesday rundown: Iowa activists to protest in support of a nationwide prison strike; and a solar project throws shade on the Keystone XL pipeline.

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Report: College Career Programs Give Big Boost to Oregonians' Wages

Workers who earn certificates at places such as Portland Community College earn on average $5,000 more, compared with what they'd earn before completing the program. (Adumbvoget/Flickr)
Workers who earn certificates at places such as Portland Community College earn on average $5,000 more, compared with what they'd earn before completing the program. (Adumbvoget/Flickr)
June 5, 2018

PORTLAND, Ore. – The traditional college route isn't the only way for Oregon workers to boost their wages. Recipients get big benefits from earning career-focused certificates at institutions such as community colleges, in some cases doubling their wages, according to a new Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce report.

Workers who earn community-college certificates boost their earnings by an average of $5,000, compared with before taking the program - although the benefits vary according to work field and age.

Neil Ridley, the state initiatives director of the Georgetown Center is a co-author of the report.

"Certificate programs, just by their nature, are much more focused on preparation for - whether it's a specific job or a set of related jobs - a local labor market," he says.

Ridley says workers under the age of 30 see most of the wage gains from certificate programs, while older workers typically see an employment boost. Certificates in the health industry generate the largest gains in earnings, averaging more than $10,000.

Ridley also notes that a significant number of certificate seekers are switching from industries where job opportunities are on the decline, such as manufacturing.

"Certificate programs can help people reposition themselves," he adds. "It's a way to break into a new field, get an entry-level credential perhaps, and start working in health care, health-care industry. Try to move into a more stable field, perhaps."

The report finds the role of community colleges is growing too. Certificates from community colleges are increasing as numbers decline from private, two-year institutions, including for-profit colleges.

Eric Tegethoff, Public News Service - OR