Train for a Job

Different jobs require different amounts of training. But all jobs require three general types of training. Each type helps to achieve a different goal:
  • Qualifying for a job  in other words, learning the specific skills necessary to begin working as a technician, or a welder, or a nurse, or in any other career.
  • Getting a job  learning how to find the right place to work, and how to navigate your way through the application and hiring process.
  • Achieving success in a job  learning how to do well in the culture of the workplace, with all of its procedures, problems, rules, and expectations.

Your career success depends on having all three types of skill. If you need training in any or all of these skills, you can get it.

Two Hardhats
  1. Qualify for a Job
  2. Get a Job
  3. Achieve Success in a Job

Every job requires a set of skills. Some of these skills are very basic, while others are specific to particular types of jobs.

There are three basic things that almost everyone needs in order to qualify for a job:

  • A High School Diploma or Equivalency Certificate: Technically this is not actually a skill. It's a certificate  a piece of paper. But if you don't have this piece of paper, it will be almost impossible for you to get a good job. Most employers simply will not consider hiring you. A high school diploma or certificate is a ticket to get into the job market.
    Fortunately, it is not too difficult for most people get a diploma or equivalency certificate, even if they had a bad experience in high school. More information can be obtained through Pitt Community College Transitional Studies:  
    Adult High School (493-7560) offers traditional classes for adults who wish to complete their high school educations.
    PCC's High School Equivalency program allows students to earn equivalency certificates by passing tests in reading, writing, math, science, and social studies. The program also includes classes to help students prepare for the tests. Students may choose among three equivalency tests: the General Education Development ("GED") test, the High School Equivalency Test ("HiSET"), and the Test of Adult Secondary Completion ("TASC").
     PCC's Adult Basic Education ("ABE") and Adult Basic Literacy Education ("ABLE") programs (493-7377) offer instruction for adults who may not be able to schedule time for Adult High School, but need academic help to prepare for one of the high school equivalency tests.

    The Ability to Speak and Understand the English Language: Unless you work at one of the rare jobs where English is not used, or where someone is available to translate conversations with English-speaking customers, vendors, and others, you will probably have very limited career options unless you learn to speak English.

    PCC offers free classes in English Language Acquisition (493-7213). These classes are designed to help people with little or no English language proficiency to develop their ability to speak, understand, read, and write English, and to perform basic math using English. The classes are also designed to provide transitions to high school equivalency, U.S. civics training, and post-secondary education.
    Before beginning the classes, students must attend a 3-hour orientation session at the beginning of each semester. A schedule of upcoming orientation sessions is given on the PITTworks Home Page and Event Calendar.

  • A Basic Level of Skill in Reading, Writing, and Math: Many people have acquired these skills by the time they finish high school. But not everyone does. Even if someone has their high school diploma, it will not allow them to get very far if they lack these fundamental skills.
Click here to download a print-friendly copy of Fundamental Job Skills (PDF).

In addition to the three basic qualifications described above, most well-paying jobs require specific training in particular skills. There are three ways to acquire this job-specific training: 

  • Work-based training, which is also known as on-the-job training ("OJT"). This includes training that people may receive through formal apprenticeships, or informally by working at their family's business or through self-study. 
  • Military service, which often includes training that can be applied to civilian jobs.
  • Higher education at a university or community college, or specialized study at a vocational training program.

Pitt County has two large institutions of higher education. East Carolina University offers dozens of bachelor's degrees, which typically require four years of full-time study, as well as several graduate degrees. Pitt Community College focuses on more short-term training, most of which requires two years or less of study. PCC is also typically more accommodating for students who wish to study on a part-time basis.

Most of Pitt Community College's programs can be classified as either academic education, which includes detailed technical training, or continuing education, which includes more short-term programs. Students in most of PCC's programs are eligible for the same types of scholarships, grants, and loans that university students use.

However, PCC also offers many job training programs for which students can receive financial aid through the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act ("WIOA"), a federal law that was passed in 2014. The WIOA provides money for students to learn occupations over a period that may be as short as a few months, and which rarely requires more than two years. For more information about the WIOA, please contact the NCWorks Career Center.

In addition to WIOA-approved programs, Pitt Community College also offers short-term training in other occupations, including courses for people who wish to become cosmetologists, barbers, small business operators, firefighters, and insurance agents. 

PCC also offers support services to help students complete their training and achieve graduation. For example, TRiO offers academic and personal counseling and other services that may be especially useful for students who are the first in their families to attend college. PCC also offers free intensive tutoring, casual assistance and computer access for students at the Tutorial & Academic Success Center ("TASC") and the PCC Learning Center.
You can learn more about these training opportunities from your job counselor, or by contacting PCC Admissions at 493-7232.

What type of job and what type of training should you choose?

Is any of it right for you? What if you have a dream that you want to follow? What if you want to be your own boss? What if you want to pursue your passion?

These are important questions that only you can answer. Before starting any training program or deciding on any job, it is important to consider your options.
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