Four-year colleges are often seen as the natural next step for high school students, but business leaders and politicians want teens to consider another option: community college.
An associate degree from a two-year technical program may be the quickest route for recent high school graduates to enter a stable, lucrative career field. It may also be the only way to keep up with workforce demands, said President Obama.
"Jobs requiring at least an associate degree are projected to grow twice as fast as jobs requiring no college experience," the president said at a 2010 summit of community college leaders. "We will not fill those jobs—or keep those jobs on our shores—without the training offered by community colleges."