Online courses may trump community colleges for those looking for 2012 jobs

In President Barack Obama's most recent State of the Union Address last Tuesday, he cited the need for America's unemployed workers to invest in educational opportunities that could increase their ability to compete for some of the best paying jobs available.

The president noted that, in his talks with business owners, many expressed the willingness and even the need for new hires, but cited the lack of qualified applicants as the reason for stagnant job creation. According to the commander in chief, many IT jobs, such as those in data management, are going unfilled as many workers lack the necessary training.

As part of the initiative to help the many unemployed Americans return to work, the president cited the need for partnerships between businesses and the nation's community colleges, many of which present an affordable alternative to more costly four-year universities.

But, while many community college leaders are welcoming the initiative, some have been facing steep budget cuts in recent years due to cuts in funding to the state governments that provide the bulk of their financing.

"New initiatives are ready to go with the right funding," Tom Snyder, president of Indiana's Ivy Tech Community College, told USA Today. "We have terrific support from our local communities, but resources are limited."

With courses in new programs likely to be competitive, IT job seekers may want to turn to a provider of online courses that have a proven track record of keeping up with technology trends. For example, those who secure an Oracle Certification could gain the skills they need to qualify for database administrator positions, some of which come with base salaries of more than $40,000 annually.

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