When the Going Gets Tough, the Tough Go to College

When the Going Gets Tough, the Tough Go to College

ROSEBURG, Oregon – The recent global pandemic has hit the people of Douglas County, Oregon as hard as in any other place. Many are coping with the consequences of business closures in similar ways as compared to people across the nation. The common question for many who are unemployed or underemployed is, What should I do now?

The answer to that question can be found in the recent data released by the Oregon Employment Department. According to the Employment Department, When comparing the level of education for recent unemployment insurance claimants compared with the educational attainment of the entire labor force, it’s clear that those with lower levels of education have been hit particularly hard.

The chart above shows that around 54% of September 2020 continued unemployment insurance claims were filed by people with a high school diploma or less. The chart also shows that continued unemployment insurance claims were lower than normal, percentage-wise, for those with some college, associate degrees, and bachelor’s degrees. The point: it’s time to go to Umpqua Community College (UCC)!

Why would now be a better time than any other to go to college? The pandemic has created an interesting dynamic that makes it very easy to decide. The data above shows that 54% of unemployed workers have a high school diploma or less. Therefore, going to college and completing a certificate or a degree puts you ahead of most of the competition! It’s true. Many may be counting on being called back to work once businesses reopen, but many businesses are now completely closed. This can be an opportunity to move in a new direction and re-invent yourself. Making a decision to go to college now can put you on the right side of the divide between the chronically unemployed and those who will come out of the pandemic stronger than when it started.

Let’s look to the future. What are some careers and occupations that will be in demand moving forward and looking out to 2029? The Oregon Employment Department has some good data. What’s better is the list of careers below match with UCC’s programs. This is a small sample of what UCC has to offer. (See also Adult Basic Skills for earning a GED, and Community and Workforce Training for short-term professional skills options.)

Occupation Percentage Growth 2019-29 Entry-Level Education
Natural Resources Specialist 15.4% Bachelor’s Degree
CIS Manager 13% Bachelor’s Degree
Computer Support Specialist 11.4% Associate Degree
Registered Nurses 11.3% Associate/Bachelor’s Degree
CAD Drafter 11.1% Associate Degree
Firefighter 10.6% Associate Degree
Accountant 7% Bachelor’s Degree
Business Manager 6.4% Bachelor’s Degree
Civil Engineering Technicians 6.2% Associate Degree
Forestry Technicians 3.6% Associate Degree

Source: Oregon Employment Department, Workforce and Economic Research Division. Southwestern STEM Occupations, 2019-2029 (Coos, Curry and Douglas Counties)

If you are convinced that college is your next step, what do you need to know? We are here to help you every step of the way, Jessica Richardson, Enrollment and Advising Coordinator, said,. Please reach out to the Admissions office and work with an Enrollment Advisor. They will help guide you to become a college student. A large number of students qualify for financial aid, and UCC has a number of scholarships available as well.

In short, UCC is here for you, especially in this unusually tough time. As of the writing of this article, many scholarships are available through UCC, OSAC, and local, regional, and national organizations. They all want to invest in students like you! Plus, you won’t regret investing in yourself. UCC is confident that you CAN do this! Ready to get started? Apply today or contact the UCC department below that matches your educational goals.

#GoToUCC #UCCTransformsLives #StudyLocal

About Umpqua Community College

Nestled in the beautiful North Umpqua River Valley, Umpqua Community College is the regional center for higher education in Douglas County, Oregon. UCC provides high quality college degree programs, workforce development, and community learning opportunities.


Admissions (Degrees, Certificates) – 541-440-7743

Adult Basic Skills (GED, Learn English) – 541-440-4603

Community and Workforce Training (Professional Skills) – 541-440-4668