Age: 22 | Hometown: Sheridan | Graduation year: 2019 | Attending: University of Arkansas at Monticello College of Technology – McGehee | Working toward: Technical Certificate in Welding Technology | End goal: Become a Welder
Destiny Weatherly became interested in pursuing a welding certificate when she realized how successful she could be in a short amount of time. As a young mother who was eager to join the workforce, she felt like she didn’t have four years to wait and a technical certificate is something that she could achieve quickly while supporting her family.
“With me having a child, I knew I needed to pursue a career that would help me be financially sound,” Destiny says. “There's a lot of money in welding.”
Destiny is pursuing her Technical Certificate in Welding Technology at the University of Arkansas at Monticello College of Technology – McGehee.
Destiny says that one of her favorite parts of gaining the certificate has been how physically involved and hands-on the welding courses are.
“I love that I am one day going to be responsible for helping manufacture something,” she says. “I’ve always wanted to be a part of some sort of creation — whether big or small. It’s not easy and I enjoy a challenge.”
Destiny advises students that although gaining a technical certificate is challenging at times, the satisfying rewards are worth the hard work.
“You can't only put in 10% effort; you have to be all-in. It's not easy and there will be challenges; however, if you put 100% into the course, you'll get 100% back.”
(Meet another welder, Tiffany Demoret, in Next PROS.)
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW
Two-year colleges allow students to adjust to college gradually. Plus, students can get the courses needed for the first two years of a bachelor’s degree for less money. Others work toward a certificate in a specific area of a two-year associate degree.
The average tuition and fees for in-state students enrolled full-time at a public two-year college were $3,570 in 2018.* They are notably cheaper than four-year institutions, plus scholarships and financial aid are still available.
Most public two-year colleges have an “open door” admissions policy. All you need is your high school transcript or GED scores. Most don’t have a minimum GPA requirement.
Dorms aren’t the norm, so a two-year college may be best if you want to live at home with your parents or try spreading your wings in your own apartment.
Community colleges often offer smaller classes, which means more one-on-one time with your professors. In smaller classes, it’s easier for professors to get to know students and students feel more comfortable asking for help when needed.
"[A technical certificate] has the same potential for success [as] a four-year degree. You don't have to have a bachelor's degree to be successful."