October is College Application Month

students at Discover ACC spring 2018October is College Application Month, and Arapahoe Community College is ready to help you Move Mountains every step of the way.

No matter where you may wish to pursue your higher education, you’ll want to begin by completing your FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) to be eligible for grants, work study, student loans and other financial aid programs.

Did you know that ACC helps any college-bound student with the FAFSA? We host FAFSA labs for students and their parents all the time…for free! Students who complete their FAFSA by November 9, 2018, may even be eligible for a College Application Month scholarship giveaway.

If you’re applying to a two-year or four-year school in Colorado, visit the College and University Checklist and Application Link webpage. Find your institution and click Application Info. This will direct you to each institution’s application page. If you’re applying to several schools, consider filling out the Common Application, which is accepted at colleges and universities all over the country.

Navigating career options can seem overwhelming, but with the help of the College in Colorado Career Cluster Survey, you can begin aligning your interests with our guided pathways, and you’ll be well on your way to developing your plan for success.

Think you’ve identified a possible career path? Now’s the time to figure out what kind of education or training you’ll need. Keep in mind that the ACC Castle Rock Collaboration Campus is scheduled to open next fall, providing a seamless pathway from high school diploma to associate degree to bachelor’s degree, all under one roof!

Looking for a great way to familiarize yourself with all of the student resources at ACC? Mark your calendars for Friday, Oct. 19, and join us for Discover ACC! from 9:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at the Littleton Campus. Our ACC Admissions team and student ambassadors will be on hand to talk about transitioning to college, financial aid, degree pathways and much more.

ACC will also visit dozens of local high schools throughout October, and for the fifth consecutive year, we’ll have representatives at Denver Public Schools’ College Application Day. As many as 1,200 DPS students will be in attendance, many of whom hope to become the first in their immediate & extended families to attend college.

Additionally, Tuesday, Oct. 30, is Colorado Free Application Day. The ACC Career & Transfer Center is hosting a pizza party at the Littleton Campus that day, and several in-state universities will be on hand to meet with students about degrees and transfer options.

Questions? Connect with ACC today at 303.797.5637 or admissions@arapahoe.edu. Our friendly, helpful staff will be glad to assist you.

by Jeff Duggan, ACC Communications Coordinator

College Transfer Tools

ACC Fall Transfer Fair 2017Over the last four years, I’ve had the privilege of working with countless ACC students interested in completing their associate degree and transferring to a university to obtain their bachelor’s degree. Our office, the Career & Transfer Center, is happy to sit down with students to plan out their ACC academic journey in order to ensure that they’re taking the right steps for maximum success. Along the way, I’ve introduced students to several cool transfer tools.

  1. Colorado Department of Higher Education’s Transfer Degrees. Our state has worked tirelessly to create agreements which allow you to graduate from a community college with a 60-credit Associate of Arts (AA) or Associate of Science (AS) degree, enroll with junior status at a university and complete the bachelor’s degree in no more than an additional 60 credits (for a total of 120 credits). Check them out!
  2. Transferology – Want to learn how your credits will transfer exactly to many of our state institutions? Check out this cool website which performs an unofficial degree audit for you – before you apply!
  3. Transfer Fairs! The best way to maximize your transfer is to connect with your university representatives early and often. Meet with over 40 of them at the fall transfer fair, Wednesday, September 26 from 10:30am – 1:30pm in the Summit Room at Littleton Campus.

Want to learn more about transfer? Come by our office on the 2nd floor of the main building on the ACC’s Littleton Campus, M2010. Or call us at 303-797-5805.

by Shari Culver, Director, ACC Career & Transfer Center

9 Reasons You Should Get Involved On Campus

ACC students and Student Life Director Dan Balski at the Student Engagement FairGoing to college is about so much more than just going to class (but please make sure you are doing that). It is also about gaining experience and perspective to help you in your future. Getting involved on campus can help you succeed in numerous ways…here are 9:

  1. Build Your Community / Find Your People
    Joining a club or organization, going to an on-campus event, or working on campus can help you find your people (those people that get you and you get them) and build your community. You’ll meet people who share your interests and passions. Having that community helps you stay engaged with your education and with your college. You’ll gain the sense that you belong right where you are and have the support to help you Move Mountains toward your degree/certificate.
  2. Networking
    Getting involved on campus gives you a chance to network with not only your peers, but faculty, staff, transfer college reps, and potential employers. At ACC, we offer career fairs/visits, transfer fairs/visits, clubs, organizations like NSLS and PTK, and a variety of activities where you can practice your networking skills.
  3. Get Different Perspectives
    When you get involved, you will get to meet people with different perspectives and life experiences. As you share your perspectives and experiences and learn about other viewpoints, your perspective will expand. Having an open mind and seeing another person’s point of view will help in future jobs and socially.
  4. It Helps You Reach Your Goals / Succeed
    Studies show that students who get involved on-campus tend to perform better in the classroom. This may be because these students find study groups, take classes with their new community of peers, and overall just feel more supported and ready to tackle each challenge they face. (Read more about the research by Alexander Astin and Vincent Tinto.)
  5. Snacks!Students at Student Life BBQ
    Attending an on-campus activity is a great way to feed your mind and your body. We know our students have more commitments than just college, so we provide you with snacks, coffee, pizza, soup, salad, and candy (for that burst of sugar) to keep you going from one activity to the next. Enjoy an activity and a snack between classes.
  6. It’s Good for Your Mental Health / Well-Being
    Taking time to enjoy an activity or join a club for a hobby you enjoy can do wonders for your mental health. It gives you a chance to focus on something you enjoy and de-stress. It helps you relax, but can also help you prepare for tasks and homework that lie ahead.
  7. It’s a Resume Booster
    Being involved on campus looks great on your resume. When you join a club, organization, or academic experience (Pinnacle, Progenitor, Great Books, Writers Studio) you are showing that you are well-rounded to potential employers. You are also learning skills that you may not be in class, such as: social, leadership, and organizational skills. Clubs and organizations are a great way to practice those “soft skills” employers are seeking. You may also be eligible for a work study job on campus as a component of your financial aid package. Work on campus and build your job skills.
  8. Develop Leadership Skills
    Speaking of building your skills, colleges have organizations to help provide you with leadership skills. At ACC, we offer: Student Government, Phi Theta Kappa (PTK), and National Society of Leadership Success (NSLS). These organizations provide you with the opportunity to take part in competitions, activities, and events that will give you the chance to grow as a leader.
  9. It’s fun!
    Getting involved on campus is fun! These activities, clubs, and organizations are designed to help you relax, build skills, and interact with your peers and the college community. So take a break from your studies (but please still make time to study) and join the shenanigans!

You might be asking yourself how you can get involved at ACC now? It’s easy.

There are a ton of ways to get involved whatever your interests may be. We want ACC to be your home away from home while you are getting your degree or certificate. Our faculty and staff are here to help you along your educational journey and beyond. After all, college is a time for studying (we didn’t forget), discovery, and planning for and beginning your future. Let’s Move Mountains together!

For more information about how you can get involved on campus, contact the ACC Student Life Office at 303.797.5668, student.life@arapahoe.edu, or visit M2820 on the Littleton Campus.

Student Services at ACC that won’t cost you a thing!

ACC students in writing centerArapahoe Community College is the perfect place to begin – or continue – your journey towards Moving Mountains with your academic and career goals.

ACC offers an affordable education (lowest tuition among state-funded schools) with instructors who are experts in their field. Classes are available online and at our campuses in Littleton, Parker and Castle Rock. We’re close to home, and our small class sizes allow students to receive individual attention.

Our Career & Transfer Center provides guidance for students looking to continue their education beyond ACC. In fact, we offer guaranteed transfer programs to all four-year Colorado public institutions. Transfer fairs and employment expos, as well as job/career exploration events, are held during the fall and spring semesters. Peer tutoring services, as well as math and writing support centers, are offered at no cost to students. Academic Advising provides one-on-one assistance with course selection and the registration process as students develop their personalized plan for one of seven degree pathways.

Students can get involved with clubs and organizations as they acclimate to college life. Our honor societies and student government foster leadership skills and provide opportunities for scholarly growth. The Student Success Center facilitates a variety of tools and enrichment workshops to hone time-management and study skills.

ACC is committed to supporting veterans and military-connected students, and has been named as a Military-Friendly School. Student Access Services can assist with permanent or temporary accommodations, and on-campus counseling services are available through the Student Engagement Center. ACC also introduced the Elevate program in 2016, providing students with intellectual and developmental disabilities the opportunity to pursue higher education.

The Library & Learning Commons offers the optimal environment for individual research or group study sessions. Our Fitness Center is open Monday – Saturday, providing a welcoming facility complete with treadmills, spin bikes, free weights, locker rooms and contemporary recreational amenities. ACC also has a fully-accredited childcare center on site, providing students, employees and members of the community with a clean, healthy and nurturing environment for little ones throughout the fall, spring and summer semesters.

ACC is partnering with Colorado State University and the Douglas County School District on the new Castle Rock Collaboration Campus. Students can now complete their associate degree or certification in its entirety at the recently-renovated Parker Campus. Brand new, state-of-the-art science labs at the Littleton Campus will deliver the best in experiential and collaborative learning.

Our faculty and staff are dedicated to providing innovative and responsive educational and economic opportunities in an accessible, inclusive environment that promotes success for students, employees and members of the south metro Denver communities.

Whether you’re a prospective, current or transfer student, you’ll find the education and resources you need to Move Mountains at ACC and beyond.

by Jeff Duggan, ACC Communications Coordinator

Student Bond Fee Fall 2017 Additional Information and FAQs – Voting Update

VOTING UPDATE:

I am excited to share that ACC students voted to support the additional building bond fee in support of the ACC Castle Rock Collaboration Campus: 63.4% yes (527), 36.6% no (304). Student fee guidelines require just a simple majority percentage of those students voting in order to pass a fee. 63.4% is well above a simple majority. I also am proud that a record number of students elected to vote – 831. At almost 10% of eligible students, this is the largest number of students to vote on a fee in at least a decade.

Let the excitement begin!
Diana M. Doyle, Ph.D.
ACC President


We are nearing a student vote concerning the proposal of an incremental student bond fee to finance the construction and operation of a new Castle Rock collaboration campus to serve Arapahoe Community College (ACC) student needs, as well as to pay for continuing maintenance and renovations of existing ACC facilities and resources.

The Castle Rock collaboration campus partially funded by this fee will include ACC instructional space, space leased by Colorado State University (CSU) with the purpose of offering courses towards bachelor’s degrees, a partnership with Douglas County Schools, and collaborative space for companies and industry to partner with ACC and CSU to offer students integrated work-specific labs and learning. The campus will allow additional educational opportunities for all ACC students through additional classroom space, labs, collaboration and ability to receive CSU instruction without traveling to Fort Collins or Pueblo. Read more about the Castle Rock Collaboration Campus and student bond fee proposal.

From our partners:

“This partnership demonstrates Colorado State’s commitment to providing added value across the state with our engagement, research, and instructional programs,” says Provost Rick Miranda. “We have been very impressed with the enthusiasm of all of the local partners there and their willingness to invite us to participate in this exciting project. We can accomplish a lot for our students and for our community together.”

EDC Chairman Matt Call contributes, “Attracting Higher Education has been a vital part of our business infrastructure plan in Castle Rock.  The Collaboration Campus is a huge win for our entire community.  Quite honestly, I’m excited as a citizen with school age kids and the opportunity to significantly bring down the cost of higher education for my kids and my neighbors.”

From our students:

“As a student with little transport or financial options, having a collaboration campus within a certain distance would allow me to pursue my degree from CSU. I currently help my grandmother with her living situation while also going to school and working a job a local bookstore nearby the school. Trying to complete my Bachelor’s Degree at the Fort Collins CSU campus would be problematic as I would be uprooting myself and replanting myself far away from support systems and responsibilities. Online options are also not conducive to my learning ability, as I need face-to-face instruction. A collaboration campus in Castle Rock would allow a student such as myself to be able to attend my school of choice without having to take away from my personal and professional responsibilities.” – Scott Bright

“As a non-traditional student and veteran I support the collaboration campus. I love the concept of having a community college and university come together to help students have education much more accessible to them.” – Daniel W. Madero

Read more from ACC students.

FAQs

When is the voting period and how do we vote?

Voting is October 17 – 19. All enrolled students who take courses at Parker, Littleton or Castle Rock and students who take courses online will be eligible to vote in the bond referendum. Students will receive an email from “donotreply@arapahoe.edu” Tuesday, October 17 with a link to a survey to complete the voting process. Each student will be required to enter their ACC Student ID number in order to vote. The Student ID number will be used to verify the student has only voted once, not to track responses. If a student votes more than one time, only their first vote will count. The link will be active until Thursday, October 19 at 11 p.m. Mountain Standard Time.

What is a passing vote?

A simple majority will count as a passing vote. For example 51% For the Fee vs 49% Against the Fee would be a passing vote.

What will this campus do for the community?

It will offer more classes and services in the Castle Rock area and provide ACC students with an opportunity to complete a CSU Bachelor’s degree without having to drive to Fort Collins or Pueblo. The collaboration campus will have dynamic collaboration space with industry to offer students hands-on workforce training opportunities not currently possible.

Where will the campus be located?

ACC has already purchased land between Castle Rock Adventist Hospital and Castle View High School. This location affords multiple collaboration opportunities for students from high school and concurrent enrollment, through partnerships with healthcare and other industries. Easy access for the community and students is available and there will be plenty of parking (unlike the current Castle Rock space!)

What will happen to the current Castle Rock location? 

The current location is leased. When the new campus is open, ACC will vacate the current space which has many limitations (only 5 classrooms, limited parking, no labs, etc.)

Will it be only students paying the cost for this new campus?
No. The City of Castle Rock is investing in the infrastructure of the campus as they value educational opportunities for their community and understand the value of an educated and trained workforce. Additionally, the current Castle Rock Campus location is leased by ACC, so ACC will be able to utilize that lease money directly on this new campus which will be owned by ACC. Other funds also will come from educational and business partners leasing space on the new campus. The student fee will allow ACC to fund a bond (think of it as getting a mortgage for a house) to be able to build the campus.
Can students utilize financial aid to pay for the fee?
Yes. Tuition and fees are financial aid eligible, so students eligible for financial aid will be able to utilize their awarded aid or scholarships to cover any fees and tuition.

What kind of classes will be offered in Castle Rock on the new campus?

The campus will have courses that are guaranteed to transfer and programs leading to industry certifications. English, Math, Science courses including lab courses, Health, Business, Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences. There will be classes that will transfer directly into CSU programs that will allow students the opportunity to achieve their four-year bachelor’s degree without ever having to leave the greater Castle Rock area.

How will this new campus increase the value of my degree?

The entire state of Colorado is watching how this Collaboration Campus develops. The CSU and ACC partnership, along with the early opportunities for Douglas County School District students is a model program. This puts ACC in the spotlight and highlights the quality of education you are already receiving as a current ACC student. This increases both the reputation and the value of your degree. CSU recognizes that ACC is preparing top-performing transfer students and is willing to partner to make sure you can continue your educational pathway with CSU to attain your goals.

Innovative workplace partnerships that will offer student’s hands on work experiences will also increase the value of your current degree. Industry and employers are looking for ways to enhance the talent pipeline to fulfill employment needs, and these same employers will be offering opportunities for ACC students to be the best prepared for any future opportunities.

How much will CSU charge for tuition?

That is undetermined right now, but CSU is working out their tuition structure for this campus. CSU is committed to providing affordable educational opportunities to the community. ACC and CSU are collaborating to make admissions, advising, financial aid and the transition from ACC to CSU a seamless process for students. However – you can count on savings in time and money by not having to drive to Pueblo or Fort Collins to be in a CSU classroom.

CSU has not set a tuition for degree completion at the Collaboration Campus, but is in the process of determining what the structure will look like. CSU is proud to have the lowest tuition of all Colorado doctorial research universities, and like ACC, CSU is committed to providing the greatest level of access and opportunity for students, residents and businesses in the community. By working together to provide a seamless transfer process, savings will come to students in the form of a clear pathway to graduation, no cost to relocate and local employment opportunities to provide financial sources for investing in your educational goals.

Furthermore, it is CSU’s vision to be a resource for lifelong learning. The goal is to engage with students beyond graduation whether that is through an alumni network, non-credit or certificate course offerings, access to webinars and lecture series for free or a football viewing party. We hope to connect and provide value beyond degree attainment.

The time to plan your transfer is NOW!

Fall Transfer Fair 2017 bannerSo you think you might transfer? I talk to students all the time who say they’re interested in transferring, but they don’t want to start planning. Not yet. Not now. They don’t have time to think about it now, or plan for it now, and decide on it now. But…what if you don’t have time not to plan now?! Students who plan their transfer from the beginning are more likely to experience a smooth, seamless transfer. Ask yourself the questions below to get yourself off to a great start here at ACC and beyond.

Questions to Ask Yourself

  • What is your career path? Decide whether you’d like to pursue a Liberal Arts & Sciences degree (such as English, Biology, or Psychology) versus an engineering, nursing, business, music or computer science degree. The earlier you decide your path, the more time and money you can save!
  • What is your timeline? Determine when you will complete your Associate’s degree and when you plan to transfer to a 4-year institution.
  • How will your credits transfer? Meet with your 2-year advisor and an Admissions Counselor at the school of your choice to understand how your credits will transfer from the 2-year program to your school of choice.

Learn about the transfer process  – NOW!

Want to know more about how your credits will transfer? Want to learn about the admissions process and financial aid process at the 4-year university? Get answers to these questions at the upcoming FALL TRANSFER FAIR! Wednesday, October 4th from 10:30am – 1:30pm in the Summit Room of the Littleton campus.

by Shari Culver, ACC Career and Transfer Counselor

Why you should meet with an Academic Advisor (and tips for a great first advising appointment)

ACC Academic Advisor with studentHave you meet with your academic advisor yet? Wondering why you should?

Academic advising is a way for you to get the guidance you need to set realistic academic goals and objectives. Your advisor will help you find the best path to meet your goals and keep you on track along the way. They’ll help you decide which classes to take and when to take them to make sure you are successful and that you are on the most efficient path to save you time and money. They can also help you explore opportunities within your major: internships, apprenticeships, and more.

Not sure what your goals are? Your advisor can help with this as well by helping you choose a pathway and determining the program that will best fit your interests and skills.

Or, if you need more help figuring our what career you might want to pursue, we also offer free Career and Transfer counseling right in the same office as Academic Advising. They can help you discover your ideal career based on your passions and interests. This will help you when working with your advisor to select the right program to get to your goals, whether that includes transferring to continue your education or beginning your career right after you graduate from ACC.

Ready to make an appointment with your academic advisor? At ACC we offer a few different options to meet your needs and schedule:

  • One-on-one appointments – for a more in-depth conversation, look into your goals and what you need to complete them, review DegreeCheck and major requirements and build a plan, complete and submit academic and financial aid appeals, connect to academic resources, major exploration, course registration, and transfer planning
  • Group registration sessions – for those just needing course scheduling assistance/guidance and to review DegreeCheck and major requirements
  • Phone or email appointments – for students who can’t make it to campus during advising hours, look into your goals and what you need to complete them, review DegreeCheck and major requirements and build a plan, complete and submit academic and financial aid appeals, connect to academic resources, major exploration, and transfer planning
  • Walk-in appointments – shorter appointments for help with registering for classes,  changing your major, or to address an immediate concern and schedule a follow-up appointment

How to get the most out of your advising session

  1. Think ahead – Think about what questions you have before you meet with your academic advisor and bring them with you along with relevant documents (transcripts, test scores, financial aid information)
  2. Problem solve – Discuss your educational successes and challenges and how to solve them
  3. Record – Write down what you discussed and the next steps to complete
  4. Participate – Ask a lot of questions!
  5. Plan – Leave your meeting with an action plan

We know you’ll learn a lot while meeting with your advisor. Don’t be afraid to follow-up with them afterwards to make sure you are on the right path and working toward your goals. Our advisors are here to help you Move Mountains and achieve your dreams. The earlier you meet with your advisor, the easier your path to success will become. Don’t wait. Schedule an appointment with your academic advisor today!

Why You Should Attend ACC’s Transfer Fair

ACC Spring Transfer Fair 2016So, you decided to start your college career at ACC to save a little and get a great education while doing so. You want to transfer to a 4-year university, but you’re not really sure where to start! ACC is hosting the Spring Transfer Fair on Wednesday, February 22nd from 10:30am – 1:30pm in the Summit Room on the Littleton Campus. Here’s why you should attend!

  • Get Connected with the 4-Year Representative – The earlier you connect with the 4-year university, the more effective you will be in your ACC education. Make sure that the courses you’re taking now will fit into the Bachelor’s degree you’re considering.
  • Ask Questions! Use the opportunity to find out more about programs offered, scholarships available, study abroad opportunities, internship possibilities and more.
  • Meet with over 40 different universities – Have you wondered about the difference between attending MSU or CU Denver? Have you looked into living in Boulder or Fort Collins? This is your chance to compare a variety of institutions and programs and opportunities at the same place and time!
  • Earn prizes and eat pizza – Come hungry and ready to win. Universities are giving away their cool swag and Student Life has generously donated pizza for participating students.

Did you know? The top eight schools ACC students transfer to:

  • Metropolitan State University of Denver
  • University of Colorado – Denver
  • Colorado State University
  • University of Colorado – Boulder
  • Regis University
  • University of Colorado – Colorado Springs
  • University of Northern Colorado
  • Colorado Christian University

Find out why ACC students succeed at these schools! All these universities will be at the transfer fair, and more! In addition to Colorado universities, there will be some from Nebraska, Wyoming, New Mexico, Texas, and Arizona.

Upon enrolling, almost half ACC students identify that they intend to transfer as part of their goals. The best way to make that happen is by planning in advance for a seamless transfer. Let the Career and Transfer Center assist you. You can always check out what is new in Transfer Services online, including the visitation schedule of our four-year partners who would love to enroll ACC students!

Please contact the Career and Transfer Center at 303-797-5805, careers@arapahoe.edu, M2010, Littleton campus.

by Wendy Winter-Searcy, Career & Transfer Center Director and Shari Culver, Career and Transfer Counselor

Tips and tricks for finding a job – for new graduates (or any job seeker!)

ACC 2016 Career Fair

ACC 2016 Career Fair

While today’s economy continues to show positive signs of growth, recent graduates and job seekers are learning that landing the ideal job can still be a time-consuming, lengthy process. As suggested in her “5 Big Reasons New Grads are Failing the Job Search,” Lea McLeod encourages job seekers to adjust their short term-mindsets and set realistic expectations with the understanding that a job search can take 22 weeks on average. Though the process may be a daunting one, here are some tips to keep in mind to maintain your motivation and encourage you from start to finish!

  • Be persistent! Create a job search strategic plan and work it every day. Think of your job search as a job. Remember all those hours you spent studying for exams and preparing presentations? Put equal energy into the time you spend job searching.
  • Set realistic expectations. As mentioned above, an average job search in the US can last over 4 months. Conduct market research and determine what’s happening in your industry. How long are job searches taking for different disciplines? With this in mind, set daily, weekly, and monthly goals for yourself in the process.
  • Develop a marketing mindset and identify your personal brand. Understanding who you are and who your potential customers (employers) are will help you be more efficient and effective in your job search. Get into self-assessment land and learn as much about yourself, your strengths, your desired workplace qualities and how you’ll add value. Based on your findings, develop clear messages about who you are and the value proposition you represent.
  • Get into the employer’s head. Use LinkedIn to research what employers want. Identify what jobs are posted, what problems are they trying to solve, what outcomes candidates are expected to achieve.
  • Work your network. Contact alumni in your field. Reach out to all your connections via LinkedIn or other Social Media outlets to remind them of your continued job search. Meet new industry connections by joining a professional groups in your area.

As McLeod offers in her article mentioned above, you want to stop asking “How can I find a job that pays a lot and that I love?” and start asking yourself “Who has problems that I love solving and how do I find them?” If you’re still coming up short-handed or feeling like you’re hitting the proverbial wall, use ACC’s Career & Transfer Center. Call 303-797-5705 to make an appointment with one of ACC’s career counselors to get additional advice and help with your resume, networking, and overall job search.

by Shari Culver, ACC Career and Transfer Counselor

Hottest Jobs in the U.S.

Female hospital administrative in a modern medical centerJob hunting is a balance of art and science. Many parts of the job hunt are subjective, such as resume formatting and how to answer tricky questions during an interview. Dick Bolles, author of the best-selling job-hunting book in the world What Color is Your Parachute?, teaches readers how to give yourself the greatest advantage in your job hunt. Bolles says that job hunters typically fall into three categories:

  • Those who follow luck
  • Hunters who rely on intuition
  • And those with a step-by-step process

Job seekers who use the step-by-step process are the most successful. If you’re thinking of finding a new job, now is the time to start, and using research as one of your first steps will help you land one of this year’s hot jobs.

Earlier this year, Glassdoor, the fastest growing jobs and recruiting site, released the 25 Best Jobs in America, which rank jobs according to three factors:

  • Earning potential (median annual base salary)
  • Career opportunities rating
  • A number of job openings

Here are the top three hottest jobs from that list.

The #1 hottest job for 2016: Data Scientist

A data scientist is defined as someone who does data analysis to present findings to executives. This is an evolution (or, as in some cases, a renaming) of the data analyst position. It also happens to be the “sexiest job” of the 21st century according to an article in the Harvard Business Review. To be a data scientist, you need to combine knowledge of computer science, modeling, statistics, and analysis to retrieve findings from data.

There are currently more than 1,700 openings for data scientists listed on Glassdoor and the median salary is $116,840. The career opportunities rating is 4.1 and the job score is 4.7. Take a look at ACC’s Data Analytics, Health Data Analytics, Computer Science or Mathematics programs to gauge your interest in these related fields.

Business people with charts and graphsThe #2 hottest job for 2016: Tax Manager

A tax manager oversees all tax plans for people and organizations. They ensure all tax matters adhere to governmental guidelines and provide advice on tax-related issues. A tax manager must have knowledge of local, international, and global tax laws, depending on the client’s needs, and must complete tax returns. A degree in accounting or taxation is usually required.

There are more than 1,500 job openings on Glassdoor for this position, with a median base salary of $108,000. The career opportunities rating is 3.9 and the job score is 4.7. At ACC, our Accounting program will equip you with the knowledge to being your journey to becoming a tax manager.

The #3 hottest job for 2016: Solutions Architect

A solutions architect is someone who designs applications or services in an organization that solves problems for clients. This person must be savvy technically and business-wise with great communication skills. Previously, this role may have been a systems analyst or IT consultant. This person selects the right technology to solve a problem and usually has a team who will implement the solution. The International Association of Solution Architect (IASA) has laid out a development path for those interested in this career.

On Glassdoor, there are more than 2,900 openings for solutions architects. The median base salary is $119,500 and it has a career opportunities rating of 3.5 and a job score of 4.6. If you’re interested in this career, ACC’s Computer Technology and Business programs are great places to start.

Landing a Top Job

The top rankings in the list are mostly for tech jobs, which has been a consistent trend for years. If technology isn’t your forte, jobs like human resources manager (#6) and marketing manager (#14) also made the list. There are number of great career paths you can follow with the right focus and education.

The best way to approach your job hunt is to prepare yourself while actively seeking opportunities. By attending classes at Arapahoe Community College, you’ll be able to enhance your skills in an area related to the field you’d like to work in. Never deny yourself a chance to land your dream job because of a lack of education or knowledge in a field; rather, invest in your education so you have the best chances for a great future.