From social media to manufacturing to drone technology, Palomar College is offering up a variety of innovative programs to get students ready for careers.

SAN MARCOS — In classrooms and workshops across campus, students at Palomar College are gaining a variety of work-ready skills and taking their first steps down career paths that lead directly to jobs in San Diego’s hottest industries.

Palomar has always been a hub of Career Education in North County, but thanks to a handful of new initiatives, students have a greater variety of programs to choose from, whether they plan on working in a corporate office or a machine shop.

“We are so excited to be keeping ahead of the game in terms of innovation with our Career Education programs at Palomar,” said Superintendent/President Dr. Joi Lin Blake. “Students are learning from faculty who are experts in their fields, and using state-of-the-art equipment. This translates to many students finding lucrative and meaningful jobs and contributing in a positive way to our region’s economy.”

For students, the benefits of Palomar’s Career Education programs are obvious: they impart skills and knowledge that are in high demand in the local job market.

But there is also a benefit to the region’s business community, said Margie Fritch, Dean of Career, Technical & Extended Education at Palomar.

Every Career Education program “addresses a regional employment need—whether it’s a huge company that needs specific types of workers, or whether it’s a new technology, like drones,” Fritch explained. “These programs are meant to be very dynamic in nature—they have to change with the employers’ needs, and they have to update so they’re addressing the newest technology.”

Career Education also serves students who are already in the labor force and need to update their skills: “Engineering, drafting and architecture are a perfect example—the software’s changing all the time,” Fritch said. “Many times, people who are already working in that industry come back to us to enhance their skills.”

As the faculty at Palomar College continues to develop new courses and certificates to meet the needs of students and local industry, a number of new programs have launched within the last year or are preparing to launch soon. They include:

Computer-Aided Design and Manufacturing (CAD/CAM)

Drone Technology

Social Media

Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning (HVAC)

Intelligent Transportation Systems