Professional Development

Education Pays

The chart below shows that in 2010 persons age 25 and over in the U.S. with a bachelor's degree or higher earned between 66% and 157% more a week - on average - than persons with only a high school diploma. Furthermore, the unemployment rate for persons without a high school diploma was 45% higher than for those who had at least a high school diploma or GED.

Education Pays Chart

Note: Data are 2010 annual averages for persons age 25 and over. Earnings are for full-time wage and salary workers.

What is Professional Development?

Professional development refers to skills and knowledge attained for both personal development and career advancement. Professional development encompasses all types of facilitated learning opportunities, ranging from college degrees to formal coursework, conferences and informal learning opportunities situated in practice.

Area Colleges & Universities

Montgomery County residents can leverage numerous professional development programs offered by area colleges and universities to reach their career goals.

New River Community College

NRCC offers 6 transfer programs and 36 occupational/technical programs.  NRCC also offers professional development programs that assist individuals:  obtain their GED, obtain or retain employment, and transition into college. 

NRCC Academics - See complete listing of degrees, diplomas and cerfificates.

NRCC Class Schedules - View class schedules for academic and professional development programs. 

Adult Education - Adults receive free academic instruction and educational services to develop their knowledge and skills to pass the GED test, obtain or retain employment, and enter into college.

Middle College - helps high school dropouts ages 18-24 become a part of the workforce. Middle College students move through the GED certificate program to a NRCC certificate, diploma, or associate degree program.  

Career Pathways Program - Allows area high school students  to earn college credit through NRCC.

Radford University

Radford University offers 140 undergraduate and graduate program options from the following seven colleges:

To learn more about Raford University academic programs and professional development opportunities:

Undergraduate Course Catalog - Undergraduate Programs and Degrees

Graduate School - Graduate Programs and Degrees

Continuing and Professional Education - Programs to help Individuals  

Registrar - Listing of current course offerings by semester.


Virginia Tech

Virginia Tech offers over 60 undergraduate and over 110 graduate degree programs from the following Colleges

To learn more about Virginia Tech academic programs and professional development opportunities:

Undergraduate Admissions -  4-year undergraduate degrees

Graduate Admissions - Graduate and doctoral degrees

Continuing and Professional Education - Short courses, seminars, workshops, training programs, and conferences to support life long learing

Registrar - Listing of current course offerings by semester.

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Contact Us

The Montgomery County Department of Economic Development (MCDED) offers a number of free and confidential services and resources to help companies large and small. We welcome the opportunity to provide direct assistance to companies interested in starting, expanding or relocating a business in Montgomery County, Blacksburg and Christiansburg. Contact us today!