ROCKFORD (WIFR) -- As the economy slowly improves more students are now enrolling at both Rockford Colleges and in a change from the past.
Getting a competitive edge that what thousand of people like Carlos Crout are heading back to class to get a bachelors degree.
"To get advanced or move up in companies you need a degree," Carlos Crout, Student, said.
Juggling a full time job and a four hour night class isn't easy, but a move Crout feels is critical to his career.
"Being in the manufacturing community I thought I could better educate myself and try the business side of manufacturing," Crout said.
Over the past two years, enrollment at Rockford College and Rock Valley College have grown more than 2% and this year this growth is expected to continue, as more people seek new skills.
"The growth is going to come in from those transfer students who finished their associates degrees and are now coming for bachelor degrees."people coming back to get their business degrees, we have a lot more doing that," Rebecca Miziniak, Rockford College, said.
With over 80 % of the fastest growing occupations in our area requiring at least a college diploma, Rockford's economic recovery will be measured by degrees.