Adults are a growing majority in U.S. higher education, meaning that you – an adult learner – are becoming the new traditional learner in a growing movement. At Virginia Western, we understand your need to balance important responsibilities with education and career goals. We aren’t just an excellent choice for recent high school graduates, we also welcome more experienced adults as well; whether you are returning to college after a long break, or thinking about college for the first-time, it’s all good.

Did you know?

You could get credit for previous academic or work experience!

Click here to find out more about Credit for Prior Learning.

“More than 62% of our student body is older than 20 years. No matter what your age, you will find peers at Virginia Western who are on the same journey for self-improvement.”

Dr. Robert H. Sandel
President, VWCC

Are you a Veteran?

Current and prior-service military personnel have access to additional benefits.

Click here to see what the VWCC Military Student Center has to offer.

High School Grad? – Good jobs that pay with less than a 4-year degree in Virginia

Top 5 Industries:

Manufacturing – Public Administration – Construction – Health Services – Information, Financial Activities, and Real Estate

Top 5 Occupations:

Management – Office and Administrative Support – Construction and Extraction Sales – Installation, Maintenance, and Repair

The Highest Demand - Fastest Growth Fields in the Roanoke Area are...

Advanced Manufacturing

Starting salaries in the field, with little to no experience, are in the $12-13 per hour range. However, experienced machinists can make $50,000 - 78,000 per year.

Click here to see Virginia Western’s Advanced Manufacturing Courses.

Business Productivity

Business skills are in demand across almost all industries in the greater Roanoke Region, not just in traditional fields like finance, but also in fields like hospitality/tourism, construction, health care, and manufacturing.

Click here to see Virginia Western’s Business Productivity Courses.


Healthcare is one of the fastest growing job sectors in the Roanoke region. From 2014 to 2024, our region expects to see an 18% growth in healthcare jobs.

Click here to see Virginia Western’s Healthcare Courses.

Information Technology

IT opportunities in this region are projected to increase 11% by 2024. Companies such as AEP, Carilion, LewisGale, GE Digital, and many others in our region need employees with IT skills.

Click here to see Virginia Western’s Information Technology Courses.

If you'd like to speak with a Career Navigator about these or any of our programs, call 540-857-7325.

Food Service Industry? Level-Up Your Culinary Skills!

ShaWanda in the Culinary/Baking ProgramThe Roanoke Region’s food scene has blossomed over the past decade. A number of chef-focused, quality-driven restaurants, authentic ethnic restaurants, caterers, pastry shops and bakeries are making their mark on the community.

The Al Pollard Culinary Arts Program at Virginia Western Community College is proud to serve all people seeking culinary skill and knowledge for the betterment of themselves and the community.

Culinary Arts

These programs prepare students to enter the workforce at differing levels such as: baker, line cook, pantry cook, pastry cook, and sous shef.

Click here to see Virginia Western’s Culinary Arts Courses.