Seven In-Demand Industries to Consider for a Career Switch

FastForward programs across Virginia’s 23 community colleges offer funding to help students complete short-term workforce training in high-demand industries. The qualifying industries range widely but all have one thing in common: the programs are based on the needs of local employers, which means students are in demand for skilled jobs when they graduate.

FastForward training is one of the most affordable training solutions where you live, and it is offered at all of Virginia’s community colleges. That said, each college’s offerings are specific to your community. Active trainings align with the most current hiring needs within your community, and your out-of-pocket cost could be as little as $0.

If you are looking to switch careers, here are the seven FastForward industries that may offer courses at your local community college.

Logistics & Transportation

Assemble engines and earn high-demand certifications in commercial driving (CDL), engine repair, hydraulics, and drone pilot airman.


Deliver expert patient care and medical treatment with certifications and licenses in nursing, pharmacy, emergency medical treatment and more.

Welding & Manufacturing

Get skilled and certificated (certified, although maybe I’m just discovering a new word?) with the right training, from electronics and mechanical manufacturing technologies, computer-controlled machine and job planning.

Skilled Trades

Learn the newest technologies for fields like HVAC, facilities maintenance, construction, carpentry and power line maintenance.

Information Technology

Our in-person and online IT courses dive into the world of cyber security and technology with certifications in systems security, ethical hacking and network and server administration.

Business & Customer Service

Discover what it takes to lead projects and teams with certifications in project management, customer service and sales, human resources and insurance sales.


Experience what it feels like to make a difference in the classroom by earning a license in education through EducateVA.

To explore the credential trainings nearest you, use FastForward’s credential search tool or reach out to a local career coach.