WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) -- Cape Fear Community College graduates chose to continue their education for many different reasons.
"I have two children," said Jasmine Hansley. "They have to look up to know their mother made it successfully, and if she can do it, they can do it."
Most can agree that in today's economy, a degree is vital.
"Where we live, it is very competitive," said Brenda Capestany. "You can’t even get a job at the hospital without an associates degree as a receptionist."
According the North Carolina Department of Commerce, unemployment rates went up in 81 counties statewide this June. That has more adults going back to school to stay competitive in the work field, and students studying for more practical careers.
"The medical field is growing, physical therapy is growing. It is a stable environment," said Capestany. "If I need to move I can get a job somewhere else."
Still, the latest numbers and competitive job market can’t hold some of these graduates down.
"In the beginning I may not have my dream job, but I will have a job that could maybe get my foot in the door to get to my dream job," said Michaela Billinger. "So, I feel like pursuing my education was very important because eventually, I will get to where I have a heart desire to go."
The state's unemployment rates for July of this year will be released in a couple weeks.