LA JOLLA, Calif., Feb. 12, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- University of California (UC) San Diego Extension will award four Bridge to Employment Scholarships for recent college graduates of up to $5,500 in 2013 for adults to pursue continuing education. Applicants do not need to live in the San Diego area because more than two dozen certificate programs are offered online. Anyone who has received a bachelor's degree or a graduate degree from any accredited college or university within the last five years is eligible to apply by completing an online "Bridge to Employment" scholarship form from the extension.ucsd.edu/scholarships website before the next deadline date of April 15, 2013. "In today's economy, university continuing education programs across the country are needed to help even the college educated bridge to new areas of employment," says Henry DeVries, assistant dean for external affairs and chair of the scholarship committee at UC San Diego. According to a Department of Labor report from January of 2013, there are more than 3 million jobs that American businesses cannot fill because of a lack of skilled applicants. "Sadly, the U.S. education system hasn't been producing enough people with the highly specialized skills that many companies need to be competitive, particularly in the STEM areas of science, technology, engineering and math," added DeVries. Certificate programs offer a practical, concentrated study in a specific professional area and most can be started any academic quarter. Most certificates at UC San Diego Extension can be completed in one to two years at a cost around $1,875 to $3,200. For the convenience of working adults, classes for most of UC San Diego Extension's certificate programs and specialized study programs are held evenings and weekends on the UC San Diego main campus and two other locations in University City and Mission Valley or online.