“So, what are you going to do when you graduate?” If you are a junior or senior in high school, you’ve probably been asked that a few (hundred) times by friends and family. News flash: Attending a 4-year college is not the only choice you have when you’re deciding on your career path. If “Assistant to the Regional Manager” is not exactly your idea of career goals, we have a better solution. Here are four reasons you should consider learning a skilled trade:
1. Break the cycle of debt
Millennials have accumulated over $1 trillion in debt, according to the New York Federal Reserve
. This amount is more than any generation in history and is an increase of over 22% in just five years and is mainly due to the decades-long push for students to pursue traditional 4-year college degrees. For certain professions, college degrees are required — even for entry-level positions. However, a college degree isn’t necessary to make a good living. A skilled trade career offers the same benefits as a white-collar profession with a fraction of the schooling and little or no student debt.
2. Start your career in months, not years
Four years of college does not guarantee a career with your diploma. In fact, 65 percent
of college graduates don’t even start a career until well into their twenties. Trade schools provide training programs that can be completed in months – not years. That means you can secure a job with an average salary
of $50,000 or more per year before your friends finish their junior year of college.
3. Job security
Remember the Dot Com Bubble
? No, of course you don’t – you were a baby. The important lesson we learned from this time is that if it seems too good to be true, it probably is. There are plenty of jobs that seem fun – Social Media Influencer, YouTube Star, Podcast Host. Here’s the truth: these jobs are not careers and will probably not pay your bills. However, skilled trades jobs cannot be automated, outsourced, or completed by a smart device.
4. Job Openings
It takes college graduates an average of about six months - depending on their field and the current economic conditions - to find a job. If you have tens or hundreds(?!) of thousands of dollars in debt and no job experience in the field you graduated in, you may start to realize why college graduates have to move back into mommy and daddy’s house. Skilled trades jobs are always in demand, always hiring, and there are always clear-cut paths for advancement.
When you start to consider the path you want to take after high school, your decision should come down to the benefits. The skilled trades have just as many (if not more) benefits than traditional office work. There are jobs available, pay is good, job security is excellent, and the satisfaction may be greater than being in the information industry. Get started
on your career today!