For decades, attendance at four-year universities has been touted as the primary means of achieving a successful career. While college attendance will continue to be a valuable pursuit for many high school graduates in 2016, numerous students are pursuing alternative paths. Trade school is an increasingly popular choice among those who want to gain the skills necessary to succeed in today’s competitive workforce. Here are a few of the many benefits of vocational training:
Not all students thrive in an academic setting. Vocational training allows students to engage in hands-on learning. As a result, students are more engaged and more likely to learn. The National Center for Education Statistics claims that total enrollment in degree-granting institutions is expected to rise between 14 and 19 percent by 2016 by comparison to 2006.
Due to the rapidly rising cost of tuition at traditional four-year universities, it is increasingly difficult for the average student to pay for school with part-time (or even full-time) work. For those with parents unwilling or unable to pay for school, the only alternatives are scholarships, grants and students loans. A report from CNN Money suggests that over forty million Americans currently have student loan debt.
The Institute for College Access and Success (TICAS) indicate that in 2014 nearly seventy percent of student graduates from four-year universities with a whopping $28,950 in debt. On the other hand, students attending vocational school takes less time and is less expensive. This has convinced many students to abandon the traditional four-year post-secondary route.
One of the chief benefits of attending a vocational program like HVAC training is the likelihood which graduates are able to find employment. Some students may even be able to secure positions in their field of choice prior to graduation if they take advantage of relevant student resources. In HVAC, the projected job growth between 2014 and 2024 is 14 percent, which is faster than average.
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Increased Earning Potential
Students who attend vocational school can have good earning potential. Salaries vary greatly based on the career, but those who pursue welding, HVAC, and electrician training are likely to secure steady, well-paying employment. Data from the United States of Bureau Labor Statistics suggests that the median pay for HVAC professionals was $44,630 per year in 2014, while electricians earned a median annual pay of $51,110. HVAC technicians, for example, also have plenty of career advancement opportunities that may further enhance their earning potential. Vocational school graduates who pursue these careers typically get to keep more of this income than their four-year counterparts, as their debt burden is generally not as high.
Advantages of Trade School
Traditional colleges are great for some high school graduates and their specific goals, but they do not meet the needs of all those who wish to pursue post-secondary schooling. Many students benefit from vocational training, which allows them to acquire the skills needed for future workplace success in an expedited manner. Vocational enrollment is quickly on the rise, and 2016’s new crop of students is expected to take advantage of an array of hands-on learning opportunities that will ultimately lead to personally rewarding and high-paying careers.