Four Reasons Why Teens Should Learn a Trade

By on February 12, 2019

From Grown and Flown:  In recent decades there has been a strong push in American education to prepare all high school students for college. Whether the intention has been to marginalize career and technical training or whether CTE classes have merely been collateral damage in the fight to raise academic standards and promote STEM courses, is unclear. What is clear is that fewer and fewer young people are pursuing careers as skilled tradespeople.

Considering 44 percent of employers report a talent shortage, it is fortunate that programs like the mikeroweWORKS Foundation and The Old House’s Generation Next are working to encourage young Americans to consider careers in skilled trades. Still, since the U.S. education system has spent decades pushing college, it will likely take additional encouragement to get teens and young adults to recognize the benefits of this alternative career path.

Here’s some encouragement parents can offer to a child who shows an interest in or aptitude for some form of skilled work.

1. Pursuing a trade degree doesn’t mean a mountain of debt.

The average cost of bachelor’s degree is $127,000, and 70 percent of students take out some form of student loan to help cover this cost. On average, borrowers graduate with $37,172 in debt. The average trade school degree, on the other hand, costs only $33,000 – less than what many four-year degree holders will still owe after graduation. Not only that, but students who earn a trade degree will enter the workforce at least two years sooner than those earning a bachelors, giving tradespeople a jumpstart on earning an income.

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About Dede Hance