Gone are the times when people thought college was the only true path to success. I lived in that era when my parents worried if I told them that I would choose trade school over college. Traditional-college enrolment rates in the US have risen in this decade. So have the vocational schools with double the percentage growth compared to college enrolment rate. However, with the year 2020, the speculations are that the entire outlook of the higher education industry will change and people will opt for trade school over college.
The COVID-19 and the lockdown situation have triggered a panic button, and Students are more worried about the change such a situation can bring about. With universities shutting down or going towards an online learning mode, parents and students think about whether it’s worth spending so much in a college with no specialized training and hands-on experience.
Well, the situation was almost the same before the pandemic as well – most jobs require specialized training in technology that college’s programs are usually too broad to address, which forced students to take vocational-education programs even after completing a degree. The cost is another crucial factor for the middle class as an average bachelor’s degree in the US costs $127,000! And this doesn’t include the college lifestyle cost staying, food, day today.
At the same time, a trade skill can be acquired in less than six months with a fraction of that cost. Very minimal difference in the median salary of a vocational school vs college – According National Center for Educational Statistics, trade school jobs has a median annual salary of $35,720. In contrast, the salary for a 4-year bachelor’s degree holder is roughly $46,000, and this doesn’t factor in long-term earnings growth.
And with 2020, the poor economic condition makes the decision of choosing a little easier. The Job prospects for new graduates are not as bright as they had expected. With the unemployment rate jumping to 11.1%, although dropping down (BLS), the graduates will have limited job opportunities, and industries would like to hire readier students for the job. So answer the question of why trade schools are better than college?
Programs such as welding aim to focus on hands-on experience. Companies/industries like to hire from a trade school that focuses on training the students on theoretical but practical hands-on.
The manufacturing, infrastructure, and expectations in healthcare fields are to grow in the future—and those jobs likely won’t require a generic degree. Today’s generation doesn’t care what anyone thinks, and gone are those when parents were questioned if all is good if the student chose a vocational school over a college. Instead, more and more students understand the situation and make calculated decisions they are choosing are trade schools better than college.
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