Understanding Your Continuing Ed Options
For the last several decades the four year college degree path has been preached to teenagers as the only path to a successful life. Even the parents of toddlers are being pressured to enroll their children in certain pre-schools in order to start them on the path to college readiness. With all of the societal pressure to take one specific path, a key factor has been left out. That key factor is the fact that all individuals are not emotionally or personally wired to continue their education in a formal setting for four more years after graduating high school. There are lots of options open to individuals that will lead to job security and financial stability.
Trade school has gotten such a bad rap over the years that blue collar work is literally in a crisis. So few teenagers are being encouraged to follow their dreams in the trades that there simply are not enough people trained to do this very important type of work. Instead, the individuals who should have pursued their passions in trade school are being pressured by parents, teachers and guidance counselors to press on toward the four year degree path. These individuals languish for freshman year in college and then drop out, get a minimum wage paying job and never reach their full potential. Why? Because trade school isn't cool? Because trade school isn't a status symbol for mom and dad? Living out of your parents' basement and waiting tables isn't a status symbol either. How much more fulfilling would it be if these parents encouraged their teens to pursue whatever their passion was? Even if that passion is construction. The truth is trade school is a viable career training option that can lead to a great salary and very little, if any, student debt.
Similar to trade schools, apprenticeship programs give individuals the hands on training they need the moment they start the program. In many cases apprenticeships can be paid gigs. This has a two fold benefit. First you are obtaining the training you need for future success and second you are building your confidence because you are already earning a paycheck. Apprenticeship programs are very occupationally specific, however. In order for this type of training to work for you you must know what you want to do.
Explore your options when it comes to career training and you may find that there is a different path for you than the traditional four year degree route.