There is no doubt that there is a shortage of talent affecting many industries, especially the trade and manufacturing industries. Not only is the unemployment rate taking a toll on these industries, we live in a society that places high value on college degrees, professional career paths and white-collar jobs, and still considers high school diplomas and blue-collar work to be signs of lower status. This perspective is limiting students, our future leaders and our society as a whole. Not everyone is interested in or good at traditional school subjects like math, biology, and history. Some students and individuals are mechanical or artistic. Some people focus best in a lecture hall while others learn best by doing through a workshop or apprenticeship. There are varied types of intelligence and they are equal value and should be treated as such.
The manufacturing sector is growing and modernizing, which is creating challenging, well-paying, and highly skilled jobs. Many of those jobs are included in the 30 million jobs within the United States that pay an average of $55,000 per year and do not require a bachelor’s degree. For many people vocational education could be a more flexible, inexpensive and faster way to a lasting and successful career path.
Are you considering a vocational school? Here are a few reasons why vocational education may be the best option for you:
- You Have a Career in Mind
- You may already have a job in mind, you just need the training for it. Vocational schools offer an array of different programs for you to earn a diploma or certificate that can get you started in your career without dealing with complicated admission processes like traditional colleges.
- Specialized Programs for Careers are in High Demand
- Most vocational programs have close relationships with top professionals and employers. This means that most trade schools model their curriculum based on the skill needs of the current job market. Also, many of these programs are linked with apprenticeships or workshops.
- With multiple campuses, different program start times and online classroom options, many vocational schools give you the option of learning when you want, where you want.
- Hands-on Training
- Apply what you learn to real world working situations. Many vocational schools mix classroom learning with hands-on experience through supervised practicums and externships at off-campus facilities or with employers.
- Vocational education designs a straightforward curriculum to prepare you for entry-level employment in the career of your choice as quickly as possible. Some programs take as little as six months while others only take one to two years for an associate degree, which is significantly faster than traditional four-year universities.
It will take a while for society to push past the stigma of trade schools, but there are states now implementing programs to promote vocational education. These states realize the value of trade schools as they bring more skilled candidates to the workforce. Vocational education on both a secondary and post-secondary level should be highly valued, well-funded, and effectively implemented in order to develop and offer top talent to the growing trade and industrial fields.