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University or Trade School? 5 Reasons to Consider Trade School
Are you dreaming about a career where you earn a good living wage, stay active, both physically and mentally, and start your adult life with zero or little school debt?
If the answer is yes, consider the following 5 reasons why you should enrolling in a trade school rather than college or university.
In a constantly changing and dynamic job market, high-school students face some tough questions about their future careers. Many feel the guidance and advice received from school and parents does not always resonate with what they like doing or who they are.
Traditionally, working in trades has been associated with low paid, hard, dirty factory work, and viewed as an inferior career choice compared to white collar, office jobs. However, following the 2008 recession the demand for skilled work increased exponentially, with good paying opportunities across many trades.
In contrast, university graduates have found it difficult to obtain employment since the 2008 recession.
Before the recession, the “expected” career path for high-school graduates was to go to college or university and get a good office job upon graduation. The post-recession reality painted a somber picture for university graduates.
In North America, unemployment or underemployment among those who graduate from college and university is higher than the general average, while the costs of attending a university are constantly rising. The average 4-year degree costs in excess of 100k when rent and other expenses are factored in, which leaves many students heavily in debt upon graduation.
Moreover, many university graduates usually have to settle for underpaid, often precarious jobs, that don’t match their qualifications, let alone their dreams at the end of high-school.
Below are 5 fact-based reasons that support selecting trade school as your next step after graduation, and make enrolling in a trade school a solid choice for a fulfilling professional life.
Learn a skill that cannot be outsourced
The globalization of economy and improvements in communication has led to many highly paid jobs being automated or outsourced to countries with cheaper labour.
That said, people will still need people to operate machinery, fix their roof, perform electrical work, and maintain airplanes. While no job is 100% secure, it’s safe to say that there will always be a need for local skilled, hands on work, so the chances of your job being outsourced are very slim. This means that the demand for skilled labor will continue to exist for the foreseeable future.
Additionally, with many baby boomers working in trades have retired, or approaching retirement, a career in trades looks like a very wise decision. Of course, the decision to pursue such a career does not only come down to job security and money . This has to be for you, something you really enjoy doing, as you will be spending most of your active year building a career, which requires determination and motivation.
Graduate in half the time, with real-life work experience
If spending four years stuck indoors studying does not seem appealing to you, enrolling in a trades program might be the right alternative for you.
Trade schools offer students a more practical, hands-on approach, unlike university graduates who spend most of the 4-year program learning the theoretical aspects of their field in class. As a student you will get a chance to learn from experienced professionals and gain valuable work experience during your studies.
Moreover, most apprentice programs are only 2 years long, allowing graduates to earn a good income faster.
Make good money
Another myth is that trades job pay much less than while collar jobs. In fact, with a little bit of experience in the field and some overtime work, a 6-digit income is achievable.
There is also good news for those who plan to be their own boss. Since many homes and business are in need of renovation, plumbing, electrical, and roofing services, specializing in these fields offer great opportunities to start your own businesses, where the earning potential is only dependent on the quality of your work and your business skills.
Pursue a very satisfying career
Office jobs are not always as fulfilling as they are perceived to be. Many white-collar workers complain about the slow pace of the work environment, and spending time in front of the computer with not much to do.
Trades people don’t have time to get bored. Their work is usually structured as such that there is often something to work on. Moreover, the outcome is immediately visible, which offers a great sense of pride and accomplishment in a job well done that makes a difference.
Work with your hands and brain
Working in trades will require you to use both your brain and your hands. Long gone are the days when trade work meant heavy physical work. The automation that happens in most industries requires tradespeople who are able to troubleshoot, fix and maintain complex pieces of equipment, most of it computerized.
In other words, trades work can be more high tech that many office jobs. Office jobs often require a lot of sitting in front of the computer, inside an office, which has very negative long-term health effects.