For many young kids coming through high school the saying is always “go to college” as if that is the only path and if that path is not right for you society stigmatizes you. The college degree requirement for many post graduate jobs has made many trade schools and apprenticeships look like an afterthought or a second choice option though the COVID-19 pandemic may have many reevaluating their stance.
“For students who may not know what they want to do, or if they merely want to try something other than college, trade school offers promise. Many trade workers collect far higher salaries than college-educated young adults and, in some other countries, trade school is popular and encouraged. One reason high school conversations rarely gravitate to trade school is, in part, because of the stigma that comes with not attending college. But forgoing college does not equate to failure; in some cases, it means better pay and better work-life balance down the line. We should advocate for pursuing trade school just as vocally as we praise the college-bound.”
College provides a great experience for many youths across the country though it should not be advertised as the sole pathway to a reliable well-paying job. Completing an apprenticeship program can benefit one immensely as 59% of college students take 5 years to graduate and leave with significant debt yet a trade school certificate can be earned in less time and cost a fraction of a traditional university.