Is a degree from a 4-year college really the best option for everyone? The length and price of a traditional college degree may be enough to deter students from pursuing higher education.
Most people feel strongly that a four-year college degree is the best option for everyone. But there are others who believe that a two- or three-year degree can be just as valuable. Ultimately, the best decision depends on your individual needs and preferences.
In the United States, there is a shortage of skilled tradespeople. The latest generation is of retirement age and every year there are fewer and fewer applicants for trade jobs. Not only is attending trade or technical school cheaper and quicker, but it also provides you with major opportunities in the market once you graduate. Also, the trades offer a unique possibility to learn new skills and work in a field that you are passionate about.
Trades offer to develop a network of professionals who can help you advance your career. It can even lead to opportunities for lateral moves into other fields or businesses, so there is always the potential for growth and advancement. At Mia Share, we work together with trade and technical schools to increase accessibility to these opportunities. We provide tuition solutions that help students meet their full potential and gain long-lasting careers.
Let's take a look at the best reasons to join the trades and start making money.
1. First-hand Experience
The trades offer a great opportunity for hands-on experience. Most jobs in the trades require you to work with your hands, which gives you a real understanding of how products are made and how systems work. This knowledge is invaluable in any field, and it can be particularly useful in engineering, technology, and manufacturing fields. The satisfaction of working with your hands, creating, and manipulating specialized systems is a major plus for working in the trades.
2. Range of Careers & Industries
There are a variety of different positions and industries to choose from in the trades, so you're likely to find something that suits your interests. You can work as a welder, developer, nurse, or cosmetologist – just to name a few examples. This variety means that there's always room for advancement, so you can keep earning money while learning new skills.
3. Competitive Starting Wage
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the trades have some of the highest-paying jobs in the United States. In 2017, the median pay for construction workers was $60,910, for metal workers it was $76,010, and for engineers, it was $86,540. These are high-paying jobs with good benefits and plenty of opportunities for advancement.
It's difficult to ignore the amount of money you could make in the trades and many trade unions offer excellent benefits such as health insurance and retirement plans. This is something seldom shared with students when discussing future education planning. If you're serious about finding a career and want to make a good living, the trades are an excellent option.
4. Real-Life Applications
When you work in a trade, you learn how to use your skills in a real-world setting. This is valuable information that you can take with you when you leave the trade and pursue a career in another area. Most jobs require training and at least 3 years of experience. With a trade school education, you receive the important skills necessary to begin your career.
These are just a few of the best reasons to join the trades. Trade schools are a promising alternative to traditional colleges with their variety of industries, hands-on training, and competitive starting salaries. Something not often mentioned is that the trades provide excellent job security and are usually recession-proof. As you progress in your career and skills, you will find that the possibilities for professional and financial growth are promising.