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5 Reasons Parents Should Support Teens Interested in Skilled Trades vs. College

Posted on
July 20th, 2021
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The skilled trades include a more diverse slate of job opportunities, as our new e-book explains in detail. (Credit: Shutterstock)
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Talking about the future can be tricky, especially if you’re a parent.

But if you’re a parent of a teen who has just revealed a desire to go into the skilled trades, there’s reason for celebration.

In fact, here are five reasons! (And our new e-book goes into many more.)

  1. Only 33.3% of students who attend public universities graduate in four years. We applaud anyone who earns a bachelor’s degree, but this statistic proves it’s not easy to complete a degree on time. 
  2. There are about 2.6 million job openings in the skilled trades every year. That’s an opportunity for young people interested in a faster, more affordable pathway to a rewarding, good-paying career — no bachelor’s degree (or associated debt) required. 
  3. The skilled trades are lucrative. About 30 million jobs in the United States don’t require a bachelor’s degree yet pay median earnings of $55,000 or more, according to Emsi data. Plus, skilled trade workers don’t take on as much debt and start earning a paycheck faster.
  4. The skilled trades are diverse. Employers in so many industries are looking for talented people. That’s true in traditional trades like construction, and it’s also true in high-tech options like manufacturing or information technology as well as careers in healthcare and public service.   
  5. The skilled trades offer rewarding careers. Just ask Olivia McCleery, who signed up for a six-week welding class and is now a welding instructor at Lincoln Electric. “It was the job I never knew I wanted.” 

Learn more about the benefits of a skills-based career in our just-published e-book, which spells out the facts, shares success stories and helps students find their best path to a rewarding career.

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