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

Posted on
May 3rd, 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.

More News + Advice

Here’s what you need to know about diesel mechanic training, including how much it costs, how long it takes and the salary you can earn.
Diesel mechanic in vehicle inspection pit of a repair shop, example of diesel mechanic training
Here’s what you need to know about wind energy turbine technician training, including how much it costs, how long it takes and the salary you can earn.
4 wind turbine technicians look over work plans with wind turbines behind them
Rachel Ratican wants her kids to understand the power of pride — pride in helping your community and pride in yourself when you do a good job. She discovered her pride and strength as a
Rachel Ratican runs heavy equipment on a job site in Indiana
Welcome to SkillPointe, a comprehensive resource for anyone looking for work or training in the skills-based world. Watch the video to learn your way around the site.
man in safet glasses welding, how SkillPointe works