Redefining Success With Vocational School (infographic)

What is success? Is it having a house, two cars, and retirement savings? Does it matter how you get there? In the postwar era it was a sign of success to get a college education and start down a career path that you would stay on until retirement, when you would be handed a pension and a gold watch. Pensions have largely gone away, along with gold watches, and now most families are priced out of college. It might be time to redefine success to fit the realities of today’s world.

These days people job-hop frequently, often because they are looking for better opportunities. College grads are finding that they are entering a workforce full of entry-level positions that require years of experience and pay barely over minimum wage. The cost of living is outpacing wage growth for the jobs they can get, and this constant squeeze means that people are looking for better jobs at the same pace they are eating and sleeping, as all of these things have turned out to be necessities.

The younger generations are casting aside price-inflated college degrees as part of their identities. They watched as Millennials struggled with two and three jobs just to make ends meet and pay the minimum amount on their student loans, only to find that after ten years they owed more on those loans than they were originally for. GenZ would rather redefine success than live a life chained to debt and regret.

GenZ is also the first generation to define their identities by their education and careers instead of their families and upbringings, which means that developing a career and getting a useful education is still important to them. But for this newer generation, school to college to career to lifelong debt is not an acceptable path to take.

Vocational schools are starting to appeal more to the more practical in the Millennial and GenZ cohorts. HVAC technicians, electricians, and plumbers are some of the most in-demand and highest paid careers for people who don’t have college degrees, but there are also a lot of people with college degrees who are training for these careers because the demand is often so high.

The average college graduate graduates with $30k in student loan debt after four years of school, earning a bachelor’s degree. The average vocational school graduate graduates in a quarter of the time with a third of the debt and often makes an average of $65k a year. While college grads often make more upon graduation, after a few years the wage gap between college grads and trade school grads narrows.

What’s more, the job security for vocational school grads is significantly lower than for college grads. Vocations like plumbing, HVAC, and electrician positions are in very high demand, and that demand is growing as the Baby Boomer generation starts to retire. Unemployment in the trades is less than half that of what it is for college grads as a whole, and that job security is growing stronger by the year.

Trade school grads often get hired quickly, as 80% of contractors struggle to find qualified people do to electrical, HVAC, and plumbing work. Welders and metal workers are constantly worried about filling positions. Even hospitals are desperate for trade workers in labs as well as nurses, who are always in high demand.

If you are ready to redefine success, it may be time to think about trade school as an option. You can build a career in less time with less debt, achieving those success milestones in less time than you would if you were saddled with $30k in student loan debt living in your parents’ basement. Learn more about the benefits of a vocational school education from the infographic below.

Becoming Successful With Vocational Training - Infographic

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