Article Says Students Should Consider The “Other Four-Year Degree”

A January article discusses the advantages of apprenticeships and other vocational educations over bachelor’s degrees.

Students from Cleveland high schools visit the Sheet Metal Workers Local 33 Training Center to learn about potential apprenticeship opportunities.

The article, written by Nicholas Wyman, points out that roughly 13 million Americans with college degrees are unemployed and countless more are either underemployed or have given up trying to find a job.

For those who go the vocational route, there are plenty of jobs in the construction and manufacturing industries, as companies look to fill positions left open by the retirement of Baby Boomers. Through 2020, this demand is expected to increase. A report from Georgetown University predicts that nearly two-thirds of available jobs in 2020 will not require a bachelor’s degree or higher. Instead, roughly half of those jobs will require vocational training such as an apprenticeship or an associate’s degree.

Wyman writes, “the economic vitality of our companies and our communities relies on a large population of vocationally skilled people; proficient automotive technicians and engineers, welders, electricians, plumbers, chefs, laboratory technicians, health workers and much more.”

Unlike their vocational counterparts, college graduates see their chances for employment decrease. The unemployment rate for college graduates grew by 1.5 percent in 2014, while the unemployment rate for those in their 20s, with at least a bachelor’s degree, climbed to 12.4 percent.

The high unemployment rate leaves many college graduates with a difficult time finding a way to pay their student debt, which averages out to $30,000 per

Members of Cuyahoga Community College’s pre-apprenticeship program tour the Sheet Metal Workers Local 33 Training Center learning about apprenticeships.

graduate. Nationwide, the total amount of student loan debt is $1.2 trillion.

Individuals entering the Sheet Metal Workers apprenticeship program do not have to worry about amassing student loan debt because the apprenticeship program is free. Our apprentices earn while they learn, meaning that in addition to making a liveable wage working on the jobsite, they are also receive valuable classroom instruction at our training center.

Besides joining an in-demand field where the need for skilled craftsmen continues to grow, those accepted into our apprenticeship program are elibgle to receive healthcare and pension benifts.

Click on the link for more information or to apply for an apprenticeship at one of our training centers.


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