College education doesn’t always equal a bigger income

By Grace Ruiz

Photo by Heiko Ruth on Pexels.com

We’ve all heard it: The more education you have, the more money you make. But is that actually true? With many seniors and even juniors setting their sights on college, it’s important to understand all possible options, especially for people who don’t think college would fit them best. Apprenticeships and trade school, while costing less, can lead to a job that is equally or sometimes even more successful earning potential than some college-degreed careers. For all the people out there who are unsure if college is really something they want, here are a few things to consider:

Cost:
We’ve all heard about school debt in one way or another, and trade school might be a perfect solution to keep extreme debts away from people who are just trying to make a good career for themselves. According to Midwest Technical Institute, the average price of college is nearly $10,000 or more depending on where you’re going per year just for tuition alone, while trade school is only $5,000 to $15,000 total for a certificate of completion or trade diploma. The low cost of trade school and quick process compared to college–two years versus four or more–leads to a quicker start into the workforce while others attending college are paying more, going to school for longer, and starting out with a lower income which they have to gradually work to increase over time.

Income after getting a job:
One of the major stigmas around apprenticeships and trade school the pay. In fact, a survey done by Big Rentz asked people in age ranges 18 to 24 about trade school-based income and found that “the majority of [young] Americans believe the pay gap is higher than it really is.” In short, you can make about just as much or even more than someone who went to college. “The average annual pay difference between trade school entry-level jobs and bachelor’s degree earners is just $12,000,” which isn’t a huge gap at all and the head start for trade school graduates allows them to gain two extra years of income and the lack of debt can even lead to higher net earnings.

It’s important to understand all your options when jumping into a career and to understand the facts rather than the stigmas that surround certain career options. Many people are misinformed about apprenticeships and trade schools, but lots of trades make just as much or more compared to college attendees. “I don’t think that everyone needs to put years worth of time and money into college to do something they enjoy. There are so many trades that I have been looking into and they personally look like careers that will be fulfilling to me. Not to mention the price difference,” said Kolton Schwartz, a senior at Bellbrook who is considering a trade.

Demand:
“High-paying trade jobs sit empty, while high school grads line up for universit[ies]” states NPR. NPR goes on to say that “construction, along with health care and personal care, will account for one-third of all new jobs through 2022, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.” This is a huge increase and a big chunk of what jobs will be in high demand in the next few years and many of those spots are vacant. So if you’re looking for a good-paying job that’s in high demand, a trade may be something to consider.

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