Are you concerned your son or daughter is not going to a traditional college after high school? It’s normal to have concerns over their future, however there are educational options after high school besides 4-year college that can lead to exciting and fulfilling careers.
A traditional four-year degree isn’t suited to every student and has other significant drawbacks. According to Forbes , 66% of students who graduate from a public college will do so with student loan debt, and, while it’s true that 70%  of Americans will study at a 4-year college, less than 2/3 will graduate with a degree.
Fortunately, there are alternatives to traditional college. Many parents are interested in knowing the options available to their sons and daughters who may decide not to attend a traditional four-year college. Trade school is an alternative to a traditional 4-year college, but there are many misconceptions about the opportunities for trade school graduates. According to an article from CBS , only 3% of parents expect their child to attend a trade school. This is likely due to the perception  that trade school is only for students who can’t “make it” at a traditional 4-year college. Trade school is often seen as a second choice, due to stigma around the trades.
Despite these misconceptions, going to trade school after high school, according to some research, is becoming  more accepted by high school students and growing in popularity . Trade schools can put high school graduates on the road to success by offering training in occupations that are expected to grow. Also, trade school graduates typically graduate with significantly less student loan debt  than students who graduate from a four-year college.
Understand the benefits of a trade school education for high school graduates
1. Trade schools are often more affordable than traditional colleges
The cost of traditional college is leading students to seek alternatives to traditional college, such as trade school. The average trade school costs much less  than a traditional four-year college. If your son or daughter is more suited to a career in the trades or allied health, and finances are a major factor in whether to attend college after high school, a trade school can potentially offer a more affordable option for them than a traditional college.
Many trade schools also offer financial aid and scholarship opportunities to students who qualify. For example, MTI’s high school scholarship program will award up to 23 scholarships for various amounts at each of our campus locations. In total, up to 138 students across MTI and Delta Tech’s (MTI’s sister school) campus network will receive approximately $804,000 in MTI and Delta Tech scholarship funds in 2020.
2. Jobs in the trades are in demand
“You can get a particular skill in a particular field and make more than a college graduate,” according to NPR . “Millions of good-paying jobs are opening up in the trades. And some pay better than what the average college graduate makes.” According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, some of the occupations with the most job growth  include jobs within allied health or mechanical trades, such as home health aides, medical assistants, nursing assistants, heavy and tractor-trailer truck drivers, and maintenance and repair workers (general).
Medical assistants are among the careers experiencing much faster than average job growth through 2028 — 23%  compared to the national job growth average of 5%. Midwest Technical Institute (MTI) offers a 9-month Medical Assisting Program that can prepare students for a career in this growing field.
A recent Bloomberg article highlighted the truck industry shortage , which is expected to double in a decade. This is creating increased demand for truck drivers, leading to higher salaries and recruitment among young people and women. An NBC article  suggested truck driving might become more popular with Millennials due to increased safety measures and technological advances. MTI offers a 20-week Professional Truck Driving Program and a 20-day CDL Training Course at the Springfield, MO campus location.
Many allied health and trade professions are growing quickly compared to the national job growth average of 5%. HVAC  (13%), phlebotomy  (23%), Dental Assisting  (11%), and electrician  (10%) are all experiencing much faster than average job growth.
3. Students graduating from trade schools will usually have less student loan debt
Forbes  reported the immense student loan debt in the U.S. at $1.5 trillion collectively owed across more than 44 million borrowers. Concerns about student loan debt have contributed to an 8th consecutive year  of declined enrollments at traditional colleges. Nearly 20% [of high school graduates] say they may delay college due to expense, according to a TDAmeritrade  study.
However , trade school offers a lower-cost alternative to a traditional four-year college. Professions in the trades, such as medical assisting and truck driving, can offer students the opportunity to enter the workforce with less student loan debt. Students who choose trade school can begin their career sooner than students who attend a 2- or 4-year college. Choosing trade school can also mean the student will graduate with less student loan debt, and can enter into a profession that is in-demand.
Is trade school right for you high schooler?
Does your son or daughter love building things with their hands? Do they excel with hands-on activities? Would they be interested in a career that offers travel, such as welding or truck driving? Do they want to enter the workforce sooner? Trade school may be the right path for them.
At MTI, most programs and courses can be completed in less than a year. Daytime and evening classes are available* allowing students more flexibility to work part-time while attending school. Student Success Specialists (SSS) provide resources such as locating childcare, transportation resources, and study groups.
*Not all programs are available at all campuses. Evening classes may not be available for all programs. Please contact your local campus for more information on programs and class schedules.
Trade school can be a great alternative to 4-year college for your high schooler
If your high schooler is interested in going to trade school after high school, fill out the form below to contact MTI and learn more.
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