From the Admissions Desk: Rethinking the plan: College, work, service...

From the Admissions Desk: Rethinking the plan: College, work, service...
Nora Meah, Director of Admissions

For so many high school graduates and college students the promise of college changed in an instant. The thing they have worked, saved, and planned for seemingly vanished. Or, it is so unrecognizable it no longer compares to its former self. Questions, uncertainty, and new, sometimes viable, options emerge. So now what? 

If you know a high school graduate or college student who is exploring alternatives to a traditional institution one thing is universally true: They need to organize the options they have before they can make a decision.  

As an Admissions Team we share two points with families who include us in these conversations. 1) Demand is strong for skilled talent to fill jobs. 2) The return on investment for trade school certification training is increasing.

As US unemployment rates continue to climb, the shortage of skilled labor persists. In August 2019, the US Department of Labor reported 7.6 million unfilled jobs. That means there are insufficient numbers of people who are seeking work with the skills required to fill those jobs. A year ago that was staggering news. Today it is an opportunity. With most businesses unable to hire, the businesses that are hiring are making things in America. To do so, they need skilled talent. 

It is no surprise then that the demand for trade school programming is louder than ever. The National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) reported the number of trade school students grew from 9.6 million in 1990 to 16 million in 2014. And, not just any trade schools. Quality programming that collaborates to meet industry standards and regional economic plans make the most sense to students and hiring managers alike.

Like a gap year to past generations or our neighbors abroad, the 2020 - 2021 school year may prove to be a new step in a revamped plan for high school graduates and college students. But a gap year is no longer an elitist summer backpacking trip. It is already considered an essential part of education. 

When high school graduates and college students consider their options, trade schools outweigh even the most attractive alternatives to enrolling a college or university. Unlike a year of service, they can learn and practice technical skills with long ranging benefits to their resume. Unlike a year of travel, they can network in a region or industry that will pay dividends throughout their careers. And, unlike a year of work, they can establish mentors for a lifetime. 

Helping a high school graduate or college student organize their options doesn’t have to be difficult. Listen for their questions and convictions. Use reason not judgment to probe both. Make a chart with pen and paper. Then offer to support their research. 

Interested in the topic? Join us for an event or connect for an informational call anytime to learn more.