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July 28, 2016 Comments (0) Attention

Are College Degrees Losing Out to Apprenticeships?


Many young people today are re-evaluating the need for a college degree. But while attempting to jump directly into employment may go through a more secure and safe option at the moment, many jobs higher the ladder require some form of post-secondary education. So what can young people do? The solution might be in reviving the currently unfashionable system of apprenticeships, writes Liz Dwyer at

As job experience programs and internships vary in quality and frequently aren\’t paid, apprenticeships combine paid on-the-job training with college or trade school classes, providing academic knowledge and industry-specific training that will prepare students for the future.

And the idea appears to be gathering international concord. A current BBC survey of high schoolers in the UK showed that two-thirds prefer to forgo attending college in favor of entering an apprenticeship.

Businesses are seemingly keen to obtain on board too. Adrian Thomas, head of resourcing for Network Rail, a company that maintains britain\’s rail infrastructure told?The Independent:

“An investment that we make within our apprentices is driven by needing people with the right skills coming in to support our maintenance teams.”

The US Department at work is trying to expand apprenticeship models in key fields like healthcare, green jobs, transportation, and knowledge technology, says Dwyer.

One obstacle is thought to be the potential trepidation that young people may have committing to heavily to a certain field of work at their age.

\”It\’s tough for any teenager, especially one from a low-income urban neighborhood, to sign up for a health care track if she doesn\’t know whether the sight of blood will make her sick, or a computer apprenticeship if she\’s?didn\’t have any exposure?to technology.\”

There’s very difficult way for students to determine which employers are accepting apprentices or contact them, and thus that\’s why places like “P-Tech“, a new high school in New York City that’s the result of a partnership between IBM and also the City University of New York, can be to be a viable apprenticeship model.

\”P-Tech students have the option of enrolling for six years of study-by graduation, they have hands-on experience, an associate\’s degree in computer science, and a possible job offer from IBM.\”

The average program is 4 years long, and so does require a fair investment. But this is not unlike a normal college course. And the financial incentives for staying with it are extremely favorable. The average salary for somebody who has completed an apprenticeship is $49,795. That\’s a lot more than what some teachers with four-year degrees earn.

Cash-strapped students would also be attracted to the potential of coming out of an apprenticeship with no student loans.

For an era looking for ways to gain knowledge and skills without being crippled by debt, that may make apprenticeships what you want, writes Dwyer.

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