Dec 2, 2013
Last week I talked about technical and vocational schools. I wanted to take some time and follow up a little more about it.
Forty years ago, getting a degree from a four-year school was a huge deal – something that only the best and brightest got. It meant that you were on the track to get a high paying job in a skyscraper. You were going to be somebody.
Things are different today. Earning a post-secondary degree no longer sets anyone apart. Today almost a third of American adults have a diploma from a four-year school. Even though it has become more commonplace to hold a degree, over 40% of recent graduates are unemployed. Needless to say, a diploma is no longer an indication that you’ll get anywhere professionally.
There’s no question that having an education boosts one’s chances of success. The more you know and the more skills you have, the more lucrative you become to an employer. Having a four-year degree from a school like Harvard, Yale, or even a SUNY school, however, is not necessarily what employers are looking for. With the increasing number of diploma-holding individuals on the job market, the value of the diploma decreases. In Economics (and Global 10), we talk about inflation. That’s exactly what we have.
Skilled workers, on the other hand, are growing in demand. The higher the demand becomes, the higher the compensation. Just like the student I mentioned last week. He could’ve earned ~$60,000 a year (and cost of living in Western New York is low. $60,000 is about equal to $80,000-$90,000 in a place like Washington, DC). Compare that to a newly-graduated entry level office worker, who will probably be making between $28,000 and $32,000.
Instead of spending your time at an underpaid office job, filing papers or running to grab coffee, you could be developing valuable skills that lead to a skilled position that is in very, very high demand.
Vocation and technical schools offer career training for individuals interested in pursuing careers in a diverse field of job markets. In two years, you could gain all the skills you need to take job roles such as an electrician, green energy or gas engineer. Further, if you decided later on that you wanted a more office-oriented career, there are post-education tracks for obtaining the certifications necessary for a position such as a stockbroker or a financial planner.
Anyways, just my two cents on the matter.
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