Can Trade Schools Be a Good Choice?

Do you have a child ready to graduate from high school and pursue their life’s passion and work? If so, is there a time when a trade school is a better choice than traditional college? The answer to this question is yes and there are many options and reasons to follow this path. Only about a third of recent college graduates work in a career that is related to their college major and many young graduates are still unemployed. This is in part the result of our economic times but it is also created by young people who have not discovered what interests them and therefore will make them want to get up and work daily.

If your child has discoverd their passion in life, then count yourself lucky because this will help you narrow down options for study after the high school years. If your child is still unsure of the path they wish to pursue, then by all means take the time to figure out his or her interest before investing time and money in any college or study program.  There are online tools to help identify skills and interests as well as career paths:  Myers-Briggs and the Clifton Strength Finder by Gallup. Setting up a counseling session with a career consultant can not only help your child delve into their natural skills and desires, but one counselor I know also has the ability to search for appropriate schools and recommend financial aid opportunities. Having an expert to guide you in finding the right school setting and financial aid options can be well worth the fees charged.

The primary factor is for your child to pursue a career they are truly interested in whether it be graphic arts, fashion, carpentry, plumbing or coding and web design. These skills do not require a college degree and can provide a good income for those willing to work. An entrepreneurial child might also be inclined to start their own business, as it has been shown that tradespeople are more likely to start and run their own businesses than the average college graduate. A general internet search by subject with your preferred location included will list academic options that are thought of as tradeschools and two-year certificate programs. Don’t forget that local community colleges can offer training as well as certification in trades and this can be a good place to further test out a person’s interest in a field of study.

Note: Dan Schawbel’s “Promote Yourself:  The New Rules for Career Success” is a book with suggestions for nontraditional ways young people can assess their passions and acquire skills to promote themselves.

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