By Chase Stevens ’12
What’s the next step in life after high school?
For most kids, they would say a four year university.
However, this path in life isn’t for everyone.
For example, one could enroll in a trade school.
While many people see vocational schools as places for the dumb, the dropouts and the non-college bound, they are actually a good place to learn a new job.
There is currently a great demand for jobs such as welding, electricians and other jobs that could be learned at a vocational school.
According to an article titled “Vocational Education Myths and Realities” by Michael E. Wonacott, only 30 percent of teenagers are academically competent enough to obtain a four year degree.
Not only that, but 27 percent of college freshman drop out of college in their first year.
One must also consider the cost of college, something most students of four-year degrees won’t pay off quickly.
Take the starting level salary for an accountant out of college, for example. With an average of about $45,000 a year, and an average amount of debt for a four-year accountant degree being about $168,000, it isn’t easy managing the expenses.
Further, about half of college graduates won’t even be able to get a job in their field. Only about one in two college graduates are able to find work in their field out of college, compared to trade schools, which on average only take about two years to complete and provide training for high-demand jobs, according to the same article by Wonacott.
Not only is it faster to get a completed education at a trade school, but it is also cheaper.
For example, Motorcycle Mechanics Institute costs $23,450 for a full degree, and Arizona Automotive Institute costs $31,946 to finish an education there, according to Arizona’s College Directory Network.
This compares to the almost $32,000 at ASU for a for a four-year undergraduate education, according to ASU’s University News.
My point isn’t that we should all abandon college and go to a trade school; I am merely saying that we should consider other alternatives for job training than just a four year traditional college. College isn’t for everyone, and for some, going to a trade school would benefit them more than a four year degree from a university, and that is okay.