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Economists Are Encouraging Millennials To Learn A Trade

College degrees can, in some instances, be a risky investment. Just ask any college graduate who’s struggling to pay off $100,000 in debt with a job at Starbucks. On the other hand, demand for skilled workers who practice a vocational trade is on the rise. Read on to see why economists are encouraging millennials to learn a trade.

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Why-you-should-learn-a-tradeCollege degrees can, in some instances, be a risky investment. Just ask any college graduate who’s struggling to pay off $100,000 in debt with a job at Starbucks. On the other hand, demand for skilled workers who practice a vocational trade is on the rise. Read on to see why economists are encouraging millennials to learn a trade.

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College is overpriced.
The average college degree costs $127,000. Compare that to $33,000 for trade school. People with a four-year degree usually make more money than people with a two-year degree, but that’s not always the case for people in the trades. The average electrician makes $5,000 more than the average college graduate.

Some college degrees don’t always pan out.
According to a study by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, roughly half of recent graduates have jobs that don’t require a bachelor’s degree.

This is a common situation for people majoring in history, psychology, literature and other liberal arts. It’s a lot easier to find a job with a degree in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). This affects women the most, because they aren’t pursuing those fields. They’re more interested in education, social work and nursing.

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A college degree is the new high school diploma. By itself, a bachelor’s degree isn’t all that helpful. You may need a master’s or doctorate to be competitive for some high paying positions in law, engineering and the medical field. That could result in an additional debt of about $170,000 (that was the median education debt for medical school graduates in 2012).

Most available jobs don’t require a college degree.
The average college graduate is frustrated with our job market. Most of them are working low-paying part-time jobs. Full-time jobs aren’t guaranteed to be much better. One of the fastest growing professions is personal-care aids. Projections show there will be 58,000 new job openings per year. It only pays $19,910 a year. You don’t even need a high school diploma to get hired.

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Baby-boom workers are retiring from the trades as we speak.
There are 600,000 jobs for electricians. Almost half of those jobs will open up within the next ten years according to Anthony Carnevale, director of the Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce. This presents an excellent opportunity for young people. The federal government is cutting funding for vocational programs. Most millennials aren’t qualified to work in the trades. That means competition will be slim.

Did you go to college and if so, was it worth the investment? Or, did you go to a trade school and if so, was that worth the investment? Tell us in the comments. Please share this post with any young people you know. Hopefully it will help them make a good decision about their future.

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