Trade Schools Matter and This is Why They’re Struggling
Employers are looking for people with technical and vocational skills and training. Many blue-collar employees make more money than a lot of college graduates. So why are so many trade schools seeing funding cuts and falling enrollment?
Learning a skilled trade is a solid investment in a future career, and it allows many people to pursue jobs that they love. But in the United States, the importance of these careers is often overlooked. Many programs focus on preparing students for college. Some people will enjoy and achieve success in college. Others are looking for a different kind of education, want to start a career more quickly, or just want to pursue something they enjoy doing.
Trade schools prepare students for a future where there’s a need and they are valuable. Skilled employees with quality training continue to be in demand. Trade schools provide an option for people who want to jump-start a technical career. They offer job choices for individuals who might otherwise fall into in low-paying, unskilled work.
Targets for Budget Cuts
Unfortunately, education is always on the chopping block for budget cuts. Vocational programs and trade schools are often hit with these cuts since they are not considered “necessary.” (How many times have you ever used anything that you learned in most of your “necessary” high school classes?). Not everyone excels at typical college prep education, and they need and deserve other options.
In many countries, skilled trades are a valid career option and schools encourage interested students with educational programs and training. In the United States, however, attending college is often the definition of “success”, and many people treat vocational education as less valuable or only for people who can’t handle college. Neither of those things is true. The social status conferred by a college degree may not be worth the cost and time invested when there are so many opportunities in skilled trades. Many people invest money in a college education only to find that they can’t afford it, don’t enjoy it, or want to start a career sooner rather than later.
Hitting trade schools and vocational programs with budget cuts takes away the opportunity for many students to find careers, and also takes away skilled employees that businesses need. And while these programs have their budgets chopped, students struggle to find financial aid to help them afford them.
Our Perspective on Trade Schools
At Imperial Systems, we know that the success of our company depends on the hard work of our team, and nobody would be sitting in the offices if there weren’t skilled people working in the shop to make the products our reputation is built on. How many other companies in the United States rely on people with technical and vocational skills? If you’re reading this, there’s an excellent chance that your company probably does. If you want to make sure there’s a supply of well-trained employees for your company when you need them, the future of trade schools matters to you.