There is a skill shortage happening in the US for quite some time now. Moreover, there are many factors as to why this is happening:
- The automation and digitalization of industries had created either new job requirements for workers or redundancies in the skilled worker sector.
- Many skilled positions, such as assembly line and manufacturing roles, have been exported to developing countries for cheaper labor costs, thanks to globalization. This then created a shift like middle-class employments – from largely manufacturing-based employment, which used to be America’s bread-and-butter, to services-oriented employment in the health and administrative sectors.
The upshot of this shift in the employment landscape is that more and more employers now require at least a bachelor’s degree for an entry-level position.
Strongly related to the preceding point: despite the manufacturing sector losing ground in the employment game, it still employs a significant percentage of the American workforce, especially those without a college degree, according to a report by Georgetown CEW. In the same report, the sectors of agriculture, mining, and construction, which mostly employ workers who do not possess college degrees, still embrace a huge share of the American workforce, albeit, it shows signs of a steady and slow decline. The trend is similar to that of the manufacturing sector, although its employment trend is more abrupt and palpable.
- The president’s current immigration policies have closed opportunities for skilled migrants to enter the US under the H1B visa.
- College graduates lack the necessary “readiness” required by hiring managers. Conversely, employers have been too stringent – and not to mention, ironic – in their qualifications.
- Since post-World War II, high school graduates have been taught that a college degree is an endgame in education, thanks to the 1944 GI Bill and its succeeding versions.
Another factor is that many high school graduates do not get the appeal of college and the myriad of hoops they have to go through to stand a chance at a good job. They do not lack ambition. They are just simply aware that there are other ways to carve a career with a five-figure annual salary without the trouble of academic bureaucracy and the unnecessary burden of unrelated subjects thus, lengthening their stay in the program and their time of completion. These students know what they are good at, or at least interested in, and intend to harness that skill and turn it into a career in the fastest and most affordable way possible.
This is where trade schools come in.
Interested to learn more about trade schools? Click the links below to quickly jump through the topics and see whether a trade school is for you or not:
What is a Trade School?
Is a Trade School Education considered Post-Secondary Education? Can Transfer Credits be Applied towards a College Degree (Associate’s or Bachelor’s)?
Why Go to a Trade School? The Pros, Cons, and the Stigma of a Trade School
Online Learning for Learning Skilled Trades: Is It Possible?
Career Outlook for Trade School Graduates
What to Expect with Trade Schools (Curricula, Requirements, Class Schedule, Tuition Fees)
Are there Financial Aids Available for Students Trade Schools?
Is a Trade School Really for You?
What is a Trade School?
Trade schools are not your typical college or university. It can closely resemble community colleges with some differences. Trade schools are sometimes referred to as vocational schools, career schools, or technical schools, with the word “college” sometimes used instead of the word “schools.” As the varying terms imply, it aims to train and equip its students with a specific marketable skill.
HVAC servicing, aircraft maintenance, masonry, coal mining, carpentry, welding (metallurgy), dental hygienist, health information, sonography, cosmetology, and phlebotomy are generally considered specialized skills.
These jobs comprise (but are not limited to) what is collectively known as “vocational work,” which falls under the greater umbrella of “skilled work.” Even some jobs that require college degrees are considered skilled work like that of physicians and lawyers due to its skill specificity, but these are not vocational or technical work.
So, what is the difference besides the specificity?
Professional skilled trades like physicians or lawyers require years – usually a minimum of 3 for lawyers and 4 for doctors – of theoretical and practical training. Whereas, with vocational or technical skilled trades, the training is focused on hands-on or practical training. There is still some theoretical learning involved, but since the program is highly specific (see the examples above), the time for completion is much shorter. Most trade school certifications or training can be completed in two years or less, depending on the program. Trade schools do not confer degrees, only certificates, and diplomas, whereas skilled professional trades require degrees and licensure exams to practice the profession.
Many trade schools are standalone vocational or technical schools, meaning they only offer non-degree programs and certificates but not a degree. Some trade schools are community colleges, which offer a combination of associate degrees, non-degree programs, and CTE programs leading to certificates or diplomas.
Is a Trade School Education considered Post-Secondary Education? Can Transfer Credits be Applied towards a College Degree (Associate or Bachelor’s)?
Not all vocational or skills training happens at the post-secondary level, or the level after graduating high school. Skills training can happen at the high school level, with many schools incorporating CTE programs into their curricula. Enrolling at a trade school after you graduate high school is already considered post-secondary education. Should you wish to pursue a college degree after studying at a trade school, you may do so, provided that it either has a regional accreditation or an agreement or a partnership (commonly referred to as “articulation agreement”) with universities and colleges.
If a trade school has an articulation agreement with a specific university or college, its curricula are matched with the partner institution. Thus, if one is applying for a transfer, chances are some of the credits earned from a trade school can be applied toward earning a degree. This means less redundant coursework, less time for completion, and less tuition. An example of a trade school with articulation agreements with local post-secondary institutions is the Mid-Coast School of Technology in Maine. Articulation agreements are also sometimes implemented in the high school level. High school students who take CTE classes can apply those credits towards a college degree or a trade school certification at a specified institution. Certain pre-requisites apply, of course. For one, Fairfax County Public Schools in Virginia require CTE attendees in the high school level to earn a grade of B or better. The credits earned at the high school level are only valid for two years, so they must apply to a higher institution within that time.
Why Go to a Trade School? The Pros, Cons, and the Stigma of a Trade School
Trade schools have had a bad rep over the years.
The stigma can be traced to a generation of parents (and grandparents) born in the 1970s and beyond. If you connect this with the point we raised at the beginning of this article (college is the goal from post-war to the baby boomers and hippie eras of the ‘70s), we come full circle. Moreover, with college – a four-year degree, to be specific – is the gold standard of education for so many decades, everything else is just second best, or worse, not even enough. Such is the long-standing perception of trade schools.
The common perception among trade schools is that it is for those who cannot keep up with traditional four-year institutions. The “dirty jobs” stereotype also stems from the early offerings of trade schools that center on machine work, mining, and the like. David Wytiaz of the Beaver County Career and Technology Center describes the stigma succinctly, from “vo-tech (vocational-technical)” to “slow-tech” and “(it is) where the dumb kids go.”
Parents may not be the sole people to blame in the proliferation of the stigma. Even educators from traditional institutions are responsible for propagating an ill-informed image of trade schools, from stereotyping students who go to trade schools as misbehaving or with learning deficits, to the mother of all stereotypical judgment – racism. Back in the mid-20th century, the American public education system has crafted curricula that have two tracks – academic and vocational or technical. Moreover, how do teachers decide who goes where? They used to base it on the color of one’s skin.
Trade schools are aware of the stigma. Moreover, with jobs being scarce nowadays because of the ongoing recession and pandemic, these institutions boost their strengths to increase the enrollment of more high school graduates and even industry professionals who need to upskill.
So, what are the strengths or advantages of going to a trade school?
1. The job outlook is as promising, if not more, for tradespeople compared to those with college degrees.
As pointed out at the very beginning of this piece, right after the title: There is a skill shortage happening in the US. There is a growing demand in various blue-collar sectors, like construction and transportation. With growing demand in construction, rising demand for electricians, painters, plumbers, and other handymen should also be expected. For the transportation sector, roles in operations and maintenance are projected to be highly in-demand thanks to waves of retirements and the emergence of more infrastructure-related projects. The bigger picture is this, even with just a high school diploma and trade certification or diploma to boot, you will still land on your feet. The Georgetown CEW puts a very optimistic and motivating statistic to all this: as of 2016, there are 30 million jobs available for tradespeople with an average annual income of $55,000. Not bad for those with just “some college education.”
2. Time of completion of trade school programs is shorter. Some programs can be taken online, as well.
Learning cosmetology will only take an average of 4 months, while more intensive vocational courses like that of a dental hygienist can take two years or sometimes less, common for many healthcare programs in trade schools. Numerous skills training programs are also offered online, including Nurse Aides, Administrative Specialists, and Automotive HVAC—all of which can be completed within the same timeframe as that of its campus-based counterpart. It is the highly focused or specialized nature of trade school programs that enables its accelerated delivery. Moreover, the faster the completion, the faster a student can join the workforce.
3. The learning approach is hands-on or visual.
“There is no better way to engage a student than (when) they are doing real, meaningful work.”
David Wheeler, Principal
Southeastern Regional Technical Vocational High School, Boston
From PBS’ Making the Grade
This is one of the many strengths of trade schools over traditional ones. It gets right down to hands-on applications and simulated training of the theoretical concepts. Students can easily visualize what they need to do, apply the didactic learnings, and identify the expected outcome, which then helps readily equip them for real employment.
4. Trade school can almost guarantee its students with employment after training.
This is another edge trade schools have over traditional institutions. It has great and well-established ties with industries, whether local, regional, or national. Curricula of trade schools are thoroughly curated in partnership with these enterprises, who then provide trade school students with opportunities for on-the-job training, internship, or apprenticeships, which can eventually lead to employment.
Toyota has partnerships with colleges all over the country to provide support for automotive technician certification programs. Siemens has an established partnership with Central Piedmont Community College (CPCC) in North Carolina that accepts high school seniors trained in-house with the possibility of a job offer contingent with exemplary training performance.
Logistics giant UPS and its partnership with Kentucky’s Metropolitan College ensures a steady pipeline of skilled workers for the UPS brand. It also ensures that qualified UPS employees who wish to pursue greater post-secondary education have the option to do so.
5. Transfer credits can be applied should you wish to pursue higher learning.
As previously discussed here, credits earned from trade schools can transfer to a community college or a four-year college or university. This is on a college-to-college basis, though, so it is best to check with your trade school if it has existing articulation agreements with traditional institutions. This can also be good foresight on your end if you can check in advance how many and which of your credits earned from a trade school can be credited towards a college degree so you can prepare and be in the right program, just in case you decide to pursue a college degree still.
6. Learning a trade or specific skill is advantageous in transitioning to a two or four-year degree or joining the workforce right after graduation.
Being equipped with specific skills that can be applied in a multitude of roles in various industries opens several options for you. You can either enter the workforce right after your trade school training or continue your studies towards a college degree. Best examples of these are certificate courses in Business Administration or the various in-demand IT certifications like Oracle Database Administration, Amazon Web Services Certification, Data Analyst, Web Design, or other Software-as-a-Service (SAAS) proficiencies like SAP or Salesforce.
Completion of any of these courses or other similar programs allows one to be eligible for an entry-level position in any industry, as skilled workers with proficiencies in both IT and business management are essential these days. Moreover, of course, being knowledgeable in a marketable and highly in-demand skill(s) not just puts one ahead of the class, but can also motivate a student to persevere and complete their studies on time because of the background knowledge and experience they already possess. This then keeps them engaged to learn more and develop their skills or the knowledge of the discipline should they decide to continue with a degree-granting education.
7. The tuition is cost-effective, and the return on investment (ROI) gains favorable.
Take a look at this example. The Automotive Service Technology Certificate at the New York Auto and Diesel Institute (NYADI) will cost a student approximately $16,000 for the entire 8-month program. For comparison, the NCES plots the average total tuition of four-year public institutions at a little over $20,000 per year, while for private institutions, it is twice that amount. For two-year public institutions, the average total tuition is a little over $10,000 while at private institutions, it is $25,000. Again, these costs are on a per year basis.
No wonder college students are sinking into debt. Suppose you factor in the average time of completion—which is six years a four-year or two-year institution—the cost balloons anywhere from $60,000 to $240,000 or almost a quarter of a million dollars! A trade school education will cost only about $15,000 more or less for the entire program, financial aid included.
Now, that cost might still be too steep for many Americans, but if you factor in student loans, which is the last and yet inevitable resort for many students, the average debt amount for trade school students is $10,000. Sure, it is still a five-figure debt, but it is nowhere close to the student debt of those enrolled in two or four-year programs.
If you think about it, with an accelerated time of completion and the high employability of trade school graduates, the debt amount is manageable. Still using the Automotive Service Technology certificate as an example, automotive service technicians and mechanics have a median annual salary of close to $40,000 in 2020—granted that about half of those surveyed earn below the median. After all, it is a median, those earning an average of $20,000 or $30,000 annually are still enjoying favorable ROI gains and will still have enough to repay their student debt, which is not bad at all.
But, what about the drawbacks?
With all the stigma that continues to hound trade schools, there are still, of course, disadvantages to attending one:
1. You could possibly be stuck doing the same thing for years or even decades.
This might be true for some, and they might find comfort in it. However, for those who seek career growth, the specificity of one’s training from a trade school might be a limiting factor. That said, re-training or upskilling in the skill trades is always a practical option to move yourself up on the career and salary ladder; not all trade school graduates can afford to upskill themselves. They get stuck in their roles for good or until they decide to go back to school.
2. You might be stuck with the same salary for years after it has peaked.
The skilled trades have always been known to offer competitive salaries early on in one’s employment because they are hard to fill nowadays. With high demand comes an attractive salary, but right there is where it peaks, and then it plateaus.
Why, you ask?
Since a trade school graduate possesses a very specific set of skills, it is highly in-demand, but there is nowhere to go there. If one wants to move up the career ladder, most companies require at least a bachelor’s degree for supervisory or managerial positions, and it makes sense to do so.
Many trade schools also offer Non-degree or certificate programs in business and management, and those who need to upskill may enroll in these. However, it is not always a guarantee promotion to managerial positions. A salary bump may be a possible upshot, but that is if one is willing to shell out at least $15,000 again for another stint at trade schools but this time, under a different but lateral program.
Online Learning for Learning Skilled Trades: Is It Possible?
Yes, it is possible!
Nowadays, trade schools also offer certificates and diplomas on areas of study that do not require hands-on work. Programs like certificates in bookkeeping, AutoCAD, accounting, medical billing, coding and transcription, tax preparation, and the like can all be learned entirely online.
However, how about courses that require hands-on or tactile education like automotive courses, medical laboratory, and clinical courses, carpentry, electric maintenance, and repair? With the coronavirus pandemic forcing isolation and social distancing, these programs would have to or have already moved online, following a hybrid or blended learning model. Theoretical learning can be taken virtually by students. Simultaneously, for everything else, like laboratory works for clinical students, kitchen hands-on for culinary students, or technical training for those under industrial programs, these will have to be done in-campus but in turns.
Reduced student attendance per session will have to be followed under social distancing measures. Other measures that many trade schools are either preparing for or have already implemented beginning the summer semester are virtual simulations using equipment or devices that can be operated remotely. Programs like robotics, automated industries like manufacturing, aviation maintenance and repair, and even healthcare can benefit from these innovations.
These will, however, take a huge bite off of the school’s already-reduced funding because of emergency cuts thanks to the pandemic. So, schools and educators must be resourceful in delivering experiential education amidst the pandemic and a recession.
For example, at Northeast Wisconsin Technical College, educators have stretched the limits of remote education through their creativity and imagination. Its engineering faculty has developed a patented mobile or remote training system called the MobileModular™, which uses a virtual desktop like VMWare to access the school’s various licensed programs necessary for automation work under its engineering offerings. Other individual faculty efforts involve a disassemble-reassemble approach using various home electronic appliances to provide students a semblance of basic training.
At the institutional level, trade schools can leverage their partnerships with local industries to provide experiential training to students amidst the pandemic. By delegating the hands-on training to its community partners, equipment, and machines that may have been rendered unused due to rampant business closures will be put to good use. This scenario enables students to complete their requirements. Through possible quid-pro-quo, businesses may also consider a gradual reopening with trade school students as its workers who can render free work similar to that of an on-the-job-training (OJT) or an internship in exchange for course credits or completion.
Career Outlook for Trade School Graduates
It has always been known that the main driver for students opting to go to trade school instead of traditional degree-granting institutions is because they want and need to join the workforce as soon as possible. It is safe to say that many trade school attendees come from disadvantaged communities and families, which explains the motivation. Therefore, it is only wise for students to be concerned about what the job outlook is for a particular trade before enrolling. After all, while trade schools cost less than traditional schools, it is still costly for impoverished students, so a careful decision must be made.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) releases annual employment statistics for the skilled trades. For 2019, the following sectors posted the following employment rates (in descending order):
- The Food Preparation and Service sector has employed more than 13.9 million workers. Roles under this sector include chefs and cooks of all kinds and tiers, bartenders, servers, dishwashers, and more.
- The Logistics sector has employed more than 12.5 million workers. Roles under this sector include aviation, water, and land drivers, technicians, specialists, operators, inspectors, and workers of all tiers and vehicle types like aircraft, trucks, ambulance, locomotive, watercraft; material movers like cranes, freight, tanks, conveyor, packagers, truck and tractors, ships, cargo and petroleum laborers like gas station operators and pumpers.
- The Production sector or occupations involved in machine and equipment works in an industrialized setting (e.g., engine assemblers, metal fabricators, builders, power dispatchers, nuclear reactor operators, cutters, trimmers, and welders) has employed more than 9 million workers in 2019.
- The Healthcare sector, which includes all medical and hospital workers in clinical or administrative settings, employed more than 8.5 million workers in 2019. It should be noted, though, that the BLS has included doctors and dentists, which are degree-holding roles, in this sector’s statistic. Most workers in each sub-industry are career and technical education (CTE) workers or certificate holders. They work in Phlebotomy, Nursing, Medical Administration, Therapy, Assistantship, Hygiene, and Diagnostics.
- The Construction and Extraction sector employed more than 6 million workers in 2019, including masons of all kinds, carpenters, setters, finishers, roofers, miners, oil and gas drillers, blasters, and more.
- The Installation, Maintenance, and Repair sector, under which electricians, machine and equipment servicers and technicians (e.g., HVAC, automotive, aircraft, appliance, and more), home installers, and other similar occupations belong, has employed more 5.7 million workers in 2019.
All these data concur with what we have been saying all along. There are jobs in the skilled trades sector. It is not just blue-collared jobs massively hiring like traditional industrial jobs in the manufacturing, logistics, or construction sectors. The healthcare and hospitality sectors have promising job outlooks for trade school graduates as well.
What to Expect with Trade Schools (Curricula, Requirements, Class Schedule, and Tuition Fees)
The curricula of trade school programs vary greatly depending on the program. Some programs like the Welding Technology Certificate at the Thaddeus Stevens College of Technology fall on the shorter side, lasting only for two semesters, which is about six months.
Other equally well-known CTE programs such as Automotive Technology are designed as a two-year program, which is the maximum length for CTE programs. Faster paced programs are also available. These are highly targeted courses designed to equip its students with the basic competencies related to the field of study. Examples of these programs are the HVAC certificate course and the medical billing and coding course, both of which can be completed in 3 months or one semester and can be taken online these days.
Now, why are some programs longer than others, and why some programs can be shortened to just a semester? It depends on the subject matter. Some, like web design and medical coding, are sub-disciplines strongly based in technology, for both the didactic and practical parts of learning. The program is delivered seamlessly, and feedback demonstrations to gauge students’ learning can be done in the same space where it was delivered.
Many others, though, will require the practical part of the program to be done on a schedule, and not just right away after the lecture. This is especially true for healthcare courses that require not just a simulated demonstration but a real-life demonstration of competencies on real patients or their samples, like that of medical technologists, phlebotomists, radiation therapists, and nursing aides, among many others.
Regardless of the program and its length, one thing is common about the curricula of any trade school program, whether a healthcare program, manufacturing, logistics, or a culinary program – it does not have any general subjects. This is what separates skilled trade programs from associate’s degree programs. Trade programs get right to it, teaching only what is needed for the skill or the job. Sure, students are at risk of knowing too little and too specific concepts, the antithesis of holistic education and development.
However, if your goal is to jump into the workforce as soon as you graduate with the skills that you learned, then what do you need all those liberal arts courses for? With a trade school education, you complete your studies quickly without the unnecessary and time-consuming general education subjects, thus saving you money.
Class schedules are quite similar to that of traditional post-secondary schools. You come to school, learn in a classroom, then go to the laboratory for the practical exercises. As mentioned, for courses that are technology-based like medical coding or transcribing, pure online learning is feasible, especially in these times, amidst a pandemic.
Speaking of a pandemic, trade school programs that rely heavily on practical or experiential knowledge are implementing a blended learning format while requiring a small attendance of students at a time for practical coursework requirements.
The minimum admission requirement for most trade schools is a high school diploma. Adult learners who either have a high school diploma, a GED, or post-secondary degree(s) and are looking to upskill are also welcome. Some trade schools have a dual enrollment system, where current high school students, whether in-campus or homeschooled, can earn college credits through CTE classes in high school.
Testing and assessments are not usually required, but it varies from school to school, and from program to program. Post-training, however, some programs may require its graduates to take licensing exams before employment, and these are common for healthcare-related programs like nursing, radiology technician, and sonography.
There are a few things to keep in mind if you are strongly considering applying to a trade school:
Accreditation – the CHEA and USDE do not directly accredit schools; it accredits agencies that, in turn, accredit schools! A quick search of any trade school, being a post-secondary education provider, can be done through the USDE’s Database of Accredited Postsecondary Institutions and Programs (DAPIP). If the school exists in the DAPIP database, you can view its accreditation information, whether it only has institutional accreditation, which is the minimum accreditation, or programmatic accreditation or both. It also has information on when the next review date is if it changed its name and other details about the institution.
Most trade schools are accredited by the Higher Learning Commission, but other government-accredited agencies also exist to grant accreditation to CTE and trade schools. The complete list of accredited agencies can be found on this USDE page.
If you are enrolling at a local or in-state trade school, take this opportunity to check the school out in person. Check its facilities, equipment, laboratories, and its materials, as well as the school culture if you can. Talk to the school’s heads or registrar and ask about student retention and attrition rates, as well as the possibility of transferring your credits to a community college or a traditional four-year institution.
If you can join a class as a guest, that will benefit from seeing first-hand what the learning experience is in that particular school. That experience should also give you a glimpse of what the teaching styles are and the quality of the faculty. Spend this time to also ask around the campus. Survey students, as their answers and insights, are extremely valuable. Do they enjoy coming to school? Are the teaching styles effective? Do they still need to buy additional equipment or materials? Do they know any alumni from which you can ask about the school’s job placement record?
Speaking of alumni, be in touch with graduates of the school and check the veracity of the school’s claims on job placement. Ask about the financial aids they received (or not received). Did the school help them receive a good repayment term on their loan? Did the school help them receive a scholarship or a grant? What are the students’ overall experience with the school and the program?
Lastly, look around the web for reviews on the schools. If you were able to gather information during your campus visit, compare these with your online intel. Some students or graduates may feel more comfortable posting a critique blanketed by online anonymity, but then again, these may just be posers. Read between the lines and determine the comments or feedback that are genuine and helpful to you. Also, look for any reports or complaints against the school, whether about its academic policies or financial policies. This information is usually available at the Attorney General’s office, or you can scour the web for it.
Are there Financial Aid Programs Available for Students in Trade Schools?
Yes, and as always, whichever school you are going to, whether it is a trade school or a prestigious four-year school, always complete your FAFSA form first and submit to as many schools (maximum of 10) as you can. The Free Application for Federal Student Aid – FAFSA should be completed and submitted way before the deadline for that academic year. So, take note of those deadlines. Grants for undergraduate students, like the Pell Grant, are also available.
The beauty of learning a trade is that a non-profit organization backs every skill or trade program. The organization not only maintains the national standards for professions but also provides future professionals with all kinds of support such as scholarships and financial aids.
For example, metallurgy students from any Maine CTE school can apply for a scholarship from the Maine Metal Products Association. Agriculture students from any state can apply for a scholarship from the National FFA Organization (FFA stands for Future Farmers Association). For New Hampshire residents, the Medallion Fund from the New Hampshire Charitable Foundation is a scholarship specific to trade school students from any program.
For students of “union families” or kids of parents who are trade union members, private organization Union Plus offers a one-time cash benefit or a scholarship ranging from $500 to $4000. Best of all, students may continue to submit their funding applications every year.
There are many more organizations and local communities that have great scholarship programs for trade school students or undergraduate students in general. Ask around the school you intend to attend or do a quick search on these, and who knows, you might be able to apply and qualify for funding. Moreover, with these organizations, they might even help you land a job after graduation thanks to their vast network of professionals.
Final Word: Is a Trade School Really for You?
Before you answer, ask yourself: Do you see yourself growing and maturing in the skilled trades? Is working with your hands something that appeals to you? Is it like a calling?
The skilled trades are called a vocation for this very reason, but what makes an education in CTE the perfect, pragmatic fit for anyone? Whether you pursue it as a terminal degree or you see yourself making the jump to a formal degree after, trade school programs will put you at a great advantage either way.
If, in the future, you realize that the specificity of training from a trade school limits or pigeon holes you career-wise, trade schools offer programs that can help you upskill. Trade schools can be a good path for professionals looking to augment their skillsets or for remedial training. Better yet, you can apply the credits you earned to transfer to a traditional college or university for more holistic education.
The bottom line is, with today’s slumping economy, the pandemic, and the bleak prospects of the job market for many, a trade school education is like a glimmer of hope in today’s global economic uncertainty. With only a few businesses reopening, skilled workers are more in-demand these days, but there is a chronic problem filling that demand. Skilled workers are the backbone of any economy, and yet the shortage of skilled workers is palpable. Take advantage of that opening. Just make sure you choose a program that strongly appeals to your interests and skills, and that also has a steady labor market demand.
Some find their calling in a particular trade and make a career out of it. There should not be any shame in that!