Is College the Only Path to Success?

job industryLast year, President Obama made it clear that he wants America to “have the highest proportion of college graduates in the world” within the next 10 years. It just seems like the thing to do: You graduate high school, go to college, and then get a job in your degree field.

But what if that’s not what you want to do?

For some students, like Brian Crave, going to college just doesn’t seem appealing.

“He’s been afraid we might push him (to attend college)” Brian’s mother said. Now, she isn’t pressuring him to attend school because “kids learn differently, and some just aren’t college material.”

So how do kids like Brian, who do not want to follow the standard and go to college, find a job? More and more jobs require some sort of education past a high school diploma.

One way to obtain a higher education without going to college is to attend trade schools. In fact, the percentage of students who are choosing this option has increased from 47 percent in 1973 to 67 percent in 2007.

However, many worry that students who do pursue a higher education will get left in the dust in their search for jobs and economic stability.

“There’s beginning to be a lot of concern among the American public that if you don’t get into that upper tier, you’re going to struggle your whole life,” said Public Agenda’s Jean Johnson.

If attending college or a trade school just doesn’t appeal to you at all, there are also apprenticeships. This model allows students to work with a role-model, learning the tricks of the trade from someone who is already established in the career field.  Apprenticeships have been popular in Europe for many years; they are just gaining popularity in America.

No matter how you choose to obtain it, a higher education is becoming more and more necessary for success in today’s competitive work place.

“Class is real, and it has consequences. It determines the position you hold, where you work,” said Anthony Carnevale, director of Georgetown University’s Center on Education and the Workforce.

Via USA Today

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