Technical Schools Offer Strong Alternative – click on the link for the full article written by Darrin Brust.
Darrin Brust is campus president of Universal Technical Institute (UTI) in Houston, a provider of postsecondary education for students seeking careers as professional automotive, diesel, collision repair, motorcycle and marine technicians.
“Commonly, young adults are steered away from vocational careers based on faulty perceptions about what it means to work in a skilled trade. A recent analysis of the federal College Scorecard data and U.S. labor market trends finds that students who get an industry-aligned, quality postsecondary technical education are earning more, on average, after 10 years than their peers from some of the nation’s liberal arts colleges and two-year community colleges.
These jobs are abundant, pay well and offer plenty of opportunities for advancement. In the transportation sector, for example, the nation will need 120,000 new technicians on average each year in the coming decade to work as automotive and diesel technicians and in collision repair. By 2026, that equates to approximately 1.2 million new technicians nationwide. While many recent college grads — more than 44 percent according to some studies — are underemployed or working on short-term “gigs,” these are careers that pay well and offer plenty of opportunities for advancement.
To fill these jobs, students need hands-on, high-tech and industry-specific education that matches their talents and gives them the specific skills they need to go to work — the kind of training that often is not available in traditional academic settings.
But too often, students aren’t aware of the availability of quality technical training programs — an outcome perpetuated by the “one size fits all” mindset that everyone must go to college and stigmas about careers in the trades. When we accept as truth that a college degree is the only way to get ahead and overlook the gifts, talents and significant contributions of students who can succeed in other industries, we do them an enormous disservice.
A growing number of high school districts have barred all technical schools from their campuses, without regard to the quality of their programs or the outcomes they produce for students. When that happens, teachers and counselors are left with fewer options for students who want to build successful, life-long careers in the skilled trades.”