College Isn't For Everyone And That's Not A Bad Thing
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Education

College Isn't For Everyone And That's Not A Bad Thing

End the stigma around technical college and certification programs.

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College Isn't For Everyone And That's Not A Bad Thing

No, this is not my farewell from college. Rather, this piece is to bring to light the facts that support those who decide to take the non-traditional path to pursue certificates, two-year degrees and apprenticeship programs that many look down upon. This is for those who prefer "middle-skill" jobs, which to me seems like a rude misnomer for these jobs.

In high school, it is almost pounded into your head that to be successful, you must go to a four-year college or university and receive a bachelor's degree; then, if you want to be even more successful, you must pursue even higher education. But, college isn't for everyone, especially an experience that requires four years (or more worth) of time. There are ways to make money and a successful future for yourself without dropping thousands of dollars on your education.

Just to lay down some facts before we get too far into this discussion: "middle-skill" jobs, also known as jobs that require some postsecondary training or education but less than a bachelor's degree, account for 55% of Wisconsin's labor market. If you still are a little lost on the concept of "middle-skill," then think of trades, beauticians and estheticians, certain roles in the healthcare field like phlebotomist or CNA. There are over 48 million jobs that require some education and training beyond a high school diploma but less than a four-year degree. 48 MILLION JOBS.

There are some kids who are very crafty, especially in things like welding or carpentry, which don't necessarily need a typical college or university education. Certificates or programs can lead to many different avenues of work, taking a shorter amount of time and costing less money. There's always the option to go to a technical college or just continue out of high school. Through programs like Youth Apprenticeships or Dual Enrollment, high school kids can get a jumpstart on earning an industry credential or degree that will help them with their future career.

Many people look down on others for not continuing down the very common, very expensive route that a lot of kids are pushed down nowadays: the four year university route. And with that comes a very big problem: the pressure to go down the typical path leads to failure in college, wage gaps and job fields that are in dire need of skilled and certified employable people. Up until I actually graduated and got out of my small town, I started to see that every avenue available to you is viable, and whatever choice you decide to make for post-secondary education (if you to decide to make such a decision) doesn't make you any less valuable to the workforce. To me, many of these "middle-skill" jobs are more than I could ever handle, and, in this day and age, any person could really walk off the street and do marketing, which is what I am studying in college.

I have known kids who were 4.0 students, great athletes and very well-rounded yet decided against the university route; when others heard about their plans, they were always curious as to why they weren't traveling down the typical route. Well, they knew exactly what they wanted to do and didn't need to waste thousands of dollars on an education that wasn't applicable to their future careers. No matter how smart, it's not smart to waste your money on something unecessary, so why waste all that time and money?

Don't discount any path for your future. Typical or not, it doesn't mean it is always right for you. Explore your options. Follow your passions. Use your talents and pursue your dreams. College isn't for everybody.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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