Student loan debt across the nation has been a growing concern for a very long time. Today’s total student debt soars over $1.7 trillion, with the average college graduate owing $20,000 to $25,000. If you’re thinking about your educational journey or giving advice to someone who is, it’s crucial to weigh the alternatives to traditional college that could significantly lower your financial burden.
One of the easiest ways to go about this is registering in an apprenticeship program. Not only do apprentice programs offer a viable path to a satisfying career, but they also relieve the financial burden commonly linked with higher education.
Apprenticeships merge hands-on learning with a theoretical foundation. In contrast to traditional higher education that may leave you smothered in student loan debt, apprenticeships let you to “earn while you learn.” These programs haven’t been used as much as they could have in the past but are getting renewed interest from employers and academic institutions as they recognize the value of practical experience in career development.
Apprenticeship programs aren’t only about debt avoidance; they’re also about employability and skill mastery. Traditional degree programs often target on theoretical knowledge, which is definitely important but lacks the real-world application that employers want. Apprenticeships bridge this gap by making you job-ready and outfitting you with the tools needed to shine in your chosen field right off the hop.
Learning the kinds of apprenticeships available is a good first step and will help you make a more informed decision. Here’s some of the key details of the two major options.
These programs prepare you for careers where a college degree is frequently not required. While society’s focus on higher education has caused a decline in these kinds of apprenticeships, the lack of skilled tradespeople has caused a surge in demand and, as a result, higher salaries.
The Department of Labor estimates that apprentices in trade fields earn around $15 per hour while training, or $31,200 yearly if training full time. When the program is over, the average apprentice can earn the following salaries upon joining the workforce:
Academic institutions are frequently incorporating apprenticeships in their degree programs, particularly for fields like engineering, health care and information technology (IT). The pros are two-fold: students receive real-world experience while fulfilling academic requirements, and they earn a wage, reducing the need for loans.
A couple of different resources are available to help you get an apprenticeship. Here’s places that may have more details:
When you go the traditional higher education route, you choose a major based on your interests. Then, you look for job opportunities connected with that major. But, pursuing an apprenticeship requires you to think in reverse.
Start by choosing the majors and career paths that incorporate or require apprenticeships. Next, pick one of the available apprenticeships from your narrowed-down list that sparks your interest, meets your skill set or offers the most lucrative income, depending on your priorities. This strategy helps you align your educational pathway with real-world opportunities, which makes for a smoother transition into the job market and a satisfying career for years to come.
Are you looking to avoid the student loan trap while developing a fulfilling career? Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing offers a standout apprenticeship program called Service Experts Career Academy (SECA). SECA offers modern HVAC training and on-the-job learning facilitated by knowledgeable industry professionals. The curriculum is created to equip you with critical skills and make you a master in your field—all while preventing your own student debt crisis.
The path to a satisfying, debt-free career starts with making informed choices. If you’re ready to take control of your future with help from Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing, please contact us to learn more about Service Experts Career Academy. Contact us at 866-397-3787 today to learn more!
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