Student loan debt across the nation has been a growing issue for a very long time. Today’s total student debt is more than $1.7 trillion, with the average college graduate owing $20,000 to $25,000. If you’re considering your higher education journey or advising someone who is, it’s important to weigh the alternatives to traditional college that could significantly lower your financial burden.
One of the easiest ways to go about this is enrolling in an apprenticeship program. Not only does this offer a viable path to a satisfying career, but they also reduce the financial burden commonly connected with higher education.
Apprenticeships combine hands-on learning with a theoretical foundation. Unlike traditional higher education that could leave you mired in student loan debt, apprenticeships allow you to “earn while you learn.” These programs haven’t been fully utilized in the past but are gaining renewed focus from employers and academic institutions as they realize the value of practical experience in career development.
Apprenticeship programs are not 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 covet. Apprenticeships bridge this gap by making you job-ready and supplying you with the tools needed to excel in your desired field right from the start.
Learning the styles of apprenticeships available is a good first step and will help you make a more informed decision. Here’s a breakdown of the two major options.
These programs prepare you for jobs where a college degree is often not needed. While society’s concentration on higher education has led to a decline in these types of apprenticeships, the lack of skilled tradespeople has caused a surge in demand and, therefore, higher salaries.
The Department of Labor states that apprentices in trade fields earn around $15 per hour throughout training, or $31,200 per year if training full time. Once the program is completed, the average apprentice could earn the following salaries upon joining the workforce:
Academic institutions more and more are integrating apprenticeships in their degree programs, particularly for fields like engineering, health care and information technology (IT). The benefits are two-fold: students receive real-world experience while fulfilling academic requirements, and they earn a wage, decreasing the need for loans.
A few good resources are available to assist you in securing an apprenticeship. Here’s places that may have more details:
When you go the traditional academic route, you select a major based on your personal strengths. Then, you discover job opportunities aligned with that major. However, pursuing an apprenticeship demands you to think in reverse.
Begin by choosing the majors and career paths that utilize or require apprenticeships. After that, pick one of the available apprenticeships from your narrowed-down list that sparks your interest, matches 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, providing a smoother transition into the job market and a satisfying career for years to come.
Are you looking to avoid getting buried in student loans while developing a rewarding career? Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing offers a top-of-the-line apprenticeship program called Service Experts Career Academy (SECA). SECA offers advanced HVAC training and on-the-job learning facilitated by experienced industry professionals. The curriculum is tailored to equip you with valuable skills and make you a master in your field—all while averting your own student debt crisis.
The path to a fulfilling, debt-free occupation begins with making informed choices. If you’re eager to take control of your future with help from Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing, please get a hold of us to learn more about Service Experts Career Academy. Contact us at 866-397-3787 today to learn more!
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