Student loan debt in the USA has been a growing issue for a 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 higher education journey or advising someone who is, it’s crucial to weigh the alternatives to traditional college that could greatly lower your financial burden.
One of the most desirable non-traditional career paths is enrolling in an apprenticeship program. Not only do apprentice programs offer a good path to a rewarding career, but they also relieve the financial burden commonly associated with higher education.
Apprenticeships blend hands-on experience with a theoretical foundation. Unlike traditional higher education that may leave you buried in student loan debt, apprenticeships enable you to “earn while you learn.” These programs have been underutilized in the past but are acquiring renewed attention 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 unquestionably important but lacks the real-world application that employers want. Apprenticeships bridge this gap by making you job-ready and supplying you with the tools needed to stand out in your chosen field right from the start.
Understanding the types of apprenticeships available can help you make a more informed decision. Here’s some of the key details of the two major options.
These programs prepare you for fields where a college degree is often not needed. While society’s emphasis on higher education has resulted in a decline in these sort of apprenticeships, the lack of skilled tradespeople has caused a surge in demand and, as a result, higher salaries.
The Department of Labor reports that apprentices in trade fields earn around $15 per hour throughout training, or $31,200 yearly if training full time. Once the program is over, the average apprentice can earn the following salaries upon joining the workforce:
Academic institutions more and more are integrating apprenticeships in their degree programs, particularly for career paths in 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, limiting the need for loans.
A couple of different resources are available to help you get an apprenticeship. Here’s organizations and individuals who may have more information:
When you go the traditional higher education route, you pick a major based on your personal strengths. Next, you explore job opportunities connected with that major. On the other hand, choosing an apprenticeship demands you to think in reverse.
Start off by choosing the majors and career paths that feature 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 approach 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 the student loan trap while pursuing a satisfying career? Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing offers an excellent apprenticeship program called Service Experts Career Academy (SECA). SECA offers cutting-edge HVAC training and on-the-job learning facilitated by knowledgeable industry professionals. The curriculum is created to equip you with essential skills and make you a master in your field—all while avoiding 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. Call us at 866-397-3787 today to learn more!
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