Student loan debt in the USA has been a growing issue for a 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 educational journey or counseling someone who is, it’s crucial to weigh the alternatives to traditional college that could considerably lower your financial burden.
One of the most popular ways to do this is enrolling in an apprenticeship program. Not only does this offer a practical path to a rewarding career, but they also alleviate the financial burden commonly connected with higher education.
Apprenticeships blend hands-on activities with a theoretical foundation. In contrast to traditional higher education that may leave you buried 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 attention from employers and academic institutions as they understand 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 frequently target on theoretical knowledge, which is certainly important but lacks the real-world application that employers want. Apprenticeships bridge this gap by making you job-ready and equipping you with the tools needed to succeed in your preferred field right from the start.
Understanding the styles of apprenticeships available is a good first step and will help you make a more informed decision. Here’s an explanation of the two primary options.
These programs prepare you for jobs where a college degree is often not required. While society’s concentration on higher education has caused a decline in these kinds of apprenticeships, the lack of skilled tradespeople has produced 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 throughout training, or $31,200 annually if training full time. When the program is over, the average apprentice could earn the following salaries upon joining the workforce:
Academic institutions are frequently including apprenticeships in their degree programs, especially for professions such as engineering, health care and information technology (IT). The pros are two-fold: students obtain real-world experience while fulfilling academic requirements, and they earn a wage, reducing the need for loans.
A couple of different resources are at your disposal to help you get an apprenticeship. Here’s organizations and individuals who may have more information:
When you follow the traditional college route, you pick a major based on your personal strengths. Then, you discover job opportunities connected with that major. But, seeking an apprenticeship will require you to think in reverse.
Start off by choosing the majors and career paths that utilize or require apprenticeships. And then, 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 method helps you coordinate 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 racking up student loan debt while pursuing a rewarding career? Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing offers a standout apprenticeship program called Service Experts Career Academy (SECA). SECA offers cutting-edge HVAC training and on-the-job learning facilitated by Expert industry professionals. The curriculum is designed 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 career begins 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. Call us at 866-397-3787 today to learn more!
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