Student loan debt in the United States has been a growing problem 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 thinking about your educational journey or counseling someone who is, it’s important to weigh the alternatives to traditional college that could significantly lower your financial burden.
One of the most popular ways to do this is participating in an apprenticeship program. Not only do apprentice programs offer a viable path to a rewarding career, but they also relieve the financial burden commonly linked with higher education.
Apprenticeships blend hands-on experience with a theoretical foundation. In contrast to traditional higher education that may leave you buried in student loan debt, apprenticeships enable you to “earn while you learn.” These programs haven’t been used as much as they could have in the past but are gaining 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 definitely important but lacks the real-world application that employers covet. Apprenticeships bridge this gap by preparing you to be job-ready and equipping you with the tools needed to excel in your preferred field right off the hop.
Understanding the styles of apprenticeships available will help you make a more informed decision. Here’s an explanation of the two main options.
These programs prepare you for professions where a college degree is typically not needed. While society’s concentration on higher education has resulted in a decline in these sort of apprenticeships, the lack of skilled tradespeople has produced a surge in demand and, therefore, higher salaries.
The Department of Labor reports that apprentices in trade fields earn around $15 per hour during training, or $31,200 annually if training full time. As soon as the program is over, the average apprentice may earn the following salaries upon joining the workforce:
Academic institutions are frequently incorporating apprenticeships in their degree programs, especially for professions such as engineering, health care and information technology (IT). The pros are two-fold: students get real-world experience while fulfilling academic requirements, and they earn a wage, reducing the need for loans.
A few good resources are available to assist you in securing an apprenticeship. Here’s where to look:
When you go the traditional higher education route, you choose a major based on your interests. Then, you look for job opportunities aligned with that major. However, choosing an apprenticeship will require you to think in reverse.
Begin by identifying 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, accommodates your skill set or offers the best income, depending on your priorities. This method 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 getting buried in student loans while pursuing a gratifying 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 created to equip you with vital skills and make you a master in your field—all while preventing your own student debt crisis.
The path to a fulfilling, debt-free profession begins with making informed choices. If you’re prepared 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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