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Wanted: Students for Trade Jobs and Scholarships

Vocational jobs and scholarships experience decline in applicants.

Wanted: Students for Trade Jobs and Scholarships
Looking for a good job that pays well? Trade jobs and scholarship programs are seeking applicants. Hiring managers and scholarship providers are noticing a trend: students interested in pursuing careers in trade jobs are on the decline, and one scholarship program in particular is feeling this first hand. Dundee Township Rotary Club, which is located in a Chicago suburb, was “dumfounded” this year when they received no applications for their vocational scholarship program, according to The Chicago Tribune. The Rotary Club has provided scholarships high school seniors and first-year students to community colleges, vocational or trade schools for years; but this year, there were absolutely no applicants for the $30,000 in available scholarships.

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But this isn’t isolated to a Chicago suburb Rotary Club. The trade industry as a whole is seeing fewer and fewer job applicants amongst recent high school or community college graduates as well. Instead, these graduates are flocking to four-year colleges, as reported by NPR, which many in the trade vocation attribute to pressure from teachers, counselors and parents. Contrary to the stigma that trade jobs have, they do require further education. It’s just not a traditional four-year degree. Rather, students pursuing careers in a trade field are required to complete certification courses, apprenticeships or two-year degrees; but students in high school are being groomed for college instead. The reality is that vocational jobs are steady, good-paying jobs. According to the Georgetown Center on Education and the Workforce, roughly 30 million trade jobs pay an average of $55,000 – and they all come without the debt of a Bachelor’s degree. NPR points out , “While a shortage of workers is pushing wages higher in the skilled trades, the financial return from a bachelor's degree is softening, even as the price — and the average debt into which it plunges students — keeps going up.”

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NPR states that 70% of construction companies are finding it difficult to hire qualified workers, and the Bureau of Labor Statistics anticipates that construction – in addition to health care and personal care – will make up 1/3 of all new jobs through 2022. Consider this: if college doesn’t appeal to you, maybe there is a future in one of the many vocational fields. Just like college, they require further education; and fortunately, there are scholarships for certifications as well as associate’s degrees on Fastweb. Update your profile now to find them.

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