This blog post is excerpted from the original publication on Parent Toolkit.
By Julia di Bonaventura
It can often feel like a four-year degree is the ticket your child needs to access a good job and a fulfilling future. In reality, for those that do complete college (and only 59 percent of those enrolled in a four-year college actually earn a degree within six years of enrollment), that “ticket” can open the door to a mountain of debt. Also, while a college degree is necessary for many potential career opportunities, there are many other paths that can be a great—if not better—fit for your student and their future career.
The good news is there are options out there. Apprenticeship, in particular, is one that parents and students should talk about together when exploring options after high school.
Apprenticeship is a long-standing model that combines paid on-the-job learning and formal classroom instruction to help a worker master the knowledge and skills of the industry they’re working in. Programs vary in length, with apprentices receiving a mix of structured work experience with an employer and relevant academic and technical instruction, often through partnerships with local two- and four-year colleges, organized labor, or other training partners. No longer is apprenticeship only what might immediately come to mind—a focus on the construction trades. Now, apprenticeship programs are being introduced across new industries like insurance, health care, and information technology.
Here are five reasons why you and your young adult should consider apprenticeship...