How Career and Technical Training Courses Help in Shaping Your Future
The workforce is changing. One of the most significant ways that it’s changing is in the amount of education needed to get into a particular field or career. Between 1980 and 2015, the number of people working in careers that required “average to above average” education nearly doubled, from 49 million to 83 million.
Opinions about what education should and shouldn’t entail are also shifting. While previous generations were told that the best thing to do was get a four-year college degree if they wanted to be employable, just 16 percent of people today think that earning a four-year degree adequately prepares people for well-paying careers.
The focus has shifted to career and technical training programs, with about half of the population believing that post-secondary education should center on teaching students job skills.
If you aren’t sure what you want to do for a career or you aren’t sure whether you want to go a four-year college or not, taking career and technical education (CTE) courses can be the first step to take on the road to a brighter future. Career and technical training courses can help you figure out what you like, what you don’t like and what you might want to do with your life. Here are a few ways that career and technical courses can help you shape your future.
CTE Courses Let You See What a Career Is Really Like
At some point during your high school career, a teacher or guidance counselor might have handed you a career aptitude quiz to complete. The tests are meant to help you see how your interests and skills align with particular careers.
While career aptitude tests can be interesting and fun to take, they don’t give you a complete picture of what a career is like. You don’t have the opportunity explore a subject in depth or gets hands-on experience. If you decide to pursue a particular major based on the results of such as test, you might finish your degree only to realize that you don’t enjoy what you studied and don’t enjoy the work you are doing.
In contrast, many career and technical training certificate programs are short. Most take about a year to complete. During the programs, you not only learn the skills needed to succeed in a particular career, but you also get the opportunity to work in the field. Many programs require external work experience to earn certification.
CTE Courses Open the Door to Future Opportunities
Although plenty of students move right into a career after finishing a series of career or technical training courses, some look at their certificate as stepping stone. They might decide that they want to move into an associate or bachelor’s degree program, to further their training and potentially increase their earning potential.
Some career and training courses are eligible for college credit. For example, students who earn a veterinary assisting certificate from Orange Technical College can apply their coursework towards credits for an associate degree in Veterinary Technology at St. Petersburg College.
CTE Courses Help You Avoid Large Amounts of Debt
As of February 2019, the total amount of student loan debt in the US is more than $1.5 trillion. The median amount owed varies based on degree. People with a bachelor’s degree owe a median of $25,000 while people with less than a bachelor’s degree owe a median of $10,000.
Many students who are graduating with high levels of debt report that their debt levels have changed the way they view their degrees. Facing years of repayment, about half of people aged 25 to 39 who have bachelor’s degrees say that they don’t believe the lifetime benefit of earning a degree outweighs the cost of earning it.
In contrast, many students who earn a career certificate or who take career and technical education courses graduate without taking on large amounts of debt. When offered through a public institution, the cost of the courses is affordable. For those who need financial assistance, programs such as Pell grants as well as scholarships are available.
Avoiding student debt means that once you get out into the workforce, you’re able to focus on setting financial goals and saving targets for your future, rather than paying off your past.
Orange Technical College wants to help our students succeed and create bright futures for themselves. To learn more about our career certificates and career and technical training courses, request more information today.
- “The State of American Jobs,” Pew Research Center, October 6, 2016, http://www.pewsocialtrends.org/2016/10/06/the-state-of-american-jobs/
- Student Loans Owned and Securitized, Outstanding, St. Louis Fed, https://fred.stlouisfed.org/series/SLOAS
- “5 Facts About Student Loans,” Pew Research Center, August 24, 2017, http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2017/08/24/5-facts-about-student-loans/