In a previous post, we gave an answer to the overwhelming problem of student debt: going to trade school and taking a job in manufacturing. Many manufacturing jobs are well-paying, have good benefits, and leave young people without any student debt.
Think of it like this: many students these days think of college as job training, or a way to generate return on investment for their later career. So a student who invests $100,000 in college may hope to generate much more than that over the course of his or her lifetime.
While that’s all good and well, students are now finding this ROI greatly diminished because they’re so weighed down by student loans.
So in order to better understand what you’d be “missing out” on by choosing a job in manufacturing, here’s a more detailed look at student debt in the United States. These facts ought to put things into perspective:
- There are approximately 37 million student loan borrowers with outstanding student loans
- The amount of outstanding student loan debt in the U.S. is currently about $1.1 trillion
- The amount of student loan debt in the U.S. has grown over 300% over the last eight years
- On average, college graduates in 2011 owed $26,600 in student loans–but a new study shows that student loan debts for the class of 2013 may be as high as $35,200 (including federal, state and private loans, as well as debt owed to family and accumulated through credit cards)
- Around 70% of the class of 2013 is graduating with college debt, and half of all 2013 graduates say they’re surprised at how much debt they’ve accumulated
- Student loans taken out after October 2010 have a delinquency rate of 15.1%–a nearly 22% increase since 2005
What we’re seeing here is exactly what we talked about in our post last Thursday: despite the incredibly high (and rising) costs of attending college, everyone is still being sold on the fact that college is always the best option. And while we’re certainly advocates for a four-year education in many circumstances, we also want parents and students to know that there are ways around massive student debt burdens.
The fact is, it’s possible to get a well-paying job without worrying about graduating with tens of thousands of dollars in debt. At many skilled manufacturing jobs, you’ll make a good income with good job security, and the best part is, you won’t have debt looming over your head the whole time.
If you think about college as an investment for a good job later on, you should be excited to know that you can make a similar (or better) investment by choosing other education options and seeking a job in an industry like manufacturing.
So if you’re looking for a way around student debt, have a look at manufacturing. There are a number of great manufacturers right here in Nebraska, and we’re willing to bet that any one of them would love to help young students get employed and start closing the skills gap.