It seems as if debates surrounding the issue of whether or not college is “worth it” have only intensified over the last year. As governments pull money from public school funding, fees increase, and loans seem increasingly unfeasible, many students are questioning whether attending a university will actually provide a substantial return on investment.
As you might imagine, there are opinions, studies, and statistics on both sides of the table. Just Google “Is college worth it?” and you’ll find articles from TIME, the Economist, The New York Post, Forbes, Gallup, and a whole host of other sources.
We have a terrific list of partners in education, including career institutes, community colleges, and universities that can all pave the way for valuable, fulfilling careers in manufacturing, science, education, technology, and engineering. However, manufacturing is a field that has enough variety to provide jobs that don’t always require bachelor’s, or even associate’s, degrees. As a matter of fact, USA Today reports that half of all high-tech positions are held by employees without a bachelor’s degree.
For some careers, technical training is more important and pays well: “The average STEM job available to workers without a bachelor’s degree paid $53,000, 10% higher than other jobs requiring similar educational attainment.”
Here are a few careers that don’t require you to have an advanced educational degree. It’s not to say that there aren’t plenty of manufacturing and STEM careers that do require post-secondary education, but if you’re the type of person that would rather work with your hands than sit in a classroom, one of these could be the answer!
Electrical Power Line Installer: You know that feeling when your power goes out and you don’t have electricity? That’s what life would be like without these vital electrical power line installers, responsible for moving power from place to place. The median annual salary for this position is $64,168, and it only requires a high school diploma or G.E.D. Most require some sort of apprenticeship, lasting up to five years, that pays an average of $50,000/year. Especially if you have a knack for climbing and solving problems, this position could be perfect for you. Learn more here.
Machinists: The average salary for a machinist is $40,520, and the position is in high demand by many employers. Machinist career paths often begin with an apprenticeship program to teach the use of lathes, grinders, and other tools used to produce machine parts. To learn more about a day in the life of a machinist, click here.
Industrial Machinery Mechanic: One thing that’s clear about the trajectory of the world is that machines are not going away anytime soon. As Kiplinger explains, “as a greater number of advanced machines are used in manufacturing, the people that keep them in good working order should stay in high demand.” And with an average salary of $47,507 for a position that requires a high school diploma or equivalent? Being an industrial machinery mechanic seems like a pretty good deal to us.
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