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Trade Schools are Booming

If your goal in continuing your education beyond high school is to be more marketable, it's a great idea to attendtrade school. With its emphasis on equipping students with real-world skills, technical and trade schools are poised to win hands down where marketable degrees are concerned.

What the Surveys Report
Findings from a number of surveys report that technical schools are booming. The mass exodus of baby boomers from the workforce, coupled with an acute shortage of skilled talent, has resulted in an increasing number of employers regarding technical school graduates as a safe return on investment.
 
For instance, the 2005 Skills Gap report revealed that there was an ever expanding gap between the supply of skilled workers and the growing technical demands of today's workplace. So, if you take up a technical degree, you're likely to be absorbed into the workforce pronto.

Another survey from the U.S. Department of Labor Bureau indicated that about one-third of the fastest growing occupations required either a postsecondary vocational certificate or an associate's degree.

Acinet.orgreports that the top five highest paying occupations in 2006 were technical in nature: computer specialists ($68,600), radiation therapists ($66,200), nuclear technicians ($65,500), dental hygienists ($62,800), and fashion designers ($62,600).

Source: Acinet.org (Highest paying occupations)

A headcount from the Connecticut Department of Higher Education in 2007 revealed that students enrolling in community colleges had increased by 4.2% since 2006. This figure is expected to increase in the coming years.

Trends in Enrollment
Mary Anne Cox, Assistant Chancellor for the Connecticut Community College System, attributes increasing community college populations to families looking for more affordable education.
 
Moreover, the demands of the economy require increased skills for entry-level jobs. The job market has become more global in nature, resulting in intense competition at home.

Yet another reason for the surge in popularity is that a number of laid-off workers are training for new careers, while younger students are seeking fields with solid recruitment prospects.

Medical training programs are among the most popular, and the health care field is expected to add about 4.7 million jobs in the coming six years.

It is predicted that when jobs become plentiful again, enrollment is likely to drop.

Reasons for Increased Enrollment

Slowdown in Economy
According to YahooJobs, trades are more 'recession proof' than other careers. At a time when the U.S. economy is facing a slowdown, a trade proves to be invaluable, as these are hot areas that are always in demand.

For instance, you'd always need your mechanic or nurse. Moreover, at a time when the economy is facing a burnout, employers prefer hiring candidates who already possess requisite skills, rather than having to invest on training.
Therefore, an increasing number of students turn to technical education to help them combat the economic slowdown.

Faster Earning Potential
Unlike university or traditional education that takes about four years of your life, trade schools teach you the trade in about two years at the most. Trade schools teach you all there is to know and the latest there is to know in a specific industry, allowing you to start earning ahead of and more than your peers.

Students save on tuition, and their return on investment tends to be higher as trade schools are usually much cheaper than university.

Fastest Growing Occupations
In 2006, a majority of the top ten fastest growing occupations belonged to the trade category. These included veterinary technologists and technicians; makeup artists, theatrical and performance artists; skin care specialists; physical therapist assistants; dental hygienists; environmental science and protection technicians; manicurists and pedicurists; fitness trainers and aerobics instructors; preschool teachers, except special education; cardiovascular technologists and technicians.

The average earnings for these professions vary between $20,190 and $43,590.

Flexibility
Trade schools offer flexible enrollment options that allow students to work as they study. Students can opt for an online program, enroll in night school or evening classes or study part-time.

A large number of trade schools also offer apprenticeship, internship and externship programs, giving students hands-on experience in a real-world setting.

In-depth Study of Areas Employers Need Now
The specialized skills and hands-on training offered by a trade school ensure that students are up for grabs the minute they are out of the gate! Trade schools tend to constantly refresh their programs and courses, depending on the needs of the market. Read the following article Postsecondary Education Sector Sees Exponential Growth in Trade Schoolsto find further information regarding the technical and vocational markets.

For instance, if surveys reveal a lack of skilled workers in a specific area of health care, courses are introduced to meet that specific demand, ensuring that students who graduate the following year are instantaneously absorbed into the workforce.

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