Throughout my time in high school, college was the only post-graduation option taught to me and my classmates. While college is a fantastic investment in your future and your overall professional development, it, of course, is very expensive and the cost of many colleges in the United States continues to rise. Trades and skilled labor more often than not, are never represented going through high school for many American students, yet they provide an affordable way for high schools to learn a great skill affordably and then go on and make great money once they graduate from a trade school program. 


Going to college is a way to gain meaningful employment and begin a career, yet a large group of college graduates is struggling to find jobs post-graduation because there are so many new graduates and the jobs are requiring an ever-increasing knowledge of skills/ and many students have trouble finding jobs that will support a meaningful lifestyle while also helping them pay off school debt. The average total cost of a trade school program is $33,000, while the average for a bachelor’s degree is $127,000. While the average amount of debt a typical 4-year college graduate equates to around $29,000. The average trade-school debt is around $10,000 and can be paid off more quickly because you’re entering the workforce sooner than most, earning a great paycheck while also gaining valuable experience that will allow you to maximize your earning potential over the long run. 


Learning a trade is also harder to outsource overseas and will be slow to automate as well, offering a great deal of job security for those that go through trade schools. Trade schools will increasingly become more important as the construction industry continues to grow, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, “we forecast that the construction industry, which created $338 billion in value in 2016, will grow by 13% in the decade between 2014 and 2024. This will create 180,100 new jobs. Pair this with the workforce exodus of retiring baby boomers, and we could be looking at a construction labor shortage in the range of half-a-million jobs”.


Construction will always need trade school trained labor. At Terane we’re proud to support trade schools and their continued support of students around the country who are ready to make an impact on the workforce right away. In the Birmingham, Alabama area, we are proud to support BuildUp, a Birmingham based non-profit, that is the nation’s first and only workforce development model that provides low-income youth career-ready skills through paid apprenticeships with industry-aligned secondary and early-postsecondary academic coursework, leading them to become educated, credentialed, and empowered civic leaders, professionals, homeowners, and landlords. 


At Terane we hope that trade schools will continue to grow in popularity as an alternative to those who may not excel at a 4-Year institution. If you’re interested in having Terane speak at your trade school about the future of construction and the use of construction technologies, we are more than happy to come and speak with your students. We look forward to our continued support of both college graduates and those who attend college!