Published on February 01, 2023
High school graduates have different career goals that need support
Community Choice Foundation is proud of our commitment to supporting the future career goals of high school graduates through its scholarship program. You can learn more about that program here.
Recently the program has added awards to students planning to pursue continuing education opportunities and training in skilled trades. The remaining scholarships are awarded annually to graduates plannings to pursue college degrees.
It appears more high school graduates are considering a career in trades, and for good reason. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, marketplace demand for skilled trades will continue growing through 2030, resulting in nearly 400,000 new jobs. A study commissioned by boot and clothing company Wolverine in 2022 revealed that that 72 percent of current high school students believe it's important to consider alternative options to a traditional 4-year college, and that 79 percent of high school students of believe vocational skills should be taught in high school.
Plus, many of these trade fields have documented labor shortages that are hurting such careers as construction, transportation and logistics. The pipeline of new trades professionals simply doesn’t align with the demand in many areas. Because of that need, salaries for some of these positions have increased. Additionally, young professionals pursuing a career in a trade are less likely to incur the large levels of debt that a college education can bring.
Many workers in the skilled trades are earning average or above average wages, even compared to their diploma-holding counterparts. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ estimates, some of the top paying roles are for construction managers, rotary drill operator for the oil and gas industry, and boilermakers. More candid conversation surrounding the earning capabilities of those in the skilled trades could make a noticeable difference in interest levels of people preparing to enter the workforce.
Every student should be encouraged to support their dreams and goals in any way possible, whether that dream includes college, a skilled trade, continuing education, or starting a family at home. Community Choice Foundation is proud to support all these dreams, and both the foundation and Community Choice Credit Union are happy to work with community partners to help make these dreams come true!