Finding a great, well-paying career in New York doesn’t mean you have to get a college degree; attending a vocational school can also help you find your way to success.
While most colleges offer courses that focus on the student’s field of study, vocational schools instead focus on training students for the jobs they want. The focused program equips students with the knowledge and skills they need to build a successful career that will last them a lifetime.
Vocational schools offer a myriad of career paths for students outside of college; the Association for Career and Technical Education (ACTE) notes that many of these schools offer over 70 different career paths in a variety of fields, including STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math), law/security public, finance, architecture and construction, transportation and logistics, manufacturing, arts, marketing and more.
These fields offer great, high-paying jobs in New York — but in general, New York businesses struggle to find the qualified people they need to do them.
ACT reports that while 50% of New York’s labor market includes mid-skill jobs (positions that don’t require a college education), only 38% of the state’s workforce is educated. at this level.
These middle-skilled jobs offer tremendous opportunities for advancement to any New Yorker who does not have a college degree. In fact, ACT reports that the top 5 industries for jobs that pay a median annual salary of $55,000 or more without a bachelor’s degree are in administrative and clerical support; management; building and mining; Sales; and transportation and movement of materials.
And the next decade should offer even more opportunities for advancement. A report by [email protected], a nonprofit aimed at advancing a more skilled American labor market, predicts that 100 million new jobs will be created in 292 occupations over the next 10 years, specifically for skilled workers who do not have a four-year degree, but instead are “Skilled Through Alternative Routes” (STARS), including vocational schools.
These opportunities, according to the report, apply to all Americans from all walks of life. [email protected] believes that securing a skilled workforce will help close the opportunity gaps that exist between Black, Hispanic, and female STARs and help them achieve greater success and personal advancement.
Vocational schools engage their students directly in their areas of interest and give them the tools they need to succeed. While a college education can take up to four years, some trade schools — depending on the field of study — have programs that are completed in less than a year.
Moreover, these schools are very successful in helping their students find jobs almost immediately after graduation. ACTE reports that 98% of students in vocational and technical education have entered the workforce, the army or have completed an apprenticeship.
They also met other parameters of academic achievement; 92% of CTE students graduated, while 97% met their reading/language arts performance goals and 94% met their math performance goals.
Many financial aids are also available for students attending vocational schools through federal Perkins grants. In fiscal year 2020, New York State received more than $57.6 million in funding for these scholarships which, unlike a traditional student loan, do not require repayment.
For anyone just graduating from high school or in between jobs looking for a new path to success, there’s never been a better time to attend a vocational school. A world of opportunity and advancement awaits, and these schools will give you the keys to unlocking those doors – and your potential.