Majority of Students Underestimate Trade School
A survey of 3,000 young Americans between the ages of 18 and 24 shows that, despite messages from trades industries and STEM, a majority do not see trade school as a path to a high-paying job. The survey, conducted by Big Rentz equipment rental, found that 90 percent do not associate high pay and job security with trade schools.
Fifty-four percent think that the trade school pay gap (the difference between the cost of education and income after graduation) is higher than it really is. The pay gap between trade school entry-level jobs and bachelor’s degree holders is $12,000. Most respondents thought that it was more than $18,000.
According to the survey, the average annual starting pay of bachelor’s degree holders is $47,000, compared to $35,000 for starting pay at technical and trade school jobs.
Getting further into this data, 27 percent of respondents believed that trade schools leave students with less debt, 24 percent believed that the schools provide specialized learning colleges cannot, and 21 percent believe that trade school leads to a job sooner.
Survey choices such as job security and access to high pay received less than 20 percent of votes from respondents. The writers of the survey speculate that the nearly half of respondents who selected “none of the above” as an advantage to trade school suggests that people see a different advantage for trade schools than the options listed. It’s also likely that they still see college as the most financially secure path.