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How will we keep our children out of college debt? Discover what that may look like

How will we keep our children out of college debt? Discover what that may look like IMG_6036

Photo credit: Ralf Weiser

Everyone should want to go to college. Right? Absolutely. The way how parents and students need to follow convention right now is however nothing short of absurd. Come high school grade 11 and our kids are supposed to know what field of study they are supposed to pick and there is supposed to be an idea as to what career they will pursue.

There a few major issues with this path. For starters how can anyone assume that at the end of completing college that there will be a career waiting for them? At best there will be jobs and only if student and parent were smart enough to have networked for this to happen. Next issue is that the student may just find out that the initially picked field of study is not her cup of tea. Once she makes a change more time and money need to be spent until college is completed. There are many, many studies dedicated to how many college students drop out of college. 30% drop out just in the first year alone (http://www.collegeatlas.org/college-dropout.html). The final major hurdle here is money. Either the student or parent will end up with a lot of dept. Why are we doing this to ourselves?

There is an emerging trend to a “learn and earn” path that is fueled by local manufacturing companies bringing back jobs to the USA mainland (aka “onshoring”). Jobs that had been marginalized in the nineties have gone and they will stay gone. Manufacturers have learned the hard way that in order to survive in today’s market place they must have a flexible and customizable product and service portfolio. This drives up complexity and most of all creativity that the manufacturer needs to be able to accommodate. This increases the competency level requirements of his employees (I like team members better, but that is another story). The times of the dirty, grimy, noisy, and outright nasty work and work environment that people picture from the 70s and 80s are on the way out. On- or Re-shoring of jobs means that there are many careers open in so-called manufacturing places that offer a learn-and-earn environment with career pathing and great pay.

Wait for it: Yes, and they just may offer the new employee a way to a college degree. This is what I believe whole heartedly lies the future of our youth: obtain a career in forward thinking manufacturing places that offer our children first a job, a possible career path with benefits and competitive pay – and a way to earn a college degree. What’s missing? Here comes the kicker: What will be missing are time lost and debt – learn-and-earn will not bait and hook you to years worth of paying off college debt.

Personally, I volunteer and dedicate my time to the local Manufacturing Alliance. This is a place where schools, students their parents, educators, and legislators come together to help pave the way for our children not to accrue debt. Discover more about what this career path may look like for you (http://www.maccdcpa.org). Do not take my word for this. Remember Mike Rowe from Dirty Jobs? Please take the time to watch his bid on Americans missing out on great jobs by going to college (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ir9Ved560aA).


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