Millennials may be opting for blue collar careers instead of college

Dive Brief:

  • An increasing number of millennials are skipping college and heading right into blue collar work via training programs, the Miami Herald reports. A Pew Research study from 2014 indicates that a college degree produces an increased salary of about $17,500, which for many young workers doesn't seem to be appealing anymore. 
  • The US Department of Labor reports that of the 11 fastest growing occupations, all but three of these careers require less than a Bachelor's degree. Apprenticeship programs are growing and there are opportunities in the carpentry trade which is reportedly growing at a 24% rate. 
  • The combined desire to avoid student debt from college loans and the availability of finding work without a degree is influencing young adults to start working sooner and taking blue collar jobs, the Herald notes.

Dive Insight:

Employers are facing shortages in many skill sets, some of which require college degrees and others that just require on-the-job experience. The desire to postpone an education and participate in an apprenticeship in a fast-growing blue collar career is understandable, considering the impact student loan debt has had on their peers and parents' lives.

But where will specialists come from in the next 10 years? Companies may want to look to internal programs to help employees earn college credits while working so that both employers and employees obtain the skillsets they need now and in the future. 

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Filed Under: Learning
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