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suzanna1 suzanna1 is offline
 
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Trade schools vs. college
Old 01-19-2020, 02:49 PM
 
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Hi -Looking for some opinions. Obviously we are all college graduates here and my plan for my son was for him to go to college also. He struggles in school because he has ADHD but gets pretty good grades because I work with him. He absolutely does not like school and hates hw. Do any of you have children who went to a trade school instead of college and how did that work out? I don’t want him to settle but I’m not sure what will be the best path for him. He’s 15 now. Thanks for any info.


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Old 01-19-2020, 03:19 PM
 
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Hi Suzanna1,

I wouldn't think of trade school as settling. College is not for everyone - we as teachers know that there are different kids and different brains. I know many people who have gone through trade school - some older and some young - who are wonderful, smart, bright people who just knew they wanted something different. Maybe it was to work with their hands, or do work in the trades, or to do what their father did, etc. I know many of them who are extremely successful too - making much more money than my husband and I (both with our master's degrees). And they're happy too! They have families with happy, well-adjusted children and nice homes! Don't be in the mindset that college is better. It's really what's better for him. You and he may not know what that is yet - just be open and investigate and talk to people! Let him talk to people and maybe visit them or shadow them on their jobs. Just some ideas. Best of luck!!
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Old 01-19-2020, 03:39 PM
 
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My kids did not go to trade school, but they should have. Instead they went to college for a couple of very expensive terms, dropped out, and then started to figure out their lives.

My ds works as a mechanic and parts manager.

Dd cleans houses...don’t scoff, though! She makes such a high hourly wage that she chooses to work half time, and her hours are flexible. (Although now she is working as Jai’s mommy, which is more than full time, and not at all flexible).

My dsil is in the trades as well. He has a painting and drywall business. His son, who is homeschooled, goes to work with him one day a week (if his academic work is complete) to start learning those skills.

These young people are intelligent, well read, great conversationalists, deep thinkers, self supporting, have jobs that cannot be outsourced, and are happy.

I think we have been doing many kids a disservice by insisting that 4 years of college is the only reasonable path to adulthood.
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Old 01-19-2020, 03:39 PM
 
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I agree wholeheartedly with the previous poster!!

Right off the bat, I can tick off a number of past students of mine that went to trade schools and are doing extremely well! Beautician, 2 electricians, 3 welders (one is an artist who uses metal as her medium), fabrication, airplane mechanic, and 2 massage therapists (one I go to!)

Trade vocations are in such demand that companies are offering incentives, such as paying for schooling, and signing bonuses.

Good luck!
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Old 01-19-2020, 04:31 PM
 
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Quote:
I think we have been doing many kids a disservice by insisting that 4 years of college is the only reasonable path to adulthood.
I wholeheartedly agree with lisa. Perfectly said.

I think you are very wise to let your son explore his options.

My experience:
*DS was a highly gifted lazy a$$. He dropped out of college and works in low-paying jobs installing cable and electronics. DH and I were not as accepting as lisa. It’s his life, but we hated seeing the waste. He broke DH’s heart when he quit college (he was a National Merit Scholar) and I am resigned. It’s his life. I love him, but I don’t like his choices. Maybe trade school could have helped him.
*DD was a traditional student who earned her BS, MBA, and works in a job with benefits.



Last edited by amiga13; 01-19-2020 at 05:10 PM..
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Old 01-19-2020, 06:01 PM
 
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He barely squeaked through high school. Went to a tech school. He graduated top of his class. He is a tool and dye guy making big bucks. I agree college is not for everyone.
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Old 01-19-2020, 07:06 PM
 
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The other advantage of trade school is that they can launch with their career right away or after a year or two of training and then an apprenticeship where they continue learning while earning. One nephew is a lineman apprentice and another is an elevator technician/repairman who is 6 months away from being a journeyman and they are both extremely happy and doing very well financially. Plus, they have time for family and don't need to go into heavy debt.

When the power goes out or I'm in a safe elevator, I really appreciate their training and skill.
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Old 01-19-2020, 08:13 PM
 
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Well, teaching was my second career, and my first career was in a highly specialized trade (I don't want to be specific because it will out me). I will say I was one of the few women in this trade when I started back in the 70s. I met my husband there. We had our own business for many years and most of the savings for retirement came from that. There is absolutely nothing wrong with a trade. The world needs all kinds of people doing all kinds of jobs.
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Your Son
Old 01-20-2020, 03:58 AM
 
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Trade school and college are both viable options. Is he on medication for his ADHD? He would certainly experience more success at school and in his eventual career if he was.
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Old 01-20-2020, 04:58 AM
 
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Yes annie_g! I also spent 15 years in a technical field with mostly, but not all, men - some had advanced degrees but many had not attended college. It wasn't a requirement for that field at that time. The money was much more than I could have made teaching. I returned to teaching because I missed it, but I made many good friends in my other career who are still friends to this day.


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Old 01-20-2020, 11:55 AM
 
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My SIL graduated from a prestigious private school as the valedictorian. He is a master electrician and now a CEO of a very big company (and he is in his 30s).
His brother graduated from a D-1 college with an engineering degree and works for a big aerospace company. My SIL makes more money and is the younger of the two.

No college nor the huge debt is for everyone. I think it depends on the initiative and drive of the individual.

Quote:
“Choose a job [or a career] you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life,” Confucius once said.
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Trade school vs. college
Old 01-20-2020, 02:58 PM
 
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I fully agree with PPs. The only caveat I would add is to beware of for profit trade schools (many of which now market themselves as "colleges"). They charge a fortune for "degrees" that are often not respected, and any credits earned tend to be non-transferable. In many places, the best "trade school" programs are available at community colleges most of which today function as both college and trade school. Their degrees tend to be well respected and usually lead to good job opportunities. Community colleges are cheaper, too, because our taxes go to support them. Those are taxes I'm very happy to pay!
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community college
Old 01-20-2020, 05:44 PM
 
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I agree 100% with Ruby tunes on her assessment of community colleges.
I think community college is a great place for those students who want to go into a trade, as well as for those who either need more time and support before heading to a 4 year college or who try to reduce the cost of a 4 year college education.

We must get away from believing that trades are inferior to college degrees. I wish we would adopt the European system of apprenticeships (Switzerland, Germany and a number of other countries), in which students do some sort of dual training, whereby they have classroom instruction and on the job training. They receive a very good entry salary from the moment they enter vocational training. It also helps that Europeans don't view vocational training as only for those who are struggling students.
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In my area
Old 01-21-2020, 06:24 AM
 
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more and more students are choosing community colleges for their first two years. Often these students are looking into careers that need advanced degrees. They know how expensive college is. They can transfer to another college to finish their degree. Many of the students can take a few classes at a state college at the same price as the CC while they are enrolled full time at a community college. They find that no one asks where a student went for freshman and sophomore years, only where they graduated from. Community College also has classes at all times during the day and weekends that allow the students to hold jobs while attending which means they can be earning money while attending school.

As far as trade schools, so many students are focused on careers that require college educations. The trades are hurting as they can not find enough young people to learn the trades and they are really looking for young people to mentor. If one has skills and works hard a good living can be made in the trades. I think we have all had to pay a bill to a plumber or electrician. Not cheap! I know quite a few people I went to college with made good money and had a good career in the trades, builders, electricians, auto mechanics, plumbers even the guys who took down a huge tree in my yard made GOOD money. I think office work isn't for everyone. Your son needs to find something he loves and then just do it. (BTW-most of the people doing the jobs I listed make a lot more money than teachers, and they aren't expected to buy things out of their own pocket in order to do their job well...plus what teachers never remember..they get paid OVERTIME and don't take hours of work home) !
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For the last 30 years
Old 01-21-2020, 07:09 AM
 
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I've heard nothing but complaints from friends and others who can't get a tradesman to do work on their homes. Same with car repair. Because of this need, the prices are sky high. If you ever watch PBS This Old House, the hosts periodically pitch for young people to consider going into the construction/design fields. All fields need computer skills.
Recently the local media did a story on a female teacher who out of frustration walked away from her career to become a plumber. She is very happy using her people skills, her problem solving skills and is making twice the money.
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Old 01-21-2020, 07:12 AM
 
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More applause for Ruby. I agree that community colleges deserve more positive attention.
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Old 01-27-2020, 12:27 PM
 
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Check this out.
Quote:
Read before You Send Your Kids to College


https://mikerowe.com/2017/12/read-be...ds-to-college/
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