February 7, 2014
Apprenticeship Programs Are Getting A Fresh Look
By Bill Smyth
San Diego Source – The Daily Transcript
In today’s work environment, a college degree is emphasized as a key requirement for career success. At the same time, public concerns about the affordability of college and the financial burden of college debt are at an all-time high. Tuition increases at public colleges and universities have exceeded growth in household income and the Consumer Price Index since 1980.
A 2013 survey by the global management consulting firm Accenture found that 42 percent of college graduates are working part time or intermittently. One-third are $30,000 in debt, and 17 percent owe up to $50,000. Only half of those who find full-time work are employed in their field of study.
In the quest for practical post-secondary education alternatives, apprenticeship programs are getting a fresh look as a cost-effective way to provide job training and prepare workers for a skilled career.
The U.S. Department of Labor counts more than 250 occupations with registered apprentices and apprenticeship programs. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics shows that apprenticeship is the typical entry path for 15 occupations, including skilled construction trades such as electricians, sheet metal workers, plumbers and pipefitters. Occupations with growing employment opportunities such as health care and information technology also offer apprenticeship programs.
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