Six out of 10 Americans think that apprenticeships make people more employable than going to college.
That’s according to the results of the latest American Staffing Association Workforce Monitor survey of more than 2,000 U.S. adults, which was conducted online by The Harris Poll.
The Trump Administration has promoted apprenticeships as an alternative to higher education, arguing there is a strong demand for skilled workers not currently being met and that they provide good-paying careers without having to incur the debt typically entailed by higher education.
Both business groups and organized labor have applauded the effort.
The Harris poll also found that about seven in 10 U.S. adults say learning a specific trade is better for finding a job than a bachelor’s degree and that college degrees aren’t worth as much as they used to be.
A majority of those polled disagree that completing an apprenticeship will limit one’s future employment options (71%) and that earn-while-learning programs generally lead to a lower salary than occupations requiring a college degree (60%).
More than nine out of 10 Americans said that apprenticeships are helpful in leading to a new career. And they think that these vocational opportunities are valuable because they provide people with the ability to prepare for a job (94%) and learn an interesting trade (94%).
Finally, about nine in 10 U.S. adults (87%) say it is smart to consider both apprenticeships and college as options.
About 40 percent of all Americans age 18-24 were enrolled in a college or university in 2015, up from 25 percent in 1980, according to Education Department. The increase has led to a massive spike in student loan debt. U.S. students owe an estimated $1.5 trillion in loans, more than twice the amount from a decade earlier.
About the Author
Larry spent 16 years with Century Casino’s and was instrumental in the start-up and growth of the company through expansions in Canada, South Africa, the Czech Republic, Poland and on several cruise ships as well as in Colorado. He was most recently the SVP, Principal Finance Officer and COO of North American operations for Century Casinos Inc., a multinational, Nasdaq-traded gaming company. Earlier in his career, Larry worked at the Johns Manville Corp. Larry spent 13 years in various accounting and finance functions in the company’s fiberglass manufacturing division and was key in the start-up of a molding plant in Indiana. Larry and his wife Kathy and three children live in Colorado. He enjoys four-wheeling, motorcycling, golfing, skiing and brewing beer.