Is College the Only Option?

by Joe Lavelle on February 13, 2012

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Do you have visions of the back of your car someday bearing the bumper sticker, “My kid and my money go to (insert college or university of your choice here)”?  It’s not unusual for parents to have big dreams of a higher education for their children.  Some even start saving for the ever growing expense before their first baby is ever born.  But, is a college education really the best track to success for every child?  Or, are we overlooking some other great options?

On her blog, columnist Anita Bruzzese recently posted a piece entitled, “Does College Make Sense Anymore?”  She looks at the difficult time that those pursuing professional or business paths are having finding a job as opposed to those in skilled labor.   There are many jobs that allow for quite a comfortable living for which employers are pleading for workers who have the education and experience, such as plumbing and welding.  Job openings in businesses are falling, where the opportunities in manufacturing and skilled labor are expanding.

So, are we doing a disservice to our sons and daughters as they proceed through their senior year of highschool in making them think that college is only acceptable next step?  It’s possible that your child could forego college and instead become the next great business owner or artist or chef or inventor who comes up with a new technology that once again revolutionizes how we communicate.  We have seen all of these things done without a college degree before.

If you have kids, how are you discussing their post-high school options with them?  I would love to get some thoughts on this contentious topic as we prepare the next generation for their own career successes.

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