In my multiple-award-winning book, Confessions of a Hiring Manager Rev 2.0 (Second Edition), I mention the trend toward getting qualified individuals out of school and into the job market quicker with the necessary skills to be productive immediately. That puts a premium on community colleges, trade and business schools, online universities, and short-term certification programs that provide core skills and knowledge that people need to hit the ground running with employers.
Tom Pauken writes in the Second Quarter 2012 issue of Texas Business Today, a publication of the Texas Workforce Commission, that:
…Young people who have completed an industry-certified skills training program have a better opportunity to get a good-paying job than many graduates of four-year universities….Young adults with a skilled trade can get hired at entry-level positions with starting pay that is higher than that garnered by many university graduates.
Here are several examples cited by Commissioner Pauken:
- A Texas State Technical College graduate with an associate’s degree in instrumentation in the engineering-technology field has been hired in the petrochemical industry at a starting salary of $68,000.
- A licensed master plumber with just three years’ experience can make $75,000
- A high-school student at the Craft Training Center in Corpus Christi received his industry certification in welding. After graduating from high school, he is now making $6,800 a month as a welder.
As one friend told me recently, who went from engineering to teaching high school: “Thank God I got laid off last year. It made me rethink my skill set and forced me to do something else–something I’ve always wanted to do, and it sure wasn’t about the money. It was about making a contribution to something more important to me and to my community. And I was able to begin teaching while I worked on my teaching certification.”