It took a world pandemic and a series of historical events to occur so that aspects of everyday life – that we perhaps never thought could change – would start to shift.

One of the biggest eye-openers brought on by 2020 was the perceived growing appreciation of essential workers in sectors such as healthcare. Quickly, it was clear that regardless of the level of background education, every healthcare worker mattered equally and played an important role in providing health services.

This realization has expanded to other sectors and is helping change the perception of trade school as not only a practical but also a desirable option for career development. According to a survey presented by BigRentz, one-third of Americans now views trade school as a more favorable option than college.

So let’s take a look at how the pandemic is impacting trade school trends and how you can benefit from its growing awareness.

A Shift in Perception Also Means Better Salaries

When the lockdown began circa March 2020, and only a certain amount of individuals were urged to go out to work, Americans began to realize that some jobs had been certainly undervalued for the past few decades. 

As homes were quickly adapted into temporary schools, gyms, and offices, it was made obvious that plumbers, electricians, couriers, and other skilled workers’ services were not only essential but highly valuable.

Along with other socio-economic trends, this realization has helped to call for a reform in federal and state minimum wage laws, with many states raising their minimum wages beginning January 1, 2021. Although not all states were on board and substantial change can only be achieved with time, this is most certainly a good start. 

A Surge in Online Trade School Studies 

Previously, one of the barriers to obtaining an education was a lack of time. Even when doing everything from home comes with its own set of challenges, obtaining any type of education online has become easier than ever by reducing the added stress and time consumption of having to commute from one place to another.

In 2020, Inside Higher Ed conducted a study, which states that 20% of students who were enrolled in some sort of postsecondary education mentioned that the COVID-19 pandemic had influenced them to finish their study program on time. 

Attending Trade School vs the Need for a College Diploma

With the ever-changing demands of the labor force due to COVID-19, it’s not surprising why so many Americans are debating between attending college or trade school.

Even though some perceive a university degree as the ultimate career goal, the pandemic has made it obvious that holding a university degree does not guarantee employment.

In fact, soon there will be a shortage of skilled laborers. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, as of December 2020, there were 7.5 million unfilled jobs, but only 6.5 million people on the search for employment. 

Besides, trade school’s appeal is growing on the basis of lower student debt and high chances of getting a job. According to NPR: “The financial return from a bachelor’s degree is softening, even as the price -and the average debt into which it plunges students- keeps going up.”

Is the Change Over and Done?

As long as the pandemic continues, careers of all backgrounds and industries will continue to change in order to adjust to the challenges of remote working and learning from home. While it could take quite some time to get used to these changes, it’s important to consider the current trends that are impacting the job market, so that you take advantage of the current situation and make the best decision for your future.

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