Early and late fall are a time of extreme panic for many seniors in the United States. This is the time when these students need to submit their applications to get into an institution of higher learning. These kids are writing essays, getting recommendations, and desperately trying to get their SAT and ACT scores up. Your child might be swept up in this mania. However, your child is trying to get into an institution that possibly could get him or her into a lot of debt and might not leave him or her with any skills that will help with finding a job. If your child does not know what he or she wants to do and is not sure that college is the right choice for him or her, consider bringing up trade school. Here are some tips for encouraging your child to consider this option.
1. The Money is Legitimate
Kids like to hear that they can follow their dreams and do whatever they want. Luckily, this is entirely true, as long as they have a job to fund those dreams. Your child might want to go to school for musical theater. Musical theater is extremely competitive and there are far more people who want to go to college for this than there are actual jobs. If your child pursues this path, he or she might not have any other skills that he or she can use to get a job after the fact. This is going to result in crippling debt and possibly poverty for your child.
When talking about the benefits of a trade school education, emphasize the money. Kids want money because they want to be able buy things. If you emphasize the decent average salary of trade school workers, which is more than $60,000 a year, you might be able to catch your child's interest.
2. Your Child Can Still Pursue His or Her Passions
If your child is not totally sold just based on the money, you can further encourage him or her to consider trade school by also showing that you are willing to help him or her invest in his or her passions. In the case above, you might offer to pay for vocal lessons or acting lessons so that your child can continue to get ahead in musical theater, as long as he or she keeps a certain grade point average in trade school. This will allow your child to pursue what he or she loves while still getting the skills that he or she will need to work.
3. Consider Debt
Finally, make sure that your child understands that he or she will have to take on debt in order to fund his or her higher education and that trade school is going to be far less debt than a regular college.
By making these three points to your child, you can at least open up the possibility of trade school to him or her and encourage him or her to think beyond college, into the working world.
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