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Blue-collar is the new white-collar

Blue-collar is the new white-collar

Photo: Rawpixel | Photo: Rawpixel

Generation Z (born between mid-1990s to the early 2000s) students are realizing that having college debt that will take decades to pay off is not the way to start independence. Now high schools are becoming the training grounds for today’s youth that see apprenticeships as a career move into electronics, plumbing, and mechanics. There are also higher tech trades like composites and computer coding with more jabs to fill than people to fill them.

Here’s the bottom line: jobs are available with wages and benefits that rival the white-collar competition. College education? Not needed.

While it may take a while for the status of a college degree to dwindle, the reality is that there are stable paychecks waiting. Trade schools also offer cheaper alternatives to four-year degrees and often have on-site training that leads right to full-time employment.

Today’s students may not have the same kind of manufacturing job opportunities their grandparents and great-grandparents had—but they already understand the power of technology and can apply it to a host of hands-on careers that don’t require college. Generation Z seems to be color blind when it comes to that blue-collar stigma.

Karen Farris served in the crisis pregnancy ministry — traveling thousands of miles and speaking to over 10,000 students about their life choices — for nearly a dozen years. She became a grant writer and helps find resources for projects that serve those in poverty, mainly children. She's been a blogger since 2010 — Friday Tidings — sharing stories of faith, life, and purpose to give hope in a hurting world.