Wednesday, March 27, 2019

Technical college scholarships

A couple days ago, I had a phone conversation with a board member of a local chamber of commerce. She's actually my insurance and investment advisor, and I was calling her on business. I was a long-serving board member of this chamber, as well, until very recently, when I had to step away due to my work schedule.

Anyway, this chamber of commerce offers an annual scholarship - two actually, one for the four-year college/university path, and the other for the two-year technical college track. The scholarship is currently being advertised at the high school I work at.

She brought up a very good point that I want to share with you. We started chatting about the chamber's scholarship competition when I told her that I'm hearing it get a lot of great publicity at the high school in the school's daily announcements. I mentioned that I hope the technical college scholarship, in particular, gets a good number of applicants this year because of the so many great career opportunities available right now in the skilled trades. She agreed with me on that, but she added - finally getting to the point of this post here, I swear! - that there are many more opportunities available with a technical college education than just the trades.

See, there's so much talk right now about the trades - and rightly so - that we tend to forget about the many other wonderful, high-demand, good paying career paths that a technical college can set you on. They're unintentionally being overshadowed by all the trades talk going on.

We're talking culinary arts and hospitality management, dental hygienist, real estate and property management, graphic design, early childhood education, Web and digital media design, information technology (IT), criminal justice and law enforcement, nursing, paramedic and EMT, fire protection, truck driving, marketing and sales, funeral service, human resources (HR), cosmetology, you name it. Some schools may offer aviation. Countless more programs to choose from.

So much to explore in the technical college realm. So many viable options. And best of all? A lot of these technical college scholarships typically have very few applicants. And that makes for fantastic odds for you.

Still interested in the four-year bachelor's degree? As I explain in a previous post, "Manufacturing and the trades in schools, and I'll close on this thought:

Want the best of both worlds? I typically advise students these days to take a serious look at a technical college or vocational school education. Learn a provable hard skill or trade first, something that you're really going to enjoy. Enter the workforce with those skills and gain some practical on-the-job experience for a while. And then consider going for the bachelor's and perhaps even beyond, if that's something you'd like to do. Maybe get a bachelor's in a business/management/leadership program. Now, you have two good things going for you - first, you have that concrete, verifiable skill set. And you'll also have that bigger-picture education that can help you set the stage for a promotion into management or even off on your own as a business owner yourself some day.
For more information and resources on scholarships, check out the previous post, "Scholarships and financial aid resources."

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