Immigrants are some of the most ambitious people I have met. Their ambition is usually for their children to be more successful and live a much better life than themselves. I know that was my parent’s dream. Sometimes the desire for their children’s success makes parents limit their children’s opportunities. In my line of work, I have realized that many parents believe that college is the only measure of success and often look down on trades.
Trade schools are often easier to get into and pay for, something that is important. Many of today’s high tech & high paying careers are trade based and don’t require traditional college. For immigrants trade schools are beneficial because there are fewer restrictions to enroll and it is easier for a tradesperson to start a business right out of school. That is invaluable for people without a work permit or with temporary status like DACA or TPS.
For example: (median salaries)
- Power utility tech: 65k/yr
- Electricians: 51k/yr
- Welders: 56k/yr
- Plumbers: 51-90k/yr
- Electrical Engineers: 60k/yr
Most of these careers don’t require a 4 or 7-year education or a massive school debt. Many make as much money as teachers, nurses, business managers and even some lawyers. Workers can also start earning at a younger age. Many of these careers are in high demand!
Parents should make educated decisions about children’s futures based on the facts of today’s economy, not the past or what TV says success looks like. There are many tradesmen/tradeswomen and business owners that built a successful life without the need for years of school and large student loans. Facts matter, let’s teach children about the great opportunities available through the trades and entrepreneurship!
By Abraham Cepeda