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STEM Skills Antidote to Post-Grad Unemployment

STEM skills antidote to post grad unemploymentMarch was not a great month for jobs. The U.S. economy gained only 88,000 jobs according to MSNBC in a bleak article titled “Without jobs, college grads head for ‘debtors’ prison.” Economists had predicted an average of 190,000 new jobs.

The bright spot in this gloom and doom report: the manufacturing sector. Manufacturing alone has added 50,00 jobs over the past three years.

Rana Faroohar of Time magazine commented on this statistic telling MSNBC, “What is interesting about the manufacturing renaissance this time around, it is not your grandfather’s manufacturing or your father’s manufacturing. The other thing to remember is that every dollar created in the manufacturing sector creates $1.50 in the rest of the economy.”

Is that true?

Yes, according to a report by the National Association of Manufacturers.

Should you try to land a manufacturing job?

So you’ve just graduated college and you’re not happy with the results that a four-year degree have gotten you landing a job. Do you go on to graduate school in order to delay paying off crushing student loan debt?

A better alternative may be getting practical technical skills that can be applied to an in-demand and high-paying career in manufacturing. In 2010, the average cost of a graduate degree was between $5,000 to $38,000. In most cases it will be towards the higher end. Per credit hour, a master’s degree is substantially more than undergraduate coursework. Does adding more debt on top of debt make sense when it’s uncertain if a job is out there for you even with more education? Then consider that the Advanced Manufacturing Machinist Training offered at Finger Lakes Community College in $2,400 for a two-year program.

In the same two years it takes to get a master’s degree you could have a degree in a field that applies to manufacturing with far less debt. It’s predicted that an additional 300,000 manufacturing jobs will open in the U.S. in coming years. More and more manufacturing jobs are returning to the U.S. from overseas. Students receiving manufacturing skills are being hired before they’re even out of college.

The U.S. is on the cusp of a manufacturing boom, and manufacturing isn’t like it was in your grandfather’s, or even your father’s days. Manufacturing is cleaner, safer and more high-tech than ever before.

photo credit: bisgovuk via photopin cc

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