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Trade school to high-paying job in 9 months, reports CNN

The headline of a recent CNN Money article sums up the benefit of a vocational school over a four-year degree for many of the nation’s youth: “Nine months in trade school. Job Guaranteed.”

The article  goes on to describe the recent success rate of a class from the Wilbur Wright-Humboldt Park vocational college. While attending a career fair, five of the 41 students — who had still had four months of a nine month certification left — were offered jobs. The program was in computerized numerical control (CNC) machining.

Marc Smierciak, associate dean of instruction at the vocational college told CNN, “Employers right now need workers with these high-precision skills. But the mismatch is that most of America’s unemployed workforce doesn’t possess these skills.” The demand is so great for skilled factory labor that 100 percent of  last year’s CNC graduates from the school were placed in jobs.

According to CNN, the starting salaries for new hires averages around $40,000 a year, with a possible salary of $55,00 to $65,000 in less than two years. The cost of a two-year degree at a college cited in the article as offering a two-year manufacturing degree was $8,000 to $10,000. Compare that to a traditional four-year degree, especially given the fact that tuition has increased by 15 percent since 2010, and it’s easy to see why young people are increasingly being attracted to careers in manufacturing out of high school.

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