Is education the key to success?

Have you heard the phrase, “getting an education is the key to success”? And have you ever tried to decipher what this means? When I hear the word “education,” the first thing that comes to mind is someone who chooses to go to college and pursue a degree. However, getting an education can also include going through a certification program and following a tradesman’s path. Today’s norm is to attend college, but have you considered taking an alternative path? If so, it is essential to weigh the pros and cons of every educational path you are considering and use labor market information to influence your decision.

College: College may be the safest option, but is it the best option for you? Remember that choosing to attend college is a long-term and expensive commitment. You should attend college if you have a specific career path in mind. However, college is rigorous, and you should be prepared to adjust your plans periodically. College is a great place to take advantage of all it has to offer, including a rigorous academic education, access to the college’s career and development office, and a network of the college’s alumni. 

Trade: Another career path you can choose is to pursue a trade. There are many options to choose from, such as becoming a plumber, electrician, welder, or HVAC technician. These are alternative career options with many job opportunities that offer above-average wages for the Gulf Coast Region. Programs for these trades range from six months to four years to become certified. However, many of these trades allow you to take a hands-on approach while in a program. If you prefer a hands-on, trial-and-error way of learning, pursuing a trade might be the right educational path for you. Additionally, there is currently a shortage of individuals seeking trade programs, giving you more opportunities right off the bat. 

 Ultimately, it comes down to various factors: time, money, preferences, and interests. With the cost of education rising year after year, it is critical to evaluate the potential debt you will incur based on the educational path you select.

Whichever educational path you choose, a great place to start looking for labor market information is on our website by taking a closer look at the High-skill, High-growth Occupations. Here, we highlight careers in the areas projected to have ongoing employment opportunities within the next ten years.

Jason Rodriguez is a Career Navigator for a Workforce Solutions. He is a graduate from the College of the Holy Cross where he received his Bachelor of Arts Degree in Chinese and a Minor in Anthropology. Jason is a native Houstonian with a passion for helping others to find a job, keep a job, or get a better job.

What do you want to be when you grow up?

Velta WorleyWhen you were in junior high or high school, what type of career did you want? Were you looking at college, and if so, how did you decide what to major in? I realize that my own high school experience was lacking in both reality and guidance towards the future. Very often our decisions are made based on what we see around us, what’s popular at the time, or even influenced by family and friends. Continue reading “What do you want to be when you grow up?”

Higher Education vs. Apprenticeships

Diego Trevino“There are many ways to brew coffee.” When preparing for your dream job, you will find a variety of ways to gain the skills necessary, just like there are a variety of ways to brew your morning cup. The services Workforce Solutions offers can provide several of these ways in the form of training for and obtaining these skills. We have partners all over the 13-county Gulf Coast region who strive to make sure their customers (or students) reach their educational goals. Continue reading “Higher Education vs. Apprenticeships”

Declaring your Independence this Fourth of July

Cornelius BookerThe Fourth of July is known as Independence Day. It is the day we celebrate United States of America’s adoption of the Declaration of Independence. When most think about declaration of Independence, we think about the decisions that we make in order to become self-sufficient in life. Some of those important decisions involve the type of career we choose, the schools we attend or whether to continue our education and training beyond high school. But I want to remind our readers that there are several ways to declare your Independence. Continue reading “Declaring your Independence this Fourth of July”