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College enrollment is dropping, but skilled-trades programs are booming.

Mar 29 2022

College enrollment is dropping, but skilled-trades programs are booming. Colleges and universities across the U.S. have been hit hard during the pandemic as graduating high school students opt for gap years or work instead, with two-year colleges experiencing the worst of it. Skilled-trades programs on the other hand are experiencing an uptick in enrollment: From 2019 to 2021, enrollment in agriculture, agriculture operations, and related sciences increased 38%, psychology jumped 6%, construction trades 5%, architecture and related services 4%, and transportation and materials moving 1%. Not only are these programs attractive to graduating high school students who don’t want to work at a computer all day long, it’s helping them achieve their goals of securing a high-paying job in the future without enormous sums of student debt. YPulse’s education research shows 68% of middle / high school students wish they learned more about alternatives to a traditional college growing up. (NPR)