Occupational studies indicate that demand is rising rapidly in Canada and across the world for people with technical skills training in the trades and the industrial sector. If you are at a crossroads between the pursuit of a university degree or attending a vocational or trade school, carefully consider your personal interests, abilities, and the current state of the job market.
The status associated with a university education influences many parents to steer their children in that direction. Unfortunately, many students ‘drop out’ because they are just not inclined to continue in their ‘chosen’ field. Others drift from one program to another trying to find ‘a good fit’, and some ultimately end up where they perhaps should have gone in the first place – to a vocational or technical school.
HR experts, however, are of the opinion that the traditional ‘prestige factor’ of a university degree may be fading. Practical, job-oriented training provided by trade school programs, coupled with an increasing demand for skilled trades professionals, seems to offer enhanced career opportunities – and better remuneration. Many university graduates unfortunately realize this after-the-fact.
Choosing the right education stream is even more critical today, as hundreds of applicants may be competing for a single position, and the need to distinguish/differentiate yourself is paramount – and significantly more challenging.
Consider the Advantages of Become a Skilled Trades Professional in Canada
- Increased job/career opportunities – research suggests that, over the next 20 years, up to 40% of new jobs will be in skilled trades
- Better pay – skilled professionals earn higher-than-average incomes
- Be your own boss – a number of skilled professionals gravitate toward entrepreneurship and become successful business owners
Many myths exist about pursuing a technical education. One such myth is that individuals who enrol in technical/vocational schools only do so because they could not gain admission into university. Nothing could be further from the truth. In reality, those who choose to pursue a technical/trade pathway have probably found their niche and are more likely to be employed faster. A 2010 StatsCan survey revealed that students from a college or trade school are more likely to find employment following graduation than those trying to enter the workforce with a bachelor’s degree from a university.
This is not to say that everyone should abandon the idea of obtaining a university degree. The message here is to consider all of the critical factors – personal interests, abilities, and the current/projected job market – in order make the right decision for yourself and your future.
Share your thoughts about the demand for skilled professionals in Canada.