Home » Is Your Path an Adventure- Or Forced March?

IEC Chesapeake has blogged about the history of apprenticeship, traditions in the U.S. and Europe, and about the notion that pathways to education should be seen as pathways; an adventure, not a forced march.

walking path in the woods

A recent Forbes article by Jack Kelly (Senior Contributor, October 3rd), “Why Some Say College is No Longer the Sure Path to Success”, raises a number of important points. Perhaps one of the most compelling is that Americans encourage 17 and 18 year old’s to take on huge college or university debts when, on the other hand, we deem them underage to drink or vote. Oh, and fun reminder- they just started driving two years before that…

However we seem to be comfortable saddling them with a debt that is as large as many mortgages and no clear plan to pay the loan off. Education loans are not tied to proof of major in school or the hire ability of the candidate at the end of the four years. Can you imagine strolling into a Lexus dealership with no license, no job, and promising you will pay off an RX 450? Do you expect to leave with one, because I can’t see that happening?

Apprenticeships have always been relevant, but they feel more relevant than ever right now. We KNOW that many college graduates are not only saddled with heavy debts but that many are also not earning much more than high school graduates. Where is the ROI on the college loan for that student?

“College for all” is a rally cry I am not fond of. I believe the rally cry ought to be “education for all”. Your education may take you down a very different path than your parents or your friends. I would hope that as you weigh out which pathway to take you consider the terrain, degree of difficulty, the amount of time you can devote, and whether or not you have the gear you need to make the trek.

Your path may look like a college. It may look like an apprenticeship- in construction, mechanical, telecomm, or other careers.

I can make you a promise that if you take a look at the electrical pathway you will be rewarded with a four year apprenticeship where you will earn while you learn, resulting in zero school debt.

You might apprentice with a firm that reimburses you for your tuition; many IECC Contractor Members do. You will graduate employed and earning anywhere from mid- fifties to mid- sixties (yes, $60K). I further promise you a career with as much trajectory as you are interested in. Superintendent? Project Manager? Business Owner? All possible.

Just as your choice of collegiate institution is important to your success, so is your choice of Apprenticeship Program. Do your due diligence- look around. If you have the talent for the electrical industry, IEC Chesapeake Apprenticeship is a well- established Journeyman program worthy of your consideration. Visit our path here.

Jenny Boone
Business Development, IEC-Chesapeake/ IECC