Alternatives to College that Parents Should Consider

In today’s podcast, Bryan explores the upsides of choosing a career in the skilled trades instead of going to college. He also covers ways to prepare your child for a trades education and career while they are still deciding what to do with their lives.

When we think about what we want for our kids, the following goals come up quite often: purpose, financial upside and reward, freedom from debt, and joy. The trades can offer a lifestyle that covers all of these bases. However, the opinions of our friends and the fear of failing as a parent may prevent us from encouraging our children to enter the trades.

Going to college has plenty of downsides, such as saddling students with debt and not guaranteeing opportunities to move forward in a career.

Alternative career paths include the HVAC/R trades, electricians, off-grid solar technicians, and so on. Your child will learn hard skills on these career paths that are easily transferable. These trades also generally have plenty of apprenticeship opportunities. In the case of HVAC/R, technicians may also have the opportunity to earn a lot more money in only a few years. At that rate, they will have ideally saved some money to go to college later on if they believe that college is truly the right choice for them.

Bryan also covers:

  • The desire for purpose and impact in a career
  • Doing good work vs. being seen doing good work
  • Advantages and disadvantages of college
  • The societal obsession with certificates of completion
  • How to avoid feeling “stuck” as a young adult
  • What it means to have a high opportunity/learning ceiling
  • Interesting and meaningful problem-solving in a career
  • Acquiring hard skills
  • Diversity of challenges in a career
  • Strong lateral problem-solving skills
  • Advantages and disadvantages of home education
  • Autodidactism
  • Alternative career paths with financial and personal upside

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