As the cost of a four-year college degree continues to soar, apprentice programs are appealing to more and more young people (“Want a White-Collar Career Without College Debt? Become an Apprentice,” The New York Times, Dec. 11). Not only do they lead to well-paying jobs, but they don’t burden enrollees with heavy student debt.
Most apprentice programs are still in skilled trades, but in the past two years more than 700 programs have been created in white-collar fields. Once trained, graduates are quickly hired. Yet opposition remains. Critics claim that they create a two-tier system: those graduating from elite schools who establish connections and those in apprentice programs who lack such ties. But we already have a two-tier system. I question if graduates from third-tier universities can ever hope to compete with graduates from the Ivies.
I say it’s time to give vocational education the respect it deserves. The new apprentice programs are a step in the right direction.
(To post a comment, click on the title of this blog.)