Apprenticeship – Alternative to College

A college degree is the next step for some high school seniors. For others, they may see the college experience to be too overwhelming or costly. The thought of harder courses, expensive books, living expenses, searching for financial aid, picking a major, etc. – all of these are reasons to consider apprenticeship. Before being pressured into going to college, consider other options that are more cost effective and a better fit for you.

Do you enjoy working with your hands? Would you rather work while attending school? Are you thinking about starting your own business in construction? Well, apprenticeship may be the best choice for you. The Arkansas Construction Education Foundation (ACEF) offers classes in Electrical (4 year program), Plumbing (4 year program), Carpentry (4 year program), and HVAC (2 year program). While working full time and getting paid in the trade of your choice, you will attend class one night a week. Therefore, you will be learning on the job as well as in the classroom. ACEF can assist with job placement if you are looking for an employer.

Statistics show that more than half of the skilled-trade positions will open in the next decade due to older workers transitioning into retirement. “The Bureau of Labor Statistics forecasts nearly ten million skilled manufacturing jobs will be vacant in the next decade. Apprenticeships will help address this yawning skills gap and provide economic mobility to a generation drowning in college debt.” (Free 2018) Why go into debt if you don’t have to? You have to decide if a college degree is worth going into personal debt. There are several skilled trade positions that could be a great fit for a young adult who isn’t interested in pursuing a college degree.

Apprenticeship is great for inexperienced people who are willing to learn. Employers are eager to train you and allow you to work with skilled professionals in the trade. ACEF will provide the curriculum and environment to learn with a certified instructor. At the end of your training, you will be experienced and prepared to get your certification/license in the field of your choice. Employers are looking for people with experience and not just a college degree. Allow ACEF to assist you and help prepare you for a profitable career in construction. If you would like more information, please call 501-372-1590.

Free, Mitch. “We Need Fewer College Grads And More Apprentices, Entrepreneurs, And Journey[Wo]Men.” Forbes, Forbes Magazine, 24 Aug. 2018,