High School Shop Class Returns as Demand For Trade Labor Grows

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The days of high school shop class seemed near over about thirty years ago, but now, it’s back in style as trades are becoming a more prevalent career option. According to CNBC, with an increase in funding for Career and Technical Education (CTE) programs, high schools have been encouraging students to take CTE classes amid a growing favorable job outlook. 

For a long time, high school students were being pushed to enter a four-year college rather than a trade. Unfortunately, many college graduates found themselves jobless when it came time to enter the workforce. However, the growing demand for labor in trades pulled some jobless graduates in that direction, and they discovered a new path that allowed them to pursue a high-demand trade and grow their bank account. While a four-year degree is still encouraged, trades are now highlighted as an option too. 


Students enrolled in a CTE course are building valuable skills to help them enter the workforce. Some key trades in high demand for labor right now include welding, metal working, the construction industry, and utility work. While some jobs have seen a decline in openings, trades have only increased as the need for skilled workers continues to be essential to many different industries across the country. 

There are a myriad of benefits for pursuing a trade, according to those who have done so. Nolan Brunn, a welder, is one tradesman who shared that his career choice has “given him a competitive advantage in the the job market,” and he already makes between $60,000 to $70,000 each year. Brunn also pointed out that with his skills in welding, he has the power to leave a company if he’s not being treated well because there are so many jobs available, while his college graduates friends may not have that option. 


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