EDUCATION + SCHOOLS

Are more kids choosing apprenticeships over college?

Mar 16, 2023, 5:06 PM | Updated: 5:32 pm

Students at UVU...

Students work in a common space at Utah Valley University in Orem on Tuesday, Jan. 10, 2023. (Spenser Heaps, Deseret News)

(Spenser Heaps, Deseret News)

SALT LAKE CITY—It’s drilled in our heads from the time we are kids: “Go to college, and you’ll get a great job.” Despite this, data suggests more kids are deciding to go against the grain, pursuing apprenticeships over college.

According to data obtained by The Wall Street Journal, nationwide apprenticeships have shot up 50% over the past decade. At the same time, college enrollment has dropped by 15%.

What about apprenticeships in Utah?

The Beehive State is seeing some similar trends.

According to the data from The Utah Department of Workforce Services, the total number of apprentices has increased by about 15% since the department began tracking the data in 2019.

“Each fiscal year we’re seeing an increase in (apprenticeship) programs and occupations,” said Lindsay Cropper, Program Manager at DWS.

Cropper also said the number of apprenticeship programs has steadily been on the rise, and there could be a big reason for that.

“Apprenticeships in Utah are really one of the great pathways that lead to a successful career path,” Cropper said. “They put individuals on a career path to earn a great living without a ton of college debt.”

In just the last year, Utah got over 2,000 new apprentices.

“(Apprenticeships are) opening up more…occupations (to Utahans),” Cropper said.

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Are more kids choosing apprenticeships over college?