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Success Without College - Earn While You Learn

June 11, 2018

Success Without College - Earn While You Learn


Another path to success without college is to “earn while you learn,” which means you are learning a marketable skill and being paid at the same time.  You don't need a degree. 


“Not everybody wants to go to college, but everybody wants to be successful.” said Romond Holt on Fox4 Kansas City, the outreach coordinator for the Builder’s Association in North Kansas City.  The Builders’ Association has a program called “Earn While You Learn.



 The most common of “earn while you learn” is an apprenticeship.  Many careers offer apprenticeships. An apprenticeship has lots of on the job training, and you are paid while you learn.  The question to ask before working with a plumbing company is whether or not they offer Journeyperson or Master plumbing training for free to apprentices.  


An employer must be registered with the U.S. Department of Labor if they are offering an apprenticeship.    These are called “registered apprenticeship programs” and must have a written Apprenticeship Agreement If it isn’t a registered apprentice program, it is a scam.  


If there is no written Apprenticeship Agreement, it is a scam.


“Historically, apprenticeships were found mainly in the manufacturing, construction and energy industries. In 2017, the top 30 occupation titles of active apprentices were still mainly associated with these industries - with electrician and carpenter at the top. To meet this demand, Michigan State University offers an Online Electrical Apprenticeship program. The educational experience is a four-year program registered with the U.S. Department of Labor (USDOL), Office of Apprenticeship and Training”


The construction industry is another that has started using “Earn While You Learn” programs.   For example, Michigan Works, Spence Brothers and Delta College have planned a Construction Career Awareness Event.  Recent large construction projects have started in Saginaw and construction workers are needed.  Any person who takes the training and graduates will be likely to get employment immediately. 


In the healthcare field, “Earn While You Learn” opportunities are available as well.  At Samaritan Medical Center, its “Earn While You Learn” program was featured. It trains people to become Certified Nursing Assistants, and if completed successfully, guarantees employment to all graduates who obtain a state certification.


The Independent Electrical Contractors Rocky Mountain (IECRM) has a four year apprenticeship program.  They just graduated their largest class, all of whom have jobs and are either licensed journeyman or on the way - and no college debt. 


In New York City, a non-profit called the ACE Mentor Program offers a free after-school program in the architecture, construction and engineering fields.  Over 9,000 students participate. The ACE Mentor Program was started by companies in those fields who saw a need for new people to enter into these professions.  They solved the problem by creating the solution themselves. It is free and after school hours.


There is a related program for the plumbing, air, carpentry and electrical fields called PACE.  “It was partly in response to a shortage of workers in the construction trades, and many program graduates are headed to apprenticeships and two-year degrees.”


There are many success without college stories.  Both business and academic communities see that our economy cannot run on eggheads alone.  The United States need people who can actually do stuff, fix stuff and build stuff. That could be you.





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