Not a day goes by that I am not grateful that I attended a trade school, for my high school education. My parents were very concerned, about where I was going to attend school, since they kept me in private education, for most of my life (blah). I know my mother wanted me to attend an all girls school, that would set me up for a future at Harvard, or some other Ivy League college, as was her dream. But that was not mine. One day, when my mother and I were watching television together, we saw a commercial for my high school, and I immediately knew that was where I would fit in. My cousin had attended for construction, and had done quite well. At the time my dream was to attend for culinary arts, but fate chose a different path for me.
At the time when I attended, there were about 14 different shops and we were given a period of about half a year, (one week each), in an exploratory of the different shop choices. We could only pick our top 9 favorite to explore, before we chose. Of course, culinary was at the top of my list, but so was Commercial Art, Auto CAD, and Metal Fab. The exploratory time was very fun, and it changed my perception, of what I wanted in a future career in. My aunt was an artist, and so was my grandmother, so naturally I chose Commercial Art and Design, later to be renamed Design and Visual Communications. And this was an amazing choice. There I learned all manners of fine art, and commercial art, and how to incorporate art and design, into business. My teachers were amazing, and very knowledgeable and I still keep in touch with them today.
I was also accepted into a Beta Engineering testing program, that replaced my gym and science classes with Engineering and Electronics classes. These were fun and experimental times for me, and the lessons I learned there, have carried into adulthood. I certainly would not be electroplating my jewelry without prior electronics experience. I took part in a program called Skills USA, where trade schools and shops would compete in competitions, with the best and brightest of their skill set competing for gold medals. During this time, I met so many wonderful people, and I learned many "skills" that would translate into my adult life. Without my experiences in trade school, I don't think I would have the confidence to run my own business. I have talked to many people who have just gotten bachelor's degrees after traditional public school, and most can't find jobs. If you have the ability to create a good or service, or a need for one, then you will never be without a job. I crafted my degree and education to fit my life choices, and I think more Americans should rethink traditional education, because it is failing us. Most of the trades will have you trained and certified by the time you graduate, with no prior need for a four year degree. I'm not saying that one should not attend college, but it is certainly not meant for all.
Thanks for reading!