A college degree is a great option for many individuals, but all too often society overlooks other pathways to successful work. And for millions of Americans suffering under enormous student loan debt, that oversight is impacting their futures for decades.
In a new video released by the Foundation for Government Accountability (FGA), conservative commentator and Fox News contributor Lawrence Jones discusses the student debt crisis and the role society must play in reemphasizing various pathways to economic success.
“I don’t know if you’ve looked at your last plumbing bill or electricity bill—those are trade school [jobs]—they make excellent money,” Jones says.
Total U.S. student debt has climbed to more than $1.4 trillion dollars, with the average student debt per person reaching over $37,000. Nationwide, there are more than seven million available jobs, many of which do not require a traditional four-year college degree. Yet despite this demand, society continues to push graduating high school students to buy a one-way ticket to student debt.
In Jones’s view, schools should be counseling students about the risk of assuming student loan debt.
“A lot of the universities don’t care about that right now, so they’re not educating our kids because guess what? All the loans come from the federal government now, and they’re going to get their check from Sallie Mae anyway,” Jones says.
The demand for electricians, automotive workers, and other trade school-educated jobs has not gone away. Now is the time for communities, thought leaders, and policymakers to embrace alternative pathways to work—including trade schools and apprenticeships—ultimately meeting the demands of a diverse 21st century economy.