Leading the way in bringing students to the trades

Let’s say you are a high school student who loves to work with your hands. Ever since you were young you took apart appliances and built things out of nothing. As you approach High School graduation, surely your school would offer an array of potential careers where your love and aptitude for building things would be most valued. Right?

The answer is that is that it depends. If you are interested in going into robotics or engineering or dozens of other technical careers where you would work with large companies designing new technology, you would be in luck. Schools are very good at showing students how to find four-year college programs with degrees in these types of fields.

But let’s say you don’t want to go to a four-year college. What if an apprenticeship or an on-the-job training program at a trade company was more your passion? Then you might not be so lucky. True your school could direct you to a technical college, but beyond that, there wouldn’t be much information no the variety of hands-on jobs available.

It used to be that High schools had more connection to trade-related businesses. Shop class instructors knew local contractors or union reps and could help students identify a path into one of these careers. But starting forty years ago, there was a slow and steady shift away from teaching hands-on skills like shop and even home economics. With the disappearance of these types of classes, the career paths into them also vanished.

Today, many career counselors are at a loss as to how to direct a student looking for this type of career option. In some schools it is even discouraged, as schools are often measured by their success rate of sending students to the best four-year colleges. The more students they send to prestigious college programs, the higher value the school has.

A push has been made to recognize that college is not the only option for students, but resources are limited and many High School career counselors have limited time to learn about these type of career choices.

At Desk Free Nation we are working on changing this. We want to give High Schools the tools they need to help students understand and enter these dynamic career paths. Which is why we are building websites with location specific information on how to become a plumbing, electrician or HVAC technician. We want to take the mystery out of finding and preparing for these careers.