Not everyone needs a four-year college degree. Student loan debt outstanding in the U.S. totaled $1.13 trillion as of Sept. 30, up by $100 billion from a year earlier, according to the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
And there’s a growing mismatch between as increasingly costly degrees meet flagging job opportunities in recent years. According to Anthony Carnevale, director of the Center on Education and the Workforce at Georgetown University, said nearly a third of people aged 22 through 26 with a Bachelor of Arts degree either don’t have a job or are working at one that doesn’t require a university degree. The numbers are similar for young people with vocational degrees, but those lower-cost degrees don’t typically lead to heavy debts.
High school counselors, who once almost automatically steered smart kids toward four-year colleges, now are more aware of the job opportunities for those with technical skills – like maritime welding. Technical schools, like Tidewater Community College, are preparing students of all ages for careers with training that can be completed in two years or less.
One of the most in-demand jobs for students in cities like Norfolk, Portsmouth and Chesapeake, Virginia? Maritime welding.
Maritime welders who graduate from TCC with a year of training can start making easily as much as $47,620.
Demand for welders has been strong in Hampton Roads for the past few years, largely because of booming maritime and ship repair industries. Demand is expected to rise in the near-term as an expanded Panama Canal brings a flow of huge ships through the area. Meanwhile, the number of qualified welders isn’t high enough to meet the growing need. Walter Duke, program head of Tidewater Community College’s welding program in Portsmouth, Va., says most of his welding students secure jobs before they graduate.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates there will be 378,200 U.S. jobs for welders in 2022, up 6% from the 2012 level. But welders with advanced skills and experience can do very well in an area like Hampton Road with its deep harbors and technologically advanced seaports.
In two years or less, TCC students are developing the skills they need to land high-demand, high-paying careers as maritime technicians and technical supervisors. Even better, they’re saving thousands of dollars over the cost of a four-year school. Tidewater Community College is more than affordable and convenient.
Learn more about high-paying and in-demand port and maritime careers at tccport.com.
Interested in taking a welding class at Tidewater Community College? Request information via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 757-822-1122.