We live in a nation that reveres academic achievement, not only because it signifies intelligence, but also because it can mean financial security. What parent does not hope that his or her child will earn a college degree as a "ticket" to a successful life?
Many of our elementary and secondary schools hold the same view, concentrating their efforts on the brightest students, and steering them toward additional academic studies. However, only 25 percent of today's high school students go on to complete four-year degree programs. Many of those in the "neglected majority" - approximately 75 percent of high school students - learn too late that while they might have earned a diploma, they haven't learned to do anything of value to a prospective employer. (Each year, a number of college graduates arrive at the same realization!)
The fact is, a four-year degree program is not the only avenue to a rewarding, well-paying career with long-term potential. A large proportion of the well-paying jobs which will be available in the 21st century will require a high level of technical skill, but not necessarily a four-year college degree.
A study conducted by the University of Michigan in the mid-1990's found that among 54 job fields with median earnings of at least $33,000, 23 did not require a four-year college degree.
Such economic realities are fueling the rapid growth of a newly recognized group of students in higher education: "reverse transfers." They already hold baccalaureate degrees, and now they're enrolled in one- and two-year occupational and technical programs. Officials at community colleges report that between five and 30 percent of their students fit that description.
A career in automotive service technology is a prime example of an opportunity that requires advanced skill, but not an advanced degree. A master technician, with well-honed skills and approximately 10 years' experience, typically earns more than $40,000 in metropolitan areas. Some earn $70,000 to $100,000 annually.
AYES is building the bridge between the bright, technically-oriented young people who are exploring career options, and the needs of automotive dealers who urgently need talented service technicians.
Make it a priority to have your automotive program become NATEF Accredited. Call the National Automotive Technicians Education Foundation at (703) 669-6650 for more information about accreditation procedures (or visit the NATEF web site
). Then take a look at the AYES student/graduate standards
Invite local automotive employers to become partners with you in developing young people who show promise for technical careers. Check out who our supporters
are to help find opportunities.
Click on "Contact Us
" for more information.