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2030: Technical careers in skills-based industries to boom

Technical education by 2030

A prosperous technical job can bring career satisfaction, a solid income, and the benefits of doing something you really enjoy.

Technical and alternative schools are great training and education options to college.

But can you use student loans to finance such an education?

A study by education company Pearson projects that by 2030, technical careers in construction, information technology, health care, and other skills-based industries will be booming.

Preparation for these careers of the future can come not just from traditional four-year schools, but also career colleges, community colleges, vocational and trade schools, career training centers, apprenticeship programs, Job Corps centers, and military vocational programs.

When thinking about technical education, be sure to see if your local community college has any tuition-free programs.

Tuition-free community colleges could be an option for students who meet eligibility requirements.

While there will still be expenses like transportation and textbooks, if you live in a region where you can get a technical education tuition-free or even take initial classes as you pursue a technical career, it is worth exploring.

For students considering an apprenticeship program, one of the benefits is that participants can get paid while they learn on the job in a career field of interest such as information technology and health care.

This can limit student loan debt and may help a student avoid borrowing for school altogether – for instance, if the program qualifies for federal financial aid and the student is eligible for a Pell Grant.

There are several factors to consider when looking to finance an investment in any kind of technical or alternative education.

A good place to start is to assess what amount of student debt it will take and explore financing opportunities in addition to student loans.

While student loans may be an option, note that federal student loans are reserved for accredited institutions, and not all accredited institutions participating in federal student aid programs.

In fact, many career schools and technical and vocational programs are unaccredited, making students who attend them ineligible for federal financial aid such as federal student loans, the Pell Grant, and federal work-study.

That’s something to keep in mind when exploring schools and programs.

The National Center for Education Statistics College Navigator tool can help you find out if the programs you’re interested in are accredited and eligible for federal student aid.

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