Vocational certificates an alternative to college

It seems as though every day we hear bad news about higher education. Tuition is rising, nearly 40% of all college students fail to graduate even in six years, and many of those who do graduate can’t find jobs— yet are saddled with debt.

Thus, it is a surprise to get some good news — newly uncovered statistics that paint a more positive picture. They remind us that practical Americans find ways around problems. While young people continue to be pushed to get a college degree, some are finding alternatives that suit them better.

One of those alternatives is “certificates.” These are credentials awarded for vocational programs that prepare students for specific jobs, in fields ranging from metal working to office management. Getting a certificate usually takes two years or less. It is cheaper than a four-year degree, for both students and taxpayers (federal grants and loans are available for certificate programs).

The rest of the story is available at USA Today:http://www.usatoday.com/news/opinion/forum/story/2012-06-15/shaw-certificates-college-vocational/55601200/1

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