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A four-year college degree
isn't for everyone.

Industrial Technology. A rewarding career alternative for students with mechanical and technical skills.

Many of your most enterprising students may find a career in industrial technology more satisfying and better suited to their talents and abilities.

Individuals like these tend to be students who:

  • Are restless in class
  • Prefer to learn by doing
  • Don't feel as though high school coursework is relevant or useful
  • Possesses an independent streak and like to work on their own
  • Are perceived as "rebels" — they want to do things "their way"
  • Respect people who are good at what they do, regardless of what it is they do

Chances are, a four-year degree won't be the ticket for these students. It's better to steer them into a career path that will make them happier and more successful, in a line of work they'll truly enjoy and find fulfilling.

Industrial technology may be a perfect fit for their natural talents and abilities as well as their work styles. It's one of the 10 fastest growth areas in the U.S. economy today. This umbrella term covers a broad range of mechanical and technical careers, including construction, cabinetry, CAD, carpentry, electrical, plumbing, roofing, green/sustainable building, solar, and mechanical trades: auto, diesel, welding, and heavy equipment operation.

Photo of Solar Panels and WorkerCareers with long-term potential

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that more than 1,000,000 new industrial technology jobs will be needed by the year 2012 — particularly in the areas of green technologies — with much of the U.S. infrastructure aging, the baby boomers retiring, and the critical need to address global warming growing exponentially.

As a result, this is an area that offers lots of job security and career mobility for men and women. Every community in the nation needs people with these skills — they are jobs that cannot be outsourced overseas.

Training based on industry standards

Cabrillo College, the Santa Cruz County Regional Occupation Program, local high schools and union apprenticeship programs offer excellent and affordable training programs in various areas of industrial

These programs give students the chance to learn from highly trained instructors using state-of-the-art equipment. Once the students complete this training (usually a two-year program), they have the skills and knowledge to earn the appropriate licenses and certifications to work in the field. Many of them even graduate with the appropriate credentialing. Which means they're ready to "hit the ground running" and start working the day they finish their studies.

It's a win/win for them and their employers. Many may even go on to own their own businesses — and end up earning more than their high school colleagues who went on to pursue "white collar" careers.