top of page

As US college enrollment declines, trade programs increase

At Express Employment Professionals, we interview about 2,000 job seekers annually and place about 500,000 in jobs with our customers in the US, Canada, S. Africa and Australia. Unsurprisingly, many job orders come in with a caveat of experience in trade skills.

Per AP and Fox News, America is seeing students skip traditional higher education. Consider the following points: 

·        Fewer students are registering for college classes across the U.S. with a decline of 3.4% at four-year public institutions and 7.8% at two-year colleges

·        Trade schools continue to gain popularity despite state program offering free community college 

·        Schools that offer trade programs are gaining more popularity due to its affordability and potential to provide a more obvious path to a job 

·        Big Business has begun to waive college degrees as a prerequisite given the demand for talent

Bottomline: While almost every sector of higher education has fewer students registering for classes, many trade programs are thriving.

And while trade programs are often more affordable than a traditional four-year degree, students state they ‘can more easily see a path to a well-paying job’. Trends?

Mechanic and repair trade programs saw an enrollment increase of 11.5% from spring 2021 to 2022, according to the National Student Clearinghouse. In construction trades, enrollment grew 19.3%, and in culinary programs, it increased 12.7%. Meanwhile, overall enrollment declined 7.8% at public two-year colleges, and 3.4% at public four-year institutions.

In our home state of Oklahoma, CareerTech plays an increasingly critical role in economic and workforce development. CareerTech teachers and support staff have great impact on the next generation of our workforce, which is especially important in today’s economy where businesses across the nation are having difficulty finding skilled applicants to fill open positions. Our Express companies give freely to Oklahoma CareerTech – rated the best in the US by a variety of standards – and applaud the dedication of CareerTech leaders, students, innovative and hands-on curricula and positive outcomes.

About Oklahoma CareerTechFor more than 100 years, Oklahoma CareerTech has been connecting students and businesses with training opportunities that help Oklahomans find rewarding careers and support Oklahoma industries. Our goal is to develop a world-class workforce for Oklahoma employers and prepare Oklahomans to succeed in the workplace, in education and in life.

·       29 tech centers operating on 60 campuses

·       397 PK-12 school districts

·       16 Skills Centers campuses

·       32 Adult Education and Family Literacy providers at 116 sites

·       489,635 total CareerTech enrollments in FY23

·       8,764 companies served by CareerTech in FY23

(Note: Number of businesses served is duplicated in some categories.)


Featured Posts
Recent Posts
Search By Tags
No tags yet.
Follow Us
  • Facebook Basic Square
  • Twitter Basic Square
  • Google+ Basic Square
bottom of page