PHOENIX (KSAZ) - There are figures that show a four-year college degree no longer guarantees its holder a good job, and a secure future.
According to numbers, students with a Liberal Arts degree earned, on average, $43,000 a year, a decade after they graduated. In addition, many leave school with crushing student loan debt.
What if someone can go to school for just one year, and almost be guaranteed a well-paying job?
There may be a way, and it's called Technical Schools.
Students at Universal Technical Institute in Avondale are hoping to put their skills to good use. With millions of cars and trucks on the road, they all need repairs at some point.
That's when these students' skills will be in need. A one-year program at the school combines class work with lots of hands-on experience.
For Anthony Villa, who was a sniper in the United States Marine Corps, he needed a marketable skill when he got out of the Armed Forces, but decided to pass on a college degree.
"I have a lot of friends that float around," said Villa. "They got a degree in something there's just not a demand for, and they're sitting there with a four-year degree. and a lot of tuition to pay back."
"I decided to choose something that I could work with my hands that I would enjoy, but it was also in high demand," Villa went on to say.
The President of UTI Avondale, Mike Romano, said many parents still cling onto the dream that their kids graduate from college.
"There's a particular format that you follow after high school, and that's your only path to real opportunities out there," said Romano. "Nothing could be further from the truth."
"We can put them to work right away, and then put them with a Master Technician, and we grow them, and those guys become very successful and make a lot of money," said Daniel Sanchez, a Service Manager for Van GMC. He hires many UTI graduates. Sanchez said his top employees make $140,000
That's 140 thousand dollars, per year.
The average cost to attend UTI is nearly $40,000. While it is not cheap, a job could be easily found after graduation.
Doug Young has researched and written extensively about the changing job market.
"50% of college graduates are underemployed," said Young. "People used to think that 'college for all' was the right way to go, and in my generation, that worked. Today, that's not true. You have to find a job skill first. Going to college is not automatic."
Young found something startling, when he reviewed the college scorecard that was put out by the Federal Government.
"I found out that students at [UTI] made more on average than Liberal Arts Colleges in the United States," said Young.
The dream of a four-year college degree is still alive and well. Young said the bottom line is to get a job skill. To learn more about Young's research on the job market, read the document below.
Can't see the document? click here.