Americans are rethinking the “American Dream,” and part of it is eliminating the college part of getting there. University enrollment is falling as young people reconsider the value of a 4-year degree. The Gen Z generation questions whether it is the fastest route to financial independence, and they might have a case.
The wages of skilled laborers without a degree have tripled in the last 70 years, while careers that require a degree have yet to double during that same time-frame.
Meanwhile, tuition cost has increased 4 times. With tuition skyrocketing, many young Americans prefer to make money right out of high school through a trade instead of creating debt through student loans.
Consider that 2 out of every 3 people who get a bachelor's degree go into debt. In all, America's student loan debt has reached an astounding $1.5 trillion. While nurses and engineers see low unemployment, these positions require a degree. Other jobs, like HVAC and alternative energy technicians, are growing fast with no degree needed.
Going to a trade school or starting from the bottom and working your way up the chain of command is becoming a better option for gaining financial freedom quicker, and financial freedom has always been the biggest piece of the American Dream.