Cost: “Over the last few decades, the cost of a college degree has tripled, completely out of proportion to standard inflation”, said Paula Curtiss, Director for Healing Hands School of Holistic Health (Healing Hands). According to the College Board, the average cost of tuition for a 4 year college education in 2016–2017 was $33,480 at private colleges and $9,650 for public colleges. With the average college debt at $30,000 it’s easy to understand why many millennials are turning to vocational training as a practical alternative”, added Paula.
The US college debt crisis affecting the majority of millennials, has left them struggling to pay off their student loans. With Vocational schools, such as Healing Hands, costs for an education are substantially lower and the duration of the Program usually under two years. At Healing Hands, for example, the 500-hour Massage Therapist Program takes about 7 months and costs approximately $6,000 and the 1000-hour Holistic Health Practitioner Program takes about 12 months and costs about $12,000. These tuition figures reduce student debt by an average of two thirds and get them into a new career in less than 1 year.
Paula isn’t alone in her notion that vocational schools are gaining popularity. The National Student Clearinghouse Research Center suggest that college-enrollment rates have actually decreased for the fourth straight year. They also revealed that more than 75% of our nation’s workforce hold ‘middle skill’ jobs that do not even require a Bachelor’s degree. In fact, jobs that require a 2-year education and on-the job training, make up more than 42% of that 75% total.
At a vocational school, like Healing Hands, students are engaged through contextual learning. Instructors focus on the specific knowledge and skills needed for students to pursue a chosen occupation or career field. In this way, they can complete a Program and get working fast. Instead of a Bachelor’s Degree, a Massage Therapist receives certifications that qualify them to pursue State Certification. Currently, the State requires Massage Therapists to take a minimum of 500 hours. The entire education to certification process takes less than a year allowing graduates to get working fast and reduce a manageable debt quickly, so they can move on with the joy of living.
Anthony Carnevale, Director and Research Professor at Georgetown University’s Center on Education and the Workforce, was recently quoted as saying “approximately 2.8 million university school graduates entered the workforce with Bachelor’s, Master’s and Doctoral degrees in 2015 yet data showed 13.8 percent of 18 to 29-year-olds were unemployed. Their unemployment rate much higher than our national average 5.4 %. That means thousands of millennials are facing an enormous debt incurred by an education that promised a future it could not deliver. All this struggle when in fact, a lot of people might be much happier working at a skilled profession as opposed to corporate career anyway. In other words, traditional college really isn’t for everyone.
In contrast, the US Department of Labor reports the average annual income for Massage Therapists in 2015 was $38,040 with the highest 10 percent earning more than $74,860. The employment outlook and job growth potential for Massage Therapists is especially strong qualifying Massage Therapists as an “in-demand” profession. With employment expected to continue at a rate of 22 percent (vs. 7% average), the industry will be adding 30,000 new jobs before 2024.
According to US News, Massage Therapists rank #50 in The 100 Best Jobs and, #8 in Best Health Care Support Jobs based on 6 important measurements. These include: Median Salary, Employment Rate, 10-Year Growth Volume & Percentage, Job Prospects, Stress Level and Work-Life Balance. When it comes to vocational careers, ‘health care’ is leading the charge. Eight of the country’s 20 fastest growing occupations are in health care. The occupation of Massage Therapist is one of these eight.
Healing Hands has been serving residents through two regional campuses located in Escondido and Laguna Hills for over 24 years and is still going strong. To date, HH has prepared more than 7,000 students for successful careers in Massage Therapy and Holistic Health and can do the same for you! To learn more about HH or to explore if a career in Massage is right for you, please visit us online at www.healinghandsschool.com or call us at (949) 305-2722 in Laguna Hills or (760) 746-9364 in Escondido.