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Apprenticeships Make People More Job-Ready Than College

A majority of Americans (62%) agree that apprenticeships—or “earn while learning” vocational opportunities—make people more employable than going to college, according to the results of the latest American Staffing Association Workforce Monitor® survey of more than 2,000 U.S. adults conducted online by The Harris Poll.

About seven in 10 U.S. adults say learning a specific trade is better for finding a job than a bachelor’s degree (68%) and that college degrees aren’t worth as much as they used to be (69%). A majority disagree that completing an apprenticeship will limit one’s future employment options (71%) and that earn-while-learning programs generally lead to a lower salary than occupations requiring a college degree (60%).

Nine out of 10 Americans (94%) say that apprenticeships are helpful in leading to a new career. And they think that these vocational opportunities are valuable because they provide people with the ability to prepare for a job (94%) and learn an interesting trade (94%).

About nine in 10 U.S. adults (87%) say it is smart to consider both apprenticeships and college as options.

“Apprenticeships or earn and learn programs offer great value to job seekers because they get paid while learning a new vocation—available across a wide variety of occupations and industries,” said Richard Wahlquist, ASA president and chief executive officer. “U.S. businesses need to act now to launch work-based learning programs to address the widening skills gap and help attract and hire the best candidates in this tight labor market.”

To learn more about the ASA Workforce Monitor, visit americanstaffing.net/workforcemonitor. You can also follow ASA research on Twitter.

Research Method

The Harris Poll conducted the survey online within the U.S. on behalf of ASA April 5–9, 2018, among a total of 2,029 U.S. adults age 18 and older. Results were weighted on age, education, race/ethnicity, household income, and geographic region where necessary to bring them into line with their actual proportions in the U.S. population. Propensity score weighting was also used to adjust for respondents’ propensity to be online.

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About the American Staffing Association

The American Staffing Association is the voice of the U.S. staffing, recruiting, and workforce solutions industry. ASA and its state affiliates advance the interests of the industry across all sectors through advocacy, research, education, and the promotion of high standards of legal, ethical, and professional practices. For more information about ASA, visit americanstaffing.net.

About the ASA Workforce Monitor

The ASA Workforce Monitor is a periodic survey commissioned by ASA and conducted online by Harris Poll among 1,000 or more U.S. adults age 18 and older. The survey series focuses on current workforce trends and issues. For more information about the survey series, visit americanstaffing.net/workforcemonitor.

About The Harris Poll

The Harris Poll is one of the longest running surveys in the U.S. (tracking public opinion, motivations, and social sentiment since 1963) and is now part of Harris Insights & Analytics, a global consulting and market research firm.

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