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Career options abound for Rugby High School students

By Staff | Sep 27, 2013

Julie Sjol is trying to open as many doors for the students at Rugby High School as she can.

The guidance counselor said that more than ever, trades and vocational degrees are becoming more and more attractive to graduates in the current economic climate in the state.

“With the economy the way it is today, a lot of young people should just consider getting a vocational degree,” she said. “Parents want their children to get a bachelor’s degree.That’s who’s fighting it the most. We’re seeing this statewide.

Parents have that in their mind. It’s the traditional route, but it’s so expensive.”

And while four-year degrees may be the best route for most students, learning a trade or earning a vocational degree could get the student in the job market in less than a year, and making more money than they ever have before.

“We don’t persuade kids not to go to school, but in North Dakota sometimes it isn’t necessary,” Sjol said. “Why have this $25,000 debt when you can be working?”

She said students who enjoy agriculture education might be more interested in diesel technology or HVAC systems.

“It’s a natural fit,” she said.

She said that the faster people get into the workforce, the faster they are able to climb the ladder.

“People can move up,” she said. “Maybe they want to be a manager. Once you get into the workforce, you can move up.”

Sjol said students who enjoy computers and technology may be best suited for a vocational degree.

“Being a mechanic is not just a mechanic anymore,” she said. “You need to have math and computer skills. They’re called service technicians because it’s so computerized.”

Sjol said there are also a number of programs available for loan repayment from ag implement and vehicle dealers.

“Many of these students can start working and not even have a loan,” she said.

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