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Toolbelt Generation Finds Other Ways to Prepare for Work

Toolbelt Generation Finds Other Ways to Prepare for Work

There is an interesting phenomenon now sweeping the American workforce. It is most prevalent among Gen Z, but we are seeing it among older workers as well. What is it? Foregoing a traditional college degree in favor of vocational training and career certification programs.

Generation Z has earned the nickname the ‘toolbelt generation‘ as a result of the decision to seek vocational training. And what is behind the transition from traditional college education to vocational and career certification programs? Two things: the cost of higher education and the inability to get a job related to one’s degree.

College Is Out of Reach

For the better part of 30 years, our culture has emphasized the need for a college education to get ahead in life. High schools have been obsessed with SAT scores and standardized testing in order to funnel as many graduates into college as possible. We have even gone so far as to define success by whether a student graduates with a degree or not.

All of this has come at a cost – a huge cost, in fact. For the 2023-2024 school year, the average tuition and fees at a private college was $42,162. Total tuition and fees at public colleges, for out-of-state students, came in at $23,630. But that’s nothing. Vanderbilt students could be paying up to $100k this fall.

The truth is that college is out of reach for many families. And yet graduating high school students still need to prepare for work. The good news is that there are alternatives, many of which lead to high paying jobs brimming with career advancement opportunities.

Vocational Schools and Certification Programs

One of the options is vocational school. Students go to various trade schools to learn how to be plumbers, electricians, tool and die workers, and so forth. Students not particularly interested in trades can prepare for work through career certification programs, like those offered at ProTrain.

What do our certification programs offer? We have programs for tech workers, medical billers and coders, HR professionals, and more. All our programs are facilitated through an online portal.

Become a Professional Drone Pilot

A good example of what a student can accomplish through ProTrain is becoming a certified drone pilot. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) offers a commercial drone certification known as FAA Part 107. Students can prepare for the exam by taking our drone training course online.

This is a 20-hour, self-paced course that can be completed as quickly as the student desires. Upon registration and payment, students have up to 12 months to complete the work. Coursework features more than 120 knowledge concepts presented by way of 70+ videos. Students are also offered bonus lessons featuring practical flight knowledge. Everything is tied together by live, weekly Zoom webinars.

In just 20 coursework hours, a student can be ready to sit for the FAA Part 107 exam. Our online drone training prepares students to become full-time drone pilots without undergoing a 4–6-year degree program.

Jobs Are Out There 

Whether a student is interested in a drone training course, medical coding and billing courses, or even vocational training, jobs are out there to be had. These are good-paying jobs with all the benefits and perks employers can offer.

The toolbelt generation is no longer a lock for the standard college education. Many Gen Zers are choosing vocational school or career certification programs to prepare for work. You can too. Email us for more information about the FAA Commercial Drone Certification (FAA Part 107) course – or any other course we offer!