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Technical College Can Be a Better Career Move Than Law School

by amcfayden on December 20, 2011

The Wall Street Journal recently featured an article about how the best pay relative to education costs went to those who graduated from a technical college, rather than those who graduated from law schools.

Low tuition rates, a program that lasts only nine months and 100% job placement are three reasons why WATC's Dental Assisting program is growing.

Hedge fund manager Daniel Ades of Kawa Capital Management makes a living investing in portfolios of securitized college loans. He must accurately predict the default rates of students repaying their loans. Analysis of everything from employment rates by profession to the long-term earning potential of young graduates are key factors to the success of the investment. But this analysis has also given Mr. Ades a unique insight into the return of investment for what students spend on their education versus what they receive.

“Students should pick schools where the payoff from higher salaries upon graduation exceeds the cost of the education by the widest margin, he contends, especially when the job market contracts.

By that arithmetic, technical colleges come out on top, Mr. Ades said. “We’re in a skills based economy and what we need is more computer programmers, more [nurses],” he said. “It’s less glamorous but it’s what we need.”

Mr. Ades goes on to say that the low cost relative to the higher wages technical colleges deliver makes them an attractive option. Especially during recessions,  when law school graduates have a harder time finding work than graduates from professional programs and are more likely to default on their student loans.

Now more than ever, Wichita Area Technical College offers an attractive return on a student’s education investment. With an average job placement success rate of 94% (including job placement, continued education or military), WATC students are taught the skills they’ll need to land good jobs immediately upon completion of one of WATC’s more than 75 programs of study. Dental assisting, welding and machining are just a few examples of the WATC programs that have a track record of 100% job placement for graduates. WATC partners with industry to provide a high-wage, high-tech career pipeline for its students.

WATC student Derrick LeGrande was offered a job even before completing his course of study. Machining Technology is one of many WATC programs with a 100% job placement rate.

WATC operates three campus locations in Wichita including the new, $50 million state-of-the-art National Center for Aviation Training (NCAT) which is a world-class research and training facility designed to meet changing business and workforce needs. A partnership between Sedgwick County, WATC and Wichita State University’s National Institute for Aviation Research (NIAR), this facility is a critical part of the effort to sustain Wichita’s competitive advantage as the Air Capital of the World.

WATC offers the nation's best training for Aviation Maintenance Technicians (AMTs) in pursuit of their Airframe and Powerplant (A&P) license from the FAA. The strength of WATC's aviation program results from close ties with local manufacturers such as Cessna, Bombardier, Hawker Beechcraft, Spirit AeroSystems and others.

This area’s aviation manufacturing cluster provides 30,400 aviation jobs which support a total of 118,894 jobs indirectly. WATC’s worldwide leadership in aviation training led to its designation as the designer of the National Institute of Manufacturers’ Aviation Certificate. In addition to aviation training, the NCAT campus also features an Advanced Manufacturing educational complex, classrooms for general education credits and an administrative building with space for student services and assessment.

Technical education is a great fit due to its lower educational costs and the higher-paying jobs to which it leads. Wichita Area Technical College is proud to be a national leader in technical education. Read more about WATC’s accreditation and its role as a Kansas Board of Regents Institutition.

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