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Pickens Technical College gives students the skills they need to work in the trade they desire. PTC is an alternative to expensive four-year colleges for students who want to work with their hands and avoid the tens of thousands of dollars of debt for tuition. Four-year colleges, despite their place of reverence in American society, aren’t necessarily the key to a successful or happy life. The narrative of going to college, getting a good job, and buying a house isn’t the sole path to happiness anymore. As students of PTC know, the path to a fulfilling career and all the rewards that come with it isn’t the same for everyone.

That said, almost every job requires proficiency at something. I’m good at writing. If I wasn’t, I wouldn’t have a writing job. But the training for rewarding work doesn’t have to occur at a four-year, traditional university costing you $40,000 a year.

There are millions of jobs available for people with specialized skills that don’t require four-year degrees. Last month, in an interview with Fox News, “Dirty Jobs” television host Mike Rowe spoke about the “skills gap” in the American job market and urged more young people to enroll in technical schools to gain the skills they need more affordably for less debt. Rowe said in his interview:

There is no hope without an education, got to be clear, you have to have some competency. But the idea that the best path for most people just happens to be the most expensive path, there’s just something fundamentally corrupt.

With the amount of manufacturing and specialized skill jobs like HVAC repair people, auto mechanics, and factory production workers available in the United States, most of them not requiring four-year degrees, the opportunities are there for PTC students and those in similar situations. The problem, as Rowe pointed out, is in the perception of these jobs as lesser than others and the lack of awareness that these opportunities exist. With better awareness, students can create excellent opportunities for themselves by eschewing the university for a trade school like PTC.

The key to preparing for a career in a field like nursing or automobile repairs is getting hands-on experience doing the work you’d be doing in your future job. PTC creates plenty of opportunities for its students to get their hands dirty and learn a skill they can use in their careers. By starting your journey at PTC, you’ll be avoiding the trap that many newcomers to the workforce fall into with the pressure to get a good-paying job right away to make a dent in their debt but without the skills, they need to find said jobs. Mike Rowe created a scholarship that rewards work ethic and the desire to seek alternatives to the normal treadmill everyone else seems to be jumping on. PTC helps students who want a different way to get to the career they want for a much lower cost.