You won’t find anyone who believes in the benefits of a technical school education more than Donald Blake.
“Technical skills are the skills that keep our society running,” he said.
Blake is teaching students all facets of working with electricity and he said some of his grads have gone on to become millionaires.
So vocational schools shouldn’t be thought of as places for those who can’t handle college.
“This is high tech information. It’s constantly changing and we need people with intelligence,” he said.
At Marchman Technical College in New Port Richey, hundreds of students are on a successful career path even as they bypass traditional college educations.
Jerrica Hoppes is training to become a chef.
“People really underestimate it. They think it’s really easy. But it takes a lot of skill. And practice,” she said.
And Austin Williamson is working toward a career as a concept artist.
“It’s not about how much time you spend there. It’s about how much time you actually spend working on your craft,” he said.
The National Center of Education statistics said salaries for trade school grads aren’t that far off from those who get a four-year degree.
But the cost can be just a fraction of what university students pay.
At Marchman options included automotive, IT, cosmetology and marine services.
Students here are even building a house on campus.
“Those are the skills that lead to employment,” said Blake.
When it comes to technical colleges, computer specialist is the top paying career with a median salary of $68,000 a year.
Other high paying jobs include traditional therapist, nuclear technician, and dental hygienist.