Editorial: vocational education is valuable

In order to sustain a methodical existence, a person must uphold employment. In the adolescent stage of life, many are forced to prepare themselves for later in their lifecycle. Preparing for a profession through higher education such as college can put individuals in massive amounts of debt, which could cause financial hardship for years to come. If more emphasis is put into specialized fields in public education, students will have a smoother transition from the school system to the work force.
Many schools tend to focus largely on the education standards presented in front of them, emphasizing meeting criteria in the core areas of Language Arts, mathematics, science and social studies.  These generalized subjects are important in the earlier stages of a student’s development, but they will not work toward putting food on the table. Many courses universities offer focus on preparing a student for a career, and this could be done at many high schools as well.

Some vocation-based courses are offered at MHS, including carpentry, manufacturing, technology, fire science, as well as a few others. However, great strides could be taken to better prepare a student for earning money and living independently directly out of high school. For example, many high schools require a personal finance class, which teaches students valuable skills, including balancing a checkbook, taking out loans, and earning interest. No such class like this is required at MHS, yet it would be greatly beneficial to the students.

The cost of higher education is typically the limiting factor among those who do not attend college. In high school, where education is publically funded, money is not an issue, and students would not be burdened by a financial blockade in their path. If more vocational courses were offered in high schools, students who are not in good financial shape would be better prepared for a profession without the huge expense of college.

As an institution, high school is supposed to prepare adolescents for their future. However, great strides could be taken to put students in a better position. Many college level courses are already offered on campus, and adding more so that a student could earn a certificate or associate’s degree while still in high school, would be beneficial. If a student is not yet ready for those college level courses, then more vocational opportunities need to be available . Whether it be saving pupils’ money, time, or grief, offering more classes based on vocations would be greatly beneficial to students.