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The Hidden Goldmine: Why Skipping College and Pursuing a Career in the Trades is a Smart Move

As a painting contractor, I've witnessed firsthand the massive opportunity awaiting those who choose to explore careers in the trades rather than attending college. In the home improvement industry, the biggest struggle is not finding customers or turning a profit, but rather finding qualified help. This article will dive into the reasons why skipping college and pursuing a career in the trades may be the best decision you could make for your financial and professional future.

The trades crisis: a time of opportunity

Over the years, society has shifted its focus from valuing vocational education to pushing college as the only viable option for success. Consequently, we now face a massive shortage of skilled workers in the trades. This crisis presents a golden opportunity for individuals seeking a lucrative and fulfilling career without the burden of student loans.

The college conundrum

Many young people, unsure of their career paths, are encouraged to attend college to "find themselves." However, college has become an expensive business focused on increasing enrollment and profits. As a result, 80% of college graduates don't use their degree, or if they do, they don't enjoy their job. Saddled with tens or even hundreds of thousands of dollars in student loan debt, these individuals face a difficult future.

A wealth of opportunity in the trades

If you are just leaving school, unsure about college, or even a few years into college and not enjoying it, consider learning a trade. Working with your hands does not make you less intelligent. In fact, some of the wealthiest and most successful people have built their fortunes in the trades. Opportunities abound in the trades, and contractor business owners are eager to pay a high salary to individuals who are dedicated to learning and growing in their field.

A stable future with endless potential

The trades offer a stable future, as there will always be something to build or fix. Robots cannot replace human skill and craftsmanship. Contractors are constantly searching for hardworking, reliable individuals who are eager to learn and prove themselves. If you have the drive and determination to succeed, a career in the trades may be the perfect fit for you.

Maximize your natural skills

A career in the trades allows you to do something you're naturally good at. If you are creative, a problem solver, or skilled with your hands, don't let anyone tell you that your abilities are not valuable. Pursuing a career in the trades enables you to harness your natural gifts and contribute meaningfully to the world.

A smarter approach to education

Instead of accumulating student loan debt for a degree you may never use, consider learning a trade first. Attend trade school, intern with a contractor, or work in the field while attending college part-time. This approach allows you to earn money and gain real-world experience while pursuing higher education, reducing your need for loans and helping you make better decisions about your future.


Society's emphasis on college education has led to a generation of financially burdened individuals struggling to find their place in the world. Meanwhile, careers in the trades offer financial stability, personal satisfaction, and endless opportunities for growth. It's time to challenge the status quo and consider the hidden goldmine of the trades as a smart alternative to traditional college education.

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