The Force of Apprenticeships

“Try not. Do or do not, there is no try.”
— Yoda

Great advice, Yoda gives. These words were first spoken a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away — or on a movie screen in 1980, depending on your perspective — but they can be used in every part of life, including career counseling.

Not only is Yoda a quotable philosopher, he is also a great teacher. In fact, his relationship with Luke Skywalker is a good example of an apprenticeship program in action.Yoda uses classroom-style instruction to help Luke master the Force, but he also stands back and lets Luke try out his skills on his own. That’s part of the philosophy of an apprenticeship program.

Students don’t have to travel to Dagobah to benefit from an apprenticeship. These programs combine classroom learning and on-the-job training. Apprentices train under a skilled master, and they are paid while they learn their skills. (We’re not sure if Luke was paid, but the satisfaction of defeating the Dark Side was probably enough.)

You might be surprised to learn the range of careers that fall into the apprenticeship category. We’re not just talking about the trades. Apprenticeships can also lead to careers in the information technology, hospitality and aerospace industries.
Apprenticeships can lead to very lucrative careers in high-demand fields. The Department of Labor offers apprenticeships programs that cover more than 1,000 different occupations – everything from carpenters and chefs to pipefitters and truck drivers.

Apprenticeships can be a great option for students who aren’t sure a four-year college degree is for them. For students wondering if you need a degree to see the money, an apprenticeship can be a viable option. Many apprenticeship jobs can pay $40,000-$50,000 a year to start. Plus, apprentices immediately earn money without going into debt

Want to learn more? During National Apprenticeship Week (November 1-7), the Department of Labor published a lot of information to boost public awareness of apprenticeship programs. Check out this site:

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