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Home MEATA News Yahoo Finance: 'The other 4-year degree’: Why everyone’s talking about apprenticeships

Yahoo Finance: 'The other 4-year degree’: Why everyone’s talking about apprenticeships

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Apprenticeships are having a moment.

Youth employment rates are still abysmally low in the U.S. (for 16- to 19-year-olds, the unemployment rate is 17.9%, nearly three times the national rate) and college has never been pricier. Apprenticeships, which some have dubbed “the other four-year degree,” offer a low-cost way for young people to get jobs and an education without incurring loads of debt.

The better-looking, higher-earning sister of the internship, an apprenticeship matches workers up with employers who offer one to four years of job training. The average starting pay for apprentices is $15 an hour, double the federal minimum wage. At the end of a program, workers are rewarded with an industry-recognized certificate and, ideally, a full-time job offer.

Apprentices earn an average starting salary of $50,000 a year and go on to earn $300,000 more over their lifetime than those with just a high school diploma, according to the Department of Labor.

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Apprenticeship Trivia

In 1937, Congress passed the National Apprenticeship Law, aka the Fitzgerald Act, "to promote the furtherance of labor standards of apprenticeship." Via this Act, the Apprentice-Training Service (ATS) was established within the Department of Labor to carry out the objectives of the law. The ATS was later renamed the Bureau of Apprenticeship and Training (BAT) and is, as of this writing, the Office of Apprenticeship under the US. Dept. of Labor's Employment and Training Administration division.