The job market, as with many other trends, tends to repeat itself. The high school-aged students of our time are now faced with the difficult choice of whether college is worth it. Is the typical four-year schooling worth the same amount of time, money, and hard work put in today, as it was in the past generation? With parents who were prompted to go college, this idea is ingrained in their minds. With the changing times, this norm is being questioned, as mentioned in this article in the Wall Street Journal. But, what exactly is this generation faced with as they choose their career path?


It is common knowledge that college is expensive and graduating debt-free has become a rarity today. Whether you are living on campus or studying in your hometown, the costs rack up. Costs are especially noticeable since students don’t have the time to hold full-time jobs. This means fees continue to add up as families struggle to get their kids through those four years of financial insecurity. In fact, according to USA Today, 68% of undergraduate students with a Bachelor’s Degree were graduating with student loan debt, with the amount of debt averaging around $31,000 (and that’s on the conservative side). Unfortunately, with all the debt that scholars can rack up while in school, financial instability can follow them for years to come, haunting them throughout their life even if they are able to secure a well-paying job in their field. With this in mind, the idea of pursuing trades school is becoming a popular choice for students nearing the end of high school. Students who pursue vocational schools rack up a significantly less amount of debt (if any), and often graduate sooner with their pick of well-paying jobs.

Job Security

Both families and students hesitate about chasing college opportunities due to the lack of assurance that they will be able to graduate on time. Some may even fear that they won’t be able to graduate at all! With costs of schooling increasing with every year, most households struggle to recover from such expenses. Additionally, approximately one-third of students who graduate from a four-year college end up working in a job that doesn’t even require that degree! Even if students do finish their program successfully, the value of a college degree has unfortunately decreased since the graduation of the last generation. According to the, after adjusting accordingly for inflation, earnings of graduates in 2007 are no better than graduates in 1979.  According to a 2018 study conducted by Mike Brown for LendEDU, over one-third of 2018 graduates are making less than $35,000 per year; for those who just spent thousands earning their college degrees, this is a frightening reality.

And, even after jumping through all the hoops of school, some students may not be able to land a job after graduation. According to Brown’s study, less than half of college graduates already had a job lined up upon graduation, leaving many still searching for a job or trying to figure out what they want to do.

These startling facts, along with the reality that students are acquiring so much more debt nowadays than they did even a few decades ago, is enough to make them falter at the idea of college.

Those who choose vocational training, particularly in the field of manufacturing, are able to graduate quicker, incur less debt, and enjoy a plethora of job opportunities. In fact, by 2025, there will be approximately 2 million jobs available in the manufacturing field in the US. That’s where we come in.

Leading Edge Industrial provides you with another option that will secure a solidified career path in the field of manufacturing. In fact, those who pursue a trade school career within our industry have the potential of owning a machine shop for under $5,000. How is this possible? Our HX Series Machines offer an affordable solution for vocation training. This impacts educators, hobbyists, and entrepreneurs alike. Educators are able to own multiple machines for the same price as purchasing one larger CNC machine, which gives more students the ability to have hands-on practice. Hobbyists and entrepreneurs can make a career out of a hobby or passion. Students are able to avoid crippling loan debt and take hold of their futures by learning how to operate and master CNC machining.

Reputation and Stigma

As mentioned earlier, many parents prompt their kids to pursue college simply because it was what they did. Many families want to uphold their reputation amongst relatives, friends, and neighbors. However, the prestige that is tied to a college degree is nothing when compared to doing something you love – especially if it means avoiding tens of thousands of dollars worth of debt. It is with this that Leading Edge Industrial encourages students to pursue vocational and technical training, especially if it’s where their passion lies! In addition to this, based on the increasing demand for trade school professions, students will be guaranteed a job without the hefty price tag of going to college. This becomes especially significant when we recognize that the average bachelor’s degree in the United States amounts to $127,000, whereas a trade school costs about one-fourth of this, approximately $33,000. The college price tag doesn’t stop there. Around 70% of students take loans for their schooling, which has led to over 20% of these students to owing more than $50,000. About 5.6% of them are drowning in loans of more than $100,000. Not only this, but a college education prevents you from getting into the workforce as soon as possible. Trade school typically lasts two years. Meanwhile, college students usually attend their school for four years. That means two more years of racking up loans and not making a stable salary. Is the “college reputation” really worth this much? We don’t think so.

Partner with Us, Pursue the Career You’re Passionate About

With the help of our HX Series Machines, like our HX8410 VMC and HX710 TC you can pursue the career you want and avoid garnering the burden of loans. Our products offer heightened capabilities, durability, and the safe usage needed to get the job done. They are also a way to reinvest in technical education programs and vocational training. This line is the perfect, cost-effective solution for classrooms because educators are able to purchase multiple machines and provide more hands-on learning. Entrepreneurs and hobbyists are able to make a career out of their hobbies, all while avoiding the crippling student loan debt.

By partnering with Leading Edge Industrial, students will not only have a solidified career path, but you will be working with a company that promises quality and strives for excellence. We’d love to help you take control of your future and start working towards the career that you’re passionate about!

Learn more about our HX Series machines!