The economy is ever-evolving, as are labels for types of workers and career paths. In the past, both blue and white collar were typically used to label the differences between worker classes. As industries continue to shift and the demand for more blue-collar work continues to rise, incorporating blue collar business education in schools is highly advisable. Implementing blue-collar business education into the school system is not only a way to educate students about the differences between both blue and white-collar positions, but it can also highlight some of the advantages of taking the route of blue-collar work.
1. Educate on the Historical Difference Between White and Blue Collar in the Past
Educating students on the differences between blue collar business opportunities and white-collar career paths is essential in today’s world. Teaching students about the benefits of working towards becoming landscapers, a commercial plumber, or even launching their very own demolition service can help encourage individuals to learn more about blue-collar opportunities. Sharing the historical foundation of the terms and why the terms were created can also provide insight into whether a blue-collar or white-collar position is right for an individual student who is still making up their mind with regard to their potential future.
2. Introduce Trade School Options at a Young Age
The more familiar a student is with blue collar business opportunities, the more likely they are to be more open to the idea of pursuing one as they become adolescents and young adults. Teaching students about the basics of roofing, how to become a custom pool builder, or even how to build their own excavating business can be the incentive they need to look forward to working a blue-collared job. Even if your child is young, there is no harm in teaching them about trade schools and various blue-collar positions that will likely lead to steady work and a long-term career.
Advantages of Learning a Trade
If you are thinking of learning more about a blue collar business opportunity and you’re interested in learning a trade, you may be wondering what the benefits of doing so are personally and professionally. There are many advantages of learning a trade, such as the ability to pursue a lifelong career in a much shorter period of time than those who require multiple university degrees. Additionally, trade school is typically much more affordable than a traditional university or college, which can work to the benefit of those who are short on funds or are currently ineligible for any type of available scholarship.
Learning a trade allows you to learn a valuable skill that is not only useful but one that is not easily replaceable. When you spend time learning a trade, you can become a master of your trade, ultimately working on both residential and commercial properties, depending on the career you envision for yourself. Trade careers offer a shorter path and a route to success if you are committed to learning and determined to rise to the top. If you are also seeking a career that is always in demand, learning a trade is often the way to go.
How to Go About Learning a New Trade
In order to be successful in the realm of blue collar business opportunities, you will need to become familiar with the process of learning a new trade. Whether you are thinking of working as a general contractor or you have your sights set on becoming a foundation contractor, learning a new trade will require your attention and your willingness to discover new solutions. For some, learning a new trade is best while working on the job during training or as an apprentice. For others, they may benefit from learning a new trade out of a book or in a classroom. Others may prefer to read about a particular skill while attempting to work on a project with a more hands-on approach. Your learning style will dictate which method you should use to help with learning your preferred trades as quickly as possible.
3. Change the Interpretation of the Label
If you want students to become more excited about blue collar business opportunities and career paths, you may need to focus on changing the interpretation of the label ‘blue collar’. When students think of the term blue-collar, they may believe those in blue-collar positions are always working in less-than-ideal conditions and that they do not earn an adequate living. However, this could not be farther from the truth. In fact, most blue-collar workers who have specialized in a particular trade have been able to do so without pursuing a costly college or university degree. This has allowed many blue-collar workers to save more money and to work towards a higher salary at a younger age.
Depending on the age of the students you are teaching, work towards changing the interpretation of the label ‘blue-collar’ by highlighting it in a positive manner. Showcasing the positive aspects of working in a blue-collar trade is key to helping students to feel eager to learn more about opportunities that are considered blue-collar in nature. While white-collar positions have been extremely appealing in the past decades, they have also resulted in mountains of debt for those who are unable to find long-term steady careers after graduation. Blue-collar workers, on the other hand, rarely have difficulty maintaining a steady stream of work and income. The more specialized an individual is in their skill, the easier it will be for them to land new clients and work on a consistent basis.
If you want to change the label of blue-collar jobs, the process will begin with you and other adults or educators who are also teaching in the same building as you. Promoting and embracing blue-collar work and lifestyles in a positive light can go a long way when attempting to connect and communicate with students. Taking pride in your own work as an educator and as a blue-collar worker is another way to demonstrate that blue collar opporunities are extremely rewarding and fulfilling.
4. Raise Awareness About Blue Collar Job Opportunities
If you want to get your students excited about the prospect of pursuing a blue collar business or career of their own in the future, you will need to raise awareness about potential opportunities they will encounter. From learning more about heavy duty towing to owning an air conditioning company to providing local paving services, there are many different blue-collar positions you can teach your students about to help them brainstorm a path that is genuinely right for them.
Vast Career Opportunities
When you want your students to take blue-collar business education seriously, you will need to demonstrate why. Showcasing the vast career opportunities that are available for those pursuing a blue-collar career can go a long way in maintaining the interest of your students. Highlighting career opportunities as well as salaries will definitely pique the interest of your students, especially once they begin learning that many blue-collar career opportunities pay just as much, if not more than those that require a 4-year college degree.
Expedite Your Career Path
Getting your students excited about working in a blue-collar position is not as challenging as it may seem, especially if you can highlight the benefits of blue-collar work in a genuine manner. Sharing that students will have the opportunity to achieve their career goals and dreams in a shorter period of time with a blue-collar career is one way to motivate them. Ensuring that your students will have the ability to expedite their careers is another way to keep them excited about their potential prospective opportunities in the near future.
Compare Options With Your Students
Depending on the age of your students, you can implement various activities in the classroom that will help your students learn more about and compare career options that may be ahead of them. Spending time comparing both blue and white-collar positions can help your students to become familiar with the terms and how to go about differentiating various careers and jobs based on class and the type of work that is required for the position or role. Comparing both white and blue-collar positions will also help your students to have a much more well-rounded view of the world and the opportunities that they have available to them, regardless of their current grade level and their vision.
Work as an Independent Contractor
Not all students will be excited about the idea of working a 9-5 white-collar career. Some may prefer to make their own schedules or maintain a bit of flexibility when it comes to their work and career. If this is the case with any of your students, the blue-collar lifestyle may just be the lifestyle for them. Working as a contractor is one path to consider for those who are specialized in various skills and abilities. If you choose to work as an independent contractor, you will not be required to report to anyone or to work under anyone else. Working as an independent contractor not only allows you to set your own hours, but also allows you to set your own hourly rates and prices, depending on your qualifications and your level of experience in the industry you choose.
While the idea of working as an independent contractor may seem like a no-brainer to anyone who is averse to a traditional 9-5 position, it’s important to stress the added responsibilities that must be assumed in order to succeed when working independently. Those who choose to work as independent contractors will need to remain disciplined and committed to the work they are doing for clients at all times. When you choose to work independently, you will also be responsible for obtaining and retaining all of the clientele you require in order to make a living.
Build Your Own Business
As you work towards becoming more experienced in the blue-collar world, you can receive certifications and licenses that prove your skills and abilities. Once you feel comfortable enough managing the work you conduct on a daily basis, you may begin to ponder the idea of building your own business. Those who work in blue-collar positions are not required to go to college or university in order to launch their own successful businesses. This is especially true for individuals who have committed themselves to their skills and craft over a number of years. Starting your own blue-collar business is another path to potential financial freedom without taking on the mounting debt of a 4-year college or university.
5. Develop Trade-Centric Bootcamps
Schools also have the ability to develop and integrate trade-centric boot camps, depending on the school’s budget and space availability. Integrating trade-centric boot camps that are available while students are in school and even during summer vacation is a way to motivate more of the student body to take an interest in blue-collar jobs and career opportunities. Trade-centric boot camps can feature activities that demand physical labor, critical thinking, communication, and teamwork. Using trade-centric boot camps can also incentivize students to learn even more about blue-collared opportunities versus those that are considered white-collar opportunities today.
6. Integrate Labor Activities Into Public Schools
Another way to go about incorporating blue collar business education in schools is to consider integrating labor activities throughout public, charter, and even private schools (depending on the school’s location). Reintroducing courses such as wood shop, auto body shop, and even plumbing can help students to become familiar with trade opportunities that can offer long-term careers. Labor activities can also include working with actual plumbing materials, learning the fundamentals of electricity, or even teaching students about the current sewage system that is in place in your city or town. Familiarizing students with various labor activities at blue-collar jobs is another way for them to learn more about the world around them as they work towards choosing a career path that is ideal for their wants and needs.
Incorporating blue collar business education in schools today can significantly change how students view the life of a blue-collar worker as well as the blue-collar opportunities that are currently available. With widespread education and valuable knowledge being shared, more students will discover all of the advantages that come with pursuing a blue-collar career, even in today’s fast-paced technological world.