Gen Z opt for blue-collar jobs that are safe from being replaced with AI

"Since COVID, people are kind of catching the wave and understanding the need for trades." 


With advances in technology and the cost of college steadily going up, studies have shown that Gen Z is increasingly opting for trade schools in fields that are shielded from the threat of artificial intelligence.

In an interview with FOX Business, Lincoln Tech CEO Scott Shaw explained "These jobs are here to stay."

"Since COVID, people are kind of catching the wave and understanding the need for trades," he said.

During the COVID pandemic lockdowns when the government classified certain jobs as "essential," Shaw said the students from his school were in those roles.

"They were in the hospitals. They were keeping transportation, keeping your Amazon deliveries, getting to you," he said.

"About 20% of our students are right out of high school," Shaw noted. "About 50% are 21 and younger, but the average age of our students is 25."

In a National Student Clearinghouse Research Center report from the 2022-23 school year, the number of students earning a degree from an undergraduate program fell for the second year in a row, down 2.8%, or 99,2000 students, from the year before.

Furthermore, the number of students earning a certificate rose to the highest level in the last ten years with 6.2% or 26,900 students.

Ramsey Solutions personality Ken Coleman pointed to a shift in the type of work young people want to do. He said on the Big Money Show, "We're seeing that 75% of Gen Z is saying they are interested in being an entrepreneur. They want to work for themselves."

"Trades offer a quicker, cheaper path to being able to work for themselves," Coleman noted. "create jobs for other people, and plug into, which is the real backbone of our economy, small business."

"This trend will continue because I think trade schools aren't just a traditional plumber or electrician anymore. It's also technology," he noted.

A Business Insider report from last year noted that a study from the Federal Reserve Economic Data found construction programs had a 19.3% increase year over year, while culinary had a 12.7% increase, and mechanical had an 11.5% increase.

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