In today's economy, education is the passport to success - but it doesn't necessarily have to be a four-year degree. Half of all U.S. jobs today can be defined as 'middle skill' - requiring a two-year associate's degree or some post-high school technical training. Over the next five years, one of every two new jobs will continue to fall into this category.
In Indiana, many of these jobs are in advanced manufacturing and logistics; manufacturing positions pay an average of 40% above the state's median income, while logistics jobs pay 30% more. These are jobs with bright futures that your students can be proud of. In today's high-tech facilities, it's not about standing at an assembly line all day - it's working with the latest technologies at some of the most innovative companies in the world.
These are fast-paced, engaging careers that require the critical thinking and analytical skills gained through specialized training. Because perceptions are stuck in the past, students and workers are not exploring the advanced manufacturing and logistics careers of the future. The truth is that today's logistics and manufacturing professionals are more likely to work on a team, with computers and advanced robotic systems, than stand at a line performing repetitive tasks - and we need to help them understand that.
Manufacturing and logistics could be promising fields for students in your classrooms who aren't sure about their plan after high school, have a mechanical aptitude or just a knack for figuring out how things work. Let them know that a high school diploma by itself just doesn't cut it - the key to success in today's economy is continuing education beyond 12th grade.