Today, February 17, is My Way Day, a day in which people are encouraged to do what they want, however they want to.
WorkingNation is commemorating it by celebrating Isaac Gonzalez, an avionic technician from Oxnard, California, who left the traditional college path to travel the world and ultimately pursue his passion in avionics by entering trade school.
His decision to drop out of college and study at a trade school is demonstrative of an emerging attitude that the importance of a college education is weakening.
Curricula can’t adjust quickly enough to keep up with the changes in the job market, and the price is no longer always justifiable in many people’s minds. Gonzalez is doing things “his way”, and finding the education that matched his interest gave him the opportunity to follow his dream without falling into debt.
Most of the fastest-growing jobs in the U.S. won’t require a bachelor’s degree—such as wind turbine service technicians, home health aides, and bike repairers. Options such as apprenticeships, trade schools, online colleges, and boot camps are coming forward as strong alternatives.
Gonzalez has gained an FAA Airframe & Powerplant certificate as well as a Radio Repairman Certificate during his time at Dreamline Aviation and SoCal Jets in Van Nuys, California. He is now an Avionics Shop Manager at Aspen Helicopters, an FAA approved repair station with fixed wing, helicopter, as well as instrument and radio capabilities in Oxnard.
Now that he has established himself in the avionics world and has a clearer idea of what his next steps should be, he is enrolling at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University to get an Aeronautical Engineering degree.
Gonzalez gained insight into what he wanted as a career when he left school and spent some time traveling. Entering trade school when he returned opened up opportunities for him and gave him the chance to figure out which direction he wanted to go in without investing too much money.
Now he has a solid income and feels he can afford to invest in a college degree. Not everyone needs the same education to be successful. It’s important for people entering the workforce today to find the best fit for them.