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Student Kalei Kipp in Cedar Crest High School’s welding program in Lebanon, Pennsylvania, during the 2016-2017 school year. Three percent of welders in the U.S. are women. Photo from PBS NewsHour’s Student Reporting Labs series “Outside the Box.”

Twitter chat: Are apprenticeships more lucrative than a college degree?

Less than 1 percent of workers in the U.S. begin their careers as an apprentice, learning a trade and getting paid for it at the same time.

Yet skilled apprentices in the U.S. earn more than the average college graduate over a lifetime, with the exception of those in high-end majors, according to Dr. Anthony Carnevale, director of the Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce.

Colorado recently became first in the nation to offer a statewide youth apprenticeship program, Careerwise Colorado, after industries in that state began to face major shortages in workers for “middle-skills” jobs, which require more education than a high school diploma but less than a bachelor’s degree. A lack of tradesmen and women is occurring throughout other parts of the country as well.

So will apprenticeships take off? What will it take to make that happen? Any downsides or pitfalls to watch out for? And most of all, how is an apprenticeship different than an internship? (Hint: It’s remarkably different.).

To learn more about apprenticeships and share your thoughts and questions, Carnevale (@GeorgetownCEW); Noel Ginsburg, CEO of Intertech Plastics and founder of CareerWise Colorado (@CareerWiseCO); Dr. Mary Alice McCarthy, director of the Center on Education and Skills with the education policy program at New America (@McCarthyEdWork); and Paul Fain of Inside Higher Ed, who has reported on apprenticeships (@PaulFain), joined a @NewsHour Twitter chat on Thursday, Aug. 31.

Check out this recap of #NewsHourChats below.

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