IMO, the skilled trade jobs are screaming for qualified workers right now like never before. If a student wants to attend a local Vocational School their junior and senior year, they can work a real job their entire 2nd semester of their senior year. No entrance fees to enroll at X college/university, no tuition, no room and board and no meal ticket to purchase. Many of these jobs pay excellent wages, with most starting in the $19-$24 dollar range, more depending on where you live while still in high school.
In the past, students have been told that they have to go to college and get a degree. That is find and dandy if a student really wants a college degree or is going into a specialized field. College is not for everyone! Heck, traditional high school is not for everyone. We do kids a huge disservice by requiring them to go to high school and take classes that they are never, ever are going to use in everyday life. The most practical class I had in high school was typing, use it every day. Somehow, someway, the American education system needs a complete overhaul. Politicians as a whole have ruined the current system with No Child Left Behind and now, Common Core.
College degrees are the high school diplomas of today. As long as companies are worried about being sued for hiring certain candidates over others then degrees will have a usage. Hell, I have 20 years in my field and have been told without a degree I can't be hired to the level I am already at.
Does everyone need one? Nope. Trade schools are a viable option. The push for $15+ minimum wage is going to hurt that though if it passes. Wage compression is intended to make us all poorer in the long run and increase the reliance on immigrants that one party tends to get the support of more.