I can think of nine publications off the top of my head who each year will rank the top schools. None of them ever incorporate a trade school. The Forbes Top Colleges ranks includes over 650 four-year U.S. schools and universities. We measure return on investment, providing schools credit for low student debt, higher graduation rates and alumni with enviable career success and wages. This is based on one assumption: an undergraduate education matters.

But just as with four-year schools, not all trade colleges are equivalent. Due to a confluence of factors – ranging from field of research to workforce needs to close-knit learning environments – some trade colleges are even greater choices than their bachelor’s-bequeathing counterparts.

Now Forbes has put together a comprehensive two-year trade schools ranking. Using the same “return on investment” focus as our annual Top Colleges report, this list of 30 looks at three crucial data points: earnings, quality and affordability. Whether this plenitude of tasks is filled, however, is determined by people getting the ideal training for them.

Jay Moon, the president of the Mississippi Manufacturer’s Association, which represents 2400 employees, states that there is no question that there is a skills gap in the USA. They have jobs that aren’t being filled right now because [employees] do not have the skillset. “I know when I grew up, everybody pounded into me ‘Your-year, four-year, four-year. You need to have four years.’ My guidance counselors, my parents, everybody,” Sabold states. The whole aviation sector is experiencing a problem, and that’s the shortage there, not just in the aviation business, but in the amount of people interested in getting to a skilled trade area.

Moon, who served as the chairman of the State Workforce Investment Board in Mississippi, believes that getting the correct training can induce students to establish the careers which are available now. And for people who are discouraged by job market projections – he considers the development of robotics 3D printing and autonomous automobiles will continue to interrupt many industries from commercial plumbing services to home extensions– Moon states that the skills taught in two-year community and technical schools will not be obsolete.

Moon says that due to the nature of these disruptive technologies, it is somewhat difficult to forecast exactly what are likely to be the skillset needs in the future. What a lot of community schools and training classes are doing is looking at cross-cutting skillsets, especially trade skills needed in the IT consulting industry. To realize that more tech will be used out in the production environment, is to know that those men and women who will work with and maintain the machines running, while it’s robotics or other sorts of machines used in a production environment… these people can utilize those abilities in more than one location, more than one form of business.

There isn’t any catch-all school setting which will guarantee everyone a job, and trade schools aren’t the most fitting or rewarding choice for everybody. However, the state needs nurses, mechanics and welders, and two-year specialized schools are a prime means to create a larger, better workforce.