So, your empty nest isn’t exactly empty because your grown-up “child” is still living at home? He didn’t get the hint when you converted his childhood bedroom into an unnecessarily spacious, otherwise empty “private master bathroom” for your cat’s litter box?

Well, contrary to popular belief, it’s not necessarily the kid’s fault. In fact, with the economy still in recovery mode and the job market making mostly slow gains, many young adults are unable to leave home even though they want to.

College graduates are struggling to find opportunities. High school grads who don’t feel college is a fit for them are having trouble deciding what the next move should be.

It’s a new world out there, even if as parents we all want the same things for our children that our parents wanted for us: health, happiness and success.

Fortunately, if your son or daughter is having trouble leaving the nest, we know of at least one great way to set your kid on a path toward success and financial independence.

What if we told you there’s an industry with thousands of jobs that are available right now? Or that in this booming industry, there’s a career path that offers great earning potential, benefits and job security? Now what if we told you the way to travel this road to success — and get there in less than a month — is in a truck?

Hold on! Before you jump to any preconceived, outdated ideas, you need to forget the misleading stereotypes and understand that today’s trucking industry isn’t the one you remember from the ’60s or ’70s, the same way today’s economy is a whole new ballgame from when you were growing up. Now more than ever, truck driving is a professional, viable and lucrative career that can open doors for people who otherwise would be stuck in a rut, spinning their wheels in life.

With that in mind, here are three reasons why sending your son or daughter to earn a commercial driver’s license (CDL) at a truck drivers school may be your best option:

1. Mom’s Money, Mom’s Problems

Traditionally, college has been viewed as the best possible next step toward getting a decent job after high school and being able to move out for good. The thing about traditional schools, though, is that they require this stuff called  money. But not just a little bit of it. Tuition costs have skyrocketed over each of the past several years. When you consider how difficult it is for recent college graduates to land a corporate-type job right now, shelling out money for an expensive college tuition could put your kid at risk of not being able to pay back the loans — loans you likely will have had to co-sign for junior.  That means your kid’s decisions can weigh heavily on your and your whole family’s finances, which probably is not something you want to roll the dice on.

Earning a CDL at a hands-on training facility, however, offers a number of advantages when it comes to money. For one, completing an entire CDL course generally costs less than a “moderate” budget for even a single semester at an in-state public college, let alone an out-of-state or private university. On top of that, certain carriers in the trucking industry offer tuition reimbursement up to 90 percent, which makes CDL training even less expensive compared to traditional school.

As for jobs, the demand for trained and licensed commercial drivers is immense right now. The trucking industry is growing and is expected to continue growing for years to come, meaning there are plenty of jobs in trucking and, as a result, less risk in learning how to drive a truck than in studying certain subjects offered at college.

Additionally, tractor trailer truck drivers on average make close to $40,000 a year, to say nothing of the benefits packages most carriers offer. While on the road as a driver, the cost of living also goes way down because you’re not home as much to rack up huge utility bills, and because you can usually make a smaller home or apartment work in terms of comfort since you won’t be there every single day. Instead, your truck is essentially your home away from home.

Earning a great salary while not having to spend too much means that not only will your grown-up son or daughter be out of your hair, but also he or she could be banking the seed money that then can be invested in his or her own future. Whether that means buying a home, starting a business or following other dreams, truck driving is a great way to make it happen.

2. Excuse me, do you have the time?

We all can agree that life is short. That means time is important and it’s best not to waste any, right? OK. So why would you want your kid studying the ancient philosophy of goat fur knitting just to fulfill college credit requirements?

Trade schools, on the other hand, focus in on what students need to know and spare the rest. This is especially true of CDL-specific schools. Roadmaster Drivers School, for example, is one of the fastest routes in the industry for getting a commercial driver’s license at as little as three weeks (though we can also stretch it to as many weeks as needed to work around a student’s schedule).

Compare that speed and flexibility to traditional educations — even community colleges that teach CDL courses, for that matter — and it’s obvious that a specialized CDL training school is among the quickest and most convenient ways for your son or daughter to go from sleeping in Mr. Whiskers’ bathroom to earning a paycheck and being financially independent.

3. Living the Dream (Just, Not From Your Race Car Bed)

Another advantage CDL training has over traditional schooling is that it teaches students a life skill. Trucking can’t be outsourced, obviously, so anyone with a CDL will always have an option to fall back on. Even if your kid goes on to pursue other interests after banking a bunch of money, driving trucks will remain an option as needed.

Speaking of pursuing other interests, do you know who else used truck driving as a springboard into something else? Well, to name a few:

  • Liam Neeson
  • Elvis Presley
  • Richard Pryor
  • Charles Bronson
  • Chevy Chase
  • Sean Connery

Obviously, these are all people who went into the entertainment industry after trucking. But truck driving can be a great way to get a foot in the door for other careers as well. In the transportation industry alone, many over-the-road truck drivers have gone on to be entrepreneurs, supervisors, instructors, local drivers and more, not to mention carriers often hire CDL-trained former drivers to fill roles within their corporate businesses.

As you can see, earning a CDL through a specialized training course is sort of a new type of masters program. It’s an investment that will likely return an immediate job as well as an eventual opportunity to branch out into other fields beyond driving.

The main difference is in recognizing that 2- and 4-year schools aren’t for everyone. Each person learns things differently and many excel in a trade school environment where teaching is done in a more dynamic, hands-on way as opposed to pouring over books and sitting through long, tedious lectures.

If your son or daughter isn’t the bookworm type, you could be setting the stage for failure by forcing college on someone who doesn’t thrive in that atmosphere.

And if that happens, guess who probably will be moving back into your house.

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