Megan Magensky
April 2024

National College Decision Day is May 1. Traditionally, this is the deadline most colleges use for accepted students to commit.

It’s when I, waiting until the last minute like always, committed to going to school to study musical theatre.

At 18, I knew I loved to sing and dance, and I wasn’t thinking of how I was going to pay my bills or buy a house, or care for a family.

My parents tried to get me to pick something more practical, so I compromised with a minor in journalism which eventually turned into a double major and my future career.

Things could have worked out a lot worse. After years of paying off loans, I’m debt-free, have a full-time job with the Pennsylvania Motor Truck Association, and have lived on my own since turning 18, but I could have saved a lot of money and felt a lot less stressed if I knew a little more before making a decision that would so greatly impact what I wanted to do for the rest of my life.

During my career in transportation, I’ve learned you don’t need a four-year degree to have a good job and make a good living.

Pennsylvania has a robust Career Technical Education (CTE) program, with plans to expand to better fit the needs of the ever-evolving job market.

In 2024, you can get an education in manufacturing, hospitality, real estate, logistics, education, healthcare, science, graphic design and more – all before leaving high school!

CTE is accessible, flexible, hands on and now in the professional world, I see it making a difference.

At PMTA, we’re working with CTE schools and high schools across the state to establish CDL programs and teach about the behind-the-scenes careers in the trucking industry.

We hope that by educating students about the options available to them, we’ll bring more young people into a workforce that needs them without mountains of debt.

I don’t know if my high school is to blame for a lack of career education, if I’m to blame for being headstrong or if the system is to blame for making 18-year-olds come up with a plan for the rest of their life… But I do know I was not ready to make a decision after high school about the rest of my life.

If PMTA can help just a few young people a year find a career they’ll love in trucking, our work was worth it.