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Boca Raton-based website urges young people to consider alternatives to college

Posted at 5:41 AM, Jul 11, 2019
and last updated 2019-07-11 08:02:06-04

BOCA RATON, Fla. — With student debt taking over news headlines, a couple of guys in Boca Raton are working on an alternative. They have created a website encouraging people to consider alternatives to college.

Joseph Schmoke and Barry Layne showed WPTV their website,

It's essentially a directory for what they call faster and cheaper alternatives to higher education.

Schmoke spent the last 15 years in higher education. He left a big university job and wanted students to make better decisions and get better jobs.

"Do it without accumulating student debt," said Schmoke.

They call themselves problem solvers, urging others to reconsider a career and technical education, in other words, non-degree programs.

"They've been not necessarily coerced into college, but their parents may tell them if you don't go to college you are a loser," said Schmoke. "The other thing is, it's expensive."

"College may not be the path you need to take," said Layne. "Not saying intellectual curiosity and learning aren't important. I'm saying you got to pay the rent, feed your kids, put food on the table for everybody."

The hope is their website leads people to trade jobs and practical training -- things like boot camps, apprenticeships and coding classes.

"You don't want to be a B.A. in classical literature as a barista trying to figure out what am I going to do next," said Layne.