LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — It’s the time of year when high school seniors are making a decision on what college to attend but not all students are considering the traditional four-year institutions. Some are looking at other options.

A national survey showed college enrollment is down 5% since 2019. Some students are choosing a different path. Another survey by Canvas, a digital classroom used by the Clark County School District, showed 70% of respondents said having definable skills is more important than course titles or a degree. Students said career readiness was important and engagement beyond lectures through in-person instruction and technology.

 Some students are looking into coding boot camps and getting certifications.  

If you’re a parent trying to guide your teen, experts say, it’s important to look at education with a new lens.

“With my student, one of the things we look into is what does she want to go into? What is the focus she wants to study? And what area of knowledge does she want to gain? A lot of colleges and universities show if you go into this area, there are this many paying jobs waiting for you at the end. That can help make those decisions because it is a major investment,” said Ryan Lufkin, senior director, Instructure Canvas LMS.

Nevada State College has seen a 16% increase in full-time enrollment in the fall. However, in the spring there was a slight drop in enrollment but that number is still higher than spring of 2020.

“The student debt crisis created some of the concern we are seeing now with the decline in enrollment. What we are seeing now is that students are looking for ways to connect to jobs down the road. Really look to that return on investment in ways they didn’t previously,” Lufkin said.

 Enrollment at UNLV has remained fairly consistent with a student population above 30,000 but it is down slightly from 2020. In addition, fewer students are enrolled in undergraduate degrees while more are enrolled in a certificate or specialized program.