NPR recently published a report on the shortage of trade workers in the United States. The truth is, people are lazy, and would rather go into debt drinking alcohol and popping pills for four years than actually get out there and work. Mom and Dad will buy the story, right? A four-year degree. Oh yeah, going to climb up that corporate ladder and be a big shot executive type, right? Yeah, sure. Just like all the other millions.
The best plan is to learn what is termed a "blue-collar" trade and go immediately to work, not after high school, but during--at the earliest age humanly possible. If, later, one is compelled by the desire for higher education for its own sake, then sure, that option will be readily available to one who has already paid for a house, set up a comfortable retirement and accumulated hundreds of thousands of dollars in savings. Blue collar workers are making $30 - $60 an hour, which dwarfs the salary of most college professors!
Education means nothing in today's world. It used to mean something, but people need to get their head out of the 1900s and get with the times. This is 2018. It is all about finding a niche in the global economic jigsaw puzzle. The fact is, skilled trades are what are needed. Not more entitled folk clutching worthless degrees. Get in line at the McDonald's and see whether you can impress the shift manager with your mad skills. "Would you like Fries with that?"
Young people should spend their teenage years working in fast-food jobs, like McDonald's. It would do them a world of good. In high school, if the pool of teachers is no better than what it was in my day, then bad habits are being learned, like vaping and nonsense with their phones and pointless, mindless obsessing over social media. Four hours an evening, working the grill at McDonald's, would demonstrate the value of money in a meaningful manner, conveyed to tired muscles.
My first job was at the age of 15, and I worked at a fast-food restaurant, grocery store and also did odd jobs around the neighborhood. I learned the value of money and to treat it with the utmost respect. If a dollar costs tired arms, legs and aching back, well then, that dollar is not something to be tossed around lightly, is it?
The problem with our university system is that it has not changed since the 1800s, and really, people need to get work much, much faster. College teaches charming little nuggets of knowledge, the bulk of which goes unused or gets forgotten. It is basically something people buy as a ticket into the middle class, except it doesn't work that well anymore as a ticket into the middle class, because everybody and their brother already has a degree, and degrees are handed out to pretty much anyone with a pulse, anyway. Grade inflation is more than a thing, it's a fact of life, and professors are scared to death to flunk a student, because the professors are making peanuts with peanutty benefits anyway. Most professors get no benefits and earn less than $40k a year; they are called "adjuncts." By the time a person is 22, a lot of good years are already behind them, years when youngsters were quick and agile with technology. So, what college does in effect is actually reduce the effectiveness of workers, by ensuring they are older before they start work, while conveying zero benefit.