Successful Without College

GURPS

INGSOC
PREMO Member
“Now everybody is armed with a degree. What kind of world is that?” asks Rowe. “Everybody dreams of being in the corner office, but nobody knows how to build the corner office?”

Lots of good jobs in skilled trades don’t require a college degree, he points out. “The push for college came at the expense of every other form of education. Shop class was taken out of high school. We have denied millions of kids an opportunity to see what half the workforce looks like.”

It’s a reason America now has a shortage of skilled trade workers.

Yet, plumbers, elevator mechanics construction managers, etc., make $100,000 a year.

MikeroweWORKS Foundation gives young people scholarships to schools where they learn such trades. He seeks to make skilled labor “cool” again.

One Rowe scholarship recipient, Chloe Hudson, considered college but was shocked at what it cost.

“I was like, ‘I can’t afford this!’ I don’t want to be saddled with student debt the rest of my life!”

Instead, thanks to her Rowe scholarship, she learned how to weld, and now she has no trouble finding work.

“I’ve been under nuclear plants … been in water systems,” Hudson recounts. “Those jobs make me appreciate what I have now so much more.”

 

RareBreed

Throwing the deuces
I went to college for two years and realized I was wasting my mom's money. I didn't like it and I had no focus on anything. I did a few temp jobs until I got a 2 day temp job at a Police Department in NoVA. They were so impressed by me, they kept me and ended up hiring me full time about 8 months later. That was back in 1996. I am still working there. I would have missed this opportunity had I stayed in college and who knows what I'd be doing now. Things happen for a reason and things work out in the end. We have told our kids that college is always an asset but we will not force them to go. It's their life and their choice.
 

SamSpade

Well-Known Member
There's a handful of reasons why skilled tradesman make the big bucks - some good and some bad.

The largest reason is the same one that's being promoted - there ain't enough of them. If we had three times as many plumbers, electricians or carpenters, some would struggle getting work and salaries would drop. It's why certain medical professionals make a fortune - and others don't. It's not JUST skill level, it's how many there are, and they're not even distributed evenly.

Another is - your average guy doesn't know as much about building and fixing things as they used to. When I was a kid, I remember sitting in the living room of my Dad's Uncle Walt, and they told me he built that house. Himself. I looked at the corner plaster work and realized even then - to build THIS yourself took serious work and skill.

On the other hand - while my brother was a serious motorhead and knew all about cars - back then cars weren't built compactly for space and loaded with sensors and computer parts and all sorts of things. He could LISTEN to a car and tell you what the problem was. Today - he could still do some repairs - but a lot of TODAY'S cars are much more complex. THAT - does require some specialized skill - so the value goes up again.

And - the need for some skills is vanishing. I don't know where you can find good plasterers or paperhangers or bricklayers, although I am sure there's plenty of people who could make a good go of it. But a lot of that is, they're not building all that many houses with bricks, and it's rare you ever see a wall that gets plaster instead of sheetrock.

But lastly - I've seen graphs of careers in these fields. They top out fast unless you're the business owner and oversee a staff of electricians or plumbers. Because while a fledgling lawyer and plumber might start out the same - the lawyer will greatly increase his salary while the plumber will not, and the lawyer can probably practice law into his seventies - and the carpenter probably can't, although I HAVE seen older men doing the work of younger men.
 

Hijinx

Well-Known Member
I am old now, but I remember when the FBI went to High Schools and recruited girls to work for them.
High School girls. I knew many girls who went to work in Washington, as Secretary's and other positions.

Now you have to have some college and, be a POC to get a job in Government.
 
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SamSpade

Well-Known Member
I went to college for two years and realized I was wasting my mom's money. I didn't like it and I had no focus on anything. I did a few temp jobs until I got a 2 day temp job at a Police Department in NoVA. They were so impressed by me, they kept me and ended up hiring me full time about 8 months later. That was back in 1996. I am still working there. I would have missed this opportunity had I stayed in college and who knows what I'd be doing now. Things happen for a reason and things work out in the end. We have told our kids that college is always an asset but we will not force them to go. It's their life and their choice.
That said - I think it is unlikely that at least two of my kids will go. My oldest has special needs - he will be very lucky just to be able to keep a job doing anything. My youngest is just not motivated academically. My middle child is bright - but we're still not sure what's going to happen yet.
 

Hijinx

Well-Known Member
I am old now, but I remember when the FBI went to High Schools and recruited girls to work for them.
High School girls. I knew many girls who went to work in Washington, as Secretary's and other positions.

Now you have to have some college and, be a POC to get a job in Government.
I will say this . I have watched them building these stick built apartment buildings and they look like fire traps to me.
 

RareBreed

Throwing the deuces
That said - I think it is unlikely that at least two of my kids will go. My oldest has special needs - he will be very lucky just to be able to keep a job doing anything. My youngest is just not motivated academically. My middle child is bright - but we're still not sure what's going to happen yet.
My oldest (20) is currently enrolled at CSM and wants to transfer to either Towson or Salisbury. He would like to get into finance or communications. Pretty sure youngest (17) will do ROTC in college and end up with a career in the military.
 

SamSpade

Well-Known Member
My oldest (20) is currently enrolled at CSM and wants to transfer to either Towson or Salisbury. He would like to get into finance or communications. Pretty sure youngest (17) will do ROTC in college and end up with a career in the military.
My middle child will almost certainly choose one of those options.
 

kom526

They call me ... Sarcasmo
My oldest was thinking about finance as a major and he was all set to go to William & Mary. He decided, after a lot of thought and research, that he should go into MechEng because he figured he could get a higher paying job quicker as opposed to working his way to being a fund manager. My youngest? He wants to restore old cars. This week. A couple of weeks ago he was hoping to play college basketball then get a job with an NBA team.
 

vraiblonde

Board Mommy
PREMO Member
Patron
Many professions that require a college degree could be learned OJT. Especially since the bulk of your classes will have nothing to do with your chosen profession. And the classes that do pertain may or may not teach you anything of value, and those things of value may or may not pertain to how it works in the real world.
 

SamSpade

Well-Known Member
Many professions that require a college degree could be learned OJT. Especially since the bulk of your classes will have nothing to do with your chosen profession. And the classes that do pertain may or may not teach you anything of value, and those things of value may or may not pertain to how it works in the real world.
Of that I have no doubt - my first job I knew almost nothing about relational databases or - shudder - COBOL. But I had done programming and I adapted quickly. Ditto all of the other computer aspects I would learn over the next few years - never written in a script language like KORN or Bash - and so forth.

On the other hand - without SOME form of accreditation, my future employer could in no way get a good idea of how good I'd be at the job. Not unless I'd ALREADY had a job doing something like that. Which leads me to support the idea of internships with the intent of a commitment to stay with an employer somewhere down the road.

And although my wife disagrees with me - I'm in favor of undergraduate programs in college completely dropping the courses totally unrelated to the sought degree. And I'm unclear on the fuzzy ones. But if you're going to get a degree in engineering, you're better served taking more courses in your intended career, and not waste 40-50 hours in history and literature. They don't do that in grad school - EVERY CLASS is for your degree, none of this extra crap to fill out 120 hours. If you can satisfy the engineering curriculum with fewer hours but a complete course - then that's what it should be. You shouldn't take all those extra irrelevant courses - they exist solely to keep you in school and make more money for the school.
 

GURPS

INGSOC
PREMO Member
I am old now, but I remember when the FBI went to High Schools and recruited girls to work for them.
High School girls. I knew many girls who went to work in Washington, as Secretary's and other positions.
My mother was recruited to work in DC in the 1950s right out of High School [ not the FBI but DOD ] - she worked on the mall in the WW II Temp offices ... then bounced around a few federal agencies ...
 

Gilligan

#*! boat!
PREMO Member
I'd have to say all four of my kids are "successful"; they all seem to enjoy what they do and make good money doing it. Two have college degrees and two do not.
 

Sneakers

Just sneakin' around....
I put in two years of college, then realized there was no work in my field (Marine Bio) unless you knew someone who had a lucrative contract. I bounced between all kinds of jobs, learning real skills everywhere I went. I learned something at each job that I used later in life. Finally got an entry level job with an aerospace corp in IT. A combination of self-teaching and employee-paid classes in my specific field were all that I needed for a long term career. I'm a big believer (now) in getting the training you need for a specific task as you go. So many people I knew had these wonderful degrees and couldn't fight their way out of a wet paper bag.
 

kom526

They call me ... Sarcasmo
Many professions that require a college degree could be learned OJT. Especially since the bulk of your classes will have nothing to do with your chosen profession. And the classes that do pertain may or may not teach you anything of value, and those things of value may or may not pertain to how it works in the real world.
The oldest had to take a geography class this semester, he is not interested in geography but it was a requirement. In this class he had to write a paper about food inequalities in other countries in relation to geography, climate and socioeconomic factors. He will be the first one to tell you, he is NOT interested in social issues, he just wants to design and build stuff, he doesn't care about, and I quote, "I'm not too interested in that social justice stuff, it's a bunch of crap." #TearInMyEye
 

JEFF69Z28

Active Member
My mother was recruited to work in DC in the 1950s right out of High School [ not the FBI but DOD ] - she worked on the mall in the WW II Temp offices ... then bounced around a few federal agencies ...
Same with my parents from PA they did not want to work in a coal mine or in a clothing factory so right of High School they came to DC and worked their time and retired with a pension.
 

Monello

Yeah, whatever
PREMO Member
Pretty sure youngest (17) will do ROTC in college and end up with a career in the military.
My son got involved in ROTC his 2nd semester his freshman year in college. He got the free tuition and books deal. Each semester when he came back home, I could see the maturation process taking place. He got better organized. He also learned valuable lessons. A few of the cadets lost their scholarships because of DUIs. And they almost force you to finish on time.

1 winter break they sent him to Georgia to jump out of airplanes and earn jump wings. Another break they sent him to some other training. Once he graduated, it was off to flight training. He got paid to train for a year and a half. Plus he learned a valuable skill.

Fast forward a decade and he's already commanded a company, been deployed, traveled the world and he's past the half way point to retirement.
 
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