Minnesota Farmer

It does not add up
August 10, 2013, 7:40 pm
Filed under: Politics, school | Tags: , , , , ,

For some time now it has bothered me that there is so much emphasis on a college education in our high schools when I see so many jobs that do not require a college degree.  Today I came on this.

Jack Metzgar, an emeritus professor at Roosevelt University in Chicago, mulled over a few sobering statisticslast year in the Working-Class Perspectives blog:

• Only about 30 percent of Americans over the age of 25 have bachelor’s degrees.

• Citing the Bureau of Labor Statistics, only 20 percent of jobs required a bachelor’s degree; 26 percent of jobs did not require a high school diploma; and another 43 percent required a high school diploma or equivalent.

• Nearly three-quarters of “job openings due to growth and replacement needs” in the next 10 years will pay a median wage of less than $35,000 a year.

“It is hard to avoid the conclusion that Americans are over educated for the jobs that we have and are going to have,” writes Metzgar, who goes on to argue for minimum wage reform and laws requiring that “the benefits of productivity growth be shared with workers.”

So, 69% of the jobs in America do not require a college education.  Some of those jobs are really good high paying jobs.  Jobs that are essential to our economy.  Yes, there are jobs in that group that are not good paying jobs at first, but most will pay off if you keep at it and show some initiative.

You can make something of yourself without a college education, or you can be part of that 10% of Americans saddled with college bills and no job.  So, you can sweat it out on the job, and work your way up into management, or you can sweet it out in college.  If you do not find yourself to be college material, you may be best to just go to work.


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When young people ask me career advice today I tell them to look at trades like plumbing, electrician, construction and renovation, heating and air conditioning, and landscaping.

You can be smart, educated and jobless in today’s world if you think a degree from a university is a guarantor of employment. Bright young minds can apply themselves to practical jobs and when the day is done learn anything they want. With the Internet open learning is there for all. Even MIT allows you to download course material and audit programs online.

I wanted to be a teacher when I went to university. Got a degree in history specializing in Islamic Studies and Medieval. But when I got out they were closing teacher’s colleges and there were no jobs. I became first a book salesman and then an editor in an educational publishing house. Then self-taught I became a computer guy eventually becoming an IT and tech business start-up consultant. Now I’m a writer about science and technology. What university taught me was how to think.

But young people can get technical skills training through junior colleges, community colleges and apprenticeships that can give them quality lives, great income, and leisure time to indulge their educational interests. In both Canada and the United States they would easily find jobs that today are unfilled or taken by foreign workers.

Comment by lenrosen4

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