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  1. #1
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    Mike Rowe rant trades vs degrees

    Mike Rowe | Go Build

    Makes a lot of sense...
    Riding.....

  2. #2
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    I couldn't agree more. M Rowe took the words right out of my mouth. There are too many people who don't know what they want to do with their lives who end up deep in debt with a worthless college degree. These folks are starting out in the hole. Somewhere along the line it seems like going out and learning a trade became looked upon with disdain by many. A college degree can be the path to a good career but its not the only path.
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  3. #3
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    agree 100%. When I worked at a lumber store and had students at high school work with me I always would recommend going to go through apprenticeships.
    Quote Originally Posted by Tone's View Post
    the big aussie rep bomb is comin your way

  4. #4
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    Absolutely. Despite reaping the rewards of higher education from a job in medicine, I'm encouraging my son to look into trade school. The days of doing well in college and being guaranteed a good, well paid job at graduation are gone. The only thing a college degree gaurantees these days is a lot of debt. Learning a trade early on and starting work soon after high school, relatively debt-free, sounds very appealing.

  5. #5
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    There is very little to build anymore. Just to add some balance.

  6. #6
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    Just stumbled into this thread, and not in a place where I can watch videos. But I do think college is wasted on a lot of 18-year-olds, including me. I was lucky enough not to have debt, so after my liberal arts degree didn't lead to anything interesting, I picked up a crescent wrench and worked backstage for several years. The jobs are out there, and have a lot of depth for capable people.

    Turns out there's plenty of manufacturing still happening here in the US and a growing movement to bring it back. (Or off-shore to here - some foreign companies are putting manufacturing in this country again.)

    Company I work for now has trouble hiring machinists. That's a pretty good job.

    Meanwhile, 22-year-olds with BAs are whining that they can't find work.

    Since I met the guy who'd wait tables but thought actually building something was beneath him, I have a bit less sympathy. But stigmatizing actually building stuff is a bit of a WTF. Because he wasn't really smart enough to come up with that opinion on his own - it's a problem we've cooked up as a society.

    As everybody else industrializes, demand for laborers, tradesmen, craftsmen, etc. in the US is just going to increase.
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  7. #7
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    Not all knowledge comes from college
    Make so much sense. There are many people who are college edumacated that don't know how to work with their hands.
    You have Mech engineers who don't know how to turn a screw driver
    Managers who don't know how to do the job of those they are managing.
    etc....

  8. #8
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    As a trades person business owner semi educated knucklehead, I've been saying that for years.

  9. #9
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    Another "agree" here. I went to college, but my dad is also a contractor so I grew up working with him. When I got old enough to drive I worked construction building gas stations for him so I could afford a truck. Getting up at 4am got old so I got a job as a pool man. After High School while starting school in Long Beach I ran a mobile detail business and worked valet. In college out in Boston I got a job doing landscape construction; because it paid well and I knew my way around a job sight.

    Now I am in my 9th year working in finance in a suit, managing a team of analysts. Am I satisfied? Yes, I have a good job and all that other stuff. Do I look out the window at construction workers sometimes and say to myself "man I wish I could be out there instead of in here."? Of course I do. Not a day goes by where I think about how eventually I will ditch the suit and get out from under the fluorescent lights.
    Quote Originally Posted by CannondaleF9 View Post
    You see, I don't have a single brand name in my signature because I know most bike brands and component brands 99%.

  10. #10
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    I didn't realize it at the time but I'm glad I stumbled into tech school. After high school a large majority of my classmates were all planning to go to University, some without a clue or plan of what they wanted to do.

    Expensive way to figure it out, that is for sure.

    I ended up doing a 2 year electronics technologist course that probably cost less than 4 years of university books would cost. Starting life with zero debt is pretty amazing.

    Don't get me wrong, the world needs people working in offices & all that jazz, very important. But it's not the only option.
    Riding.....

  11. #11
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    100% true
    Last edited by John Kuhl; 12-06-2013 at 11:04 PM.

  12. #12
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    All fairly compensated jobs are good jobs. Worthy jobs. Important jobs. If you are great at what you do, I admire the work no matter what vocation. I've stopped in my tracks to watch a janitor mop a floor efficiently. I'm pretty sure that janitor wasn't getting paid enough.
    You're so cute internet tough guy. Noogie...Noogie...Noogie.

  13. #13
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    Mike Rowe had a decent presentation at one of the TED talks.
    Mike Rowe: Learning from dirty jobs | Video on TED.com

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tone's View Post
    the big aussie rep bomb is comin your way

  15. #15
    Ride More, Whine Less
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    I like Mike; always have. I don't agree with him getting hung up on the label "alternative", though. The skills gap is very real. I'll give you that. I would also say there is a skills gap in people with advanced math and science training.

  16. #16
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    In agreement with all here. I was a Gordon Shumway... 11 years under fluorescent lights was enough for me, went out and got my Generals Contractor license. Was it tough, hell yes, were there ups and downs instead of a regular paycheck, you betcha. But you learn so much more about life and solving problems when the business is yours. OJT is the best education.
    "i'll brazilian when YOU do boy, right around the ol' rusty star. Actually, whole fruit bowl. Get on it!" NicoleB

  17. #17
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    Mike Rowe rant trades vs degrees

    Straight out of high school, I took a course to become an EMT. I wasn't sure what I wanted, but I knew damn good and well college wasn't for me. Several years later, I went off and got an AAS in Emergency Medical Management to be a paramedic and supervisor.

    Years later, after almost wrecking my marriage, I'm starting over. Found a national pest control company that offers training, and have been doing it since. There's no shame in working hard, the only shame found is in laziness.

  18. #18
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    Somewhere along the line we developed the attitude that jobs involving some kind of labor are looked down upon. When I worked for my dad's flooring co. I saw and felt it many times. We did very upscale custom wood flooring, not rocket science but it takes a fair amount of skill and an artists eye for detail. The hard work frequently went unappreciated and that can wear on a person so I went back to school. For some stupid reason I didn't really use my education and went back into the flooring business for myself. Things are a bit different when you own the company and it's funny how different people treat you when you are doing a job third party for someone else and they think you're just some hired goon. I'm old enough it doesn't bother me much anymore but there are times when I really have to bite my tongue.

  19. #19
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    As someone in the construction Industry I can say the lack of good masons will be a problem in the future. I mean good masons, not just guys who can lay up masonry. Someone that actually understands the process of laying up masonry.

    We often have the local masonry institute bring their journeymen and apprentices to our jobs to practice their craft and and their foreman says each year they get less and less applicants. Masonry is less a trade and more a craft joining physical prowess with creativity and adaptability. I once had the opportunity to work with a life long mason and watching him work was like watching an artisan work. His movements where masterful and understanding of his material was boundless. I think it is one of the few building crafts where your abilities will determine your demand over your price to do the work. I'll always pay more for a good mason but will always pick the cheapest electrician or plumber.
    Try this: HTFU

  20. #20
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    Re: Mike Rowe rant trades vs degrees

    Quote Originally Posted by PdlPwr View Post
    Somewhere along the line we developed the attitude that jobs involving some kind of labor are looked down upon.
    This is well put. Too many kids think you need to go to a four year university to be "successful"

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by rockcrusher View Post
    As someone in the construction Industry I can say the lack of good masons will be a problem in the future. I mean good masons, not just guys who can lay up masonry. Someone that actually understands the process of laying up masonry.

    We often have the local masonry institute bring their journeymen and apprentices to our jobs to practice their craft and and their foreman says each year they get less and less applicants. Masonry is less a trade and more a craft joining physical prowess with creativity and adaptability. I once had the opportunity to work with a life long mason and watching him work was like watching an artisan work. His movements where masterful and understanding of his material was boundless. I think it is one of the few building crafts where your abilities will determine your demand over your price to do the work. I'll always pay more for a good mason but will always pick the cheapest electrician or plumber.
    My late uncle was an amazing mason. Worked up in Oregon most of his adult life and built him and my aunt's brick house with his own hands (not just a regular brick house, very detailed with all kinds of unique designs). He wouldn't even let other guys work with him on the house except for a couple guys he had worked with for years and even then their help was limited. After he passed away from melanoma a few years ago my aunt let his close mason buddies finish the house (he was sick for over 10 years and could only work on it in short bursts). Anyways, I remember him always telling me that it is moving towards being a lost art and that was a big disappointment for him.
    Quote Originally Posted by CannondaleF9 View Post
    You see, I don't have a single brand name in my signature because I know most bike brands and component brands 99%.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by 8iking VIIking View Post
    This is well put. Too many kids think you need to go to a four year university to be "successful"
    This is being pushed by public education. I'm guessing that on the whole, college provides more security. Nothing of course is 100%.

    That being said, there are good careers to be had in the trades. Not everyone is cut out for college.
    Get me the knuckles of Frisco..

  23. #23
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    Re: Mike Rowe rant trades vs degrees

    Quote Originally Posted by Crankout View Post
    That being said, there are good careers to be had in the trades. Not everyone is cut out for college.
    Exactly right. I went to a college with several guys that probably shouldn't have been there. Nothing against them, they just aren't really the book smart type.

    The idea that everyone has to go to a 4 year university if they want to go anywhere in life is nonsense and it's pushed on kids from an early age nowadays. I have a Bachelor's degree, but am having a hard time finding permanent work in my field. If I was to go back and do it again, I probably would have went to a trade school

  24. #24
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    I went to college because I wanted to work in natural resource science in some capacity. Still working to break into the field, but I've got some resumes out right now. Jobs in the field are few, and clumped regionally. My wife has a much higher earning potential than I do, so we had to relocate for her job first. So I'm limited by geography. It'll be a long slog to get what I want, but I'll put in whatever work needs to be done to get it.

    My sister tried the college thing because I went that way, and my parents pressured her to do it. It wasn't for her. She's every bit as smart as I am, but the atmosphere and learning environment were not her style. Instead, she did a fairly short training program to be a phlebotomist and is now in management. She's younger than I am, but has more lifetime earnings to date. She's quite successful.

    My father has always been a blue collar worker. Not in the trades per se, but still in that realm. He didn't really specialize, but is experienced and skilled in a lot of areas. A little machining, a little electrical, a little construction, etc. He works in the service dept at a factory that is a major automotive supplier. They do cast aluminum stuff. The building he's in does more of the machining of the parts that are cast in another building on site. I picked up a lot of my skills from him. If I didn't have the stronger interest in science and an aptitude for it, I'd have gone into a trade that allowed me to build something.

    I do enjoy making things with my two hands, and I do build things as occasional hobbies. I want to build my own cedar strip canoe, and weld my own bike frame. If I turn out to be any good at either one after some training and practice, I might build one or the other as a hobby business for a little extra spending money and have something I could do in retirement.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by rockcrusher View Post
    As someone in the construction Industry I can say the lack of good masons will be a problem in the future. I mean good masons, not just guys who can lay up masonry. Someone that actually understands the process of laying up masonry.
    Quote Originally Posted by Gordon Shumway View Post
    My late uncle was an amazing mason. Worked up in Oregon most of his adult life and built him and my aunt's brick house with his own hands (not just a regular brick house, very detailed with all kinds of unique designs). He wouldn't even let other guys work with him on the house except for a couple guys he had worked with for years and even then their help was limited. After he passed away from melanoma a few years ago my aunt let his close mason buddies finish the house (he was sick for over 10 years and could only work on it in short bursts). Anyways, I remember him always telling me that it is moving towards being a lost art and that was a big disappointment for him.
    Here are some pics of my uncle's home while I was up in Oregon visiting him just before he passed. My wife and I are heading back up there to visit my aunt next year so I can't wait to see it finished.

    Mike Rowe rant trades vs degrees-oregon-march-2009-037.jpg

    Mike Rowe rant trades vs degrees-oregon-march-2009-035.jpg

    Mike Rowe rant trades vs degrees-oregon-march-2009-034.jpg

    Mike Rowe rant trades vs degrees-oregon-march-2009-033.jpg

    Mike Rowe rant trades vs degrees-oregon-march-2009-005.jpg

    Mike Rowe rant trades vs degrees-oregon-march-2009-085.jpg

    Mike Rowe rant trades vs degrees-oregon-march-2009-086.jpg
    Quote Originally Posted by CannondaleF9 View Post
    You see, I don't have a single brand name in my signature because I know most bike brands and component brands 99%.

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