For high school graduates in the USA, the question is always, “What’s your next step?” The question behind the question is, “What university are you going to attend?”
It’s assumed that students will get a student loan, go to university and then graduate with tons of debt with a degree that may or may not have any practical application in the workplace.
In the words of Mike Rowe, “America is lending money it doesn’t have to kids who can’t pay it back to train them for jobs that no longer exist. That’s nuts.”
The cost of university has risen much faster than standard rates of inflation, and in my humble opinion, this is because it’s so easy to get student loans (predatory lending?). The colleges are colluding with the loan companies to squeeze as much money from students or their parents as possible.
The fact is, there is a TON of pressure on young adults to go to university. But in addition to a huge debt load, universities are increasingly indoctrination centers, they don’t necessarily prepare people for the real world and a degree does not necessarily mean higher income or better job security. I think that much of this pressure is fear-based. Parents want the best for their children, and young adults have been sold a bill of goods that college equals good money and job security.
The fact is, university is not right for everyone.
It’s important for the youth to look at all the options available to them, and as a society, we need to stop elevating college degrees as the only respectable choice. There are many respectable choices, such as becoming a tradesperson or becoming an entrepreneur.
California has a new effort right now to improve the reputation and respectability of being a tradesperson. There is a huge demand for tradespersons all across the country because not enough people are choosing this route. This high demand equates to higher job security. Tradespersons can make really good money, and they don’t have to go into debt to learn their trade.
Here’s an interesting video on this…
Also, Mike Rowe is providing scholarships for people choosing this route.
Another option is to be an entrepreneur. This is also not an option for everyone, but for some it’s incredibly rewarding. I will go into this option in a future article.
Please tell me your comments!