So I get that 4-year college ain't for everybody. It’s stupid-expensive and there’s no guarantee, unless you doggedly pursue medicine or engineering or law or coding or some other known certification—and then doggedly pursue that career—you’ll make back in salary what you invested as tuition. If you take out tens of thousands of dollars in loans to get a degree in something that runs the risk of a feeble payback, you should have your head examined and be shown how the calculator app works on your phone.
But there is also a growing trend, I think, that college is a sham and that if you like table saws (check out @sal.the.capenter ‘s awesome table saw video here) you shouldn’t go.
And that the people who do attend are softy nincompoops who want to read Jane Austen novels (James Conrad’s The Heart of Darkness is way better by the way; Oliver Stone based Apocalypse Now on it) and work at Starbuck’s while we hard guys tip walls and work through Polar Vortices.
I think this approach reduces a complicated life decision to a meme-like binary that it simply isn’t. There’s a lot more to say, but not here and not now. But for the young people reading this—please share this—and to those of us with kids embarking on life’s next chapter, let’s make sure we make the right decisions for the right reasons.
This is something I’ve been following a bit, and it is called out in this article from The Atlantic in the two paragraphs below. Read the whole thing here, or just check this out. I’m interested in what you think.
In the United States, since the passage of the 1944 GI Bill, college has been pushed over vocational education. This college-for-all narrative has been emphasized for decades as the pathway to success and stability; parents might worry about the future of their children who choose a different path.
College doesn’t make sense is the message that many trade schools and apprenticeship programs are using to entice new students. What specifically doesn’t make sense, they claim, is the amount of debt many young Americans take on to chase those coveted bachelor’s degrees. There is $1.5 trillion in student debt outstanding as of 2018, according to the Federal Reserve. Four in 10 adults under the age of 30 have student-loan debt, according to the Pew Research Center. Master’s and doctorate degrees often lead to even more debt. Earning potential does not always offset the cost of these loans, and only two-thirds of those with degrees think that the debt was worth it for the education they received. Vocational and technical education tends to cost significantly less than a traditional four-year degree.