Saturday, January 4, 2014

Mike Rowe - Fewer College Degrees, More Employed Skilled Workers

According to labor statistics, there are currently as many as 3-4 million unfilled jobs in the United States, many of which pay upper middle class salaries … and they don't require a bachelor's degree. In fact, as few as 12% of them require four years of college (and the associated tens of thousands of dollars in debt). Yet, parents and counselors and teachers and principals are still sending millions of students on to four-year colleges with the belief that those degrees are necessary for them to get a job … or get a "good job."  As I've noted many times before:

Mike Rowe disagrees.

Mike Rowe, who gained fame on the Discovery Channel as the host of Dirty Jobs and Deadliest Catch, has spent the past few years developing a PR campaign for "Work." That is, he is promoting skilled labor as the necessary emphasis for our education system. Rowe makes the rounds to as many talk shows and forums as he possibly can, talking about the need for skilled labors. He has many partners in this task, such as Caterpillar who has an invested interested in skilled laborers. And Mike would like to connect young people in search of a future with companies like Caterpillar, where heavy equipment repair mechanics can make a $100,000 a year. So, Mike is promoting many great "schools you've never heard of" like Midwestern Technical Institute, where students can learn about and learn the trades that are currently lacking in the labor market.

So, it's time to stop all the nonsense about how everyone needs to go to college, and start promoting the type of learning that will lead people to careers. And, if you have never seen Mike's TED Talk about his PR Campaign for work, you have to see this. It's one of the smartest segments I've ever heard.