Why College is Killing America
Unless you’ve been living under a rock, in Siberia, you’re aware that the economy isn’t very good. In fact, some would even say it sucks (not me of course. I have this blog to support my family). Unemployment continues to hover at 9-point-somethin’ percent, and unemployed college students with their “cool” uncles who still drive VW vans, have been “occupying” corners of America with their tents, witty chants, and hemp clothing. At the same time, our government is being asked to tax some people more, while giving additional tax benefits to other people, while continuing to prop up factories that manufacture electric car batteries that spontaneously combust. To all of this I have only one thing to say: Michigan beat Ohio State. Woo-hoo! Suck on that Buckeyes (which are nuts by the way. Get it? Nuts.). Hahahahahaha…but I digress.
No, I’m not downplaying the plights of thousands. There are, obviously, a group of people in their 40’s and 50’s who would have a difficult time starting over in a career. This post is not about them. Instead, it’s about an increasingly large number of worthless people. These people consist of those who are either currently attending college or have just graduated. These people belong to a group I have labeled The OverEducated. We’ve all met them. Young adults saddled with debt and only a non-specific degree in one of the many Humanities or Business programs that litter our colleges and universities to show for it. Some argue that these poor souls were “sold a dream” and now sadly possess only a large piece of paper and a corner of mom’s basement. On the other hand, I believe they received exactly what they sought: five years worth of malted hops and bong resin (+1 for Tommy Boy reference).
Here’s the point: most of those persons who attended college to receive degrees in beer pong (and who are angrily sitting in a park in New York, with only their Starbucks mocha to keep them warm) should never have gone to college in the first place. Instead, they should have gone off to a technical school to learn skills that are actually in demand.
What’s that? There are companies…hiring? That’s right. There are jobs out there. Good jobs. With benefits. What jobs, you ask? Skilled jobs. Jobs that, while requiring training, don’t require a college degree. And this has been true since the beginning of the collapse.
[from a June 2009 article] Six million jobs have disappeared across the country since Mr. McGrary began his quest. The unemployment rate has risen precipitously to 9.4 percent, the highest level in nearly 30 years, and most of the jobs that do come open are quickly filled from the legions of seekers. But unnoticed in the government’s standard employment data, employers are begging for qualified applicants for certain occupations, even in hard times. Most of the jobs involve skills that take years to attain.
And the problem of not being able to find skilled laborers for quality jobs continues to this day.
John McGlade, president and CEO of Air Products, says 4,000 of his 7,500 U.S. employees are skilled workers. His global company designs and builds high-tech hydrogen equipment and devices.
McGlade is “worried” he won’t be able to find skilled workers in the future. He hires about 550 U.S. workers a year. Three-hundred-and-sixty are technically skilled positions that require two years of college or advanced certification. These positions can often go unfilled for 12 months.
To a very real extent, we have sold a lot of kids a bill of goods. Everyone is pushing college as the answer to life’s problems. For crying out loud, our current commander in chief talks about the value of college almost as much as he orders the shooting of unarmed men in the face (ZING). Here’s the reality though: we need more welders and mechanics than we need history professors. Why aren’t we sending more kids to technical schools? What happened to shop class in high school? Simply put: college is killing America.
So chipper up butter cup. All you need to get a good job is fold up your tents, go home, and get some practical education. Oh, and take a shower.