Skip to comments.If not college, then what? (What's the alternative if going into tuition debt is too burdensome?)
Posted on 08/12/2011 7:46:43 AM PDT by SeekAndFind
At dinner tables throughout the United States, there are tough conversations about the exploding cost of college, the rough job market, the pain of debt.
For parents and students, it adds up to the same question: Is college worth it?
But American University economics Professor Robert Lerman is asking something different: If college isn't worth it, what else is out there?
Lerman, an Urban Institute fellow, has studied youth unemployment for decades, and thinks the United States ought to try an updated version of an old technique for education and employment: apprenticeships.
They're not the same as an after-school fast food job or a summer internship at dad's office, he said. Apprenticeships require skill development in a workplace over a number of years. The education, which might be supplemented by classroom training, leads to a credential -- maybe a title, certification or diploma -- that proves mastery of a skill. During that time, apprentices are paid, and employers are getting another worker.
"In many countries, apprenticeship training and mastery is thought of as a big advantage in innovation -- you have people seeing things, but have skills to understand them, make adjustments and achieve high quality," Lerman said.
It's been a long time since apprenticeship dominated in the United States. Despite the Obama administration's focus on community colleges, which often house workplace-learning programs, apprenticeship programs draw few government resources, and reach relatively few fields, mostly construction and manufacturing.
In a paper published last year, Lerman said about 468,000 people were in 27,000 apprenticeship programs registered with the U.S. Department of Labor in 2008. That was about .3% of the workforce at the time.
Up to 1 million more were in unregistered programs, the report said.
(Excerpt) Read more at edition.cnn.com ...
In Switzerland, Austria and Germany, 50% to 70% of young people are trained through apprentice programs, according to "Training Tomorrow's Workforce."
Community colleges - learn a trade that won’t be outsourced.
Go to a local Community Collage and get into Electrical, Plumbing, Diesel Mechanics or ANY of the Trades and you will NEVER be out of work.
Maybe working your way through college is an option like I did. Can’t do it in four years but then again, patience is a virtue. Oh wait a minute! Working? Maybe that doesn’t work today. Sorry, I lost my head for a minute.
What they are not telling people is that financial aid for tuition is getting harder to get. I need money to finish out my degree but I can’t get it.
Going in to 'regular' debt...
Apprenticeship is the only option if you plan to become a Bater.
The idea of college has become so ingrained among middle class people that apprenticeships are a tough sell.
Most middle class people want their kids to have a job where they sit in an office and work on a computer. Many think it’s a step down to work in a “blue collar” type of trade.
Today, with so many graduating college with so much debt, and not being able to get a good paying job, maybe attitudes will change. Why go thousands into debt to go to college, when you will end up working at a job which you could have gotten without college?
Anecdotal evidence is that lots of college graduates work at Target and Barnes and Noble and other retailers.
Many may have majored in subjects which don’t translate into jobs. Majoring in women’s studies won’t qualify you for a job after college. Majoring in many fields does not translate into a professional career after college.
Maybe young people need better information about which college degrees DO qualify you for some entry level positions afterward. Or better information about whether college is appropriate for them, based on what they want to do in life.
The want ads around here are packed with companies looking for drivers with a CDL and heavy equipment operators. HVAC and electrician skills also seem in fairly high demand.
This was exactly how Calvin Coolidge earned his license to practice law and eventually run for elective office which would take him all the way to the presidency.
Grover Cleveland never set foot in a college classroom as a student and would make most people's list of ten best presidents. Ditto for Lincoln, who was largely self-taught.
Teach a person to read and reason, use their hands as well at their brains, foster an environment in which they have opportunity to hire out the skills thus developed and you will create the next generation of Franklins, Lincolns and Clevelands.
As a side benefit, you might also create the next generation of universities which actually foster those skills rather than retard them with the politically correct garbage which has taken over so many fields today.
Better to be able to do stuff than just know stuff that isn’t true.
Seems like going to college is a mandate for success. Problem is more and more 30+ year old students living on the dole, avoiding growing up and contributing to society.
Everyone can’t and won’t be Steve Jobs or Bill Gates.
the whole idea of apprenticeships is a good one. I know people in industries of all sorts who need welders, electricians, carpenters, machiners, etc... but don't hire or try to outsource simply because they can't find people with skills or more importantly - people who will show up for work!
Are community colleges the answer? Possibly. Some are good, but many have the same brainwashed leftist faculty teaching many of the same useless courses regular universities teach.
Hair school is another option. Takes about a year. Usually after about another six months apprenticeship you can make good money.
True, my husband has a college degree, but has been a mechanic his whole life. In fact, that is how he put himself through college.
He is making a little less in this economy, but he still has a job that pays our bills.
Our next door neighbor is an attorney, and lost his job almost a year ago. He is doing lawn work now. He said that he wished he learned a trade or bought a business with all the money he blew on college.
I still believe in college. However, it's important to have a back up plan.
It took me an embarrassingly long time to finish my undergraduate engineering degree, and my grades were mediocre at best. But ten years after I finished high school I had both my bachelor's and master's degrees in civil engineering, passed both rounds of my state licensing exams on the first attempts, and enough "people skills" from my various low-level service industry jobs to make myself right at home among rural American farmers and Wall Street investment bankers alike.
Long story short, after four years now he is one of the best locksmiths in our area and in demand.
He just loves the job and looks forward to a challenge every day.
He has said he will never be a millionaire but he will always have a decent pay and job.
Proud of him.
There was an interesting story in a shipping industry trade publication about some problems they’re having at one of the big East Coast ports. They are dealing with lower productivity in recent months because the ILA union can’t find enough qualified technicians to keep the lift and hauling equipment at the port maintained in good working order.
Spend $100,000 on student loans or $30,000 on a small business loan and go for it.
The local mines in the area offer employee's high school graduates full scholarships in these area's at the local community college. They also hire them on part-time for on the job training. It's a great deal. My son is on his second year scholarship for electrical.
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