Skip to comments.'My students make twice my salary'
Posted on 11/01/2011 8:27:13 AM PDT by thackney
Jim Stout, an English professor at Williston State College in Williston N.D., started losing some of his best students to the oil fields last year. It was too hard to compete: The students could either spend thousands of dollars on a college education or earn $100,000 a year working on the rigs, performing maintenance on oil wells or driving trucks.
"At some point they decide, 'Well, college will always be here ... but the oil boom won't,'" he said.
One engineering student dropped out of college last winter to take a job boiling the water used in hydraulic fracturing. In just two weeks, he made $5,000, according to Lance Olson, a science instructor at the college.
While some students leave the college altogether, others take the bare minimum of courses necessary in order to qualify for campus housing and still be able to work. So class time often comes second to their day jobs.
"One of my students working in the oilfields habitually came in late, and started to fall asleep in class," said Stout. "I asked him what was going on, and he said, 'I'm putting in 90 hours a week because the overtime pays so well ... to be honest with you, I'll get what you cover from my friends in class, but don't count on me staying awake or getting to class on time.'"
America's Biggest Boomtown
Only about one-third of Williston State College students graduated from the two-year associate's degree program last year, said Mike Hillman, vice chancellor for academic and student affairs with the North Dakota University System. That rate has stayed around 35% to 40% for the past few years, but Hillman said he expects it to plunge even lower this school year as students exit early for jobs.
(Excerpt) Read more at money.cnn.com ...
A job is terrible thing to waste.....
then change professions . . .
Reality Slaps College professor in the face.
Sound like his students are smarter than he is.
I have a nephew that is turning 26 and makes $110K per year as an oilfield welder. I have a PhD and three undergraduate degrees with a minor and make half that. More power to him. MDâs with similar education make six times as much as an average veterinarian. Its just the way the cards fall.If I was a bedwetting handwringing liberal I’d be out protesting.
I was speaking with an older gentleman this morning who holds numerous patents on catalyst cracking. He knows the oil and gas industry as well as any living human. He says it was well known 20 years ago that we had least 1.5 trillion barrels of known US reserves. And we have much more now.
Our salvation is under our feet in America. All we need to do is go get the energy...
The professor’s former students in the oil industry are doing useful work that contributes to the economy and benefits society. While society needs good teachers, most of the college employees probably do little or nothing useful and are just parasites sponging off the taxpayers.
>> All we need to do is go get the energy...
Fat chance of the Dimmocrats allowing that.
I guess that makes them intelligent.
Compare that to the Occupy crowd that are crying that no one will pay them $100k a year to make use of their PhDs in Afro-transgender-underwater-basket weaving.
my roommate in college worked on the oilfields and it sounds like it’s totally dangerous.
During his short time working there, he
1. Got his teeth knocked out by some machinery that springed back
2. Dislocated his arm
3. Broke his leg.
It doesn’t pay well because it is simple and easy.
Lessons come hard for those that don’t pay attention to the safety orientation films.
There are lots of dangerous jobs.
I worked in a hardwoods sawmill and had a few scary moments and injuries myself.
probably true. He was never the brightest guy around.
Sounds like a serious problem for academia.
Any way the Baraqqis can shut this down?
whud’d be funny would be the professor leaving the classroom for the oil patch.
Most of Americas more successful businessmen, entrepreneurs and inventors have no college. Some have no HS. That should speak volumes to this whiny professor. Working on an oil rig is 20 times more constructive than brain washing college students with liberal jibberish on a daily basis.
I would pay an oil field worker more than I would pay an English professor. After all, the oil field worker produces something of value.
My cousin worked on an oil well back in the 80's. Got his arm caught in a chain and it was cut off. They were able to reattach it though.
He could be working in oil fields and tutor at night you know for nostalgia sake
That’s why those oil rig jobs pay well and come with top of the line insurance (life, health, etc.).
Think someone’ll pay $50 per hour to sit at a desk?
In the video linked to in the thread Mike Rowe (Dirty Jobs host) talks about the discoveries he’s made in the real world and the dire situation we’re nurturing by looking down on dangerous, dirty, menial jobs.
I especially liked his comments on OSHA and the Alaska crabbing industry.
Most of them were farm boys, some from that part of the state. My Dad told them to take the jobs because college would still be here and the boom might not last. The administration came down hard on him and demoted him for his honesty.
Almost to a man, the kids whom he advised came back to college after the boom ended, with more than enough savings to see them through until degree time, and thanked him for his honest and sound advice. Some of them even set up a fan page for him on Facebook, even though he has been gone nearly 20 years now.
>>There are lots of dangerous jobs.<<
I got my hand caught in a machine that stuffed envelopes. Even jobs that don’t look all that dangerous can be if one is not careful. (I was young and gabbing when it happened)
>>Some of them even set up a fan page for him on Facebook, even though he has been gone nearly 20 years now. <<
Sometimes Greatness is defined by how people remember you.
I was a 3 knife trimmer operator in a bindery once too. Industrial paper knives are downright scary.
Oil leases and purchases in the Bakken Shale/Williston Basis are private land. The only way the feds can screw things up is to block frac-ing. However, they have yet to prove, and cannot prove, that frac-ing is detrimental to subsurface water sources.
Who are you going to get to teach the classes (most of the geologists out here are well employed, too.)
Im sure he has what is considered a PHD in Welding. Its not like you can just fart around and learn to weld high pressure pipes to government specs.
I saw a guy throw a bucket of water on an electrical fire in a high-voltage breaker box. It’s a miracle that he didn’t get fried. But he wasn’t very bright; I figure that sooner or later the odds caught up to him.
Not to be crass, but your roommate sounds totally dangerous. I hope he made a full recovery. Yes, there are hazards, and potentially lethal ones. Knowing the dangers and avoiding/preventing them is part of the job.
I applaud the students who realize this and are able to make an informed decision about their own futures.
College will still be there, as will night and weekend school. And cheaper colleges for when you already have a job and just need a diploma for advancement and not for the resume.
Those guys had guts. I once heard as a child that in building a skyscraper, you could count on one death per floor. Don’t know if that was ever true or just the crap kids tell each other when they are in junior high.
being a Professor means you don’t get the money in exchange for the time to pursue matters of the intelect. (not to be confused for matters of the inane)
College is just a meal ticket, these students simple do not need him.
Yeah...they want a huge border exclusion zone up by Canada...extending across the USA....and controlled by the TSA.
was a post on FR about this a week or so ago.
Its astounding to me that the Mackinaw bridge was built in about 3 and a half years total with no winter construction.
Compare that to the decade spent building the Hoover dam bypass bridge.
On the flip side how many graduating students have an albatross of huge college student loans from overbloated tuition rates haging around their necks? Absurd what most of these colleges charge for tuition—a big ripoff.
I hire a lot of engineers for the automotive industry. Despite however many letters are after their name, how many degrees they have, or how long they went to college - it always comes down to what they can do, rather than what they know.
The real world doesn’t fool around - lol - prove you can do the job or hit the bricks.
I went from retiring from the military to the corporate world to faculty at a small university because that is what I wanted to do, knowing that the pay would be somewhat less but that I would enjoy the job more. Get a grip professor; a lot of your students have the potential to make more than you do and they seem to be smarter than you by taking the time away from school to make money in the oil industry. The smart ones realize that it won’t be a lifetime job and most couldn’t keep up the pace as they get older but for now it is the more lucrative path. If the good professor is young enough and able enough, take a sabbatical and work the oil fields; he might learn some life lessons.
All we need to do is get rid of the Democrats:)
When I was a missile launch officer in North Dakota during the late 70s the oil industry and massive exploration had already taken off. It has taken this long for the leases and operations to become profitable enough to pursue.
That’s what used to be proudly known as “close enough for government work”.
“...Jim Stout, an English professor at Williston State College in Williston N.D...”
Betcha most of what he teaches has nothing to do with English or literature.
If true, then perhaps he also might be better off working in the oil fields.
Wow, that’s a really nice thing. He probably taught those kids more than they could learn in a lifetime from a leftist professor. You are fortunate to have had him for your father. God bless him.
I thought the OWS loons were all complaining of no jobs?
And now some self-important professor suggests students should not be working, earning really good salaries so they can be bored in his class while wracking up massive debt in student loans?
I think he part of the problem.