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Jeremiah65

College degree versus trade skills

38 posts in this topic

Ok...this is basically a vent post.

We hear all the time about our employment problems. People working for retail and service jobs making minimum wage or just barely above it and complaining how they cannot find a better paying job.

I have heard it on several boards over the last few years about college graduates having to take crappy jobs that have nothing to do with their degree and being straddled with debt that they can barely pay and afford to live. They cry to the heavens to get the minimum wage increased because...apparently...they listened to the liberal garbage from their high school councilor that said "You go to college and get a degree in something you love and you'll be a huge success"...

Bullsh!t.

Obviously, a lot of people chose "poorly" in their higher education selection.

I just got off the phone with my number one customer...yes, we both work on Saturdays...sometimes Sundays...sometimes all night.

He was calling to award me three more cell tower platform projects and we got to talking about how busy he was becoming doing these things.

He told me he could have more of these jobs if he just had more skilled welders and machine operators for his shop and field crews. He said he has been interviewing people and none of them can pass the weld tests...btw, he pays very well, his machine operators in the shop make around $18.00 to $22.00 and hour and his welders make anywhere from $22.00 to $28.00 and hour...with overtime and benefits.

It seems though...no one wants to do this kind of work anymore...and then the snobby white folks will complain about all the immigrants taking the jobs...well...someone has to do this stuff. Maybe if the snobby white parents would let their kids know a dirty sweaty job that pays well is also considered a success and NO...you don't always have to go to college...we wouldn't e in this pickle.

Ok...rant over...thanks for listening...

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How come companies very rarely take on apprenticeships anymore?

I remember back in the day, I had to go to a Vo-tech to learn auto mechanics when companies kind of stop doing that (unless you were somebody special are somebody's kid), in which they labeled it a fancy name called "Auto Technician". When I finally got out after two and a half years, I still didn't know a damn thing. Then I hired on with a Chevrolet dealership. And at that same dealership I met this other mechanic who was the same age as me, but he dropped out of high school and started turning a wrench part-time at 16. By the time I went through all I had went through, graduated high school, graduated from the stupid Vo-tech and caught up with him at the dealership, he was already making more money than me and he knew a hellvua lot more than me. He actually became my real teacher along with my own experience in what to do and what not to do. All that crap they taught me at Vo-tech was just book smart crap. It didn't amount to the learning experience I gained in the years I worked for the dealership and compared to the experience this guy had over me. I felt like I wasted my time with that damn Vo-Tech.

Why the hell do we need any kind of schools for any kind job anyway? Is there something wrong with promoting apprenticeships now?

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I feel your pain. We've been offering on the job training for many years and very few will follow through, because the work is more difficult than they thought it was going to be. Surprisingly enough, we hired a tiny, 19 year old girl part time a few months ago, to do some office work and run errands. She has taken an interest in welding, has been coming in on her days off to practice and has been out-preforming a couple of guys that we've had for years. She is meticulous, checks everything to make sure it's level and always remembers to measure twice. She's been studying all types of welding techniques on the computer at home and can't wait to try out their different applications. It's still early so the newness may not have worn out yet, but she's looking great so far.

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More fool them! Light and heavy industry are the only jobs that will mean you have employment in one form or another for as long as you want to work, regardless of what is happening in the world skilled trades and manual work will carry on regardless..

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i know tons of guys from somewhere like far east, india, orient who goes to uk, usa, aus, only to be disappointed because uk, usa, aus do not understand the education grades them guys have from them countries they are from

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Posted (edited)

that is were the key lies with Apprenticeships. people use to have jobs for life. these days jobs for life are more or less a thing of the past. so why take the time and trouble to train someone up from scratch on an apprenticeship when you can just hire someone from outside your country, in effect robbing that country of its best and brightest at a fraction of the time and cost it would take to train your own apprentices . - like we see already in this world. there was a massive drive years ago for the National Health Service here in the UK. they had two options increase the pay and benefits (a living wage) of the job to attract British people. or take the cheap option, keep the wages the same and recruit from poorer countries, our government chose the second option and had a massive recruitment campaign for nurses from in particular South Africa.

All we done was rob their country of their best and brightest after their home country had invested in their people, trained them up and just at the point when these fully qualified nurses were about to repay all that time and investment by becoming nurses in their home country - in stepped the UK with attractive wages. in comparison to what they would get paid back home. and so the NHS gets the nurses it wants, fully qualified and ready to go. and in the process it keeps the wage bill down. and then we get the government saying the NHS is reliant on immigrants, and tell us it would collapse without immigration. well no **** Sherlock. its reliant on immigrants because they've made it reliant on cheap foreign labour.

and this brings us back to the point about Degrees, Someone who went on to get a degree when i was younger was few and far between. you knew they'd end up with a well paid job. but its my belief the degree has taken the place of the apprenticeship. it use to be a matter of leave school - college followed then a job as an apprentice. were people would put the time and effort in and basically if they chose had a job for life retired at that firm, from man and boy. . - Now its all gone wrong - belly up. people leave school, cannot get an apprenticeship let alone a job, so maybe do college followed by university. where they do three, four, five years of basically academia, have no hands on experience outside of that, and expect to get a well paid job at the end of it, which these days is pulling pints behind a bar. because the market as become saturated in the easy, cheap worthless degree courses available.

My advice to anyone is forget getting a degree unless your chosen field is screaming out for people which enables you to walk straight into a job. people would be better off, getting a job - starting at the bottom and working your way up and then if the desire is still there do a degree, do one at a later stage when, in truth your better placed to make decisions. i hear people getting into all sorts of debt, crazy figures. which hang over them like dark clouds for years afterwards.

Edited by stevewinn
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What trade jobs are there? I only ever hear about wielding.

I ask out of wanting to know my options

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What trade jobs are there? I only ever hear about wielding.

I ask out of wanting to know my options

Carpenters, welders, plumbers, electricians and masons are all in demand and going up because of the baby boomers retiring.

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Well I am a commercial/industrial insulator (leaning more on the industrial side). The average pay for us is about $26/hr here in Iowa.

There are also Electricians, Plumbers, Tinners, Millwrights, Iron Workers, Roofers, Carpenters, Floor Tillers, Brick layers, Boilermakers, and Laborers. And that is just construction related trade skills.

I have been pretty much working overtime since the beginning of the year because of a lack of people available and also due to the fact that we are actually the lowest paying region compared to our neighbors. ($42/hr in Minnessota, $45/hr in Illinois, $38/hr in Missouri, and $31/hr in Nebraska)

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What trade jobs are there? I only ever hear about wielding.

I ask out of wanting to know my options

Heavy equipment mechanics and operators earn a very good living. A 2 year program for radiography pays pretty well and there is room to move into other areas after some time on the job. Most any healthcare related job will be guaranteed employment though the wages will be going down, not up, for awhile until this ACA stupidity is corrected.
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On a side note. One of our Insulators quit a few years back and took a $10/hr job on the Iowa State campus here because his wife told him he shouldn't work construction because it was "Beneath him".

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Heavy equipment mechanics and operators earn a very good living. A 2 year program for radiography pays pretty well and there is room to move into other areas after some time on the job. Most any healthcare related job will be guaranteed employment though the wages will be going down, not up, for awhile until this ACA stupidity is corrected.

I dunno about that. With the baby boomers retiring there is also a shortage of CNAs, LPNs, and RNs. ( I guess those would be considered skilled trades as well.) If someone wants a nurse they will pay. The only ones that might be hurt with the ACA rates would be the retiree's on Medicaid.

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Posted (edited)

The latest word in the British economy at least, and according to my Father is, that cheap is out and quality and skill is back in.

Edited by bLu3 de 3n3rgy

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Posted (edited)

I'm in total agreement Jeremiah. There are Contractor jobs out there like Roofers, Plumbers, Carpentry, Electricians and Auto/Diesel Technicians that are in need of people.

And these jobs pay great. But nobody wants them because you have to get your hands dirty and break a sweat. They would rather sit in a AC/Heated office tapping on a

keyboard sipping tea and munch on chips. Grads could be doing these jobs until the economy gets better then seek the career they went to college for.

Edited by Hawkin

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Posted (edited)

Ok...this is basically a vent post.

We hear all the time about our employment problems. People working for retail and service jobs making minimum wage or just barely above it and complaining how they cannot find a better paying job.

I have heard it on several boards over the last few years about college graduates having to take crappy jobs that have nothing to do with their degree and being straddled with debt that they can barely pay and afford to live. They cry to the heavens to get the minimum wage increased because...apparently...they listened to the liberal garbage from their high school councilor that said "You go to college and get a degree in something you love and you'll be a huge success"...

Bullsh!t.

Obviously, a lot of people chose "poorly" in their higher education selection.

I just got off the phone with my number one customer...yes, we both work on Saturdays...sometimes Sundays...sometimes all night.

He was calling to award me three more cell tower platform projects and we got to talking about how busy he was becoming doing these things.

He told me he could have more of these jobs if he just had more skilled welders and machine operators for his shop and field crews. He said he has been interviewing people and none of them can pass the weld tests...btw, he pays very well, his machine operators in the shop make around $18.00 to $22.00 and hour and his welders make anywhere from $22.00 to $28.00 and hour...with overtime and benefits.

It seems though...no one wants to do this kind of work anymore...and then the snobby white folks will complain about all the immigrants taking the jobs...well...someone has to do this stuff. Maybe if the snobby white parents would let their kids know a dirty sweaty job that pays well is also considered a success and NO...you don't always have to go to college...we wouldn't e in this pickle.

Ok...rant over...thanks for listening...

On balance these days, I think attending a trade school is better. Young people should push themselves to get out and get messy and dabble in everything. If they love something and there's a trade school for it, choosing liberal arts instead would be a mistake.

What trade jobs are there? I only ever hear about wielding.

I ask out of wanting to know my options

Tech schools in the US specializing in engineering are all trade schools. Many disciplines in engineering dig very deep but very narrow holes, so one can finish their education as a specialist with a relatively unique skill set.

Edited by Yamato

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From my experience, no matter which route you go, if you know or are related to the right person then you'll fare far better than most no matter your education or skills.

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Posted (edited)

Ok...this is basically a vent post.

We hear all the time about our employment problems. People working for retail and service jobs making minimum wage or just barely above it and complaining how they cannot find a better paying job.

I have heard it on several boards over the last few years about college graduates having to take crappy jobs that have nothing to do with their degree and being straddled with debt that they can barely pay and afford to live. They cry to the heavens to get the minimum wage increased because...apparently...they listened to the liberal garbage from their high school councilor that said "You go to college and get a degree in something you love and you'll be a huge success"...

Bullsh!t.

Obviously, a lot of people chose "poorly" in their higher education selection.

I just got off the phone with my number one customer...yes, we both work on Saturdays...sometimes Sundays...sometimes all night.

He was calling to award me three more cell tower platform projects and we got to talking about how busy he was becoming doing these things.

He told me he could have more of these jobs if he just had more skilled welders and machine operators for his shop and field crews. He said he has been interviewing people and none of them can pass the weld tests...btw, he pays very well, his machine operators in the shop make around $18.00 to $22.00 and hour and his welders make anywhere from $22.00 to $28.00 and hour...with overtime and benefits.

It seems though...no one wants to do this kind of work anymore...and then the snobby white folks will complain about all the immigrants taking the jobs...well...someone has to do this stuff. Maybe if the snobby white parents would let their kids know a dirty sweaty job that pays well is also considered a success and NO...you don't always have to go to college...we wouldn't e in this pickle.

Ok...rant over...thanks for listening...

Whats your degree in? If its one of those subjects where there's too many graduates for the vacancies available you could become a teacher or consultant? $50 to buy a website construction kit which is click and drag, transport, phone, its really cheap to setup your own consultancy service.

Edited by RabidMongoose

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I'm a chef and the quality of people willing to become an apprentice has been going down in recent years. It is becoming less and less worthwhile to take on an apprentice. And to be honest apprenticeships aren't anywhere near as useful as they once were. It is so common for someone to become qualified and straight away start looking for a new job. They try to go up to the mines or into a resort or somewhere that they are going to make bigger money. So there is little incentive for to help someone get qualified if they are going to take off the first chance they get.

At the same time the apprenticeship boards in Australia work so hard to stress the apprentices rights that it isn't uncommon for and apprentice to think they can refuse to do a job that is beneath them or menial. I run a fairly large kitchen and I generally prefer to employ experienced kitchen hands to do what would usually be apprentice jobs. There is just less and less incentive to waste time on apprentices now days.

Another problem that the protection from the Apprenticeship board creates is that it shields an apprentice from the stress that working in a large commercial kitchen does bring. I know many people who finish their apprenticeships, go to work as a Commischef or similar and quit in a year because all of a sudden they don't have that apprentice board between them and the head chef or restaurant owner whose main or only concern is the profits and quality of food that is coming out of the kitchen.

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I've had apprentices quit because they thought the work assigned to them was too menial. Quite a few also think that the whole apprenticeship is a waste of their time and that they are already fully qualified to do the work at full pay. They usually shape up pretty fast. The contractors take a dim view of workers that screw up projects that end up having to be redone.

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From my experience, no matter which route you go, if you know or are related to the right person then you'll fare far better than most no matter your education or skills.

This is true. The girl I mentioned earlier is a friend's daughter. We weren't really looking for another employee, but when her father asked if we knew of any positions open anywhere we thought it wasn't such a bad idea to go ahead and hire her. So far it's working out great, which hasn't always been the case in the past. We can't afford to keep dead weight around.

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I know a lot of people dislike it when Mexicans cross the border and work American jobs, but if Americans

aren't going to fill those jobs just because they feel it's beneath them then let them come. My experience

around them is they are good workers and respectful. At least the one's I know anyway.

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Carpenters, welders, plumbers, electricians and masons are all in demand and going up because of the baby boomers retiring.

Dont forget landscapers! So so hard to find skilled employees for the business these days and most people are young and just want a job for the summer, when it takes a year or two to fully teach 'em the basics. :/

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Dont forget landscapers! So so hard to find skilled employees for the business these days and most people are young and just want a job for the summer, when it takes a year or two to fully teach 'em the basics. :/

I forget about drywall finishers too. Unless someone is doing a massive redo, or new construction, it's almost impossible to get one to do a small patch job because they are making so much money.

There is a lot of money out there to be made.

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I forget about drywall finishers too. Unless someone is doing a massive redo, or new construction, it's almost impossible to get one to do a small patch job because they are making so much money.

There is a lot of money out there to be made.

My brothers and I would get into so many fights and knock holes in walls growing up we're practically masters at repairing drywall...

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My brothers and I would get into so many fights and knock holes in walls growing up we're practically masters at repairing drywall...

That's a lot easier than the lath and plaster we have in our house. Boy, did I make a mess the first time I tried to repair major cracks in a wall. lol

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