Mike Rowe: Go to Lib Arts College, Get Debt; Go to Trade School, Get a Job

“Why do we only glamorize expensive colleges?”

Blue-collar champion Mike Rowe (Dirty Jobs) is back with some more advice for youngsters considering their futures, where to go to college, and what jobs await them on the other side. But so much focus is placed on earning degrees from a four-year liberal arts school that a skills gap has developed. Rowe suggests learning a craft at a trade school and landing a job instead of amassing piles of needless debt.

“I can think of nine magazines off the top of my head, who every year will rank the top colleges,” Rowe says in a new video for ATTN. “None of them ever include a trade school.”

“That’s where the pressure starts,” he adds. “And what comes out the other end is exactly where we are right now: As a generation struggling to bridge that gap between whatever it is they learned and whatever opportunity exists.”

As it stands right now, more high school graduates are going for the four-year college degree. Not only do they leave with massive amounts of debt, but oftentimes, their degrees don’t land them great jobs. And even if they do, they will spend several years paying off student loans. Plus, 54% of the labor market is trade jobs and there are fewer people with the skills to fill those positions. The video states that there will be 3.5 million manufacturing jobs over the next 10 years and 2 million of them will be vacant because of the skills gap.

“The jobs that exist right now don’t require massive debt,” Rowe says. “They don’t require four years of liberal arts study. They require the willingness to learn a skill that’s actually in demand.”

Last year, Rowe gave an online commencement speech for Prager University. He told millennials to ignore the “terrible advice” of following their passions.

“Just because you're passionate about something doesn't mean you won't suck at it," Rowe said. 

He advises youngsters to find opportunities and bring their passion with them. It’s good advice, but not something the snowflake generation has heard much. While they search for their “dream jobs,” actually jobs are passing them by.

Here’s Rowe’s latest video on ATTN:


Photo credit: thenext28days via Foter.com / CC BY