As the hype of higher education is slowly losing its glossy appearance and being replaced by gritty educational shoppers who are truly asking themselves if a certain academic degree is worth going into massive debt, there is an even more fundamental question parents are beginning to ask themselves: “Is college really worth it when my son or daughter seems to be wandering around campus without a real clue on what they are going to do after college?”
Statistics clearly substantiate the idea that college is not necessarily all it’s cracked up to be. For example the average number of times a college student will switch majors is 6 according to solid statistics.
Due to these and other concerning statistics, more and more parents are more scrupulously shopping for educational options. And why shouldn’t they when there is increasing data indicating there is a very large amount of well-paying jobs that do not require a college education?
Examples of high-paying jobs that are in the trade field would include those in the air-conditioning, electrical, welding, and higher level mechanical trades. Also the computer industry may not require college degrees and often rewards those who appear to be more entrepreneurial and have the confidence to choose a different path than the cattle herd they see heading off to college without a clue of what they really want to do.
And for those parents who do not have an ego that blinds them, who have a more realistic sense of what some of their children are capable of doing and not doing, they are even smartly looking at so-called “dirty jobs“ that are high-paying and can certainly bring a meaningful life to anyone who enjoys doing them.
A great article was written by Steven Malanga who honorably exemplifies the idea that it doesn’t matter that a job is so-called “dirty” (not in the moral sense) in nature, but rather the real question is, “Is it meaningful or not? Is it a meaningful contribution to society or not?”
Often parents and teachers encourage our youth to look down on technical and trade work. However, there are many reasons to look again at “dirty jobs” in a new light as they offer affordable training, competitive wages and more employment opportunities.
I strongly suggest that any intelligent parent or mature young adult or even high-schooler seriously consider the fact that with the amazing variety of pathways toward a career that are now offered, especially due to online educational options, serious vocational assessment and clear guidance needs to be conducted so that once you make a choice, it will be a choice for a career that you can have for the rest of your life.
Don’t join the vast majority of people who end up choosing careers on a trial and error basis.
The question in the end is not whether the job gets you dirty or not, but whether at the end of each day your spirit feels clean because you have made a meaningful contribution while doing something that made work feel like playing.
Watch a brief video on our Personalized College & Career Matching Process