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Mike Rowe - Don't separate education from skill

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  • #16
    Originally posted by skeptic View Post
    Even more ironic is that if someone makes the effort to actually learn these "outdated" trades, they can almost demand their own price to those who want premium work. Look at the program American Restoration for example. We had a couple of brothers in the troop a few years back whose father specialized in custom body work; clients came to him when they could not get original parts, and he would make them from scratch or rebuild old ones if usable. Always had more work than he could handle. A master furniture maker never lacks for customers. These people also take "pride" in their skills.

    We are missing the boat in trying to "force" everybody to go to college. And even in the college level programs, we are losing leverage by undermining the value of the arts and even, to some extent, basic language skills.
    .
    I was just having a similar conversation a few days back. Nothing wrong with going into a blue collar trade. Money can be better than I make with an engineering degree, and as you say these people have a great opportunity for pride in their work. they don't often, but could.

    A co-worker used to ask, "did you make something you can drop on your foot today?". Making or doing something tangible, something that you can see and touch, can be very much more satisfying at the end of the day than say keying data into a computer all day.
    Another angle to consider..... I saw a study many years ago talking about fatigue and stress. Even though a tradesman works hard (think welder, construction, etc...), it's a much better kind of tired than someone who sits all day. Generally healthier and happier.

    Regarding the first part of this conversation, I sort of think it a mistake to set sights on a string of merit badges that align with a boy's career goals.
    He's a kid, what does he really know about what he might want?
    Sure, work on those that fit within the path he thinks he wants to take, but encourage him to take others as well. He may find other interests for either career or hobby.
    Also, the whole scouting journey could be looked at more like college is in many ways. It's not so much about learning specific skills for a specific job, it's really more about learning how to be trained and proving that you can be trained, learning critical thinking, learning basic things such as communication that help no matter what path you end up on.....

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    • #17
      My mother-in-law told me a joke the other day that fits perfectly with this thread:

      A lawyer has a leaky faucet, so he calls the local plumber to get an estimate of how much it will cost to fix.

      The plumber says, "Well, I recon that will take about 1 hour to fix, so it will be $500."

      "You charge $500 an hour!" The lawyer cries in amazement, "I'm a lawyer and I don't charge anywhere near that much!"

      "Neither did I," says the plumber. "That's why I quit being a lawyer and took up plumbing."

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