Monday, November 13, 2006

Education Fall-Out


My recent articles on the jobs I’ve had, education and spiritualism has spurred many of you to write me to continue the discussion via email in private. We’ve covered areas such as over education, lack of apprenticeship in today’s work place. We discussed the lack of commitment among employers and employees and poor work ethics and policies.

Many of you also said that you had fun in college or in University (the Canadians call it University), but the education receive there have been of little use. One person said they thought it was a conspiracy to keep people out of the work force for four more years. Oddly the argument was very good and may deserve an article about it one day.

Out of all the positions I have ever applied for I have never been asked to produce a document proving I had a diploma or a degree. It was often just assumed that I had one or one wasn’t required.

I am personally not impressed by degrees, unless the degree one has relates directly to the work they do. I like it that my dentist has a degree in Dental Science, yet I am not impressed that some of the art that I own was made by someone with a graduate degree.

My father was poorly educated. He dropped out of school in the 6th grade back in the late 1920s, but he went on to learn four languages, ran a successful business and provided a good education for his four children.

It is said that those who graduate high school now will not make it in the world without continuing their education. This is pretty sad because the college education these days is still way over valued, yet I see people with graduate degrees applying for $10 per hour jobs. The market for the over educated is far past its saturation point.

Not only have the high schools failed to deliver adequate life skills education to the students in their charge, but the colleges extend this disappointing result farther into student’s lives. Yes I do know that high schools still offer job training for those who aren't on the college track, and often it is the parent at fault. They don't want to see their kid installing toilets for a living, and they think their kid deserves to be the next CEO of IBM. Let your kid be what they want to be. They will find their own way. This way they won't feel so guilty and you won't feel so resentful when they are installing toilets after having recieved a 100-k education that you are still paying for.

The military is no better. I was speaking with a fellow who finished his tour with the Marines. I asked him what skills he came away with. He told me, “I am now qualified to clean or guard anything.”

So how can one be successful in this world? Unless you are a knuckle dragging, slack jawed mouth breather you have a chance. Develop your verbal and your writing skills, and be sure to read a lot. Be confident without being cocky. Have an air of accomplishment and individualism. Be flexible. Keep your body art and opinions to your self. Remember, opinions are like ass holes, every body has one and most of them stink.

Terry Cole Whitaker (aka the yuppie preacher) once said, “If you can’t find a job, make one up. They are all made up anyway…”

Another quote which I believe came from Reverend Ike is one that I find very interesting. “If you want to be rich, you need to look around and see what all the poor people are doing, and don’t do any of that stuff.”

6 Comments:

Anonymous gearhead said...

"Reverand" Ike was way off.
Allow me to correct him right here:
"If you want to be rich, you need to look deep, deep inside, and define how "rich" is realized in your life. Then, be rich.

9:02 AM  
Anonymous Thartill said...

They don't want to see their kid installing toilets for a living

People make lots of money installing toilets. My Grandpa installs toilets at 81yrs and makes a $100 an hour.

When contractors and flooring/tile companies redo bathrooms and re-install the toilet many times it leaks and ruins the brand-new bathroom, costing big bucks to do it over again. There is only a handful of people in the county that can install a toilet so it will never leak and they get paid accordingly.

9:34 AM  
Blogger The Guy Who Writes This said...

Ike was all about the cash,and making sure it flowed towards him. He was more of a motovational speaker for wealth rather than a man of God.

T, I agree, but parents often dont see the value of labor, and many think their off-spring are way too good for that sort of work. Hence they mortgage their homes so their children can go to school and get a desk job in middle management hell.

I did a story on a sheep shearer a couple months ago. This guy had a skill and was able to work quickly and had the equipment to do so. He did in a morning what would take a non pro days to do. When I saw what he charged, I thought he way undervalued what he did. A horse shoer makes in an hour what this guy charged for the entire morning. Labor can not be devalued. Honest work and good skills should provide a good living. This need to be taught in our schools instead of pushing students constantly up the education rope.

10:43 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I work in higher ed. I advise students to take advantage of community college, and to avoid name-brand schools if attending one will require a lot of borrowing. I got a good education on the cheap, and my degress have paid for themselves over and over and over.

11:42 AM  
Blogger The Guy Who Writes This said...

Trop, you've got it! That's were people can learn a trade. Locally our high school has kids attending our community college for industrial classes. People need to learn these things and working apprentiships are hard to come by unless there is a candidate who has already been trained.

Community Colleges are the best deal in education out there, and those who by pass this have more money than brains...unless they have used their brains to get a full ride scholarship.

You are fortunately in a position of advancement, but as I stated there are a lot of people out there with degrees asking if you want fries with your order. At least here. It's hard to get a foot in the door unless you are absolutely the best candidate.

12:42 PM  
Blogger Carl said...

College education is over valued. I went to Cal Poly Pomona in California with a major in business management.
When life forced me to sell my business in LA and move to Oregon where my sister could help with my special needs children, I was forced to take a job as a production manager in a toffee factory.
Despite my 25 years of business experience and college education, the owners of this company (machinists by trade), would not listen to ANY suggestions to improve their high turn over rate of staff and the constant red ink they were in. This business was all about image (selling to high profile companies regardless of profitability), and employees were treated like surfs. This bottom up management made for a very unpleasant work place, especially for employees. Which finally as much as I tried to keep motivated, I ended up caught in the middle.
So much for experience and education in today’s business environment, especially in Oregon.

Carl Strohmeyer

1:00 PM  

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