U.S. CitiesCity-Data Forum Index
Go Back   City-Data Forum > General Forums > Education
Please register to participate in our discussions with 2 million other members - it's free and quick! Some forums can only be seen by registered members. After you create your account, you'll be able to customize options and access all our 15,000 new posts/day with fewer ads.
View detailed profile (Advanced) or search
site with Google Custom Search

Search Forums  (Advanced)
Reply Start New Thread
Old 12-23-2018, 09:21 PM
Location: Sierra Nevada Land, CA
8,092 posts, read 8,663,138 times
Reputation: 12211


Originally Posted by L210 View Post
This is a hypothetical thread about what kind of advice one should give an 18 year old, not a specific person. In that context, advising any and all 18 year olds to learn a trade is not a solution to the college debt problem.
I really wish some people would understand the premise of this thread. It’s not about avoiding student debt. It’s about looking at all career options.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message

Old 12-23-2018, 09:35 PM
6,809 posts, read 9,881,165 times
Reputation: 5099
Originally Posted by Mr5150 View Post
I really wish some people would understand the premise of this thread. It’s not about avoiding student debt. It’s about looking at all career options.
Then, why does your OP only present going to college racking up a boatload of debt and learning a trade as the only two options? There are other options, including going to college without racking up a boatload of debt. And, most college graduates are not working at Starbucks or comparable jobs.

Most plumbers and electricians are not making more than $80k, and most auto mechanics are lower middle class to middle class. If you ever give advice to an 18 year old, you should present realistic numbers.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 12-23-2018, 10:16 PM
Location: TX/ Maryland
127 posts, read 29,981 times
Reputation: 143
College isn't for everyone. Not going doesn't mean you won't be successful. I never finished community college but I finished trade school! Or was just more my style. People need to find what a best for them and not listen to anyone else. Especially these days...
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 12-23-2018, 11:05 PM
Status: "Happy Advent!" (set 13 days ago)
Location: Foot of the Rockies
85,515 posts, read 99,828,274 times
Reputation: 31996
Originally Posted by Sandpointian View Post
What I have discovered is that regardless of path, hard working, diligent and ambitious people do extremely well. Those who go through the motions, think they are entitled, or who approach life as a checklist do mediocre a bet. Those who struggle and cannot face reality do poorly.

I know many multimillionaires who were high school grads in the trades. And I know many with masters and doctoral degrees working retail.

On those pushing "college is a necessity" should be charged with a crime against humanity.

So says the old fart with a couple of grad degrees.
It seems like your demographic is a big one for saying "Some(body else's) kids should go into the trades. This sounds all romantic and that, "working with one's hands", "seeing the fruits of one's labor", blah, blah, blah, but the reality is this:
Higher salaries and lower unemployment for those who go to college. Now in about two jerks, a half dozen people will come on here just as you did and talk about all these people who didn't go to college and are now multimillionaires, presidents, and whatnot. They'll bring up Lincoln, Ford, Steve Jobs (who might still be alive if he hadn't thought he knew more than his educated doctors), Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg.

Another reality is that the earnings are even lower for women who don't go to college. All but two of these: https://www.onlinecollegeplan.com/vo...aying-careers/ are traditional male jobs, and all the pictures show males in the male-oriented trades. No matter what you say about women being able to do any of these jobs, that's not the trend.

Frankly, I'm very dubious of your statement, unless these multimillionaires inherited some money or something, and the master's and PhDs are total losers. I know a number of people with advanced degrees, and none are working in retail, or food service, or whatnot.

Last edited by Katarina Witt; Yesterday at 12:08 AM..
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 12-23-2018, 11:43 PM
570 posts, read 123,302 times
Reputation: 1513
Not everyone is college material, that is true. Not everyone would be happy in a trade, either. However, IMHO, there is no reason not to teach money management. How to invest. How to make good choices. How not to be sucked into buying unnecessary things because of advertising. The advantages of postponing gratification and responsible use of credit. A person with a big income can spend it all and end up with less assets than someone that makes less money but is more clever with it.

I don't think additional education is ever a bad thing.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old Yesterday, 12:44 AM
Location: Shreveport, LA
1,082 posts, read 863,724 times
Reputation: 489
Originally Posted by Rocko20 View Post
So in your world only a college degree with debt or a trade school with debt are the only options?

There's this thing called military service, and they will pay for your undergrad AND graduate degree 100%.

I understand some people are too lazy to put in the elbow grease to get a free degree (military service), but no one said success was easy.

I would never go to a trade school. Spend all that wasted time and money only for the employer to ask if you have a bachelors degree, or that you need to get one in order to make management one day.

No thanks, I'll do things the "boring old-fashion" way with my free college degree hanging on my wall and easy military service.
Some people have medical problems disqualifying them for the military and are too poor for college.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old Yesterday, 08:33 AM
15,966 posts, read 13,411,837 times
Reputation: 19897
Originally Posted by Mr5150 View Post
about a career path I would say, well you can either go to college rack up a boatload of student debt and maybe not find a job in your chosen field or worse yet find yourself working at Starbucks.

Or consider the trades. Minimal student debt, one to two years of education (and in certain programs, they pay you after the first year) and you can live anywhere and make good money, plus you can easily find a job. In my area electricians and plumbers make $80,000 to $100,000 a year. My auto mechanic owns four houses and he is his own boss working 40 hours a week.

I even saw an article about painters and maintenance workers in urban areas making close to $150K a year.

For the record I am a college grad. But 30 years ago having a degree was a ticket to making a good living. Not so much today. I think high school counselors are doing kids a disservice buy say you gotta go to college to make it.
Ya, why let what a person WANTS to do enter into the conversation at all? I mean if a kid is smart, motivated, and wants to be a doctor definitely we should steer them away from it at all costs. Look how well it worked out pushing all kids regardless of interests or innate talent to college!
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old Yesterday, 08:42 AM
Location: Middle of the ocean
28,758 posts, read 18,227,522 times
Reputation: 41335
For me, my advice would depend on the kid.

One went to college, fast tracked graduation, immediately got a good paying position in her field in a low COL area.

Our youngest? College is not in his future. He will need a trade or the military.
My posts as a Mod will always be in red.
Be sure to review Terms of Service: TOS
And check this out: FAQ
Moderator: Relationships Forum / Hawaii Forum / Dogs
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old Yesterday, 08:53 AM
33,601 posts, read 23,323,506 times
Reputation: 30603
Originally Posted by Mr5150 View Post
That's one dangerous link you provided. I had to quit my browser to leave the article. My daughter has a master degree, works at a hospital in her field and makes two thirds of what a plumber makes in her town of Reno. She has a boatload of student loan debt. The plumber has little if any student debt.

I'm not talking about some hamburger flipper or laborer. I'm talking about someone who learns a skill in the trades. How many college grads do you know making $80,000-$150,000 a year? some, but not all. I'm not saying one should not get a college degree. What I'm saying is one should consider all options and not think that college is the only option to making a good living.

Does she want to be a plumber?

Sure, I could probably earn more in a trade. I have no desire to do a trade. I wouldn't be happy doing one.

Every job I am interested in and that would make me happy would require at least a bachelors, usually more.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old Yesterday, 09:14 AM
Location: Amelia Island
2,647 posts, read 3,725,556 times
Reputation: 2458
Right now the DOD has an extreme shortage of skilled workers and the past two years and currently there has been a massive effort to recruit skilled and unskilled (to be trained) workers.

All of the Naval Shipyards have been aggressively hiring through the outside. Meaning there are a lot of Non-vet opportunities available and you do not have to have prior military to seek employment.

Now this is a double edge sword because they are not seeing much interest amongst those out of high school and those in their 20's.

Some have an interest in learning a trade but so many don't value the opportunity to obtain a civil service job with benefits and retirement benefits.

As an older worker it surprises the heck out of me to see this. I hate to use the old stereotype of younger workers not wanting to step up to the plate but things have definitely changed.


Again if you are near a Navy Base and have someone with a skilled craft wanting a great position with security now is the time to jump!

Merry Christmas everyone!
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Please register to post and access all features of our very popular forum. It is free and quick. Over $68,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum. Additional giveaways are planned.

Detailed information about all U.S. cities, counties, and zip codes on our site: City-data.com.


Quick Reply

Over $104,000 in prizes was already given out to active posters on our forum and additional giveaways are planned!

Go Back   City-Data Forum > General Forums > Education
Follow City-Data.com founder on our Forum or

All times are GMT -6.

2005-2018, Advameg, Inc.

City-Data.com - Archive 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35 - Top