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Old 09-09-2020, 02:39 PM
16,365 posts, read 14,796,831 times
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Originally Posted by NJ Brazen_3133 View Post
There is some gray area though. Hardest labor job has to be soldiers. They dont make much. As for the contruction trades, or any other labor job, there is a ceiling as to how physically tough it can be. At some point, we will use machines to complete the task. Most non-disabled human males have the capacity to reach this ceiling easily.

As for hard STEM degrees, nothing about STEM is incomprehensible to vast majority of humans. What makes it difficult is the quality of lesson/instructor, the price perhaps, and the commitment. Those factors are artificially created by society.

I can get college kids not being committed enough to go into medicine. But I cannot understand how going through the college paces can qualify or disqualify someone from being a doctor. Is just going to class, and taking classes. Passing/failing all the biology/anatomy classes is probably all that can be used from college in the weeding process.

And yeh, medicare, its like universal healthcare for just old people LOLz.
I'd agree with some of that and strongly agree with other bits.

1). Your point about STEM areas being, "comprehensible" to the vast majority of humans is absurd at least in terms of the academic side of things. If you mean the vast majority of humans know that bridges bear great amounts of weight OK. The truth is the avearge American could not pass college algebra. And college algebra does not count towards the math requirements of most STEM degrees.

2). Regarding medicare and medical residencies skip down the the 4th and 5th paragraphs in the link below.

3). Every first world society on Earth long ago decided that demonstrated and verified past academic excellence/test scores are the best predictors of future academic success. College is to medical school and residency what double-A and then triple A ball are to MLB.

Sorry for the typos....
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Old 09-09-2020, 02:46 PM
Location: Indianapolis, East Side
2,836 posts, read 1,894,920 times
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Originally Posted by Igor Blevin View Post
All I can say is, the harder the job, the less competition, the higher the pay. That goes for both college and labor.

In college, people with STEM degrees like engineering and computer science make good solid pay. Then you have your Philosophy majors, Music, English, Anthropology, Basket Weaving, and Womyn's Studies -- not so much.
I'm a former engineer who left because of the lack of available work. There's lots and lots of competition in STEM.
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Old 09-09-2020, 03:00 PM
4,718 posts, read 2,792,161 times
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Originally Posted by sheerbliss View Post
I'm a former engineer who left because of the lack of available work. There's lots and lots of competition in STEM.
We got a lot of people in the actuarial field who had Engineering degrees- in some Engineering fields (Aerospace, Petroleum) the demand swung all over the place from boom to bust.
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Old 09-09-2020, 03:19 PM
Location: Niceville, FL
12,372 posts, read 20,802,940 times
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A lot of the tradespeople who successfully set up their own businesses have a spouse that can handle the back office paperwork, accounting, interaction with the city/county permitting office, etc. So picking a reasonably smart and detail-oriented spouse can be key in business success in that area.

I will also note that a lot of trades are very hard on the body. Start work in one at age 18 and have an exit strategy mapped out within ten years, and follow the plan even if it seems liek there are more fun things to do with the money that comes in.

One of my cousins was a plumber. In his early 30s, he got into rental properties and was able to do enough of his own work on low-priced homes that needed a lot of work that they would cash flow positive once he got renters in there. He retired around age 52, which was at a point where he was still in reasonably good physical health. If he'd only been a plumber, he probably would have trashed his body trying to keep working until age 60.
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Old 09-09-2020, 03:37 PM
Location: Oregon, formerly Texas
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A big mistake people make is that they think vocational training is easy. Done well and done right, vocational training will weed out a decent amount of the initial prospects.

The point about Beowulf or Quadratic equations is not about those actual things. Someone who can't or won't perform at basic passing level in high school level math and verbal skills courses are not likely to perform well in an advanced vocational program where they'll have to read blueprints, know and maintain detailed safety standards, communicate with customers, etc., etc.

They don't need to be a medieval lit scholar but if they can't read the book well enough to get a C in high school, what assurance do I have that person will put their mind to anything that's not a direct benefit to them?

Every successful tradesperson I've ever known is capable of earning a college degree, they just didn't prioritize that aspect of their lives. And some of them do have degrees, and got into a trade later.

Last edited by redguard57; 09-09-2020 at 03:54 PM..
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Old 09-09-2020, 03:53 PM
44,485 posts, read 30,082,894 times
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Originally Posted by Minethatbird View Post
Whenever I hear that phrase about a huge shortage of tradesman I shudder.

My son graduated from a technical high school as an electrical apprentice. For 2 years he tried to get a job as an electrical apprentice. For any given job there were 15-30 applicants. We gave up and had him go to another state to see if he could do better there. He landed a job in 2 weeks. So we had to set him up in that state, and probably spent about as much to do that as many spend on a years college. Not quite a year later, he is merrily working the trade he wanted but couldn't get here.

Translation of we are really short of electricians here (at least in this state) ...... we want apprentices that have at least 2-3 years experience, electricians who are already journeymen, electricians who have 3-5 years previous construction experience, electricians that aren't really just electricians (this was for Electric Boat, a giant military contractor. I was told on another forum "They're always hiring!" No, not really.) I could go on but I think I've made the point. I am grateful my son didn't spend thousands of dollars on electrical training here. I'd recommend anyone contemplating entering the trades research what the job market really is in whatever area he/she lives in.
My niece's step-brother got hired by an electrician right out of high school, but I don't remember whether he had any training or whether he was trained on the job. I also don't know how he got it. There are still things he's not allowed to do after a couple of years. And my oldest nephew worked for years as an auto mechanic after vocational high school.

Yes, job markets vary greatly. Glad your son found something. I don't think anyone is saying trades are good for every kid, but there are just as many kids who graduate with a bachelors and never get a job in their field. But usually its not a choice between college and trades. No one is saying the kid in honors Physics should be a plumber instead of an aerospace engineer, but for the kids who aren't going to go to college, I think vocational training is the best alternative for many. of them. In fact I don't really see what the other alternatives would be aside from military service.

Vocational training is not just traditional trades like electrical and plumbing, but also things like hairdressing, health care and chef training.
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Old 09-09-2020, 06:50 PM
208 posts, read 83,532 times
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Originally Posted by ocnjgirl View Post
Yes, it’d Be a heck of a lot better job than driving Amazon Flex. And probably more than he’d be making if he went to college and got some generic degree. Once he got a high skill level he could start his own business. As you said, starting a business in a skilled trade is very different than starting a construction company. I don’t know why you’re making this so narrow. There are many trades aside from construction.

Again, no one on this thread has yet to explain to me why it would be a better thing for people to have less choices for careers
Again. You show how clueless most people are. Most Skilled trades are in construction. They are the same thing. Plumbers and electricians are construction workers!
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Old 09-09-2020, 06:57 PM
208 posts, read 83,532 times
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Originally Posted by BoBromhal View Post
small businesses fail because they're not good businesspeople. I read the link, and it included some very basic but sound advice that most people don't know/learn.

With your experience in the construction industry, where is their abundant qualified legal labor, and where is there not?

Do y'all generally look for lowest-cost labor that may have higher error rates, or pay subs based on their effectiveness?
Non union unskilled trades are where the majority of the illegal labor is and where the search for the cheapest low quality labor is. We request bids from usually the same pool of subcontracots for every job because we already know they’re good and we have relationships with them. From the 3-4 we request bids from we choose the lowest bid. The cheapest ones might give us more problems sometimes, so that just requires more oversight from us. And again, we’ve typically used them before so we know they are decent and won’t screw us over. If we had major issues with them in the past, we don’t use them again. But if they do well for us, they know they will get future opportunities with us.
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Old 09-09-2020, 08:59 PM
Location: Round Rock, Texas
13,164 posts, read 14,087,590 times
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Originally Posted by athena53 View Post
While your post is wordy, I get your basic concern that we'll have a glut of plumbers, roofers, electricians, etc. and thus the prices for their work will go down and it will be harder for them to make a decent living. I doubt this- many of these jobs are strenuous, require work in harsh physical conditions (working in sweltering attics, outdoors in bad weather, dealing with effluents). They're not suited to everyone.

We do, however, need to stop measuring the "success" of high schools by the % they send on to higher education. Doesn't matter if the kid is college material or if they flunk out the first semester or they end up with 1.5 years of miscellaneous unmarketable courses (some of which might be remedial rather than college level) and a pile of student loans...hey, they got into college and that's all they measure. I'd like to see "guidance counselors" who actually tailor their approach to the individual student- not just figure out how to ram him/her into college whether it makes sense or not.
Best post. Couldn't have said it better.

The OP's post clearly shows he doesn't have a clue about the subject matter. Skilled tradesmen have been making beaucoup money for quite some time now. I have yet to see the trades diluted to the point where their hourly wages go down. If anything the hourly rate keeps going up here in Texas and shows no sign of going down anytime soon. Unless you live in a dead-end state/city (and even then, move to a better city!), you can make good money being a plumber or electrician. You'll have the middle classed lifestyle, picket fence, two kids and a dog. I consider vocations an excellent alternative to college, but as Athena said, it's not for everyone. And you have to hustle and be entrepreneurial. Many people can't cut it. Additionally, you really can't be a dumb bunny as a good tradesperson. I think if there were more vocational classes in high schools vs. these college ready classes, there wouldn't be so many clueless people coming out of high school still unsure of their futures and going to college only to flame out within a couple of years...and still not know what to do with themselves. Sure, I'd like my girls to go to college..but I want them to be self sufficient productive citizens foremost..and if that's by being a mathmetician or a cosmetologist, so be it. Hold your head up high. Be the best that you can be.
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Old 09-10-2020, 03:22 AM
85 posts, read 93,118 times
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Very interesting thread and discussion. I've learned quite a bit from all of the viewpoints in here.

I think someone who will thrive in trade school, is someone who would thrive in college, and thrive as an entrepreneur as well. Those people have good intelligence, plus the key trait of motivation.

If you have a decent IQ, and unstoppable motivation, you can succeed in America. There are so many smart and hard working people that I have met in my life that became successful through so many different ways - trade school, college, self-training and practical experience.

Unfortunately it seems many people now lack hard work ethic / motivation. They want easy jobs and easy path to financial success. Life tests those of us who are successful, by making us work hard to overcome challenges and barriers. We are successful because of creativity, hard work, and relentless drive to continue learning and improving our skills and talents.
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