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College vs.the Trades

Something to Think About if You're Graduating High School, or Not

This is a longer version of something I posted on Facebook for one of my friends.

She just discovered she wasn't going to college this year because she didn't have the credits.

Don't spend money on years of college unless you are highly motivated to do one particular thing and it requires college education. Definitely don't do it unless you've done the research, know it pays well enough and you'll like doing it for the rest of your life.

It's easy to get burnt out on something you once loved to do after a few years . Most people have multiple and different jobs over the years they work. You can't look into the future so how much college tuition and other expense money are you going to gamble on that?

If you're not absolutely sure what you want to do then the best bet is to get your GED and look at some of the two year programs at Santa Fe (a local community college) for something that you might like and that would pay well. That would usually be something in the trades and not nearly as expensive as "official" college.

We'll include medical jobs under "trades".

Another good idea is to do an apprenticeship program for one of the trades. The electricians union in Gainesville would be one official program, or just working for an electrician, plumber, hospital, or in whatever trade you might like is good too. With the apprenticeship/work for a tradesman approach you get paid and you can see how you like doing it all day, every day.

With anything college you go into debt.

Here's the way the game works in the USA. You have you go so far in debt by the time you get out of college that your employer can do horrible things to you just because you will do anything to keep that job. Many college graduates can't get work now anyway.

Many of the big corporations don't care about the USA any more. Their biggest markets are in Asia now. Where do you think those corporations are doing their hiring?

Skilled trades people can work every day. Even when the economy is down and there's no new construction, there's still plenty of repair work. Our infrastructure is falling apart here in the USA and sooner or later it has to be fixed. Guess who gets the call when that happens?

When you have about ten years into a trade the pay is right up there.

Even if you were able to get a higher paying job due to long college education, by the time you paid back the loans you would make more money over your lifetime working the trades. I have friends my age (close to 60) who are still paying off their college loans. How much do you suppose they paid in interest on those loans over 40 years? Thats BIG money!

That's another angle of "the game". Those who would lend you money always tell you "Never mind how much interest, just look at how much it will cost you every month". Yeah, right, every month...FOR THE REST OF YOUR LIFE! Always add up how much interest you'll be paying. If that number scares you, well, there's your clue.

Yes, girls can do the trades too. I know one not-very-big woman who is an electrician at a nuclear plant.

So what's it going to be?

Gamble tens or maybe hundreds of thousands on something in the future you're not even sure you'll like? Pay years of your salary in interest? Lose your independence and have to work for jerks forever because you have to pay back all that debt?


Go a little bit in debt spending a couple years in a community college learning a trade, then get a paycheck.


Get paid now, get hands on experience, and find out if you like the work before you've committed years and lots of money to it?

Your choice....


P.S. More on the same topic...

This one's a screamer. The language is rough and the wisdom/intelligence is deep.
This is John Carlton, one of the best copywriters ever:
Congratulations...Now Stop Being a Wuss

Check out some of his other stuff on that blog. He's a terriffic writer overall.
Some of that Hemmingway stuff must have rubbed off on him during his tenure in the keys.