Blue Collar Jobs

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by barkomatic, May 18, 2011.

  1. barkomatic macrumors 68040

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    #1
    Here is an interesting article from CNN Money today. It seems Mike Rowe (from Dirty Jobs!) is actually testifying before Congress in support of skilled workers. He says that the U.S. has entered "a war on work" and that there are problems with the way we value the type of work a person does as a society.

    For years now, sending your kids to college has been the aspiration of parents in the U.S. -- but is that the only worthwhile option? Universities have been very effective at marketing their degree programs but those programs can come at a high price. Many students have graduated with significant debt -- only to find out that their employment options are not as lucrative as they'd hoped and that the middle class lifestyle their parents enjoyed will be much harder for them to attain.

    What's the relative value between a white and blue collar worker?

    Here is the link:

    http://money.cnn.com/2011/05/18/news/economy/mike_rowe_dirty_jobs/index.htm?iid=HP_River
     
  2. leekohler macrumors G5

    leekohler

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    #2
    I agree with this. The market is flooded with people with tons of degrees and hardly any work experience. It's tough out there right now. I can't imagine how tough it is for kids just out of school. Plus, many of them weren't meant for college in the first place. Their real strengths lie elsewhere. Those strengths should be valued as well.
     
  3. iJohnHenry macrumors P6

    iJohnHenry

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    #3
    There is nothing wrong with working in a skilled trade. Check the per-hour rates. :eek:

    Just look about, to see that tradesmen/women are an ageing species.

    America has to get back to the Apprentice program, as a substitute for years spent in college, for little reward.
     
  4. dukebound85 macrumors P6

    dukebound85

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    #4
    One thing that I am working to change in my skill set is learning some "hard skills" like car work, gardening, carpentry, etc

    College, even mechanical engineering, is too theory based and not that great in teaching everyday useful skills. Sure we had to learn how to work some machinery but that was a relative small component of the curriculum.

    If the economy really went down the crapper, any college education will not be as valued as being able to work with your hands imo
     
  5. codymac macrumors 6502

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    Jun 12, 2009
    #5
    Wow. I had no idea he was such a vocal advocate. It's great.

    Everything he's saying reminds me of conversations I've had with my grandfather about work, education, etc. Spot on.
     
  6. Mousse macrumors 68000

    Mousse

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    #6
    I headed down that path soon after buying my first house.:) It seems something need to be fixed every week (stuck window, garbage disposer, clogged toilets, the hole in the drywall from friday's party:p and so on). I've gotten pretty good at electrical problems, but I still leave the big jobs to the Pros. For now white collar work pays the bills but my heart has always been in working with my hands.
     
  7. barkomatic thread starter macrumors 68040

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    #7
    I agree, but educational institutions don't make much money off of people in apprentice programs. They successfully destroyed that training model for most fields in the white collar world and I'm sure they like to do the same across the board.
     
  8. Abstract, May 18, 2011
    Last edited: May 18, 2011

    Abstract macrumors Penryn

    Abstract

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    #8
    True. People only aspire to go to college because blue-collar jobs, and the people who do them, is seen as "peasant work", regardless of the (high) salary earned. It's beneath most people, and I'm sorry to say, but that's what I have grown up believing. In a way, I still do. I know that I'm completely wrong, I know better, and I value the role of blue-collar workers in our society. However, it's hard to forget things that you were lead to believe your entire life, and are still lead to believe in society today. This belief isn't some old-world remnant of the past; it's very much a part of our culture today.


    The only argument I have to help explain the belief that white-collar work should be more valued is because our society values deep knowledge and understanding more than practical, hands-on work. The general belief that a doctor could probably learn to be a plumber if he/she wanted, but a plumber is probably not able to become a doctor (including specialists, if you like), is true. There are probably exceptions, but generally, it's true. And a person would certainly require far more time to study and learn to become a doctor than a plumber. Society respects that because society respects that sacrifice of time and hard work required to fill these roles. If every role were valued equally, and yet one role requires more work by an individual to be properly trained to fill, then I'd also have to question why. :confused: Those roles should be more valued.

    Having said that, blue-collar work still needs to be done, and the people who do it don't get enough credit in society. Also, people shouldn't aim for university if they're not suitable. They may be able to finish the degree, but that doesn't necessarily mean that their job matches well with their skills and passion.


    It takes many types of people to make a society.
     
  9. leekohler macrumors G5

    leekohler

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    #9
    There are also a lot of white collar jobs that people can do without degrees quite easily. A lot of white collar jobs are far from rocket science.
     
  10. senseless macrumors 68000

    senseless

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    #10
    It's important to spot your affinity and talent when choosing a career. If you like what you do, your life will be so much happier and successful. Be the lucky 10% that looks forward to going to work.
     
  11. steve2112 macrumors 68040

    steve2112

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    #11
    No kidding. I've been doing IT stuff for years, and all I can say is most traditional bachelor's level degrees are outdated by the time you graduate. Many of the best IT people I have ever worked with had no degree. Sadly, I have seen too many job descriptions that require a bachelor's in Computer Science for low level stuff.

    Anyway, from my own experience: My brother and I were complete opposites growing up. I was a total nerd, and actually liked school while my brother couldn't stand it and did the minimum. I went on to college like I was "supposed to" while he went straight to work, eventually becoming an electrician. For most of my career, he has made way more money than me. I have always joked that maybe I should have followed his lead instead of wasting all that time and money on school. Truthfully, though, I couldn't have done it as I am lazy and prefer being in a nice, comfy office rather than outside.
     
  12. Abstract macrumors Penryn

    Abstract

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    #12
    True as well, but they're not really respected anyway. :p I don't agree that people believe that everyone who works in an office is more respected than a blue-collar worker, especially if the office position is menial.
     

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