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Saturday, August 31, 2013

"College Ain't For Everyone.." 'Judith Whitehead' (Inspiration Sunday)

Guest-blogger Judith Whitehead lives in Amherst N.Y. and has worked in the ophthalmology field of medicine for over 30 years... Today she talks about  unemployment and how college may not be the
right choice for everyone...   Enjoy! ;D)

College Ain't For Everyone

We now are hearing a new buzzword in our ever-changing economy and world – the underemployed. In the past, we used to talk about the percentage of unemployed, but now we have grown a new crop of people – the underemployed.

With the rising cost of doing business, many companies are cutting staff to economize, doing more with less and sending people to the unemployment line.

Many of my friends are among the underemployed. They are highly trained individuals with degrees in many areas – teachers, paralegals, nurses, medical assistants – who are being forced to take positions that are way under their pay grade and skill set to help make ends meet.

We are turning out many college students who are well-qualified but cannot find jobs in their fields. They are burdened with school loans that are next to impossible to pay back without gainful employment. They will take any position just to bring in some money so they can try to get by.

Society has slowly moved away from encouraging our children to learn a skill. Vocational programs and trade schools, once very popular, are being phased out by school budgets and educators. As a result, we have a shortage of electricians, plumbers and hands-on tradesmen who are still a real necessity in this world.

Maybe it is time to rethink how people can make a good living. Getting a master’s degree is not always the answer. For professionals, it is a must to keep up with the competition, but it’s not always the way to keep the bills paid.

Back in the ’90s, my son was a hands-on learner. His classroom was not between four walls, but learning a trade and a skill. He followed his passion and is now a successful luthier (someone who refurbishes and refinishes musical instruments, such as guitars) on the West Coast. He was a self-starter, learning simply by trial and error, and my husband and I could not be more proud of him.

We should encourage our public schools to once again teach the trades because there are many jobs waiting to be filled.

We also have many displaced veterans returning from war who are in need of employment. Some had to leave their jobs to serve their country. Many had skills and educations in areas all across the board, and have been replaced in their long absence. Others are coming back with disabilities and will need retooling in new trades.

In our ever-changing world, we need to rethink our educational options. Yes, it is great that we are educating future doctors, lawyers and professionals, but we need to consider the trades as well.

Who will fix our plumbing problems, build our homes and pave our roads? There are a lot of service jobs just waiting to be filled with capable, hardworking people who can support a family with these modes of trade. We need to offer these skills to our high school students.

Getting people off the unemployment line should be a priority in this country. We need to start regrowing our population and rethinking the potential job market that is in need of qualified people to fill those jobs. Let’s offer our students every possibility to succeed. A conventional college education is not always the answer.

This blog recently appeared in the Buffalo News;

Hana Hou, (Encore) Shared From Facebook...


KimoRosen said...

There is so much unemployment... Everyone wants high paying jobs and won't apply for jobs that they consider beneath them, however many times a lower paying job can be the start to many advances. I saw a segment on 60 minute about some plant in the south that makes machine parts and pays like 25.00 an hour can't find help because most Americans don't have basic math skills...

Judith Whitehead said...

all over the country this is happening.....

Chester "Unc" Lau said...

Chester "Unc" Lau said via email,"Absolutely TRUE,Cannot depend on a college degree,must innovate & create...new iPhone? iPad etc.cannot sit on a degree & expect some one to hire you,I don't believe Bill Gates or Steve Jobs had college Degrees. unc C."

Judith Whitehead said...

schools need to bring back the skills taught to make a living