From day one we are asked, “So what do you want to be when you grow up?” Many of us probably had similar answers: firefighter, police officer, or, my response, a football player. I wish I could follow through with what I said when I was five, but sadly I can’t. Then early in high school, the question changes to, “What college are you going to?” Most people answer that question with a four-year university or “I don’t know.”
Mike Rowe, most known from his show Dirty Jobs, has a very interesting view on the college decision high schoolers make. He is a big advocate for trade school and the jobs they provide, which are typically looked down upon by filmmakers and sometimes even high schools. Mike Rowe talked about how most people employed in trade areas are depicted in movies as overweight, unintelligent, and lazy. Anyone who has watched Dirty Jobs, which I have a lot, has seen the people in those positions are hard working people who just prefer to work with their hands. He also shares how there isn’t actually a job shortage, there is a labor shortage. Most people are being overqualified for the actual jobs being created. If you go on Facebook or YouTube, you can find videos where Mike Rowe is advocating for some form of higher education. In his words, “without higher education, you are doomed. However, don’t mistake a higher education for a four-year university.”
I am not saying that four-year universities are the wrong choice. I love attending and getting my education from South Dakota State University. However, I believe that too many people are choosing four-year schools with no idea for a future career path because “it’s what everyone else is doing.” Community colleges are a great way to get your general education classes at a much lower cost and gives you the opportunity to find out what you want to do for a future career. However, most importantly, you have to find the form of higher education that is right for you. That can be an apprenticeship, community/technical college, or university. The form that is right for me is a university. What is right for you?
For the final time, Stationed by the Emblem of Washington,
Minnesota FFA State Treasurer