As many of you will find out as the blog moves forward, I am not a huge fan of college, namely from value and return on investment standpoint. I am not saying that there is no place for college, just that there are parts of it that I think need to change. Full disclosure, I have a B.S. in Civil Engineering, but still think half of my college was a waste of time (I’ll get into that in later posts).
Anyway, what is The College Paradox (as I am calling it)? It is the culmination of 2 ideas that independently seem awesome, but together have a hard time coexisting. Those ideas are all of us wanting our children to do better than us and go to college, and the fact that we, as Americans, want to buy American. But lets be honest, who is going to go to college to work on an assembly line, be a plumber, a welder, an electrician, or name any of those things that we need in civilized society. But do those jobs require going to school to get more English, Art, and History exposure?
Whether you go to the hardware store, Walmart, or Best Buy, those places and just about all of the others sell things are made in China, Mexico, Thailand. We have to ask ourselves do we want to by American so bad, that we would be willing to tell our children that they need to go work in a factory making pens, drills, or iphones. I mean there are some degrees that so worthless, your kids may be doing that anyway to go with his $100,000 hole he dug.
If you want to buy American, teach your kids the value of hard labor (not just hard work). We need to be a self sufficient country, and teaching our kids that they can make a good living without at least 4 more years in school (2 of which are basically an extension of high school, I will never understand why I needed a visual/performing art to be an engineer), would be a good start. There is honor in being a plumber, electrician, welder, etc. Maybe we should tell our kids they don’t have to right to college after high school, and let them work a real job and discern what they want to do in the future during that time.
The benefit of going this route, is your kid, or you, won’t have to dig a hole before they climb the hill.