Rethink trade schools

Discussion in 'General Distance Learning Discussions' started by chrisjm18, Jul 13, 2022.

  1. cacoleman1983

    cacoleman1983 Active Member

    As someone who has worked in higher education for more than a decade, I wouldn't recommend anyone go to university unless they want to do something in law, the medical field, education, or a STEM field. Most other careers are better pursued either as a trade or in a community college. All of the degrees and certificates I have were all paid for through scholarships and grants. Had I not been able to get any of them for free or near free, I would have stopped at an Associates.
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  2. Jonathan Whatley

    Jonathan Whatley Well-Known Member

    Many "Not in Education, Employment, or Training" or highly underemployed people, who often live in their parents' basements and friends' couches etc., have reasons that merit sympathy. Even some of the times when the situation may not look sympathetic at first glance from outside.

    One set of reasons is that many of these people have disabilities, including subtle and undercounted disabilities, including mental health and neurological (e.g., autism spectrum) conditions.

    Another is that many will have deep resume gaps, and many will lack references consistent with their abilities.
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  3. Johann

    Johann Well-Known Member

    Yes, all those. Some merit sympathy. The larger percentage of those I have known personally, have difficulties stemming predominantly from L-A-Z-I-N-E-S-S and its enabler - entitlement. I can't speak for people I don't know, obviously. In another thread today I talked about the basement-dwellers of my experience. Average age mid 30s, some with degrees - average completion time 6 yrs f/t for a 3-year degree. If / when they work, it's usually for minimum at low-end retail. If thrown out of parents' basement, they live in friends' basement. Average education debt $60K + and have taken a vow of lifelong non-payment.

    I've seen that what money the lazy people I know do earn - they immediately waste. Same with money they get for nothing. They appear to have no respect for themselves or others - and certainly none for money.
    Last edited: Jul 15, 2022
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  4. nosborne48

    nosborne48 Well-Known Member

    The laziness issue is quite real and I don't understand it at all. By 23 I was a Navy officer at sea with a wife and youngsters. My daughters certainly aren't anything like lazy. A friend just had his 30 year old son move out. The latter needed pushing, too.

    I have read that the these kids are less interested in getting a driver's license? What?? In fact...(sotto voce) they are supposedly much more often to be...well...ahem...virgins at 25 than we were.

    Electronics? Drugs? Bad parenting? What is this about?
  5. nosborne48

    nosborne48 Well-Known Member

    No wonder there don't seem to be many children around anymore. The US fertility rate is 1.7 and has been for a long time. The only thing that keeps our population growing (slowly) is immigration.
  6. Johann

    Johann Well-Known Member

    Easy to see why! To re-phrase "It Ain't Necessarily So." -- "What gal will give in, to some guy who's livin' -- in Mom & Dad's basement for years?" :)
    Apologies to Ira Gershwin, DuBose and Dorothy Hayward.
    nosborne48 likes this.
  7. Jonathan Whatley

    Jonathan Whatley Well-Known Member

    Relative to the number of people being faulted for not forming independent households, are close to enough unfilled jobs available that will pay enough to form stable independent households in the communities those jobs are in?
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  8. Johann

    Johann Well-Known Member

    Dunno about overall numbers, but I can give you an example. I have a grandson who started working 4 years ago, directly after high school. He kept his job at McDonalds for about a year, but worked more hours than he had in school. He completed an animal care course by distance (a long-held interest) and found a job in a Vet clinic, where he has worked full time ever since. The pay is not really great, but it's improved and it's steady. He's saved money and been able to buy himself a few luxuries as well.

    He said early on he didn't think he'd want to leave home until he had saved at least $30K, figuring it would cost that much to set himself up properly. He passed that mark quite a while ago. I don't believe he has any short-range plans to be on his own, His dad's philosophy is that his kids (2) are welcome to live at home rent-free as long as they want. He says it's his gift to them now, because there likely won't be anything there after he's gone.

    Dad pays the grocery bills. the kids pitch in once in a while and if they feel like extras (shrimp etc) they pay for them. That's it. Dad's not rich - at all. The house is rented, his wife has considerable long-standing health problems (so does he) and theirs has always been a one-income family. He has a lot on his plate for a guy who's about to be 50. I think his son at least should either pitch in properly - or move out and be self-supporting. Nobody in my son's house wants to hear that, so none of his family, including me say it. I had a very good relationship with these two grandkids when they were young. Then, for years --- nothing. I don't talk to them any more. I quit years ago. I don't think they've even noticed.

    My take - for a lot of people and a lot of places - there may be jobs - and young people who will take them and work at them. But don't expect all these people to move out and set up for themselves. They won't. A lot of people enjoy being dependent - it's SOOO easy!
    Last edited: Jul 16, 2022
  9. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member

    This is a very sweeping statement, and I just can't agree with it. So many other fields have careers that are much more available to college graduates than those without degrees. I can't even begin to figure out how this stance can be supportable. This is especially true in the US, where most of the universally recognized tertiary credentials come from universities.

    I could sit here and type out a list of occupations and professions best pursued with a college degree (sales, library science, many government careers, etc.). But I don't think it's necessary to prove what should be so obvious to most.
    Dustin, Maniac Craniac and Johann like this.
  10. Lerner

    Lerner Well-Known Member

    I think there is wide range of possibilities.
    Some people may start early in their life with trade school and later in their life study for a degree in a college or university.
    In some countries its very popular one can start learning a trade or profession in High school, or in parallel to high school.
    One of the great advantages of Israeli army is a large # of new enlisted already have years of professional education. They get specialized in the military fast and progress in their qualifications and upon release may need only 2 years to complete a 4 year Bachelors degree. They are also job ready as well.
    UK has their qualifications levels etc.
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  11. nosborne48

    nosborne48 Well-Known Member

    I was thinking recently about the looming shortage of airline pilots. Major airlines pay their captains quite well (and their first officers somewhat less well). No college degree is actually required but a bachelor's degree is helpful. So how do you get there?

    You can pay for the training and hours to achieve a commercial license then scramble for many hours at low pay until eventually you have enough time in to fly for a commuter type feeder carrier at less money than you'd make managing a Taco Bell then hope finally to get recruited into the Big Leagues.

    Or...if you are very lucky and willing to serve your country you can fly for the military. The Air Force flys great big heavy multi engine jets so I suppose that would be the best way to go. Regardless, lots of hours and training that you are paid to do.

    A bachelor's degree is generally necessary for commissioning.

    Well, is flying a "trade"? I don't think so. But it can be a matter of "training" rather than a university "education".
  12. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member

    Being a military pilot is no shoo-in, either. It's all about supply and demand. Our friend Gary was an F-16 pilot--and an instructor pilot. He got out of the Air Force and went to fly commercially. It took him 5 jobs to finally stick. (Last one hired is the first one laid off.) This included flying for FedEx. (He finally stuck with Southwest and has been there ever since.)
    For commissioned officers in the Air Force, this is universally the case--and has been for decades.

    When I was enlisted, I worked in a base education center. In 1980, the education services officer (a civilian, as they all are) brought me into his office one day and said he had a highly sensitive issue he wanted my help with. Strange, coming from this normally antagonistic man who liked to belittle my accomplishments with Regents (now Excelsior). He wanted me to counsel an officer with a delicate situation. Well, it turned out that officer was a colonel, a pilot (now commanding a ground unit), and he didn't have a college degree. Back then, that was much more common because pilots would be put through flying training as aviation cadets and commissioned as officers upon graduating flight training--even if they didn't have college degrees. This guy had been one good leader and had risen through the ranks. But now he was coming up for consideration for general, and he knew the lack of a degree would be a problem. With my experience with Regents, could I help him? Sure. We gathered up his transcripts, identified the areas he was lacking--an imprecise effort since Regents would have to evaluate his extensive military training for credit (and he was ineligible for enrollment in CCAF, who normally does that for Air Force personnel). We identified which CLEP, DANTES, and other exams would fit the bill. He nailed almost everything and completed his degree requirements in short order. He didn't make general after all, but I know we filled a gap in both his resume and sense of self-worth, and I am proud of that. I lost touch with him right after that--I moved on to my next assignment. But it taught me a lot about the history of the Air Force--from someone who had lived it.
  13. freeloader

    freeloader Member

    I have learned a lot about the UK qualification levels over the last couple of years and I think 1) their system is really superior to that in the United States and 2) our system all but encourages unnecessary education and the resulting expense.

    I am in my late 30s and was taught, at school and home, that if I wanted a good job I needed to go to a 4-year college. Of course, what was implied was “if you want a good WHITE COLLAR job, and you really don’t want a blue collar job, do you? Then, go to a 4-year college”. Certainly, the whole thing about white collar vs blue collar may be off base, but, if the goal is actually a white collar job, the statement is correct.

    That reality is unfortunate, I think, but it is the reality. In the United States we have a system that says that if you want to enter many jobs, including regulated white collar professions, that the only viable system is a four year degree and typically additional education along with licensure.

    I am an accountant and my wife is an attorney. To become a CPA, you go to a four year college, complete the additional hours to meet the 150 hour requirement (which often means a MAcc or MBA), pass the CPA exam and meet work requirements. To become an attorney, you get a bachelor’s degree and then a JD. Yes, a few states will let you read law BUT you won’t have an ABA accredited or even state accredited law degree, so you can’t work for government, won’t get hired at mid-sized or larger firms, won’t get hired by big corporations, etc., etc., etc.

    The UK is a perfect example of why this doesn’t have to be the case. To be sure, one can go to a university in the UK to pursue law or accounting. But, you can also go to work in an accounting or law department/firm after leaving secondary education. As you build your skills and experience, you can take exams and short courses and, after some years, be qualified as an accountant or solicitor just the same as the person who went for a university degree after their secondary education.

    To be sure, there will be employers who want their solicitors and accountants to have university degrees. Partly in response to that, I am sure, UK universities, particularly those in England and Wales, offer top-up degrees at the bachelor’s and master’s levels and many also allow experienced and knowledgeable people in a specific field to directly enter a master’s degree or even doctoral program without the more junior degrees that are required in the United States.

    We have a name for colleges and universities that grant excessive credit for life and industry experience and may allow for direct entry into higher level degrees in the United States: degree mills. This, I think, is wrongheaded. Not that we should abandon academic standards, but if someone has worked as a bookkeeper and tax preparer for a decade, why, exactly, do they need to spend two years taking lower-level general education courses that are not relevant to their career. And how, exactly, is requiring that a good way to allocate resources?

    Of course, we in the United States have long believed that in many aspects of life that industries should be able to largely self-regulate themselves, perhaps provided they meet some very basic standards. So it is with education. Let’s consider another field for a moment: medicine.

    Accreditation of (allopathic) medical schools in the United States is the responsibility of the American Association of Medical Colleges. This organization has historically maintained a very closed relationship with the American Medical Association. Indeed, since 1942 the two organizations have worked together on medical accreditation. To what end? Well, the AMA is, ultimately, a trade association for physicians. It is no longer, but for many years one of the stated aims of the AMA was to limit the number of doctors in the United States. Anybody wonder why there was 1 new allopathic medical schools in the United States founded between 1982 and 2006?

    The AMA also has lobbied for decades against expanding the scope of practice for APRNs, including nurse practitioners and nurse anestnenstits. Their goal, purportedly, has been improving patient care. But, they have perhaps been too successful. They have driven their payscale so high and their lack of willingness to allow new medical schools has forced the hand of legislators, such that many states have considerably expanded the scope of practice of APRNs and osteopathic medical schools (which are accredited by the much less restrictive COCA) have been made equivalent to allopathic medical schools.

    But, how does this relate to why I perceive to be a general failing in the American education system and the superiority of that of the United Kingdom? Let us turn to the king of the dental world, the oral surgeon. In the United States oral surgeons attend dental school and after their DMD/DDS, they complete a residency in oral surgery. There are two versions of the oral surgery residency: a 4-year program that leads to a certificate and perhaps a post-doctoral master’s degree OR a 6-year program that adds more general medical education and leads to the certificate (and perhaps master’s degree) along with an MD; yes, a real MD. In practice, these people will work as oral surgeons, but there is nothing to prevent them entering another medical residency in some unrelated field.

    How could we apply this more broadly? Anesthesia services are provided primarily by anesthesiologists (MDs or DOs with residency) or nurse anesthetists (CRNAs). To become a CRNA, one must first become an RN, have qualifying experience in a hospital, and then graduate from a CRNA school. These are now 3-4 year schools and the new CRNAs graduate with a doctoral degree, typically a DNP. Why not adopt a model similar to oral surgeons? Why not allow nurses the option to do a 3-4 year program leading to CRNA/DNP or, say a 6 year program leading to an MD with anesthesia residency? Why, exactly, does a skilled, experienced, licensed nurse need to basically start over is she/he wants to become an MD?

    I think the problem of university versus trade school actually goes beyond what has been discussed before. Accounting, law, medicine, and a whole host of other fields are trades. They just happen to be white collar trades. Unlike in some other places, we place this really firm and, truthfully arbitrary distinction between blue collar and white collar trades. An electrician is blue collar and their knowledge and experience is someone seen as fundamentally distinct from the knowledge and skills of an electrical engineer. Why, exactly? I do understand that a lot of EE today is about computers and not power systems, but I think it is still a valid question.

    It’s great that many trade schools grant their graduates an associates degree, but that is just a tip of the iceberg, IMHO. We need to really think about what education and credentials mean. Rather than building up roadblocks, we need to build road ramps to help people skill up to meet higher and higher levels of education, competency, and practice.

    My personal opinion is that we in the United States have built a system for regulating education and trades, both blue and white collar, which serves primarily to limit access and keep salaries arbitrarily high. I will reserve sharing my (political) beliefs about why and how that has happened, but I think the net result has been to harm the collective good in the name of helping a select few. And that, I think, is truly unfortunate.
    Last edited: Jul 16, 2022
  14. nosborne48

    nosborne48 Well-Known Member

    United Air Lines has a program to train pilots starting, if necessary, from scratch. Total cost through ATP (restricted?) is $71,000. They don't guarantee that they will hire you. High School diploma required.
  15. nosborne48

    nosborne48 Well-Known Member

  16. nosborne48

    nosborne48 Well-Known Member

    That United pilot training program has an interesting come-on. If they accept you and you aren't already a private pilot, they'll train you to that certificate for free. Given that it costs most student pilots about $10-12k to get that coveted PPL, there's got to be a catch somewhere.
  17. nosborne48

    nosborne48 Well-Known Member

    Hm. If I were 25 and had perfect sight, I might DO this.:D But I'm not and I don't.:cool:
  18. sanantone

    sanantone Well-Known Member

    Great points. There is irony in that allowing the private sector to partially regulate itself has allowed for professional organizations to form monopolies for certain skills and push for credential inflation. If it weren't for an organization like the ABA, more states would probably recognize law apprenticeships.

    I'm trying to follow, though, your suggestions for a pathway from RN/BSN to anesthesiologist. They would follow the same process as everyone else who has a bachelor's degree. Medical school is four years. The anesthesia residency is about three years. So, that's seven years.

    There have been attempts to create a pathway for physician assistants to become physicians, which is an easier transition than taking someone from nursing to being a physician. But, these attempts have so far been blocked by physician associations.

    But, something to keep in mind is that the UK system has a different secondary system. If you plan to go to college, you complete additional secondary studies. Could a tax preparer with only a high school diploma do well in a master's in accounting or master of taxation program? My guess is that most would fail. Tax preparation is not a high-skilled job; people with complicated tax situations typically go to accountants. So, not only could the tax preparer lack the reading and writing skills for graduate studies, but they could also lack the accounting skills to do well in graduate-level accounting courses. If they had advanced tax preparation skills, they would have been able to pass the three enrolled agent exams instead of settling for being a registered tax preparer. No training is required to become a tax preparer unless there are additional state requirements.
    Last edited: Jul 17, 2022
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  19. Johann

    Johann Well-Known Member

    I'd like to know too, Nosborne. How did our society get from young people having their romantic and sexual experiences - with partners of their choice ... to THIS?

    It mystifies and horrifies me. I think sad and thoughts about misogyny sometimes. And sad and angry thoughts of terrorism. And I think warm, happy thoughts about sex. I like to, even if nobody's around. But I NEVER think of all three at the same time! Something has gone really wrong. What happened? Can it even BE fixed?
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  20. Dustin

    Dustin Well-Known Member

    The "Pewdie Pipeline" plays a role: YouTube algorithm favors extreme right-wing content and often shows it to people who view gaming content and more obscure topics. Basically, by identifying which people are more likely to keep watching extremist content they've built a radicalization machine.

    Add to this the impact of Discord and other chat rooms (in the 90s it was IRC) that allow people to chat with others who hold similar views and then COVID's increase in loneliness, the tinderbox is full and it's over the flame.
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