Archive for February, 2011

26 Years to Learn a Trade?

In today’s world, we are going to school for longer and longer all the time.  Back when my parents were younger, a high school diploma was considered the status quo for education documentation as far as the majority of the job market is concerned.  Nowadays, that document is the college degree.  For now, the overwhelming majority seem to be pursuing undergraduate bachelors degrees, but for how long?  An increasing number of jobs have competitive markets that require Grad School, Law School, Med School, or any other form of extra schooling.  Some professions even require another 8 years after the completion of your undergrad.  That means that you’ll be 30 years old, having been going to school for 26 years (if you started in pre-school) just to gain enough knowledge and experience to be a specialized surgeon or orthodontist.

With the technology of today’s world expanding at rate faster than ever, how will the amount of necessary schooling look 25 years ago for my kids?  Is the typical college student in my children’s generation going to have to go to school until they’re 26 just to have a chance in a dog eat dog job market for high skill/high paying jobs?  I don’t know where it’s going to end.  Already, the demand for high-skill jobs in engineering is greater than the number of adequately skilled Americans to fill the positions.  Large numbers of highly skilled workers from foreign countries come to the United States to fill these positions.  What happens when this is the case across the board because the majority of Americans don’t have the time, money, or intellect to pursue high skill degrees?  I think what will happen is a higher unemployment rate.  Eventually, we need to realize that fast-advancing technology may not be an entirely positive change in society.

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