Parents and high schoolers need to give manufacturing a chance – Mike Rowe would agree
If you have kids in middle and high school you really ought to watch Mike Rowe’s interview about working smart not hard. I am sure you know who he is. He has been a staple on TV as the host of the show “Dirty Jobs”. Here is the link to this interview (click here). It is worth every minute of it.
So what is this fuss all about? It is simply this: Quite contrary to his TV show most manufacturing jobs out there today are the opposite to how people used to think of such careers. Jobs that were marginalized have left the country – and they will not be back anytime soon. However, manufacturing jobs requiring critical thinking, creativity, self-directed working, etc have started to come back on shore. The vast majority of work places are well lit and clean. It is quite the contrast to what they used to look like before the 1990s. In fact there is a shortage of such folks industry wide.
Most of us parents and subsequently our children typically want for them to attend college. There are a few wrinkles with this goal. For one, who does not know folks who started out with one major just to change it along the way because it was a better fit. Then there are quite a few students who drop out completely. Finally, there are many of them who find themselves having earned a degree just to find themselves without a job and much less a career. I am not advocating that folks abandon going to college plans. I am just trying to make the case for looking at more options available to children today.
Bottom line is that the children and parents can end up with quite a bit of debt and still not have a suitable and rewarding career. How about a career in manufacturing? Most jobs are high tech and many organizations offer a learn-and-earn program. Here the student may go through a coop or apprenticeship program while even in high school. Once the student graduate from high school they could migrate over to a full time job. Eventually with help of the manufacturer and entities such as local manufacturing alliances (e.g. this one MA of Chester and Delaware Counties) a college degree is pursued and earned.
The biggest benefit is that the student can home in on a long term sustainable career, obtain a college degree AND earn money – instead of going into debt.
Would that not be working smart?