Treece: Real World 101Written by Dock David Treece | | email@example.com
In the past, this space has occasionally been filled with humble opinions on higher education in this country, how it has changed and how I now find it. Others have probably heard a Treece on the radio echoing many of the same thoughts, talking about how the American educational system has gotten off-track and lost focus.
The attitude that has developed is that going to college is a must for any young person — many think graduate school is critical as well. The problem is that the educational system has invented a good many degrees that are mostly useless. As a result, this country has raised a generation of liberal artists turned Occupy protestors.
Still, many have dismissed my arguments out of hand with retorts like, “But Dock, how can you say that when you went to college?” or “Are you crazy? You have to go to college to get a good job in this country!”
While it’s true, I do have a bachelor’s degree, I completely deny the argument that all good jobs require a college education.
The reason for this generalization is simple — young people today believe that only white-collar jobs are good jobs, as if there is something inherently wrong with a person working with their hands.
Recently, I received an email from a Toledoan who frequently hears us on radio and reads our columns. It is worth publishing here and I obtained their approval to do so.
I have heard you make mention about welders and other skilled trades in manufacturing being in short supply. As HR director at my company our business is expanding and we have been actively seeking qualified individuals with welding, tooling quality and fabrication backgrounds to fill positions in our plants. In Toledo alone there has been for some time a short supply of qualified tool and die makers. One of the biggest mistakes TPS did was close down Macomber and slowly let the skilled trades shop programs at all the public high schools dwindle to nothing. These were feeder schools that provided future apprentices and skilled trade’s candidates to most of the manufacturing companies in Toledo and NW Ohio. Some of the brightest and talented individuals I know have come from trade schools and have progressed to leadership positions in many companies including ours, all without the so-called requirement to have a degree.
“In our company alone the majority of our engineering staff including our director of engineering who I would put up against any degreed engineer started his career as a tool and die maker.
In fact, one of our design engineers holds several patents and his background is in tool and die. As a tool and die maker by trade myself, the discipline and work ethic that were instilled in me during my apprenticeship allowed me to grow and provided me the position I have today.
The short-sightedness of academia that says everyone needs to go to college to get a good paying job is pure bunk. We have created a situation where young people who really are not suited for college are pressured to attend college and after a couple of years of pursuing a degree in philosophy or music drop out and are strapped with thousands of dollars of debt, with no degree and no future. We need to remove the stigma of working with your hands as something to be ashamed of. It is quite obvious where these jobs will go if we do not have the people with the skills needed to fill these jobs.”
— A. Listener
It isn’t worthwhile to pursue higher education without having some idea of a career path. To conclude, what follows are a few wise words from my boss: “Don’t confuse education with intelligence, or knowledge with ability.”
Dock David Treece is a partner with Treece Investment Advisory Corp (www.TreeceInvestments.com) and is licensed with FINRA through Treece Financial Services Corp. He provides expert content to numerous media outlets. The above information is the express opinion of Dock David Treece and should not be construed as investment advice or used without outside verification.