The trend these days is for an all-in, all-or-nothing collegiate push. "They" tell us there is no way you will ever earn a decent living without the outrageously expensive college degree. This advice has ever so slowly built a top heavy educated work force that appears to be tipping. We are obsessed with lending billions of dollars we don't have, to kids who will struggle for years or even decades to pay it back, for jobs that will not be so easy to come by. As Mike Rowe from the TV show "Dirty Jobs" points out, "work smart not hard" may be the worst advice ever given. He has even gone so far as to alter the phrase to "work smart AND hard."
The job opportunities are opening up in blue collar fields at an astonishing rate. Employers are struggling to find good motivated workers. While this is ultimately going to benefit those of us IN these professions, it is not good for the professions themselves. Good plumbers, electricians and carpenters are going to be very difficult to come by in the coming years. The potential for a great career and income has never been higher. While many jobs are being phased out, outsourced and eliminated, on-site construction and repair is one thing that will never go away.
It seems we are not doing enough to educate the coming generations on the benefits, the challenge and the incredible career potential that the skilled trades have to offer. Working with your hands and looking back on what you have actually accomplished at the end of the day is very rewarding in and of itself. While it is true that many of the skilled trades are very physically demanding, shouldn't we be THANKFUL for that? Sitting on an office chair for 8 hours may sound more appealing at first, but given the choice, I will always choose to be moving, and yes, maybe even sweating.
If you know of anyone that may be looking for a career choice or change, I would urge them to take a long hard look into a trade. As for myself, I would not change a thing!