Mike Rowe is known for going where no man (or woman for that matter) wants to go, which is how his hit TV show “Dirty Jobs” came about. He has traveled across the United States and explored a wide range of blue collar jobs, from crabbing in Alaska to pig farming in Las Vegas. Part of seeing the various blue collar jobs that exist in our country has made Rowe realize one thing: there’s a serious skills gap. Kids are being taught from a young age that they have to go to college and take out student loans in order to be successful for life.
Here’s the problem: America’s landscape has changed over the years. In the 1950s, 60s and 70s America was built on blue collar jobs. There was a desperate need for people to attend college in order to obtain white collar jobs. There was a shortage of educated individuals. But the public relations campaign used to push people into pursing college degrees had the opposite impact and actually tipped the scale the opposite direction. Instead of having a lack of people in vocations that require a college education, we now see a huge vacancy in so-called “dirty jobs,” the jobs that are absolutely vital to our economy, and quite frankly, our way of life. 40 Alternatives to Col... Best Price: $5.99 Buy New $4.95 (as of 05:40 EDT - Details)
We need plumbers, electricians, mechanics and a wide range of manufacturing jobs in order to thrive. There’s job vacancies yet our future generations are being told they need to pursue college or else they’re doomed to fail. While we’re building up every single person to believe college is the only way to be successful, our country has more than 44 million borrowers who collectively owe more than $1.5 trillion.
“We have lent over $1.5 trillion to kids who can’t pay it back so they can spend four years trying to get jobs that don’t exist,” Rowe said during his address to those attending SHOT Show’s State of the Industry Reception.
America is doing a disservice to itself by assuming everyone needs to be college graduates or everyone needs to work with their hands.
Why can’t both co-exist? Why can’t both be open for discussion and consideration? Why is education looked upon more favorably and “dirty jobs” are just that…dirty?
Let’s be frank here. It’s not because a job is beneath anyone. It’s because people believe they’re better than others if they have an education.