As Americans, we are obsessed with college. Hell, I’m as guilty as anyone. I mention saving for college at least once a week on this blog alone. College is a great opportunity that can lead to many exciting and lucrative career options, but it doesn’t always. A degree doesn’t guarantee a job, just as not having a degree doesn’t guarantee low wages and poor job satisfaction. Skilled trade jobs make up a huge sector of jobs in the US, yet training for these jobs has gone out of style in the last couple of decades. Which is causing a huge problem. 53% of skilled laborers were over the age of 45 in 2012. And even though “middle skill” jobs account for 54% of the US labor market, only 44% of US workers are trained to the level required for the jobs. Herein lies the skilled laborer gap.
The stigma of skilled labor is something my buddy Jack Hope knows a lot about. He’s a plumber with a Master’s Degree, but he doesn’t see this seeming contradiction as an issue. To him skilled labor is where the best jobs are. And now he’s part of a solution to train young people in a specific trade.
Jack and I had a really interesting conversation about skilled trade jobs, the myth of a college degree equaling success, and apprenticeships as a means of educating on The Pete the Planner Radio Show on WIBC this week. Check it out.
Peter Dunn a.k.a. Pete the Planner® is an award-winning financial mind and a former comedian. He’s a USA TODAY columnist, author of ten books, and is the host of the popular radio show and podcast, The Pete the Planner Show. Pete is considered one of the foremost experts on financial wellness in the world, but he’s just as likely to talk your ear off about bass fishing.