I recommend a good trade school.

Particularly if you’re a guy: good money, useful work, and in a decade or so the tilting gender demographic in the college-educated demographic means that you’ll end up marrying well anyway. By 2050 “blue collar” might have the same connotations that “pink collar” had in 1950: a category where men work until they can get married to a high-earning member of the professional class.

What? Just reacting to Megan McArdle’s “Why Your Little Alma Mater May Go Extinct” (via Instapundit).  I know that I’m being callous to the education industry by shrugging at their looming collapse, but then it feels like half of those people scream invective about my side of the political spectrum at any opportunity and all of them pretty much hate my side’s guts.  What am I supposed to be, St. Francis of Assisi?

…Well, yes, I am supposed to at least try; but I’m getting over a cold.  The best I can do is recommend that colleges start offering degrees in plumbing and welding and other useful things.  Take the money out of the social sciences department… dang, I’m being mean again.

10 thoughts on “I recommend a good trade school.”

  1. Yes. I’m going to steer my son into a trade, or if he does want to go to a 4-year school, it will have a good engineering program… I’m probably going to suggest the engineering degrees for my daughters though. Good pay and women engineers can basically write their own tickets (not quite as much as non-white female engineers, but in demand nonetheless). Either way, I think I’m going to make dependent on what I pay for school. If they want to “find themselves” they can find themselves a job.
    Because you can’t outsource fixing a toilet/sink to China.

  2. Kind of surprising to see how far down the age ladder the anti-college movement has gone among the male population. My grandson all of 12 suggested he didn’t want to go to college, I don’t think he has a plan yet he just isn’t interested in going to college. So it’s going to get harder and harder for Colleges and Universities to get white males in the door when the turn off to going has gotten to kids that young.

  3. Sound advice in general Moe, but I think I see a problem in that plan. How do Blue Collar men and White Collar women get together? The won’t work in the same places anymore and they won’t go to school together anymore. Churches will continue to serve as places to mix, but what else? And what of women’s general practice of “not marrying down”? I suppose the market would provide some solution eventually…

    1. Answers, in order:

      1). They’ll work it out.
      2). They’ll figure out some way to interact.
      3). That practice will evaporate like a butterfly in a blast furnace.

      Mind you, I’m betting on basic biological urges and the apparent inherent tendency for humans to pair-bond; I may be wrong on both counts and that future generations will be able to create effective, long-term societal counters to both for the first time ever in human history. I suspect that I am not wrong, though. In any case, we’ll know more in forty years.

      1. I wasn’t implying that men and women would stop being men and women, merely that White Collar women would get stuck with a greatly reduced dating pool. I’d think the Blue Collar men would more likely take whatever “Blue Collar” women were available and willing and leave the “unobtainable” White Collar women alone. The whole “pink collar” arrangement worked because it mixed women with upwardly mobile men. This model is missing that bit.

        Now, if men start taking easy degrees in colleges with high female enrollment or support jobs in fields with high female employment, then we’d have the inversion you’re theorizing.

        1. I suspect that WC women would become less unobtainable to BC men once the pool of available WC men shrinks below a certain point.

  4. My alma mater is in an unusual situation: it’s one of only a small handful of all-male colleges left in the United States, which might seem to be a disadvantage, what with college enrollments trending female, but it also means it has a niche market fairly well cornered. It’s also come in #1 before in US News & World Report’s “value for the education dollar” ranking, which for a private college is definitely saying something.

  5. The best I can do is recommend that colleges start offering degrees in plumbing and welding and other useful things.

    I agree with your first paragraph, but oh please no degrees! Once academe gets hold of the trades, academic credentialism will follow soon after. We don’t want job entry qualifications of “a Masters Degree in Toilet Snaking” or the institution of gender quotas in all programs a’la Title IX.

    Subotai Bahadur

  6. Alternatively, join the military if you’re capable and get some training in the trades with the right MOS. Heck, I came out with a government heavy equipment license and 3000 hours towards Journeyman status. Could have gone to that school if I wanted to as well.

  7. That was my grandson’s point his grades are good and his parents are looking at West Point. That was the only College he was even thinking about going to. (Don’t know what happened to Annapolis or the Air Force Academy.) But I suggest a good Apprenticeship Program if you can find one, get paid to train. I think Moe’s right here men and women they’ll work it out. In addition as skilled trade’s become more rare in the general population their earning potential is going to rise. A lot like after the Black Death income for those with hard skills, as opposed to soft skills are going to go up, Farmers, Electricians, Welders, HVAC repair, etc., the list goes on.

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