When did it become necessary to have a college degree to succeed? I understand that if you want to be a doctor or an engineer you need a diploma. I get it that if you want to be a computer whiz a degree in Computer Technology will benefit you. However only so many of us can be in these fields. Same goes for any field. Yet some fields lack enough people to fill them. We can’t all be brain surgeons.
We at Pete & Jake’s respect and honor those who have or are going after a higher education. We understand the need in society to have a highly educated populace. Education, though, comes in many, many forms. Many of the founders of this great country were self-educated. Others were skilled tradesmen like Paul Revere. There is a need today in our country for a balance of a highly educated and vocationally skilled workforce. Again, we can’t all be brain surgeon’s.
There will always be a need for auto mechanics, paintless dent repair technicians, plumbers, electricians, machinists, etc. For some unknown reason these careers have become something to look down upon. Well when you need your drain unclogged it’s nice to be able to call somebody who knows just how that’s done. You don’t look down on them then do you?
That doesn’t mean that plumbers, electricians, carpet cleaners, and the like can’t still be highly educated. In fact in today’s world many of these professions require some very technical skills. The use of computers has infiltrated so many blue collar as well as white collar professions. However education goes beyond just knowing how to do your job. It’s also learning and knowing how to live a fulfilling life. That requires one to be widely read and to experience all that life has to offer beyond a big screen TV.
They are a mix of every conceivable profession. From physicists to carpenters, from business owners and artists to yes even the clergy they have an interest, a desire, a passion, to build something with their own hands. Hot rodding appeals to a very broad spectrum of personalities and educational levels. Yet it takes a special desire to work with your hands and a mind that can figure things out to build a good ride. Skills needed to build a car are passed down from one person to another or are learned in vocational colleges and schools.
We need to stop thinking of vocational skills as being second rate and realize that not all of us are cut out to sit behind a desk or in a cubicle somewhere. There is no shame in working with your hands and being able to create things out of raw materials, parts, and pieces. In fact there is a great satisfaction that is felt when one finishes a job well executed. Problem solving is a skill and talent to be celebrated.
If you are a parent, here are three points to help guide your child down the right educational path.
Observing your child as they are maturing will give you great insight into what track they may be leaning towards. That said, aptitude testing will confirm your thoughts and help you guide your child down the right road. Do they possess good math and science skills? Great. But will they want to be a mathematician or scientist? Maybe they would enjoy putting those talents to work as a machinist or other profession that uses their hands as well as their minds.
Getting to know your child’s dreams, fears, concerns, and interests will help you give them tailored guidance in choosing their educational future. Through dialogue you will get to see the great individual that’s emerging. By keeping the communication channel open you will be able to monitor their progress as they are exposed to new and exciting things. They will change their minds many, many times before deciding on their final path. Be there to guide and help them. It will be time well spent.
Expose Them to the World. Turn the big screen off and expose them to the world. Encourage your children to explore different career fields and vocations. Let them spend a day with a friend and see what he does for a living. Take them to the library and let them read about all the things that are available to them. You might be surprised what they may find. You might have the next Henry Ford or Thomas Edison sitting at the dinner table. Open the world to him.
As you can see. Our country needs a wide variety of skilled, educated, thinking, individuals who can design, fix, and solve the problems of our world and the things we need to prosper. Helping our children get prepared for those careers is not only our privilege but our duty as responsible parents. Are you up for the challenge?