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On denigration of the four-year degree - and irony meters.

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  • On denigration of the four-year degree - and irony meters.

    I'm sure many people have seen tv-host Mike Rowe pontificate on the value of technical/trades work. I'm also sure may people are familiar with carpenter Norm Abram, from the PBS series This Old House. In a promotional segment for the Ask This Old House spinoff, the two of them talk about the lack of people able to work in the skilled trades, and explicitly how the emphasis on a 4-year degree is wrong.

    On a different promo segment, TOH and ATOH host Kevin O'Connor muses on Mr. Abram's skills and approach to tasks, and comments (I am paraphrasing) "If Norm weren't a carpenter, he'd be an engineer."

    Mike Rowe has a BA in Communications Studies from a small University of Maryland campus.

    Norm Abram has a BS in Mechanical Engineering and Business Administration from the the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. Norm IS an engineer, Kevin.

    To be fair, Tom Silva (the general contractor), Richard Trethewey (the plumber/HVAC contractor), and Scott Caron (the electrical contractor) appear to have come up the apprenticeship/journeyman pathway. Roger Cook, (the landscape contractor) OTOH, has a BS in wildlife management from the University of Maine. None of them seem to want to comment on this issue, however.

    fusilier
    James 2:24
    Reality rules, Honor the truth - in memory of Chemist.

    fusilier
    James 2:24

  • #2
    Originally posted by fusilier View Post
    I'm sure many people have seen tv-host Mike Rowe pontificate on the value of technical/trades work. I'm also sure may people are familiar with carpenter Norm Abram, from the PBS series This Old House. In a promotional segment for the Ask This Old House spinoff, the two of them talk about the lack of people able to work in the skilled trades, and explicitly how the emphasis on a 4-year degree is wrong.

    On a different promo segment, TOH and ATOH host Kevin O'Connor muses on Mr. Abram's skills and approach to tasks, and comments (I am paraphrasing) "If Norm weren't a carpenter, he'd be an engineer."

    Mike Rowe has a BA in Communications Studies from a small University of Maryland campus.

    Norm Abram has a BS in Mechanical Engineering and Business Administration from the the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. Norm IS an engineer, Kevin.

    To be fair, Tom Silva (the general contractor), Richard Trethewey (the plumber/HVAC contractor), and Scott Caron (the electrical contractor) appear to have come up the apprenticeship/journeyman pathway. Roger Cook, (the landscape contractor) OTOH, has a BS in wildlife management from the University of Maine. None of them seem to want to comment on this issue, however.

    fusilier
    James 2:24
    I am not familiar with Mike Rowe and the discussion you are referring to.

    But one point, which I suspect Rowe may be referring to, is the emphasis on pushing kids into four year schools who in reality have little interest in more school, and have great interest in the trades. Are you sure Rowe was denigrating the four year education pathway?

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by simplicio View Post

      I am not familiar with Mike Rowe and the discussion you are referring to.
      Mike Rowe is the host of programs like "Dirty Jobs" - which showcases such jobs as septic-system pumpers, tanneries, and so forth - as well as having hosted a LOT of History channel programs before they degenerated to ancient-aliens-all-day-everyday. He has a fairly recognizable voice.

      But one point, which I suspect Rowe may be referring to, is the emphasis on pushing kids into four year schools who in reality have little interest in more school, and have great interest in the trades. Are you sure Rowe was denigrating the four year education pathway?
      That would be a reasonable thought, but it turns out not to be the case. Rowe, on his Facebook page (no linkies since that seems to be a new violation of CARM rules), is very disparaging of people who aren't targeting job-training.


      fusilier
      James 2:24

      Reality rules, Honor the truth - in memory of Chemist.

      fusilier
      James 2:24

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by fusilier View Post
        I'm sure many people have seen tv-host Mike Rowe pontificate on the value of technical/trades work. I'm also sure may people are familiar with carpenter Norm Abram, from the PBS series This Old House. In a promotional segment for the Ask This Old House spinoff, the two of them talk about the lack of people able to work in the skilled trades, and explicitly how the emphasis on a 4-year degree is wrong.

        On a different promo segment, TOH and ATOH host Kevin O'Connor muses on Mr. Abram's skills and approach to tasks, and comments (I am paraphrasing) "If Norm weren't a carpenter, he'd be an engineer."

        Mike Rowe has a BA in Communications Studies from a small University of Maryland campus.

        Norm Abram has a BS in Mechanical Engineering and Business Administration from the the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. Norm IS an engineer, Kevin.

        To be fair, Tom Silva (the general contractor), Richard Trethewey (the plumber/HVAC contractor), and Scott Caron (the electrical contractor) appear to have come up the apprenticeship/journeyman pathway. Roger Cook, (the landscape contractor) OTOH, has a BS in wildlife management from the University of Maine. None of them seem to want to comment on this issue, however.

        fusilier
        James 2:24
        I get Rowe's Facebook posts on my page, so I'm pretty familar with what he thinks about college.

        It is not and was never the education that he denigrated, only the idea that college is a necessity, when it is not necessarily necessary.

        My oldest son is a perfect example of this. He dropped out of college because it was not serving his career goals. He's now an engineer at one of the most prestigious engineering firms in the Southeast.

        College can be a useful tool. It can also be a terrible waste of time and money. To sell college as the end all and be all to kids who don't necessarily need it, borders on fraud.

        People like Vibise look down their noses at blue collar workers, but the fact is, young people are coming out of college with no job, no prospects, and $60-100,00 in debt, while my twenty three year old neighbor just bought his first house, is making six figures, and is completely debt free, because he went to Vo-Tech and learned to be a plumber. He just asked my wife to help him develop a plan to get six trucks on the road within two years. Pretty good for somebody who never set foot inside a college classroom.

        I look at the blue collar guys I know, and they are so far ahead of where I was when I was there age.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by Mike McK View Post

          I get Rowe's Facebook posts on my page, so I'm pretty familar with what he thinks about college.

          It is not and was never the education that he denigrated, only the idea that college is a necessity, when it is not necessarily necessary.
          Nice alliteration! ;^)

          That, however, is not the impression Mr. Rowe gives. I admit he emphasizes that one does not need to have a four-year diploma in order to make a decent living. That being said, he appears to denigrate the notion that post-secondary education is valuable at for anyone.


          My oldest son is a perfect example of this. He dropped out of college because it was not serving his career goals. He's now an engineer at one of the most prestigious engineering firms in the Southeast.
          At the risk of being pedantic, I must ask if your son is an engineer, or an engineering technologist or technician. In every state I am aware of, an engineer is someone who has earned a baccalaureate degree and who either has passed - or is prepping for - a state licensure exam.

          Changing majors - even after withdrawing for a time - is not the same as the pathway Mr. Rowe suggests.

          College can be a useful tool. It can also be a terrible waste of time and money. To sell college as the end all and be all to kids who don't necessarily need it, borders on fraud.

          People like Vibise look down their noses at blue collar workers,
          I have not observed any such behavior by the poster you reference. Be careful about projection.

          but the fact is, young people are coming out of college with no job, no prospects, and $60-100,00 in debt, while my twenty three year old neighbor just bought his first house, is making six figures, and is completely debt free, because he went to Vo-Tech and learned to be a plumber. He just asked my wife to help him develop a plan to get six trucks on the road within two years. Pretty good for somebody who never set foot inside a college classroom.
          If where you live is any place like Indiana, your young neighbor did take college-level classes, and the classroom might well have been run by a faculty member at a community college - like where I teach.

          I look at the blue collar guys I know, and they are so far ahead of where I was when I was there age.
          That depends on the metric you choose.


          fusilier

          James 2:24
          Reality rules, Honor the truth - in memory of Chemist.

          fusilier
          James 2:24

          Comment


          • #6
            Update:

            The current season of TOH emphasizes apprenticeships in the building trades, and Tom Silva - the general contractor - can be seen providing talking points in the show openers.

            The Mike Rowe Foundation is prominently featured as a ... well ... one doesn't use the term "sponsor."

            ><><><><

            I'm reminded of a comment once made by a friend in Maryland who collects anvils when he, and another friend, were at a BIG flea market. Russel Morash, the producer of shows like TOH, ATOH, and the discontinued New Yankee Workshop, was there, holding court. My friends asked why those programs didn't feature more hand-tool work, since that would be easier and faster and much less expensive for an individual than using high-priced power tools aimed at a tradesman who did the work to earn a living.

            Morash's response was, "How much are you going to pay me?"

            fusilier

            James 2:24
            Reality rules, Honor the truth - in memory of Chemist.

            fusilier
            James 2:24

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by fusilier View Post
              Update:

              The current season of TOH emphasizes apprenticeships in the building trades, and Tom Silva - the general contractor - can be seen providing talking points in the show openers.

              The Mike Rowe Foundation is prominently featured as a ... well ... one doesn't use the term "sponsor."

              ><><><><

              I'm reminded of a comment once made by a friend in Maryland who collects anvils when he, and another friend, were at a BIG flea market. Russel Morash, the producer of shows like TOH, ATOH, and the discontinued New Yankee Workshop, was there, holding court. My friends asked why those programs didn't feature more hand-tool work, since that would be easier and faster and much less expensive for an individual than using high-priced power tools aimed at a tradesman who did the work to earn a living.

              Morash's response was, "How much are you going to pay me?"

              fusilier

              James 2:24
              Certainly Mythbusters wouldn't be as much fun without their technical detail usually obtained from the classroom. That said, some technicians that are not trained in engineering know their trades very well and people will pay top dollar for their abilities.

              Will a penny dropped from a tall building penetrate the sidewalk or kill a person below?

              see: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PHxvMLoKRWg

              Last edited by inertia; 11-24-17, 10:02 AM.
              "The exact sciences also start from the assumption that in the end it will always be possible to understand nature, even in every new field of experience, but that we make no a priori assumptions about the meaning of the word "understand"."

              Heisenberg
              .....................

              " It is the glory of God to conceal a matter, and it is the glory of a king to search out a matter. " ( Proverbs 25:2 )

              Comment


              • #8
                A trade is better than a higher education,
                it is more useful,
                more practical,
                and a child can start learning at a young age, making it possible not to go into debt later.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Jethro77 View Post
                  A trade is better than a higher education,
                  it is more useful,
                  more practical,
                  and a child can start learning at a young age, making it possible not to go into debt later.
                  How do we measure utility or usefulness?

                  If we asked the question if studying scripture is useful, we get different answers, sometimes from Christians. Does the atheist have anything to gain from studying scripture?

                  Comment


                  • #10


                    There's a ton of 'answers' found searching "give your son a trade" or variations .

                    One that did not come up was an old one many have heard "Teach a man to fish and he eats for life, give a man a fish and he eats for one day".

                    Here's one even more revealing about men that makes many points at once : Warren Wiersbe writes:

                    Every Jewish rabbi was taught a trade, for, said the rabbis, “If you do not teach your son a trade, you teach him to be a thief.” The men that God called in the Scriptures were busy working when their call came. Moses was caring for sheep; Gideon was threshing wheat; David was minding his father’s flock; and the first four disciples were either casting nets or mending them. Jesus Himself was a carpenter.


                    Originally posted by simplicio View Post

                    How do we measure utility or usefulness?

                    If we asked the question if studying scripture is useful, we get different answers, sometimes from Christians. Does the atheist have anything to gain from studying scripture?


                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by fusilier View Post
                      I'm sure many people have seen tv-host Mike Rowe pontificate on the value of technical/trades work.
                      Yeah, that is true. Technical/trade work has value, and there are too few people out there who know how to fix things when they go broke.
                      I'm also sure may people are familiar with carpenter Norm Abram, from the PBS series This Old House. In a promotional segment for the Ask This Old House spinoff, the two of them talk about the lack of people able to work in the skilled trades, and explicitly how the emphasis on a 4-year degree is wrong.
                      You do realize not all people who graduate from high school even in top percentiles never obtain to the level of four yr college degrees? They quit, they drop out and when they do they have debt. Big debt. They keep pushing college on these kids and many of them are being set up for failure and subsequent debt right out of the start gate. All these people and more need some sort of job to live on. Not all people are cut out for college. A million drop out of college yearly. If a million are dropping out then isn't that a far bigger problem than the so-called issue being addressed here?

                      More high school grads are going to college, but many are quitting college

                      University of Washington to learn why some students left before graduating.

                      Many of those who answered — fewer than one in five, in spite of a chance at a $200 gift card — said they ran into financial problems or worried about falling too deeply into debt. Forty-one percent said they felt isolated or alone and 39 percent that they didn’t think they were getting their money’s worth. Racial and ethnic minority students were particularly likely to report that their scholarship money ran out or was not renewed, that their families needed them or that the university wouldn’t let them continue because they fell behind in their payments.

                      Many students balance college and jobs. Cutrer, who teaches a freshman seminar, said six students in her class of 20 told her they worked 40 hours a week, eight worked 30 or more hours and the rest worked at least part time.

                      “If it’s between earning money and going to class, I’m going to earn money because I have to support people,” said Seidman, author of the new book Crossing the Finish Line:
                      ----------------------------------------

                      For these, who do not, for whatever reason, obtain, to the level of a four yr degree need a career of some sort. Technical/trade work is a viable option. There are all kinds of problems with colleges. Many of these kids attending are isolated and alone, (do not fit in) ill prepared, pressured into attending, overwhelmed with debt. None of this is being adressed. The problem here is not with your talking heads on the TV relative to the high drop rates in colleges. Why ignore the elephant in your room while fixating on the minors?



                      On a different promo segment, TOH and ATOH host Kevin O'Connor muses on Mr. Abram's skills and approach to tasks, and comments (I am paraphrasing) "If Norm weren't a carpenter, he'd be an engineer."

                      Mike Rowe has a BA in Communications Studies from a small University of Maryland campus.

                      Norm Abram has a BS in Mechanical Engineering and Business Administration from the the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. Norm IS an engineer, Kevin.

                      To be fair, Tom Silva (the general contractor), Richard Trethewey (the plumber/HVAC contractor), and Scott Caron (the electrical contractor) appear to have come up the apprenticeship/journeyman pathway. Roger Cook, (the landscape contractor) OTOH, has a BS in wildlife management from the University of Maine. None of them seem to want to comment on this issue, however.

                      fusilier
                      James 2:24
                      Not sure what issue you are addressing here. The show hosts have college degrees and advocate for technical trade work? Iz that a problem? Not really. Some are like teachers and the shows generate an audience. People learn things from This Old House, for example. It is a win/win.
                      Last edited by lightbeamrider; 03-03-19, 04:56 AM.

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