Thursday, December 27, 2012

$50,000 A Year? Or College?

The December 25, 2012 New York Times has an article apparently upset that some recent high school grads are taking high paying jobs rather than go to college:
For most high school seniors, a college degree is the surest path to a decent job and a stable future. But here in oil country, some teenagers are choosing the oil fields over universities, forgoing higher education for jobs with salaries that can start at $50,000 a year.
It is a lucrative but risky decision for any 18-year-old to make, one that could foreclose on his future if the frenzied pace of oil and gas drilling from here to North Dakota to Texas falters and work dries up. But with unemployment at more than 12 percent nationwide for young adults and college tuition soaring, students here on the snow-glazed plains of eastern Montana said they were ready to take their chances.
I have news for that reporter: not every graduating high school student belongs in college, and even some who do might benefit from working for a year or two first, especially if they can put enough into savings that they don't graduate from college with an enormous amount of debt.  Now, if nearly everyone getting a bachelor's degree was being offered a decent job, this might be a tragedy -- but that is not the case.  It is not even close to being the case.

When you read the comments on the article, you start to see what the real upset is: they are working in the industry that is going to cause hundreds of millions of deaths from global warming!

1 comment:

  1. The majority of comments are even worse than the article, but not too surprising given the biases of the typical NY Times readership.

    As long as a kid is smart and saves his money--avoids the temptation to drink and party or to buy all the toys the salary can buy like $50K monster trucks, expensive hunting and fishing toys, big screens, etc I would think a kid could do quite well. Sure the demand isn't likely to last and certainly intense physical labor can only be done for a few years in youth but if nothing else it can be a great start in life for a kid if done smartly.

    For a few it might even give them a start into an engineering field related to energy. Oh the horror of less liberal arts majors!

    No question the author is biased. The author would probably also prefer more students studying Lesbian, transgender African-American studies when we need students in nuclear engineering so we can build more reactors or power engineers designing more efficient fuel burning power plants but that doesn't fit into their Solar and Wind as the only source of energy fantasy land! IF they were truly serious about global warming they would support nuclear power!

    BTW, did you also read this?