Gen Z: The Toolbelt Generation?

Stranger things have happened! With universities long gone as bastions of anti-male, woke, Studies studies majors racking up a quarter-million dollars of student debt for useless degrees, many young men are looking at technical and trade careers — and are liking what they see. 

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Davey Packer
April 21, 2024 2:32 AM

There are also social benefits to trade education rather than the modern pseudo-university experience. Colleges/Universities these days have been thoroughly infiltrated by the Mickey Mouse Maoists. Trade education keeps the young out of the grips of the Cultural Revolutionaries, which is good in and of itself. It also strengthens ties and understanding across generations. I left the Sixth Form only a few months in and never went to Uni. Instead I ended up in a traditional printing apprenticeship. At 17 I was being trained by much older men. Some of the older guys I worked under had been in the… Read more »

Ron Swansons Alter Ego
April 12, 2024 9:20 AM

About 10 years ago, the house across the street was on the market. Happened that I knew the Real Estate Agent, so since I was working in the yard and being a nosy SOB, I went over to say hi and scope out my potential neighbors. It was a couple a little older than me at the time with what looked to be a 20ish son with them. Turns out, he was the one looking for a house. He had started as a lineman with AEP right out of HS and after living at home for 2 1/2 years he… Read more »

Mark Holland
April 12, 2024 7:31 AM

I am a boomer, 77yo, and spent good part of my early life in the USN. I learned a good trade through that time and when I got out, used it for doing AC&R work, and used that training. I am an avid support of trade schools as the best way for young people to go now. Trades will always be around. Mike Rowe has the right answers.

April 12, 2024 6:48 AM

I’m a boomer (73 YO) who wasted 2.5 years of my life in college before I figured out that it wasn’t for me. If I could do it all over again, I’d go to either welding or machinist school. In the ’70s, I earned more per hour as an electrician than I did in the last 20 years of my working life in a university. And that’s the irony, I got hired as the Planetarium Manager at a university and held the job for 20 years even though I’m a college dropout. They flat-out told me they were hiring me… Read more »

Ron Swansons Alter Ego
Reply to  user-8335
April 12, 2024 7:58 AM

because I can fix things and talk to crowds

Two very under-rated and under-appreciated skills.

Road Rider
Reply to  Ron Swansons Alter Ego
April 12, 2024 1:09 PM

Hey, I got paid to learn how to fix things and now I know stuff AND fix things…and I can also talk to crowds. However, because I know stuff and fix things, I’m often asked to speak with high school age students about such things. Seems that Freshmen and Sophomores enjoy and get engaged when they hear me talk about a 50 year career making skateboards and succeeding in that career using the math, science and physics that teachers in their school are giving away, “for free”. Lots of tiny lightbulbs popping on when they hear someone who’s doing what… Read more »

Maryanne Sheryka
April 12, 2024 4:30 AM

This is a most hopeful development for our country.

Some professions need more the more advance learning that college is supposed to provide, but not that many. Medicine, engineering, rocket science, okay. But as far as expanding one’s mind, the local library, PragerU, and are of far greater value.

Speaking of Mike Rowe…
Dirty Jobs was one of my husband’s and my favorite shows, and Mike is doing a great service with his organization. So many jobs are much better learned with OJT and apprenticeships.

Keith Jackson
April 11, 2024 4:28 PM

Eleven years ago, my eldest boy was moving into his first home. The refrigerator wouldn’t fit through the door. He looked up how to take off the very complicated door of the upscale model on you-tube and moved it in and reassembled it no problem. Without informing me he was going to do it, because I would have been a ‘Doubting Thomas’. Active minds can have rewarding jobs that don’t involve law school. That said, we have access on how to do a lot of jobs that have good pay free of charge. When I had my twenty year high… Read more »

Reply to  Keith Jackson
April 12, 2024 5:32 AM

All true, if I were asked for advice by a young man of today I’d tell him to find something in the trades. Temperament and physique taken into consideration. I’d hate to tell a potential engineer to take up welding or a prospective deep sea welder to take up engineering. The problem with the medical field not having sufficient practitioners to meet the demand has been going on for decades. Which is not surprising because the risk/reward ratio is all screwed up there. We need to carefully and stringently qualify the very best people for those jobs and then make… Read more »

Ron Swansons Alter Ego
Reply to  ACTS (TM)
April 12, 2024 9:27 AM

Hesitant to get more gov’t involved as I think a prime reason for college and med school getting so expensive was the involvement of gov’t. We have a local med school associated with the major hospital and university in the area. It is $60k per year for 4 years. Adding living for those years and it is nearly $400k to go to a non-prestigious med school. Yes there is financial aid but that is a big nut after already going through 4 years. Not sure how to fix that particular issue, though I do recall the TV show Northern Exposure… Read more »

Reply to  Ron Swansons Alter Ego
April 12, 2024 1:05 PM

I’m fine with indentured servitude as long as the indentured servant agrees to the terms of the contract. I bet there are a whole lot of medical students who would be willing to forego a lifetime of paying back loans for 4 years of service with a stipend and living expenses, while gaining experience in their field. The Navy has something like that, called BOOST. I don’t know about other services, I only know about that because my youngest boy went through the program. The Navy pays for tuition, textbooks and living expenses in exchange for a 6(?) year enlistment… Read more »