My kids are all in high school this year, so the “what do I want to do” questions are always arising. My daughter and my oldest son have Asperger’s (Autism) and their anxiety about graduating has hit an all-time high. Sadly, this is not uncommon during these years of any teens life, with or without special needs, and with the way media pursues the push of college, it’s not wonder these kids are stressed and unhappy.
I have always wanted the best education for my kids. Not because I want them to be Doctors or Lawyers, but because in America, education is a privelege and intellect is an important part of humanity that we should never take for granted. However, I never want my kids to feel they HAVE to go to college and lately, colleges and universities have put a bad taste in my mouth with all their fees and controversy.
This recent video had me jumping for joy because THIS is exactly what my husband and I have been telling our kids!
“You do NOT need a 4-year degree or a PhD to get a great paying and even fun-loving and well respected career!”
We know this first hand! My husband gets a 6 figure income, not including his military retirement and disability, and he only has a 2 year degree! Why? Because he had experience and pursued a HANDS ON TRADE SCHOOL degree! I couldn’t be more proud of my husband than I already am!
In fact, I went to TWO different colleges when I graduated from high school, only to drop out both times because I did not know what I wanted to do! It wasn’t until I had been working for a few years that I realized what I really enjoyed doing! Even then, I never finished my degree! Why? Because by my third year, I was ALREADY doing what I had gone to college for and landed a job in that field before even graduating because I had the experience and hands-on training! I didn’t even learn anything worth while to what I am currently doing (seriously they made me take Literature 101, for what??), but I did incur a massive amount of debt! Colleges and Universities are all “business” now. It’s all about the money and the status. But that doesn’t build “great” people.
I am not saying Education is NOT important or that you shouldn’t go to college if that’s what you want, but there are other things out there. Without education you cannot make proper decisions in any job, more or less in life itself. However, consider other things before considering a college or university:
- Work for a while. Get to know yourself and what you really enjoy doing. In fact, many companies these days provide educational funds for dedicated employees and put them through training, certifications, and trade schools.
- Try joining the military. We did it for 23 years and my husband makes a six figure income and he gets military retirement. PLUS when he is done with this next career he will get a pention from that. That’s TWO pentions when he fully retires and we are only in our 40s!
- Pursue a trade school. Skip all the unnecessary extra classes and payments by focusing on hands-on career training. Do you really want to learn about Literature when you are interested in Mechanics? I worked at an Architectural Firm for a while and the men and women who built the bridges, building, and roadways only had a 2-year degree or a trade school certification but were making twice as much as the college graduate in Human Resources! Plus, they were some of the smartest and funniest people to work around, making the job much more pleasant to go to.
And lastly, as a parent of three teens, advice for the parents:
Don’t push your child to go to college! They will find their own path in life with or without you. And I would rather them continue to want me in their lives after they have become adults rather than push me away because I wanted them to become something they did not want to become!