Tuesday, May 01, 2012

Arts Degree Or Trades? You Pick!

Compare and contrast! Arts degree or trades? If you were facing that choice today, which would you choose?

Years ago, in my first year of commerce at the U of A, I was asked to go into honours English. I thought about it for around two minutes, then kept on in business. I have never regretted that decision. What exactly do you do with an honours English degree? As far as I could figure out at the time, you would have to go on and get your PhD, and then teach at a university.

The path you take in life, is yours. The decisions are yours. If you make the wrong choice, you have no-one to blame except yourself, unless you are a Quebec university student, then the blame lies with the government.

It’s a little hard for the rest of us to muster sympathy for Quebec’s downtrodden students, who pay the lowest tuition fees in all of North America. Even if the government has its way – no sure thing if the Parti Québécois gets back in power – they’ll still have the lowest tuition fees in North America. The total increase would amount to the cost of a daily grande cappuccino.............
  The truth is, the education they’re getting is overpriced at any cost. The protesters do not include accounting, science and engineering students, who have better things to do than hurl projectiles at police. They’re the sociology, anthropology, philosophy, arts, and victim-studies students, whose degrees are increasingly worthless in a world that increasingly demands hard skills. The world will not be kind to them. They’re the baristas of tomorrow and they don’t even know it, because the adults in their lives have sheltered them and encouraged their mass flight from reality.
Let's say that the Quebec students and unions get their way and get free post secondary education for all. Wouldn't that be wonderful? No student debt, everyone gets in to university, everyone gets a degree for free! Utopia!

Let's increase enrollment, and crank out those arts and business degrees. Maybe force every university student to take a basic economics course, teaching them about supply and demand.  If there are too many arts degrees (excess supply), the salaries offered will go down. Is this too hard a concept for supposedly intelligent students to understand?  Watching the Quebec students riot, I guess it is.

How about those students try something productive, like the trades? Back to economics, there is a severe shortage of tradespeople right now, and because of this, they are getting better than average salaries. The companies actually pay the apprentices wages while they are in school, so they get out with little or no debt and great paying jobs as well. What a concept!

 Thank goodness, we’re starting to give skilled workers their due respect, and our country is making huge strides toward this. We had better, because, if things keep going the way they’re going, Canada will be short one million tradespeople by 2020. If you think things are bad now — and they are — you don’t want to know what they’ll be like if half our skilled tradespeople are missing.

The only downside to the trades are the unions that have control. Ironically they are the ones who are funding the Quebec student protestors, and the union members have no say in how their union dues are being spent. I bet the Alberta pipefitters union is ticked off by the other unions support of the eco-activists. 
Get your "free" arts degree, and protest about how you want to tax the rich because you somehow deserve their money for your bad decision, or actually contribute to the betterment of society by working in the trades? Your choice...arts degree or trades? 

1 comment:

WhseGrl said...
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