The Student Newspaper of Westminster Christian Academy

The Wildcat Roar

The Student Newspaper of Westminster Christian Academy

The Wildcat Roar

The Student Newspaper of Westminster Christian Academy

The Wildcat Roar

The College Diploma: Expensive Kindling

Gideon Schwamb
A college diploma being thrown into a fire.

Many students consider a college education to be the only way to get a steady, fulfilling, and worthwhile job. However, after going to college and getting an education, finding a job suited to that education can be difficult. Because of this, many qualified aspiring candidates are passed over. 


Student debt is a frequent thought in college graduates’ minds, and such debt can only be paid off by income from a steady job. A steady job is hard to come by, especially in a white collar field such as finances or tech development. 


What if there was an easier option, a way to get a job without going through dozens of rejections. Perhaps a job that didn’t require so many years of school and didn’t leave you with thousands in student debts. The good news is: such options exist. There are plenty of jobs that are much easier to get hired for and still give a great salary.


Positions that require more education are often called “white collar jobs.” These days, such jobs are hard to come by. This is due to companies wanting their applicants to meet specific and sometimes outlandish qualifications.


“The companies that continue to hire want people with more than 10 years’ experience and no job-hopping along the way,” write Te-Ping Chen and Ray Smith, two reporters for the Wall Street Journal. They wrote an article detailing the difficulties of landing a white-collar job in modern America. They found that companies are constantly looking for perfect, diamond-in-the-rough candidates, which means that young applicants rarely get hired. They lack the experience needed, and the only way to get experience is to get hired.


Job experience, which is simultaneously necessary to have and impossible to obtain, is a major obstacle that many aspiring workers face. However, there are plenty of jobs that offer great benefits without the hassle of a white-collar job. These jobs are often called “blue-collar jobs.” 


Many blue collar jobs require a diploma not from a college or university but from a trade school. Trade schools have two year programs, are cheaper than traditional universities, and have open enrollment. Students are taught how to work in their desired field and become apprentice journeymen. There are a number of professions that stem from trade schools, many of which are high paying and just as necessary as a doctor or a lawyer.


For example, a garbage man, or “waste management professional,” has an average salary of 44k annually, and that number increases to around 106k in urban areas. Veteran or prodigious garbage men working in big cities can make 237k annually.


For a teacher however, the average salary is around 39k, with the top average salary being 97k, barely reaching 100 grand. Some educators can make 221k, but that is reserved for ancient, obscurely prominent professors for whom obscenely rich colleges will pay anything to keep on their billboards.


Additionally, the profession of garbage man has very few educational requirements, just a high school diploma while a teaching job requires students to achieve at least a bachelor’s degree and then four years of training before being qualified to even apply for an official teaching job.


A plumber requires a degree from a trade school, it pays an average 57k salary, ranging as far as 150k. An elevator technician makes a staggering 97k and requires a four-year apprenticeship. A mortician makes 58k annually and only needs a two-year degree. Plumbers, technicians, legal assistants, these are just some examples of jobs available to trade school graduates. 


All of these trade school jobs cut college and hiring problems out of the picture. Even as white-collar workers have low chances of getting hired, the demand for specialist manual laborers is high, and a hard working blue-collar worker will be extremely successful in the modern world.


All-in-all, getting a job is a tough journey, especially if you’re trying to work in a white-collar field. Just know that there are other options, and there’s no shame in avoiding the stress and intensity of a university. Who knows, you might be making 200k as a garbage collector while your friends are still searching for an office to work at.

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