Posted by: jackslife | June 8, 2009

Shop Class as Soulcraft

I’ve started reading the book by Matthew Crawford called, Shop Class as Soulcraft.  So far this has been a really excelent book.  It has really got me thinking more deeply about some ideas that I was already leaning towards.

I find it really sad that we point all of our young people towards one option, which is the four year university.  We assume that trade schools are the option for those not gifted enough to go to college.  There are probably a lot of students that are missing out on profitable and fulfilling careers because they have been directed towards a useless liberal arts degree that they will never use.  None of this is to say that I have anything against college.  I think that it is a great option for some kids, but not all of them.

On top of the concern that I have about students that would just generally be more happy in a trade, we are also stearing kids away from some of the only jobs that can’t be outsourced.  You can’t fix a car in Lubbock, Texas from China, or rewire a house in Detroit from India.  There will always be a market for manual trade work.  If a kid is well suited for this kind of work, how is he or she better off getting a degree (which they probably went tens of thousands of dollars into debt for) to get a job that starts at $25,000 than they are going to a trade school on cash and getting a job two or three years earlier that probably pays better from the start?

I’m looking forward to the rest of the book, and will probably post more about it as I get deeper into it.  So far I would definitely recommend it.  I think that the Front Porch Republic is also going to have some of their bloggers writing on the book in the near future, so you should check that out too.


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