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View Full Version : Semi-OT Thank {deity} for Trade Schools



KJ1I
12-07-2014, 05:55 PM
My wife and I were watching TV this morning (remember, she works nights, so her evening is my morning). I can't recall the show (it had been DVRed) but before she could fast forward, there was a commercial for a cooking school. That got me to thinking about trade schools and I mentioned to her a frequent topic of discussion - how not everyone benefits from a "college" education. I said "Thank god for trade schools. Where would we be without all the mechanics, electricians, and plumbers?"

To which she instantly replied "Stuck at home in the dark, knee deep in s**t."

Leave it to my girl to cut right to the chase. Don't get me wrong. I think everyone benefits from education. It just doesn't have to be a traditional 4-year college degree program. I'll had a really good life thanks to the education I received outside of a college. I just think way too many people, especially guidance counselors, look down on the "trades".

sasquatch
12-07-2014, 06:06 PM
Gotta agree with this, there is an old Amish saying: "Too Much Education, Too Confused."

Best example of this was a friend of mine who passed away two years ago. He only had grade 4 education, left home young and taught himself a lot of things.
Worked at lots of different trades, ended up an auto mechanic with his own dealership, then retired in the scrap metal business. For the past 18 winters, he spent the winters in Florida with his wife, and when he died, he was holding the mortgages on 22 different properties.
Quite good for dropping out at grade 4 !! When asked about his education, he always stated:
(I attended the school of life".) Lol, Miss that guy, a great friend to many!!

goose
12-07-2014, 06:07 PM
Tradesman - (noun) - An (more often than not) under-qualified scam artist who never shows up when he says he will.

flylo
12-07-2014, 06:11 PM
Years ago people used to eat in & sh*t out, now they eat out & sh*t in. I think the old way was simpler & cheaper.

Seastar
12-07-2014, 06:17 PM
Yep, absolutely correct.
I graduated from Purdue with a EE degree but the two best design engineers I ever had the pleasure of working with had no degrees of any kind. One of them, the best, did not graduate from high school.
I hired him as a technician 50 years ago and quickly recognized his worth.
He designed many innovative products for my company. He died this year, God rest him.
The other had a year of college but did not graduate. I also hired him as a technican and he rose to become our Chief Engineer before he moved on to another company.
My company has several design engineers that we hired without degrees, just trade school educations and several management people who followed the same path.
It's all in the person, not the schooling.
I deplore the lack of trade training in our high schools. When I attended high school (late 40s) you could become an auto mechanic, a carpenter, a plumber or an electrician and get a job in those trades when you graduated.
Sad that that is not available in most high schools today.
Bill

1-800miner
12-07-2014, 07:30 PM
Not to steal the thread but..
I spent the last year attending school board meetings,letters to the editor,petition drives,speaking at exchange club ,and generally hammering at the school to get shop classes back in our high school.

Last Monday the principal hired a shop teacher. Squeaky wheel and grease? It works.

Today I wrote a letter to the editor announcing shop classes are back.
In the letter I made an offer to the first student that shows me four A's in a row,I will give them my Miller wire feed and tig setup.
Maybe it will light a fire for some kid.

sasquatch
12-07-2014, 08:55 PM
Great posting 1-800 miner!!

mattthemuppet
12-07-2014, 11:00 PM
Ditto Sasquatch, what a cool offer!

I don't think it's college vs trade schools, i think it's education vs no education. If you want to learn and keep on learning, there's nothing you can't do do (however you get that education). Just so happens that college (especially liberal arts college) is one of the conventional ways of starting on that road and done well can completely open people minds. No better or worse than any other approach.

Personally I think that a whole lot of young people would do well to go out and get a job before starting college or at least before grad school, it would give them a whole lot more perspective and help them value it more.

boslab
12-07-2014, 11:15 PM
Things are different over here, I was sent back to university(several times!) to do mechatronics at Cardiff university, I have to say that a Higer National Diploma in the subject was as hard if not harder than a honours degree in chemistry, whilst folk who just do conventional uni education may look down thier nose at trade school as you call it having done both I can tell you categorically that sitting down in a hall answering random chemistry questions is a lot less difficult than walking into a room with a dirty big Festo panel, a big box of tubes, a Mitsibushi or Siemens PLC and a set of problems that you have to design, build and programme in one day, talk about sweat!
University degrees over here are getting silly, you can virtually pass one if you do the coursework (40%) and attend (5%), balance at the exam, 1 question right.
I can remember being sent to a university the 1st. Time by my employer, on registration day Buisness studies students were asked to follow the lecturer out of the hall first, then accounting, and so on, last ones to be picked up by a lecturer was my lot, Mechanical And production engineering, by that time the 1600 pupils had diminished in size to,........6
It would seem the majority of the people are sneering at the minority, yet the majority rely on the minority to give them the lifestyle in keeping with thier "Education".
A country needs to make things to make Money, if you don't then the whole country can be bean counters, they will soon run out of beans to count, then they have to borrow them and count someone else's beans, and blade someone else when they have to give them back
Semi rant over, practical subjects should once again be mandatory, bloody sports is, and what can you build by kicking a ball?
Mark

PStechPaul
12-08-2014, 12:57 AM
I always did better with hands-on courses, such as physics and chemistry lab and electronics, while many others struggled with that but did better with theory and abstract concepts like advanced calculus. I've also conceived and built all sorts of mechanical and electronic gadgets, and I think I have an intuitive "feel" for how things work, including most machining operations. After taking the introductory class, I realize that there was also much that I did not know, and of course I am still learning. But I am on my way to earning a solid "A" grade, and I wonder how well those who get low B and C grades might fare if and when they take a job in the metalworking industry, or even do work on their own machine tools. It's almost scary, really, and I am also concerned if one of the low achievers might be working on machines next to me. I don't know of any major disasters that have occurred, but there have been some badly gouged parts and broken end mills.

I do see the value of physical education and team sports, although I never like gym classes because I was overweight and could not do some things like rope climbing and gymnastics. It would have been better if I could have done weight training and cardiovascular exercise to get into shape. Also, I think everyone in grade school should take home economics and basic carpentry, metal work, and auto repair. These are no longer gender-specific as they were when I was in school in the 50s and 60s, and with so many single people it's important for everyone to have basic knowledge of many practical skills.

macona
12-08-2014, 02:24 AM
Cooking schools are one of the biggest wastes of money out there just like a lot of these art and photography schools.

Seastar
12-08-2014, 08:34 AM
+1 for the "rant" from Boslab.
Bill

vincemulhollon
12-08-2014, 09:19 AM
... there was a commercial for a ... school ...

Warning siren at 100 dB

Most of the heavily advertised private schools follow the gameplan of advertise some cool sounding, high paying job, sign ambitious kids up for the federal maximum of student loans and collect every penny of the loans as tuition, thats it, all done, end of the gameplan. You'll note the lack of teaching the kids anything useful, and the lack of the kids getting jobs in the field, much less high paying jobs in the field. But the kids do get massive student loans that can't be discharged in bankruptcy and the "school" does make fat stacks of cash, so "all is well".

TV commercials are expensive, and guess who's paying...

ironmonger
12-08-2014, 09:26 AM
Tradesman - (noun) - An (more often than not) under-qualified scam artist who never shows up when he says he will.

Consider yourself lucky then, Gary. I may not have showed up for the second day of work for you (see the last phrase in the following paragraph).

I spent 42 years as a plumber, first an apprenticeship of five years, a stint as a journeyman, a foreman on commercial industrial work for 30 years and a master plumber for those 30 years. Tried supervision for 6 years and went back to the tools... one needs to actually like to go to work.

After paying off our mortgage 25 years ago I found myself in a position where I didn't have to goto work for or with someone that tee'd me off. That did a lot for my disposition... I never did quit a job without having one in hand to go to, however. Having a solid reputation does a lot to dispel the claims of anyone regarding my skills or competence. I taught autocad for 16 years at our night school without a degree, and all of our journeymen and apprentices attend continuing education class for the length of their working career.

I now have a comfortable retirement, and as much health as I can use. More hobbies than I can adequatly justify, but they are after all hobbies. Unlike work, they can be ignored for the moment and another enjoyable distraction substituted for any one of them.

paul

KJ1I
12-08-2014, 09:42 AM
I deplore the lack of trade training in our high schools. When I attended high school (late 40s) you could become an auto mechanic, a carpenter, a plumber or an electrician and get a job in those trades when you graduated.
Sad that that is not available in most high schools today.
Bill

My point, absolutely. When I was in high school, we too, had all sorts of shop classes. One I took was print shop. They say that once you get printer's ink in your blood, it's there forever. That is absolutely true. Those classes allowed me to get a part time job with a publisher while I was in the Air Force to help out with my growing family. And I still have the printing press (a Chandler & Price 8x12) I bought 45 years ago. I still love the smell of printer's ink.

I feel sorry for the kids in school today. Our local high school (there is only 1 in town) offers no shop classes. While I was on the zoning board, I frequently met the members of the school board. I once asked why all the shop classes were discontinued. One member told me the liability was just too high. Another told me it was "their job" to prepare "everyone" for college. Sad. Where does that leave those that love to work with their hands?

Black Forest
12-08-2014, 12:23 PM
Don't you think that most young people that want to learn a trade will contact a business and try to get a job so they can learn? I think High School should be a place you learn things that you wouldn't get a chance to learn outside the classroom.

Richard P Wilson
12-08-2014, 01:51 PM
I went to university nearly 50 years ago, having had a sound grounding in woodwork, metalwork and technical drawing at school. The university insisted on everyone on the engineering course having knowledge of technical drawing, and those who hadn't done it at school had to attend extra lessons to get them up to our standard. They also insisted on machine shop skills which normally involved attendance at an additional summer course in the university workshops. Because I could demonstrate a good grounding in machine work, and had my own lathe and mill at home even then, I was excused this provided I did a 'relevant' summer job. This I did in a local machine shop on an old Ward capstan lathe, so I was being paid when the others were paying to be on the course!

I don't think modern university courses are quite so hands on skill orientated.

Even when I graduated, my employers sent me to course at the Construction Industry Training Board where we got hands on experience of steel fixing, shuttering joinery and steel erection. Machine driving tuition we got unofficially on Saturday afternoons on site when all the management went home. I think I could still drive a D8 (if it had was direct drive and had a rope blade) even now, but I was always awful with a dragline.

Young engineers I mentor now know nothing of these matters, the courses don't exist, or are too expensive, and it would be a disciplinary matter to be caught on a machine.

justanengineer
12-08-2014, 02:16 PM
University degrees over here are getting silly, you can virtually pass one if you do the coursework (40%) and attend (5%), balance at the exam, 1 question right.

+1. I believe to a large extent many colleges pander to parents' "payment for a degree." Here in the US we're so bass-ackwards that higher graduation rates and GPAs somehow make for higher school rankings. Folks dont realize that makes for terribly unprepared graduates with lower salaries. Sadly, I see it daily with students over at Purdue U, the school panders to the kids/parents with easy programs and folks wonder why they dont make dink compared to "lesser" schools. If a kid cant cut it in a traditional calculus course, theyll send them to a "calculus for engineering majors" course.....etc etc.

ironmonger
12-08-2014, 02:20 PM
Don't you think that most young people that want to learn a trade will contact a business and try to get a job so they can learn? I think High School should be a place you learn things that you wouldn't get a chance to learn outside the classroom.

Not really. Over the course of my time as a plumber I watched the general knowledge of the apprentices recede. Some otherwise intelligent kids had no knowledge of tools. Couldn’t cut with a hacksaw, watching them file was painful and the ability to use simple math was a problem. There is little application for higher mathematics in common plumbing, but the ability to quickly multiply to obtain the travel length of an offset does not require a calculator or 3 digits to the right of the decimal point, Many times if you are within an inch that is all the precision one requires. It's a matter of scale. The concept escapes many...

Don't see this as much any more...
“A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects.”
― Robert A. Heinlein (https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/205.Robert_A_Heinlein)

From a selfish side the less people that get in the trades equal more money for my guys. If you can fix it your self, well and good. We don’t give discounts to highly intelligent or wealthy people. If I have to get dirty you just have to pay the going rate. :>) Which brings to mind the Gary Larson cartoon:

A caveman is peering in a hole while a cave couple looks on. The one peering into the hole says "ug, this not be cheap". The caption reads, "Prehistoric plumber".

paul

mattthemuppet
12-08-2014, 04:35 PM
Cooking schools are one of the biggest wastes of money out there just like a lot of these art and photography schools.

just because you may not appreciate it, doesn't mean it shouldn't exist. Art is part of the human condition, it's one of the main ways we communicated ideas. Art can and does change the world (eg. Phan Thị Kim Phúc and the modern history of SE Asia and the US), presumably artists have to learn their trade somewhere? You can't complain about people looking down on trade schools and then look down on art schools.

hermetic
12-08-2014, 04:47 PM
Completely agree with you ironmonger, and have used the Heinlein Qote on many occasions. Far to often today the phrase "I am a specialist" really means "I am a one trick pony with a grossly inflated idea of my own worth"
Phil
UK

garyhlucas
12-08-2014, 09:26 PM
I was an electrical contractor in my first 20 year career. When I left it I had 18 electricians and turned it over to my younger brother. The school systems have decimated the trades. When a kid is clearly not college material they say "learn a trade" Thus the electrical, plumbing, carpentry etc. are not populated with the sharpest tools. 60% of my employees were what I call functionally illiterate, have difficulty learning because they can't read or write. I had one young man who worked as a shop boy for two years, went off to college and got a degree and came back and said "I really like the electrical work, can I come back?" He was an eagle soaring with the turkeys! I think he was making about $150K as a foreman. My brother went bankrupt two years ago and that guy was still there at the time. Sad for him, no tears for my brother, scumbag stuck lots of people to the tune of 5 million.

J. Randall
12-08-2014, 09:33 PM
I lot of very good insight into the problems our young people are facing in this thread. One thing I think is critical to the whole thing that I have not seen mentioned is it needs to began at home. The parents or parent is responsible for getting the cycle started, if you do not instill discipline and a good work ethic in the kid at home, the schools have little chance of doing much with them. I lot of our young are being raised by the television, computers, and the babysitter. I feel sorry for them.
James