(EDIT: Mike Rowe, of the television show Dirty Jobs, has created a scholarship for TRADE SCHOOL students. Check it out: www.nationalmeritscholarships.com/mike-rowe-scholarship.html)
A few generations ago, the question was usually, "Military or a trade?" The concept of college was of this place where the real brainiacs went. There was little chance of being accepted, and only a handful of people ever obtained a bachelor's degree.
By the 1950's, it was generally acceptable to think, "Military, a trade, or college?" The three options had respect. The three had promise of a career, benefits, and retirement.
When I was young, the question had seemed to become, "Which college are you attending?" It seemed only a handful would not be taking the college route. Most, at least in my school, were heading to college. At least, they were going to pay that first semester or two of tuition. After that, many students would find that college was not for them, or college found they were not for college.
Well, after a generation and a half of telling kids they must go to college, we're coming out of the haze, it would seem. I suppose enough years of struggling to find an adequate plumber, electrician, or carpenter for under $100 per hour will do that.
Read more about the resurgent perspective, here:
David Parnes, M.Ed.
Founder, Supporting Education LLC