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Saturday, March 6, 2010

Too Educated to Work?

More and more often these days, I am coming across many people who feel they or their loved ones are too educated to work. Mom and Dad spent tens of thousands of dollars sending their precious child to college, many for degrees in what some may consider a hobby rather than a marketable skill, then the child graduates(sometimes after making a full time career out of being a student well into their 30's), and can't or rather won't find work. Why? Well, because after years of obtaining such an impressive education these people are too above a "blue collar" job.

I am not talking a handful of prideful people here, I am talking about what appears to be almost an epidemic. I personally know several people in this position. Some have been finished with school for several years now, yet have not yet obtained a job in the field of their degree or any job that they've kept for more than a few months. When asked why they don't take a job in another field than what they received their degree in, they will go on to explain how they are too educated for such work.

One such person was complaining quite a bit about a temporary job he accepted for ten dollars an hour. He thought it required office work, but quickly discovered it required manual labor. He went on to explain how he was above such work and for such a low wage. I then explained my own son does far more back breaking work for such a wage and was quickly informed by several people involved in the conversation that it was okay for my son, because he A: Was only 18 and B: Didn't have a college education.
Not only do these individuals feel they are above working a "blue collar" job, but their family members support them and validate these feelings.

So let me get this straight; no dollars and hour is better than lowering yourself to a physical labor type job for ten dollars an hour? How much food or rent can zero dollars an hour buy you? Of course if you're still living with mommy and daddy or grandma and grandpa and no one is complaining....

Many friends and family come down hard on me that I wont pay for my children's education. It is my "duty" as a parent I am told. I disagree. My duty as a parent is to love and nurture my children and help them grow up into responsible adults who can support themselves and eventually a family. If my children want an advanced education, they should be driven enough to work to obtain that for themselves, whether it be through working hard to earn a scholarship, or working a job while going to school, or getting an education through military service and benefits. When they EARN and WORK for their education, they will appreciate it and select that education wisely. They hopefully will pursue a degree in a field with a future rather than a fun hobby. Because they WORKED for and EARNED their degree on their own they will value it. Because my children learned how to work to support their education they will also graduate knowing the value of a dollar and remember that it was their work that got them through school and never feel too above working a certain type of job.

We are more than willing to let our children live at home, help with living expenses, travel and medical expenses while they work their way through school, but THEY will pay for their own education.

Of course if what a higher education teaches one is that they are Superior and too well educated to work a regular job, then I am not sure I am very impressed with a so called higher education. They may fill their heads with all sorts of book knowledge, but somewhere their minds seem to become wiped clear of any common sense.

I am tired of how much value is placed on higher education, and how proud so and so is of so and so because of their impressive degree even though so and so is nearing or passing 30 and still hasn't worked more than a handful of days and is still living off of mommy and daddy. That doesn't impress me in the least. What impresses me is someone who is willing to do whatever it takes to pursue a future for themselves whether by education or hard work or a little of both. I am impressed by someone who does what they need to do to be a productive self supporting individual rather than a burden while they continue to pursue a hobby and use their superior education as a valid reason to not accept employment.

I am proud of those individuals who today still believe in the American Dream that with hard work and drive you can still succeed in life. Yes, I am impressed with an individual who obtains a degree as it shows a certain level of commitment, but I am more impressed with an attitude that is grateful for that education and not with one who feels they are above having to work for a living simply because they hold a slip of paper.

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