White Collar vs. Blue Collar


Evelyn Steele

  When did the plumber get stereotyped as stupid, the construction worker as being dumb as two by four, a mechanic as uneducated with dirty hands, or an electrician as slow?

  Our culture has come to believe that dirty hands are dumb hands. If you go to a trade school instead of a university you’re automatically considered less than a college grad. Our trades are suffering and we need them more than ever. So why have we come to believe that blue collar is below white collar?

  When joining high school, teachers immediately start reminding students about how much their grades matter from this point out. Freshman are told to join clubs and activities because colleges like “well rounded people”. This results in students losing interest in the subjects they used to love because they’re so busy with sports or clubs just to look desirable for colleges.

  And what if you’re not accepted? What if you don’t get the exciting letter that says “congratulations” for your first college pick? Or even your second? Was this because you didn’t have enough activities on your resume? Or perhaps because your SAT score was just a few points lower than they needed.

  These stereotypes of “needing” a college degree are what’s killing America’s skilled trades. Citizens often look down upon electricians or carpenters because they went to a trade school instead of an prestige ivy league.

  Some different skilled trades include construction, electrician, plumber, welder, carpenter. The demand for the trades is rising as the amount of people going into trades pumiths. The industries skills gap is getting wider every year as the culture continues to look at these skills as less than the white collar.

  Nearly one third of the trades population is between the ages of 45 and 55. The idea that a high school students path must have college in it is killing the trade industries. Going to a trade school is much cheaper than getting your bachelors degree.

  Instead of going to school for from ages 6-18 just to graduate and return from 18-24, why not learn a trade and start working right out of high school?

   If these positions continue to retire without any fulfillment, 31 million positions will be left vacant by 2020. 62% of firms are already fighting to maintain these trade positions.

  Dirty hands don’t have to be dumb hands. These hands show shouldn’t show disgust, but determination. A plumber should be seen as spruce not stupid, or a mechanic as obliging instead of being a scammer.

  When going on your college journey, have an open mind to everything that passes you on your way. The trades are always there if you don’t make it into your first college choice. Trade schools are also always there to be your first choice.