Tag Archive for: College

A Message for Parents – An Opportunity That Doesn’t Require A College Education

Hello friends and family. Backyard Brian here.

I’ve got a little bit of a different message for you today. I wanted to talk about something that’s really been on my heart. I’ve had a number of conversations over the last couple weeks that have spurred this message I share with you today. There’s an opportunity out there that I think many people aren’t aware of; parents in particular. I’m a parent of teenagers, so I know what it’s like. We want our kids to do well or maybe to do better than we have. And sometimes in that we miss something. What I really want to talk about is, “Do our kids need to go to college?”

Now, don’t get me wrong, I love to learn. Those of you who know me, know that I am a voracious learner. I’m reading all the time. I go to workshops. I enjoy studying and learning. I think education is a great thing and college is a great opportunity. I’m very grateful for the education opportunities we have, but I also realize that a traditional four-year college education is not the right thing for everybody. College is not a “one size fits all” for everyone. Particularly for folks, like myself, who are wired to enjoy working with their hands, getting outside, and doing those kinds of things. There are many opportunitie out there that don’t require a college education for those who want to work with their hands.  On top of that, a college education almost becomes detrimental. Instead, what we need is technical education in things that matter.

I’ve talked with many people and business owners in the workforce who can’t find workers with technical skills. Meanwhile, we have kids coming out of college who can’t find jobs because they don’t have the technical skills that the workplace is demanding. Just recently, I was at a conference and heard a presentation from our local community college on how we oftentimes show people the higher salary of management compared to the lower salary of electricians. What we miss is that the compensation for a poor manager is down and a good electrician is up. Once again, it’s important to do what you’re good at; what you were created for; what you love to do and, if you do that, you’ll do well.

There are people I’ve worked with through the years who started in construction and worked hard as laborers, helpers, and carpenters, Then, over time, they made their way into management. They have had very good, well-paying careers in the construction field with a focus in management. It can pay very well. You can make six figures in a good management position for the construction industry without ever having a college education. I think it’s important that people know of this opportunity. If you’ve got children who seem to be wired to work with their hands, I want you to realize that there is a creative opportunity within this industry. Rather than construction being the field we send them to that just can’t cut it.

I really think construction needs to be a place where we send those that are creative. It’s a place for those who want to be outside and love working with their hands. And there’s a lot of us out there. The guys I work with each day absolutely love what they do, are taking care of their families, and having a good time while doing it. It’s an opportunity for many other folks because there’s a consistent demand for houses. We’re always going to need places to live and work in. Those houses/buildings are going to require a construction workers to put them up. I love that each day I am at work we get to create something out of nothing. At the end of the day, when I go home, I can go back and see what we accomplished. There’s buildings I see all over town that I can look at and say, “Hey, we built that. We did that. That is going to last a long time.”

I would really encourage everyone to pass the word and share with others. Let others know that your kid doesn’t have to go to college to be successful. If they don’t want to or are unsure about attending college, let it be known that there’s a great opportunity in the construction industry. I know the same is true for mechanics, welders, landscapers and many other vocations. I have lots of friends in those businesses that have done very well.

Have a great weekend with your family, encourage your kids, love a teenager somewhere. They don’t always get all the encouragement they need. Why don’t you take a minute and share that with somebody, encourage them, love your family. Have a great time. Talk to ya later. Bye.