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PostPosted: Sun Oct 16, 2022 2:05 pm 

Joined: Tue Sep 14, 2004 7:52 am
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Location: Strasburg, PA
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Last edited by Kelly Anderson on Wed Dec 07, 2022 12:31 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Some Truth About Blue Collar Career Choices
PostPosted: Sun Oct 16, 2022 2:26 pm 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 3:37 pm
Posts: 1246
Location: Pacific, MO
Going to college now is a whole lot different than when I would gave gone. 1958+.
Now I wonder if they serve any useful purpose? High tuition, silly courses and "professors" who are glad to indoctrinate you.

There are many, many people who, like me always enjoy working with their hands. The elites look down their noses at "blue collar" folks until they need something done by one of them.

My background was machinist. Started at shop entry grade, worked through all the machine departments (Pre CNC), special products machinist, tool maker and then into shop management. And steam locomotive mechanic, engine wiper and engineer. I'm happy with that.

Other trades such as carpenter, pipefitters, plumbers and electricians do very well. Underwater Poly-Sci basket weavers not so well and have loans to pay off.

Don't let anyone look down their nose at you. If you are happy doing what you do, make a decent living at it then you're way ahead of the pack and are contributing to society.


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 Post subject: Re: Some Truth About Blue Collar Career Choices
PostPosted: Sun Oct 16, 2022 2:45 pm 

Joined: Sat Aug 25, 2007 12:45 am
Posts: 964
Frisco1522 wrote:
Going to college now is a whole lot different than when I would gave gone. 1958+.
Now I wonder if they serve any useful purpose? High tuition, silly courses and "professors" who are glad to indoctrinate you.


Wow, a new record for how quickly a thoughtful thread was derailed by right-wing talking points -- this time it only took 21 minutes from the first post!

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 Post subject: Re: Some Truth About Blue Collar Career Choices
PostPosted: Sun Oct 16, 2022 2:50 pm 

Joined: Thu Nov 04, 2004 10:28 pm
Posts: 292
Frisco1522 wrote:
Going to college now is a whole lot different than when I would gave gone. 1958+.
Now I wonder if they serve any useful purpose? High tuition, silly courses and "professors" who are glad to indoctrinate you.



My feeling, at least from the employer's side, is that a college degree simply says that you started a task and saw it through to completion. In other words, it's some small guarantee that your new prospective employee is mature enough to hopefully stay with the company long enough to justify the time spent on bringing them up to the point that they are making you money without them bailing at the first sign of adversity. In many cases, I don't think the degree itself matters much. They just want to see that paper that you started a long task and completed it.

Some degrees are useful for certain fields, but there are a lot where on-the-job training provides just as much knowledge. I think there is also some benefit of the social aspect of college of having to deal with people on a regular basis and learn how to get along with, and occasionally depend on, those that you really don't have much in common with at all in a much more submersive way than one would find in the high school environment.

I cant' speak for anyone else, and I'm almost 20 years out now, but I went to a smaller university and thoroughly enjoyed my time there, learned a great deal (dealing with difficult people more than anything else), and believe the great majority of the professors were honestly committed to teaching and passing on their knowledge to the student base. It was the right choice for me, and I have no regrets....but it's not for everyone.


Frisco1522 wrote:
Don't let anyone look down their nose at you. If you are happy doing what you do, make a decent living at it then you're way ahead of the pack and are contributing to society.


That's the end all be all right there. Do what makes you happy. If you're smart, dedicated, and continually aim to be the best version of yourself while always recognizing areas for improvement, you will go far. Maybe it's college. Maybe it's a trade school. Maybe it's working in the transportation industry. Find your passion, find a way to make it happen, and learn from anyone and everyone who will teach you.
Kevin


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 Post subject: Re: Some Truth About Blue Collar Career Choices
PostPosted: Sun Oct 16, 2022 3:33 pm 

Joined: Wed Jan 16, 2019 8:47 pm
Posts: 201
Higher college enrollment rates in high-school graduating classes also reflect more favorably on those institutions. Added to the social stigmatism around pursuing blue-collar careers, both students and staff have reasons to choose/push the college route. It's real. I got the "wouldn't you rather...." speech more than once. Fortunately the technical school I also attended took a more nuanced approach to career and education choice, and gave the real support and resources I needed.

Blue collar work is not without its downsides, though. Some days I wish I had gone to college. Pick your poison!


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 Post subject: Re: Some Truth About Blue Collar Career Choices
PostPosted: Sun Oct 16, 2022 3:53 pm 

Joined: Sun Sep 05, 2004 9:48 am
Posts: 1175
Location: Byers, Colorado
An idiot with a degree is still an idiot.

This is not to say I'm against higher education, but it's not for everybody...

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Ask not what your locomotive can do for you,
Ask what you can do for your locomotive,

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 Post subject: Re: Some Truth About Blue Collar Career Choices
PostPosted: Sun Oct 16, 2022 3:57 pm 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 7:19 am
Posts: 6300
Location: southeastern USA
Nowadays, many blue collar employers expect an applicant to have a 2 year community college degree. This pretty much is a license to really learn the trade in OJT. After I left the business, I was hired as an operating engineer in a critical telecommunications data center and am still here in my 15th year later - I did take a 3 day course in passing the EPA refrigerant certification exam which was faster and cheaper than taking the course in the local CC. Decades of experience in keeping obsolete equipment alive was actually useful since my data center was built in 1984 when they were figuring out how to build them - Still was amused when I got the job, what were they thinking?????

I'd love to see high schools do aptitude testing in about grade 8 or 9, and then work with students to track them into programs that will work for them, preferably with real employment apprenticeships, to get them right out into the job after graduation.

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 Post subject: Re: Some Truth About Blue Collar Career Choices
PostPosted: Sun Oct 16, 2022 5:19 pm 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 11:54 pm
Posts: 2289
Chris Webster wrote:
Frisco1522 wrote:
Going to college now is a whole lot different than when I would gave gone. 1958+.
Now I wonder if they serve any useful purpose? High tuition, silly courses and "professors" who are glad to indoctrinate you.


Wow, a new record for how quickly a thoughtful thread was derailed by right-wing talking points -- this time it only took 21 minutes from the first post!


Well, if you can't dispute or effectively contradict salient notions that there is high tuition, silly courses and indoctrination, you can always engage in argumentum ad hominem.

For the record; "talking points" are a left wing concept, not a right wing concept. That's why the "Talking Points Memo" website was concocted in the waning days of the Clinton Administration to be as described "TPM is really an advocacy operation that has moved toward journalism."


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 Post subject: Re: Some Truth About Blue Collar Career Choices
PostPosted: Sun Oct 16, 2022 5:41 pm 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 11:54 pm
Posts: 2289
Because I took the college route, I have two degrees, a BS in Economics and an MBA in Accounting and Finance, in addition, I added a couple of "designations" and a CPA license.

I take none of this too seriously. First, if you laid all the economists in the world end to end, they still wouldn't reach a conclusion. Only a few bother to examine what they write about-Adam Smith went to a pin factory, Leonard Reed to Eberhard Faber.

Second, the MBA which was originally designed by Dartmouth to produce railroad accountants to meet the demands of an odious little twit named Henry Carter Adams know essentially is a finishing school that produces high IQ, low skill graduates who are expert at explaining what they should not do beforehand and explaining away the imprudence of their action after hand. MBA =Master Bull Artist.

Tomorrow I will arise, produce reports that will have a 24 hour shelf life, are subject to constantly changing rules, and deliver them to people who neither understand or appreciate them. Sisyphus has nothing on accountants.

On the other hand, the ability to design, make, repair or rehabilitate something is a thing of beauty. I was always acutely aware that I needed plumbers, electricians, contractors mechanics and other highly skilled people to keep my house in shape and car running.

I could encapsulate this by conveying the sense of gratitude (and relief) I felt after the Baldwin 26 had her new Strasburg Sellers injectors in stalled and when you pulled the handle, you got that click and the roar of water entering the boiler after they replaced the old, warn and finicky injectors it had installed.


Cheers to you who make tangible things of beauty, durability and utility; whether or not you have a degree.


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 Post subject: Re: Some Truth About Blue Collar Career Choices
PostPosted: Sun Oct 16, 2022 5:47 pm 

Joined: Sat Aug 25, 2007 12:45 am
Posts: 964
superheater wrote:
Well, if you can't dispute or effectively contradict salient notions
Why would I do either here?

This is RYPN, not the Angry Old White Guys' Bitch Board.

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 Post subject: Re: Some Truth About Blue Collar Career Choices
PostPosted: Sun Oct 16, 2022 8:52 pm 

Joined: Sun Jun 23, 2013 1:16 pm
Posts: 189
Chris Webster wrote:
superheater wrote:
Well, if you can't dispute or effectively contradict salient notions
Why would I do either here?

This is RYPN, not the Angry Old White Guys' Bitch Board.


Chris, wish we had a "Like" button on here....


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 Post subject: Re: Some Truth About Blue Collar Career Choices
PostPosted: Sun Oct 16, 2022 9:32 pm 

Joined: Fri Aug 20, 2010 8:25 pm
Posts: 447
Well, as a young lad I loved my Father's job (Locomotive Engineer) and wanted to follow in his footsteps.

I was doing better than average in High School and had a chance to "go to college" starting in 1976 at a reasonable cost (about $4000 per year).

I wanted my Dad to "get me a job on the railroad", he refused and told me to "go to school".

I went to school (BSEE, MSEE, MS Optics) and got a good career in engineering, eventually working on "rocket scientist" stuff. Helped design the equipment that tested the James Webb Telescope while it was assembled on the ground. And other stuff I can't discuss here.

My Brother skipped college and worked for many decades at a well known photographic film manufacturer in Rochester NY as an "automated equipment mechanic".

I went White collar and my brother went Blue collar, we both did OK all in all.

Just need to acquire skills that someone needs.....

Logic Test Here, If Someone Offers you money to do a task they need completed then your skills are NEEDED. If nobody offers you money for your skills then you have worthless skills (regardless of how much debt you acquired to gain those skills).

Way back in college (late 1970's) someone wrote an angry letter to the college newspaper complaining about how they had studied ancient languages at the "post graduate" level and could not get any job offers and all the engineering students got tons of job offers after "only" completing a BS degree in engineering.....

Cheers, Kevin.


Last edited by NYCRRson on Sun Oct 16, 2022 10:05 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Some Truth About Blue Collar Career Choices
PostPosted: Sun Oct 16, 2022 9:48 pm 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 11:54 pm
Posts: 2289
Chris Webster wrote:
superheater wrote:
Well, if you can't dispute or effectively contradict salient notions
Why would I do either here?

This is RYPN, not the Angry Old White Guys' Bitch Board.



Because you took the time to spew your venom, you owe us something of value.

It's not the angry young racist bitch board either. You are the one that politicized and attacked the other poster first. So of course, you double down? Oh yeah, SJW's always double down.

And there's nothing angrier than somebody demanding their college loans be "forgiven", while the blue collar guy gets squat for not spending four years partying and getting a valueless degree.

The question at hand is the value of so-called "blue collar" careers (relative to careers that demand a college degree). One of the issues you dismissed as a "right wing talking point" is cost. Yet cost figures in any value calculation. You don't need an econ degree to know that.

These are hardly right wing outlets:

https://www.cnbc.com/2021/03/14/fewer-k ... -cost.html

https://www.washingtonpost.com/business ... story.html

https://www.businessinsider.com/why-is- ... ive-2018-4

https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/edu ... ?gnt-cfr=1

https://www.theatlantic.com/education/a ... ca/569884/

https://www.bankrate.com/loans/student- ... expensive/

https://www.cnn.com/2022/08/28/business ... dent-loans

https://www.cbsnews.com/minnesota/news/ ... expensive/

https://files.eric.ed.gov/fulltext/ED497036.pdf

https://mystudentvoices.com/college-cos ... 88ec75d83f

Now, do you care to contest the contention instead of attacking people?


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 Post subject: Re: Some Truth About Blue Collar Career Choices
PostPosted: Sun Oct 16, 2022 10:44 pm 

Joined: Mon Apr 11, 2022 8:37 pm
Posts: 2
some random points...

imho, both arguments for and against college vs blue collar are correct and deeply. This is because both career tracks are deeply interdependent on each other, it is when the availability of skills is skewed that the system breaks down.

College is an industry that produces a product, diplomas. When that product is seen as a commodity then there is a tendency to make the product with the least effort (aka basket weaving, etc). When you have a market that has not demanded high quality control for the commodity you have a situation ripe for abuse. There is also a cyclic inertia of an industry that builds its production capacity until it overshoots the market for its product. When you add unlimited investment by outside sources there is real potential to create a balloon economy waiting for a burst. I think we are seeing all of this with the education industry. It is now overbuilt with too many instructors and facilities, too many irrelevant diplomas (in terms of needed skills), and an unlimited irresponsible cash source (guaranteed" student loans). The "balloon" has been a long time inflating and I think we are seeing the beginning of a long spectacular deflation.

So, to at least tie this into railroads (which is why those here that do wonderful things do, and many like me appreciatively lurk), this is a very similar path to the overbuilding of railroads in New England in the 1840-1850 era.

Another consideration is continuing to learn. Too many think that initial training, whether technical or the BS, MS etc path think that is the end of it and its time to coast. Successful people are always continuing to learn if not in conventional or institutional paths. I served 40 years as a volunteer firefighter, and in one of the constant classes I attended the instructor made the point (without verifiable citation) that the average firefighter (career or volunteer) would suffer more class time by the end of their career than it took to receive the "average" Phd.

The people here who are keeping these obsolete iron beasts alive are also keeping alive a "tribal knowledge" of how to make this big heavy stuff that might be otherwise lost (and only re-constructed by someone with a "useless" industrial archeology degree). A long passed uncle, who was high in the engineering food chain of a major aircraft manufacturer, once told me that the B-52 bomber could not be easily manufactured as too much or the working technology had been lost. Today those that are flying are cherished... and there are no new ones.

Regardless of opinions... be respectful and be friends... and be safe.


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 Post subject: Re: Some Truth About Blue Collar Career Choices
PostPosted: Sun Oct 16, 2022 10:51 pm 

Joined: Sat Aug 25, 2007 12:45 am
Posts: 964
superheater wrote:
Now, do you care to contest the contention instead of attacking people?
Again, this is RYPN, not the Angry Old White Guys' Bitch Board.

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