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Vocational Education And Training Courses

Maurice Said:

Why is the idea that college/university is the *only* way to avoid minimum wage so pervasive?

We Answered:

As someone who earned a "Burger King Bachelors" (B.A. English), it took me a while to finally find a job that used my degree (I'm a grant writer). I worked in multiple temporary office jobs and never got paid more than $13 an hour. BUT, I KNEW when I graduated that I had chosen a degree that would never make me the big bucks; granted, when I graduated I intended to go into publishing, and my degree was perfect for that. But life happened and then I had to make do with what I had.

I am definitely an advocate for community college and vocational school IF it is a better fit for the individual. I went straight to a university and spent two and a half years wasting my money (my parents weren't eligible for loans and didn't make enough to contribute to my education) taking basic courses to try to figure out what I wanted to do. Community college would have been a MUCH better choice for me financially, and I actually took courses at a community college during my undergraduate education because the instruction was so much more intimate and I was able to get the help I needed.

I think the mindset you're talking about comes from the discouragement people feel with they read job descriptions. So many jobs out there list a Bachelors as the basic prerequisite, but people don't realize that there are plenty of professions where you don't NEED that to succeed. An Associates degree is becoming more and more the norm, and I think the education received at that level is one that most people I come into contact with NEED. The literacy level of the average American is truly appalling to me at times, and not just because I happen to be a stickler for grammar. I don't think a Bachelors is the ONLY way to avoid minimum wage, but higher education in some form (including vocational school) is becoming the entry-level requirement. You can try to start somewhere and work your way up, but like my fiance is learning, you're going to hit the glass ceiling at some point because those in management have come to value the letters behind your name a little more than the years on your resume.

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