Is Technical Training Better Than College?

Recently in my job search I’ve been reading articles about whether or not going to college is a scam.  Besides the usual Yays and Nays I’ve run into the idea that technical training and skills may be getting better than college degrees these days and there may be a grain of truth to that, but that doesn’t mean everyone with a degree has been left with an uber-expensive conversation piece.

Basically, from what I can see, tech skills get you jobs, but degrees get you promoted.  Basically the minute any kind of leadership is involved job listings will nearly always list a 2- or 4-year degree if not higher.  Right now the local job postings are making me feel like an idiot for going to college.  Folks where I am need machinists, mechanics, truck drivers, and other careers that require technical training, but there’s very little for people with college degrees and the few postings I’m seeing are for intermediate positions where you need to have already done the job to get the job, which adds to a problem I’ve been noticing regarding people going to college but there not being any jobs because there’s next to nothing entry level when they get out and have student loans to pay.

Still though,  I used to joke about becoming a truck driver in high school, but with all the truck driver positions I’m seeing advertised, maybe I should stop joking about that.  😛  The positions range from road warrior big rig jobs to driving a soda truck around delivering soda to local supermarkets.  😛  The good news though is that technical training can give someone more bang for their buck because degrees are VERY general purpose no matter what the major.  Alongside my computer-related and business courses in college were a wide array of required electives in everything from political science to psychology, which helps make me a more well-rounded employee with a little bit of background in various disciplines, but right now all I’m seeing is administrative assistant jobs which I could probably do with one hand tied behind my back, but at least they’re full time and the pay would be enough to not need to find a second job.  I’m still thinking I should go for some certifications while working at my next job though.  I’ve probably had more than enough experience with computers to get A+ certified for years.  As a matter of fact, one of my college courses was an A+ prep course in computer hardware which I ruined the challenge in because I was reading Scott Mueller’s Upgrading And Repairing PCs book and learning how to build my own computers.  🙂  Microsoft and Cisco certs would be good too.  I’ve long been curious about getting into network hardware but could never find the resources to do so.

Regardless of whether you go the tech route, the college route, or both like I did, the big thing not to do is to become closed-minded afterwards with that one-trick-pony bad attitude that just because you learned one thing you now think you have the right to never learn anything new ever again.  I’ve met people like that, and just being around them has given me enough reasons to never want to be like them.  :-\  Never decide you’re done learning stuff, because whenever you do, you might as well retire, especially in my field.  :-\


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