Forget College, Learn a Trade

I got to thinking about what I would do differently if I could go back in time. Would I go to college or learn a trade? I went to 1 1/2 years of college before dropping out, and I think that was the right decision.

There seems to be a growing number of college graduates with no jobs and plenty of student loan debt. Maybe more young people should consider learning a skilled trade like electric, plumbing, masonry, drywall, HVAC, etc.

Just to be clear, I’m not saying college isn’t a good choice. I’m saying it shouldn’t be a default choice after high school.

Simple Dollar:

4 thoughts on “Forget College, Learn a Trade

  1. John

    I think you are 100% correct. I have been telling people this for the last couple of years. Trades are not getting filled and the people in them are getting old. I worked in many of the trades myself and only wished I was smart enough to start one as my own business. People are always complaining how there’s no one to do this or that. The best ones can charge whatever they want. I can’t see with the cost of college nowadays how you can overlook trades especially if you are business savvy.

    1. Mike And Lauren Post author

      Thanks for the input. Like you said, if you can combine a trade with owning your own business, you can do pretty well.

  2. Aperture

    I have been exploring your site – really enjoy what I have seen so far. Congratulations. My wife and I are new to the wealth-building, early retirement community and are busy transforming our lifestyle to curtail work life as soon as possible. I am here to report that we are fortunate that we have done some things right: when we married, we had about 12K in credit card debt and 75K in student loan debt. We dithered about, bought homes when we should have rented and slowly paid down this debt over about 8 years. But, we also maxed our work-based retirement plans every year and managed to save an additional ~5% per year. Our employers kick in about 3%. It has not been much, and we have been ridiculous in spending the remainder, but still – we are 17 years into marriage and we have 850K in retirement accounts and we home to quit the rat race in 5 years.
    What would our path have been if we had resources like your website, or Jim Collins or Mr. MM to learn from? We could easily have lived simpler, saved so much more and had financial independence while our kids were very young. A fish doesn’t know its wet, and we didn’t know we could build wealth instead of building our expenses. Your message is freedom. I hope you reach lots of folks caught up in the rat race. Best wishes -a.

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