Former "Dirty Jobs" host Mike Rowe explained in an interview published Friday why it may not be necessary for each and every child to attend a four-year university.
Rowe, who insists he has "nothing against college," told Reason.TV that the "diploma dilemma" has resulted in a "skills gap" that has left millions of jobs that don't require a traditional degree unfilled.
"There is a real disconnect in the way that we educate vis-a-vis the opportunities that are available. You have — right now — about 3 million jobs that can't be filled," he said, discussing openings in traditional trades, such as plumbing, construction and welding.
"Jobs that typically parents' don't sit down with their kids and say, 'Look, if all goes well, this is what you are going to do,'" he continued.
According to Rowe, such jobs can earn an individual a good living in today's economy.
"What they are mostly in my opinion are opportunities," he said. "A good welder right now can pretty much write his or her own ticket. Companies … they have had open shortages for decades."
Rowe said many have become victim to a public relations campaign that has suggested failure to go to a four-year university would result in a life of hardship.
"That was a very specific PR campaign for college, for higher education," he said.
[sharequote align="center"]"That was a very specific PR campaign for college, for higher education."[/sharequote]
"Like all PR campaigns … all PR campaigns always go to far. And they always promote the thing they want to focus on in the expense of something else," Rowe continued.
"Look the best way to really promote college hard is to talk about how subordinate the other opportunities are," he concluded.
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