On Thursday, Mike Rowe posted an article to his Facebook page "that dared to question the universal wisdom of pushing everyone toward a four-year degree. According to Rowe, the post reached more than 3 million people.
Unfortunately, not everyone was pleased with the article. One woman wrote to Rowe, criticizing him for allegedly degrading the American higher education system.
Rowe's response couldn't have been better.
What did the critic say?
Baker told Rowe he is sending "a very bad message" with his values.
"Is it your intent to make those who choose college to feel ashamed, lazy and brainwashed? Our country's education system is under attack, and you seem to be supplying more ammunition to those attacking it......There's a reason many of these jobs pay well — they are truly HARD WORK — physically hard. Dangerous hard. Mentally hard," Baker wrote.
"Feel free to send reps to the local unemployment office and brow beat them to send people to these jobs. Whether you mean to or not — your are sending a very bad message to those who want to destroy our higher education system," she said.
How did Rowe respond?
He told Baker she is right in her assessment that America's education system is under attack, but said her source is misplaced.
"You're right — our countries educational system is indeed under attack. But the attack is from within, and the wounds are self-inflicted," he said.
Rowe cited the "cry closet" at the University of Utah, a safe space for students to use in the library when feeling overwhelmed. He also cited the Fresno State professor who applauded Barbara Bush's death.
"Point is, Dawn, the hypocrisy in our educational system is rank, the bias undeniable, the disrespect for our flag ubiquitous, and the entire 'safe space' mentality the exact opposite of what life is like in the real world. Higher education has created its own PR nightmare," Rowe said, adding:
Tuition has increased at two and half times the rate of inflation. Nothing else this important has ever done that.
No, universities have been able to raise their prices partly because too many parents believe that anything less than a four-year degree will doom their kid to a less productive existence, and partly because we’ve pressured millions of kids to borrow whatever it takes from a bottomless pool of unlimited money that doesn't really exist. The result? One and a half trillion dollars of student debt, 6.3 million jobs that no one wants to do, and millions of college graduates who can't find work in their chosen fields - but lack the skill to do the kind of jobs currently available. The kind of jobs you deem, "hard work."
Rowe ended his post by explaining that his intentions are not to belittle anyone. He only desires to "remind people that a university is not the only place to enrich your mind or prepare yourself for the real world."