At the end of high school, everybody faces the dreaded decision of picking what they want to do in life. There are many different options. Some go off to college to continue their education, others join the military to serve their country, many jump straight into the workforce, and the list of options for what a person can do with their life after high school goes on. In the end, everybody is forced to make a choice.
The decision is difficult because it can define what a person will be doing for the rest of their life. Hence, a person’s peers can scrutinize their decision for many reasons. Those who continue to further their education are criticized because it's the biggest investment they make without a guaranteed job. Those who join the military are jumped on because of the danger they are put in with the low compensation. Those who go directly into the workforce are judged because some believe they are not looking for higher paying careers. Everybody will someday encounter the harsh nagging about the decision they made.
Here is the thing. No decision is wrong. Why? All parts of our society have developed a blindness towards the importance of the other parts of society. Every job in this country has to be done. Whether it's picking up garbage or managing a company, the job has to be done by somebody. This means that nobody is in the wrong when it comes to their career choice because they are contributing to the betterment of society.
The bigger issue is the failure to learn new skills and knowledge in order to better one’s self. Now, this is not a bashing of the people who do not go to college. Instead, it is for those who settle. In this country, there is a need for all kinds of skilled workers. Yes, some of these jobs require a two-year or four-year degree but not all. There are jobs like welding, carpentry, landscaping, and trucking which are in the need workers but they require the learning of the skill. The learning period for many of these is not that long. To become a truck driver, it can take roughly 10 weeks to complete truck driving school and cost about $3,000 to $7,000. Due to the high need for truck drivers, a new truck driver can start off making $30,000 which is more than most hourly jobs out there. The bigger thing though is that the person has a skill that now only separates them from others, but that they can continue to build on to reach a higher level in workforce.
America needs to rediscover the passion to learn. Learning helps people better themselves and the economy. Whether it is learning to be a welder or a nuclear physicist, the American workforce’s skill level needs to continue growing in order to compete with those of other countries.