“You have to go to school to get a good job.”

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That was a phrase that my father continually beat into my head harder than Lars Ulrich could pound on his bass drum. (In case there is a generation gap, Lars is the drummer from the rock band Metallica).

While I’m thankful that I followed my father’s advice and obtained my finance degree, an interesting article by Wallet Pop.com caught my curiosity. The article had taken a look at some of the highest paying jobs that one could get with no college degree.

top paying jobs no college degree required

College is freaking expensive! According to College Boards.com the average cost for one year of tuition is $7000. The cost of a full four year degree is increasing every year, making the idea of getting that beloved college a degree a pipe dream. So what are your other options?


Break in the program. This is a good plug for joining the military. 4 years of college all paid for and then some.  I just checked the rates for student loans at GoBankingRates.com and while they are not terrible I did much better by working for Uncle Sam, earning a salary, and getting college paid for.  Plug is over. Back to the post….


There are many careers that you can obtain without an actual degree, but most require either a trade school certification, or just time on the job and working your way up through the ranks.

A trade school certificate can be obtained in as soon as six months, or as long as four years. Best part is that these jobs pay well – some very well!

If you have decided to not attend a four year college out of high school, or are looking for a fresh start at a new career, here are some of the highest paying careers with no degree.

Disclaimer: While there are definitely some good paying jobs on this list, I still think having a college degree is still worth it. Yes, tuition is high and will continue to rise, but the experience, connections, and mindset that college offers is invaluable. Now on to the jobs….

Highest Paying Jobs Without College Degree

1Margin Department Supervisor: ($83,000)

A margin department supervisor oversees a company’s credit department which manages customer credit accounts and approves or denies credit to customers. This job will most likely require lots of on the job training/shadowing. You will not be required to have a finance or accounting degree to obtain the job, but you will have to know the process well because the scope of the job requires mathematical calculation as well as debt analysis and recognition of accounting principles.

2Air Traffic Controller: ($74,922)

An air traffic controller is required to pass vigorous testing by the FAA, which includes health checks, as well as mental stability tests. Being an air traffic controller has been voted most stressful job in the United States many years because of what the job entails.

highest paying jobs without degree

This job does not require a college degree but is a very highly competitive industry; it does help to know someone already in the business.

3Automobile Service Station Manager: ($72,000)

Essentially the role of the service station manager is to run the day to day operations of a gas station. The scope of the work includes setting the gas prices for the day, scheduling the rest of the employees that work at the station, ordering new merchandise to keep the shelves stocked as well as being the direct manager to the other employees. Some skills that would be helpful to obtain this job would be good personal skills as well as some managerial experience. Once again, you could probably obtain this type of a position by working your way up the ladder through on the job experience.

4Real Estate Broker: ($71,000)

To become a real estate broker you will still need to take a couple of classes to become certified, but still much less of an expense to you relatively to a college degree. You will be trying to sell houses as well as filing the paper work for the transaction and helping with the loan agreements.

12 Highest Paying Jobs with NO College Degree

Anyone who has passed through high school can acquire the license required for real estate transactions, but if you are considering this career you should be very friendly and have flexible hours because you will most likely be working on your customers schedules.

Want to earn over $100k becoming a real estate agent?  Check out 101 ways to make 6 figures as a real estate agent.

5Landscape Architect: ($66,000)

With this career you will have the option of whether you would like to be certified or not. However if you are certified you will have access to larger contracts and a wider scope of work. If you do not mind getting a little dirty and working hard for a living than this might be a good career for you. This career may require you to take some classes at a community college on horticulture as well as landscape design, but these types of classes are not required. Make sure you have a good eye for design and a strong work ethic to consider this career.

Here’s a how to guide for starting your own lawn company and making some serious money.

6Lead Carpenter: ( $63,000)

This job will require you to have lots of experience in the field. This type of experience can be acquired through either going to a trade school to teach you the techniques, or by being an apprentice to a lead carpenter. By going to trade school you will actually have some type of certification which might make you more marketable in the field, but being an apprentice would most likely land you in a job replacing your teacher. Either way you can be very successful in this type of career, just make sure you enjoy working with your hands.

7Director of Security: ($62,000)

This job will most likely be acquired by starting off in an entry level security position, then working your way through the ranks to become the director of security.

12 Highest Paying Jobs with NO College Degree

Depending on the company you will work for, you might be required to pass a background check as well as some minor health inspections. You might also be required to pass a security guard training program but this will most likely all be paid for by the employer so the actual educational cost to you would be zero. Some good skills to have for this type of job would be some above average physical characteristics as well as integrity to do what is right.

You can also try going the Police Officer route. Make sure you study with the Police Exam Guide.

8Elevator Mechanic ($61,000)

Just like the lead carpenter job, this job will most likely be acquired through a trade school degree or lots of years experience. Being an elevator mechanic does have a couple more stipulations. Lots of major corporations will require you to have a license and work for an insured company, which in this case would force you to go through the trade school route so that you could work on these large corporate jobs. Most of this industry is unionized so make sure you are willing to join a union before entering this line of work.

9Cable Supervisor: ($60,000)

This career would be a managerial type setting. You would be responsible for overseeing the maintenance as well as installation workers that set up cable boxes and internet connections. You would be responsible for the scheduling aspect as well holding the workers accountable to be where they need to be. A good way to acquire this type of a position is to either apply for the job with some type of managing/scheduling background, or to apply for the entry level position and work your way up by knowing the business.

10Flight Service Manager: ($54,000)

highest paying jobs without a degree
Creative Commons License photo credit: caribb

This career would most likely be obtained through lots of on the job experience. You would be responsible for helping schedule flight crews as well as taking care of customer complaints and filing the necessary paper work for them. This job would require great personal skills as well as lots of patients with angry customers. The airlines can be a stressful area to work in, so if you are considering this line of work make sure you can keep your cool in the toughest of situations.

11Freelance Photographer: ($47,000)

Being a freelance photographer takes dedication to ones tasks as well as a great eye for artistic detail. This type of a career may also require you to travel distances to be able to acquire the right “shot” for the right story. In a sense being a freelance photographer can take many molds such as taking pictures of nature for magazines, or taking picture of stories for newspapers, or even being a paparazzi type photographer and searching for the next big celebrity scandal. Whichever you choose to be, this career could pay well with no educational experience required.

Want to turn your photography skills into a legitimate home based business?   Here’s a guide that shows you how this stay at home mom makes a good living.   Check it out here.

12Personal Trainer ($37,500)

This career will most likely require you to have a certification so that you are qualified to teach proper physical fitness techniques. This certificate is not very difficult to obtain however and is relatively cheap compared to any other type of trade school mentioned above. To be successful in this line of work you will most likely want to be a very physically active person yourself, as well as have a passion for this line of work. If you love the newest trends in fitness, and spend lots of time in the gym already, this could be the perfect career option for you.

So if you are looking to head back to school for some quick training, or have decided that college is not the right option for you, there are still plenty of careers out there for you to choose from. Whatever you do, don’t get distressed. Remember the following names: Henry Ford, Michael Dell, Walt Disney, Rachel Ray, and Simon Cowell. Guess what all these entrepreneurs had in common? Yup, you guessed it. No college degree.

Getting started as a personal trainer is simple, but here are some guides to get you started: Bootcamp Basics will show you how to start your own bootcamp. You can also try getting your Yoga certification.

Other Notable Careers, No Degree Required

13Funeral Director ($80,000)

You do need some training to be a funeral director, but once you have it, you can make as much as $80,000 a year. It is important that you be able to handle the macabre, and you do need to have a degree of tact and warmth, since you are dealing with people in difficult situations. However, if you can take the job, it is something worth considering.

14Commercial Pilot ($50,000)

You can make more than $50,000 if you get on as a commercial pilot at the right airline. Training is required, but you will not need to get a college degree. It can be a fun job if you like flying, and you can get discount fares when you aren’t on the job. You do have to be away from home, though.

Often the first step to becoming commercial pilot is to get your private pilot’s license. You’ll get your flight hours up and more comfortable in the cockpit. Here’s a study guide to help you pass the PPL Exam.

15Truck Driving ($45,000)

After six to eight weeks of training, and after you obtain your commercial driver’s license, you can make $45,000 or more as a truck driver. Work your way up to becoming a trainer, and you can clear more than $70,000 a year. Team drivers, those with hazmat certifications and others can make different salaries as well. You do need to be able to deal with the monotony of driving, and deal with being away from home.

To become a truck driver you need your Commercial Drivers License or CDL. I recommend using both a CDL Practice Test and CDL Test Answers to help you study up so you can pass.

16Salesperson (Unlimited)

For those with the right skills, sales can be a financially rewarding job without the need for a college degree. A salesperson might work on a commission structure, or base + commission. In either case, how much you end up making depends on how well you sell, whether you are selling cars, furniture, real estate, pharmaceuticals, credit card processors or high-end clothes. Depending on what you do, you may need to complete a certification or become licensed. A people person with the right talents can make six figures a year. But it usually requires a large amount of hustle.

17Fire Fighting ($30,000)

The starting salary is often just a little more than $30,000, but you can make more than $50,000 a year, depending on where you work, and whether you reach a supervisory position.

Good Jobs No College Degree Required

You don’t need a college degree, but you will need to go through a training program. You will need to show strength and stamina if you want to be a firefighter. You can also pick up additional pay if you work fighting wild fires.

To help you get physically ready for firefighting duty, I recommend you check out Pass the Beep Test. It’s a guide to help you prepare your body for firefighting.

18EMT ($45,000)

If you are about to take your EMT classes to become an EMT, you will be happy to learn that the job outlooks in this field are very promising. In fact, the Bureau of Labor Statistics expects a growth of position by 9% from 2008 to 2018. However, chances of having a good job in the EMS are given to those who have more EMT certifications (like paramedics). The hourly wages can vary from $9.08 (10% of the work force earns less than this) to $23.77 (10% earn more than this bracket). The median hourly wages of EMTs is at $14.10 (as at May 2012).

Getting your EMT Certifications is easy if you study. Get the Paramedic Study Guide so you’ll pass the exam on your first try.

19 Railroad Jobs ($75,000)

Do you like trains?  If so, a railroad job might be just for you.  There’s a variety of positions from engineers, conductors and management positions available.  Railroad jobs give you a chance to see new parts of the country while getting paid very well in the process.

If you’re looking at getting a railroad job, here’s a comprehensive guide that shares how to get a job in the railroad industry.

20Medical Coder ($46,800)

The healthcare industry is currently booming and you can expect it to continue to with the Baby Boomer generation getting older. There aren’t enough doctors and nurses available. Behind all of the doctors is a team of medical coders that type up what procedures you had done and bill you or your insurance company the amount owed. This is a growing industry that doesn’t require a degree. The American Academy of Professional Coders (AAPC) released a salary study last year that showed on average a medical coder earned $46,800.

To be a medical coder you will need a CPC certification. Pass the CPC exam and start your medical coding career with this useful CPC Exam Prep and Study Guide.

21IT Technician

There are a number of career paths within information technology that do not require a degree. Starting out you’ll probably do support calls on a helpdesk and only make $11-13 per hour. But as your skills progress and you get more experience you can easily make $50,000 to $70,000 per year as you get into systems administration and network engineering.

Get started on your IT career path by getting some online computer training and certification.

Bottom Line

Every job has its pros and cons. And, no matter your job, it is likely that you will need some sort of training. While a college degree may not be necessary, some sort of education or skills training is required to do most jobs.

“Formal education will make you a living. Self education will make you a fortune.”
– Jim Rohn


  • http://www.dailyfinance.com/blog/2010/08/11/skip-college-make-money-fast-10-high-paying-jobs-that-dont-re/
  • http://www.payscale.com
  • http://www.collegeboard.com/student/pay/add-it-up/4494.html

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Comments | 114 Responses

  1. Dcaid malaba says

    most of the jobs listed involve more schooling or training. Maybe not a university, but you are required to continue schooling and many of the trainings for those listed jobs are very expensive as well. I think the extra education is always better, but the premise seems to be telling kids they dont need more education.

  2. TucsonJim says

    “Self education will make you a fortune.” – Jim Rohn

    Is it really suprising that a seller of personal development materials would make such a baseless statement? First, this statement assumes there is no special expertise to teaching and that any fool can do it. Second, it assumes (contrary to modern neuroscience) that unquided self-reflection can do more than the placebo effect. Both assumptions are blantently false.

    Within a single generation of the Pilgrams landing at Plymouth Rock, they passed the General Education Laws which fined any community that did not prepare EVERY child to attend Harvard. This raises the question why did those dirt poor famers four centuries ago value a college education more than the more technologically advanced nation in the world even AFTER the information age?!? Is it because we’re aiming to become LESS than dirt poor farmers (unemployed)? Might this be why the most outsourced jobs in America are Engineering (less than 4% of MIT engineering graduates can find work in their field) and Programming (Forbes identified software development as the #1 career in America with no future about 6 years ago)?

    The most successful university of our time (UoP) is based on the reality that lifelong attandance to college is required to stay competitive in the work place with the AVERAGE age of a college student even at a for-profit college is 27 (having on average one child).

    College graduates with a bachelor’s degree earn about $22,000 more per year than non-graduates (source: College Board/Trends, 2011). That’s nearly $1 million more income over a 45-year career. This is why a college degree is often called “The Million Dollar Gift.” Readers of this article should be warry of its message and consider the potential gains to its publishers. The potential financial advantage for Jim Rohn is obvious.

    • Chucke says

      The reason why poor farmers (and any poor, working class folks from yesterday and beyond) tend to think that college is important is simply because they never went to college and barely even finished HS, if they finished at all. Therefore, since they never got a college education and they are a poor laborer, they think that the lack of college education is the reason for their status.

      While a college education is a good thing, it is only good for a small percentage. College today is not really valuable. It is very expensive and almost everyone attends, making the value of most degrees almost nothing. College is, for most people, merely a 4-year extension of HS, except you are no longer a minor and are free to be free and not go to class and drink and do drugs instead…all the while going to school on a loan and grants.

      Most people benefit very little, if at all from their college degrees. All they really needed was some career training and a job. Most IT degrees, for instance are not needed as most IT skills can be learned by career training courses and certification test. It’s really all you need. That alone accounts for many jobs in the workforce today.

      I’m not saying that college is useless. But college has merely become big business for the schools and the government. It’s the biggest scam going today.

      The only people that actually gain anything from a college degree are those that actually have a career path in mind that requires a degree. These people then actually do well in school and actually pursue their career path. People who go to school for something like a business management degree are wasting money. You never learn what you really need to know in college for something like that. This knowledge only comes from starting at the bottom and working your way up to management. This is just one example, there are countless others.

      All others should go to trade school. You will come out much less in debt and you will learn entry-level skills that will put you to work immediately and you can learn and get promoted as you get experience. In fact, most HS kids should be going to VoTech while in HS. Preparing most kids for college is a joke since most people are not fit for college. They only go to get the “college experience”…which is drinking, drugs, and having orgies.

      • Chucke says

        BTW, I should add something here. While I believe that most HS kids need to go to Votech, that is assuming that votechs start offering training for things other than just truck driving, electrician, HVAC, etc. These things are all OK if you want to pursue them. But, for instance, we need to get a lot of the people going to college for things like dumb business degrees (marketing, mgmt, etc) and low-level IT course, and get them into career training to get them out in the field with practical knowledge they can grow on while making a living doing so.

        We need to rethink in this country which jobs really need a degree and which don’t and then we need to start getting our vocational schools to focus on training folks for these non-college-requiring skills/jobs. Not everyone want to be a truck driver or a cosmetologist. Votech schools really need to start broadening their course/training offerings.

        • TucsonJim says

          Chucke says “College today is not really valuable.”

          I guess you need for me to repeat this … the reality is college graduates with bachelor’s degrees earn on average about $22,000 more per year than non-graduates. I gave my sources, where are yours? Oh yea, you’ve got some New Age “you said to yourself.”

          Chucke says “It is very expensive”

          Well, Harvard for one is basically free (my niece went for free). Most students receive financial aid despite the school providing NO academic or athletic scholarships. Worst case, they’re not likely to charge more than 10% of a parent’s income.

          Chucke says “Most IT degrees, for instance are not needed as most IT skills can be learned by career training courses and certification test.”

          Only for the $40k disappearing admin jobs (in which I would guess you have some personal experience). With that kind of mentality, it’s no wonder STEM jobs are the most often outsourced. People say home life is important for a child’s academic performance, but that’s only true when there are NO good teachers. Movies like Stand and Deliver, Marva Collins, Ron Clark Story, and the Knights of the Bronx were about 100% success rates in the poorest and most violent neighborhoods in America. So, we know we can succeed anytime we want to.

          Which came first, people believing that a college degree didn’t matter or the fastest growing job in American being cashier? You shouldn’t need a college degree to figure it out. But then, I went to what was the #1 engineering school. Alas, this year’s freshman class has an average Math SAT score 120 points below my class. So perhaps, today’s college degrees simply don’t provide enough education for one to understand that roughly $22,000 more every year is a good thing.

          “We need to rethink in this country which jobs really need a degree and which don’t and then…” we need to get all our kids a college degree (before robots take all the cashier and truck driver jobs – for the Army, this begins in 2014) and outsource the rest.

          • Ed says

            Tuscon Jim:

            Calm down. You seem to be irrationally fired up about this whole issue. (Did you pay too much for college? Is your degree not paying off? You definitely sound bitter.)

            Truth is, a college degree is becoming more and more obsolete. You can fight against this and argue until you’re blue in the face, but it doesn’t change the reality. Plenty of people, myself included, have gone into business for themselves without a college degree and have done very, very well. (Not being 80, 90, or 100k in debt out of the gate didn’t hurt matters.)

            If you want to be a corporate slave who climbs the ladder, or have a career in law or medicine, then yes, a college degree is necessary. But if your goal is to make your own way in life and be independent of enriching others and playing by their rules, you should definitely think long and hard about whether the conventional ‘I must get a college degree to be successful’ wisdom is for you.

            PS – Your ’22k more a year’ BS is worthless, because it doesn’t take into account the self-employed or small business owners. It’s only a comparative measure of workers within the same fields – financial corporations, healthcare, et al.

          • TucsonJim says

            Dear Ed:

            I would like to build a K-12 school where EVERY student skips 4 to 5 grades in test scores the first year they attend. And, I don’t just mean “gifted” students, but every student, even those who have been tested and labeled by experts as “Learning Disable Unable to Every Read or Write.” How realistic does this dream seem to you? Most people tell me since not everyone is built the same, that such a dream is completely unrealistic. Only problem is that this school was built by Marva Collins in South Chicago (you can rent the Marva Collins movie if you don’t believe me). 60 Minutes did a show about little Fifth Grader Erica in 1980 who was reading and testing at the Tenth Grade Level despite having an IQ of 75 and being unable to read the year before. 60 Minutes did a follow up piece when Erica graduated from the Univ. of Virginia Cum Laude with a 4.0 GPA. This did not surprise me. Even the fact that there was another dozen like students in her class who had similar success didn’t surprise me. In 2008, the South Chicago School District published a formal statement that the reason most children who did graduation from their school district had been recently identified as “Functional Illiterates” was that $11,300 a year was simply not enough to educate a child when Marva was still spending only $5,500 a year per child. Still no surprise. What finally surprised me was that in 2008, Marva (who had to open a private school because the public school teachers so abused and lied about her beating and cheating for her students) was forced to close her school as no one in America any longer wanted to attend. What do you say, is a K-12 education overrated (with so many careers not requiring a real one)?!? I bet you didn’t need one.

            For example, let’s talk about the fasting growing profession in America, for which our educational system seems most geared to prepare our children for, which is cashier. Now, that’s a job for which one doesn’t need a college or a K-12 education. And, what is the highest paying and most available career? Luckily, it’s also one not requiring any real education (in which people work 25% less than average): K-12 teacher. Every American generation for the past 400 years was more literate than the previous, but since the Baby Boomers (the real problem), every generation is now instead less literate. Your cheap shots (calling me irrational) and your baseless complaints (calling my well supported facts BS simply because you don’t like them) are only but a sad reflection of the education common to Americans today. The sad conclusion to the Collins School shouldn’t be a surprise after remembering shortly after the movie Stand and Deliver came out in 1989 (based on the book America’s Greatest Teacher) that Dr. Jaime Escalante was forced out of education (needing to move to Bolivia to find a job) after receiving numerous death threats from other public teachers. Even though 26% of all Mexican-Americans passing Advanced Placement (AP) exams had been his students, not one “emotional” parent complained.

            Well, you got what you deserved: a job market that no longer expects an education. The average Math SAT scores at top engineering schools are now 120 point below my class and getting an A is twice as easy at Harvard. But, what kind of sick parent would be happy with that for their children? Right, you.

            Is my degree not paying off? In fact, I have had employment based solely on my resume listing an Ivy School. Of course, you’ve would never know what that is like – being unable to read and all (or else you would have caught Harvard being free and so not putting anyone into a 100k debt). I would guess that may be why you HAD to go into business for yourself. As they say, you can fool all the people some of the time and make a good profit while doing it – but, I wouldn’t brag about being such a psychopath (defined as someone who is always in control of their emotions, as you suggest). But, that’s me.

      • Bill says

        Numbers don’t lie……

        In 1975 only 20% of graduating High School Seniors went on to college. Upon graduation from college, approx. 70% used that degree to secure employment. In 2010 approx. 70% of graduating High School Seniors at least attempt College. Upon graduation from college only 20% will use that degree. Now if we use 100,00 students as our control, in 1975 20,000 students would have gone to college and 14,000 would have secured jobs using their degree. In 2010 70,000 students would have gone on to college and still 14,000 would be using their degree. So the BIG BUSINESS of Higher Education is still putting out the same amount of employable college graduates’ but collects the cash for the much larger remainder of the student body who will never use their expensive Degree. Higher education is a very big business in this country. Look at all the contract service companies which operate for profit that are offering their services on campus. By the way they make so much money they are asked to return a sizable amount of that profit back to the institution.

  3. Ed says


    You are clearly an angry, bitter little man. You meet all the requirements to a T.

    Good for you and your college degree. It doesn’t impress me at all (some of the dumbest people I know have Ivy League degrees — I wouldn’t hire these people to tie my shoes). But if it’s working out for you, great! Congratulations! Unfortunately, it’s clear that all of your so-called education hasn’t taught you that there is more than one way to skin a cat in life. Your narrow-mindedness is quite sad.

    I find it interesting that I mentioned college puts many young adults into severe debt right out of the gate, and your only argument is: “But Harvard is free!”

    Surely you’re not serious, Jim. You do realize that 99% of students do not attend Ivy League schools, right? (And thank god for that.) Not everybody is eligible for financial aid, grants, scholarships — and even when they are, it doesn’t always cover everything. You seem highly detached from reality. (FOX News fan?)

    No, I didn’t ‘have’ to go in to business for myself. It was a choice I made early on, and let me tell you, it was the best thing I’ve ever done. I don’t regret it for a second. The very fact that you equate self-employment or small business ownership and being your own boss as ‘psychopathic’ speaks volumes about you and your sad little reality. (And yes, Jim, a responsible person should always be in control of their emotions. Didn’t they teach you that in kindergarten?)

    You can clench your fists, grit your teeth, and repeat “But you have to get a college degree to be successful! And Harvard is free!” until you’re blue in the face — but it doesn’t change the reality that more and more people are catching on to what bullshit all of that really is.

    But hey, look, whatever helps you sleep at night and feel better about yourself, bud.

    I’m going to close our little dialogue now because your last paragraph exposed what I’m dealing with. Go ahead with the last word. I refuse to waste any more time on a hateful, close-minded ‘I’m always right’ buffoon such as yourself.

    • TucsonJim says

      From the Daily Show Interview October 22, 2013:

      Malcolm Gladwell: “When I interviewed very successful people, business leaders of the last 25 years, Charles Schwab, Clinton, and Obama, they explained their success starting with childhood hardships, the very worst things that can happen to a person.”

      Jon Stewart: “Is there an inherent personality type that can translate these types of devastating blows into a positive outcome?”

      Malcolm Gladwell: “I don’t know.”

      Jon Stewart: “What do you mean you don’t know, you wrote the book?!?”

      Malcolm Gladwell: “I didn’t consider it. My books are designed to raise more questions than they answer.”

      When Glen Beck basically asked the same question, Malcolm Gladwell said: “That’s the great unanswerable question. I can’t provide the answer. I think books [can] only raise questions; people must answer them for themselves.”

      Dear Ed: Here are some BOOKS to read (now, I know you likely don’t believe in books as they are too likely to contain opinions different from yours) if you want to learn about the personality type of which Jon Stewart asks : 1) The Psychopath Test: A Journey Through the Madness Industry in which author Jon Ronson uses Dr. Hare’s 20 question survey (the industry standard) to show what a high percentage of successful people are psychopaths, 2) Dr. Martha Stout’s The Sociopath Next Door in which Stout states American values and beliefs create the perfect breeding ground for psychopaths, whom she says have a kind of glow that makes them more charming, interesting, spontaneous, intense, and sexier, although they dislike sex and only use it to manipulate people, making them hard to identify and very seductive, or 3) just do an Amazon search for mobbing for a list of books on how psychopaths rule our world (Dr. Brodsky in 1976 and Dr. Leymann in 1984 both independently showed ALL of our stress is the consequence of deliberate groupthink “mobbings” directed by STJ psychopaths that overwhelm their target victims into powerless positions).

      What type of person can get us to gleefully surrender our money, relationships, and happiness while basically worshipping them as heroes? Dr. Ted Bililies and Dr. William Bridges say they’re STJs on the Myers-Briggs personality test. Half of our presidents have been STJs. (Please Understand Me I and II by Drs. Keirsey and Bates). Why shouldn’t we put practical, tough-minded, commanding people in charge? “Striving for efficiency, [STJs] may produce a work force full of hostility, stress, and absenteeism.” (Dr. Otto Krueger, Type Talk at Work, 1991) “Creativity gets killed much more often than supported.” (Dr. Amabile, 1999) In fact, Dr. Gough showed (1981) there’s no one with less creativity.

      In general, we don’t want to believe it because it would make our library of self-help books look pretty silly. But the one defining characteristic, dear Ed, is that a true psychopath would never consider themselves one and they get VERY angry (as you are here, using insults like “little man,” “dumbest,” and “narrow-mindedness” while suggesting a “responsible person” would never lose control and stoop so low) at any threat. This is due to the underlying, as Maslow called it, Mediocrity Personality Disorder. You yet again quoted no facts or references (something often done by someone with a degree). All you can do is your use of foul language, belittling comments, and holding your breath until you turn blue (or if more, no real loss).

      Dr. W. Edwards Deming went to American businesses and tried to teach them about quality (in manufacturing, in management, and in thinking), but no one would listen (remind you of anyone). And so, he went to Japan and raised a great competitor to our businesses. One of his most famous quotes is

      “Experience by itself teaches nothing… without theory, experience has no meaning. Without theory, one has no questions to ask. Hence, without theory, there is no learning.”

      It has been a long time since I have seen a better example of what Dr. Deming was talking about than in your comments. Without the ability to learn, your educational choices were surely the best for you – but, that doesn’t mean they’re the best for everyone. I think you know how foolish you sound and that’s why you must always be on the attack, suggesting anyone who disagrees with you must be a “corporate slave” and “worthless.” Not every High School has a 100% graduation rate (or a 100% college graduation rate), but every HS could. A snotty reporter (who talked a lot like you do) once asked Dr. Escalante if he was going to get more kids into college than Hollywood High School (LA’s wealthiest HS). Jaime mumbled a bit and then admitted that he though money made a difference. But, he was wrong and he got more kids (from East LA where two thirds were living below the poverty level in one of America’s most violent neighborhoods) into Ivy colleges than Hollywood HS. Just because something is true (like you being stupid), doesn’t mean it has to be… but, whatever it takes to sleep – I hear that’s how you live your life, right?

      • TucsonJim says

        I forgot to mention that one teacher’s (Escalante) 400 students each year (yes, 400) ALL went to college with scholarships 100% of the time (since there was no money in his neighborhood)… yes, 100%. Just because you say something Ed doesn’t mean it’s true (just the opposite in fact). When the IT bubble burst (when 100% of green cards were going to engineers and programmers), 60,000 green cards suddenly went unused as those jobs flew overseas (and those unused green cards were forever pulled by the U.S. government). Steve Jobs answered President Obama’s questioning about it with, “Those jobs are NEVER returning.” Instead of telling our children to give up on their futures and accept a job market that no longer needs college degrees, we should change the marketplace starting with improving (back to 1960’s levels) our K-12 educational system. A few years back, Bill Gates spoke at a Governor’s Conference and said, until American schools are redesigned, “we will keep limiting, even ruining, the lives of millions of Americans every year.” I know, dear Ed, as a self-proclaimed “responsible” person that sad statement does not affect you emotionally in any way. But, I can only hope that’s not true for everyone else who reads this. The number of students from China, India, and South Korea seeking American college degrees decline by a whopping 16% in just one year (2008). Yes, services, which are now more than half of our economy, usually do little process design, organization, management, or research and so have less of a requirement for a college degree… but, only a sick person would see that as a good thing either for their country or for their children.

        • TucsonJim says

          P.S.S. And, the number of new entrants to the labor market that have completed higher education is increasing rapidly in EVERY foreign country (Canada is now #1 for college degrees at nearly 70% of their population; even South Korea has a greater number of college graduates than us) – except for the U.S. That DOES NOT make us the best.

          • TucsonJim says

            P.S.S.S. What is the result? Fortune recently wrote that America recently lost about 2 million industrial jobs, mostly to China. More to the point, 80% of the world’s middle class growth is currently in Asian as the West’s middle class steadily declines. By 2025, more than 60% of the world’s middle class (as well as the college degrees) is projected to be in Asia. Good thing? No! Many of the New Economy’s jobs didn’t exist even 10 years ago (Many jobs didn’t exist 10 years ago (Sustainability Expert, App Developer, Chief Listening Officer, etc.). The exodus of jobs abroad is not to utilize cheap labor but a far more highly educated workforce. Foreign companies create more patents, China passed U.S. in direct foreign investment, tiny Japan has more engineers, and four countries (S. Korea, Sweden, Finland, and Israel), spend more of their GDP on R&D.

            Today, 30% of college freshmen are put into remedial courses for material they should have learned in high school. Sadly, American children can look to the two kids next to them in class and know one will likely not graduate from High School while Japan in comparison has a 96% H.S. graduation rate and they leave H.S. with an education Americans only get after two years of college. As I said before, I expect the only response here will be an article on how a High School Diploma is no longer needed in our marketplace.

            Sources: United Nations, World Bank, Surjit S. Bhalla, Second Among Equals: The Middle Class Kingdoms of India and China, May 2007, http://www.oxusinvestments.com, OECD Education at a Glance 2007, and Achieve, The Expectations Gap: A 50-State Review of High School Graduation Requirements, 2004.

    • idiotsmasher2014 says

      Ed, if you are so successful why are you on this post? And to anyone saying a college degree is a waste of money shut you mouth. If you spend 20k on an education and then don’t pursue work in your field, you are a fool. I know 3 people who went to college and work for not much more than I. The lesson? They refused to go where the work is. Just because you have college doesn’t mean you will get employment. You have to be professional to do a professional job. The college people I know are not professional and I wouldn’t hire them. I am getting rather bored of so many people telling me a college education isn’t worth anything.Just because you failed to get your degree to pay off doesn’t mean you should go around telling everyone college is a waste of money.

  4. Danielle says

    Your #2 is incorrect. Both my brother and father are air traffic controllers and they’ve been requiring a 4-year diploma since the early 80s at the very least. My dad was required to only have the 4-year degree. My brother had to have the 4-year degree, 2 year certification from one of the few schools in the U.S. that trains ATCs, and he’ll be going through another 18mos. of on the job training if/when he’s finally accepted by the FAA.

  5. Alan says

    Well I went to college for a year and a half straight and quit with a 3.9 gpa. I have no degree and make over 230k a year doing contract security work. So yes join the military, go to college for free, then make bank and retire before your 35.

    • TucsonJim says

      It’s well documented that half of rising stocks do so only because of dumb luck by their corporate management, which is why everyone knows the line that past experience is no guarantee of future performance. Your limited college experience, dear Alan, likely means you’ve never passed a freshman statistics class in order to understand the significance for the “degrees of freedom” of a data set (maximum calculated by the simple equation of N-1). In other words, the statistically significant things one can say about a data set of one (eg: one’s personal experience) is… nothing. Clearly, you’ve shown you’ve managed the dumb aspect of dumb luck. A REAL education always carries real value. In fact, numerous suveys have shown education to be the most respected gift by employees and the best motivator. Or, employees are actually more motivated by education than money (the exception that “proves” the rule may of course be for a mercenary who kills for profit).

      • CAleb says

        Wow Jim, you are all high and mighty aren’t you. Look at you all primitive like, pounding on your intellectual chest like a gorilla.Trying to make yourself all superior, you just proved that you are no better than an ape. What good does all that superior knowledge and intellect do if you can not even have a bit of humanity in you. You can disagree with someone respectfully, my guess is this gentlemen makes way more money than you do. So you with your higher education is simply jealous, most likely because you don’t make as much money.

        • TucsonJim says

          Dear California Lesbian, Thank you greatly for recognizing my “superior knowledge” concerning the subject of education. Most impressive how you were able to provide several relevant and well considered facts without ever lowering yourself to base insults. Wait no, I got that backwards. Your posting was instead nothing but a perfect example of ignorant and proud of it… the natural result of a poor education. You are proud of your comments, aren’t you? Sure you are. The desire to be right is often belittled as an egotistical mental aberration (you’re not the first), often partnered with a marketing statement for happiness such as “I would rather be happy than right.” I like to respond to such sentiments with congratulations on how happy the speaker must be about being wrong (ha ha). And, you definitely seem happy about being wrong – no question about that. I bet your family, children, as well as your friends are all ignorant and proud of it as well… aren’t they? Well, have a nice life. Too bad about the legacy of unemployment and violence you’re leaving for the next generation… but, as long as you can sleep at night, well to Hell with anyone else… that’s how a “real” American shows his (or her) “humanity.”

          • Ed says


            You’re clearly intelligent and articulate, and you certainly know more about the educational system than me. But why are you so angry? Is it simply a case of being from Philly? (The “I’m not angry, I’m from Philly” syndrome?)

            Your intellect and knowledge of the subject at hand come through in waves, but so does your anger. Perhaps your message would better resonate if you toned it down? Otherwise you just come off as angry, bitter, and disgruntled – and in the end that isn’t going to help people understand how the educational system works and its value therein. (That IS your goal here, correct?)

            I (for one) enjoy your observations and facts about our educational system but I think your tone is hurting the overall cause.

          • TucsonJim says

            Dear Ed: It is said, on the surface, life is simply intolerable. According to AA, life is in fact wholly unmanageable and we are powerless to change it. This is because, on the surface, life is nothing but symptoms. This is why the CEO of Toyota created the science of Five-Whys. The common example is a company finds statues that should last over 20 years are only lasting five. What should they do? The most common answer is to find other vendors or statues made of different materials. But, what you forgot to ask is WHY are the statues wearing out so quickly? You may have discovered a cleaning program using very harsh chemicals. And so, you might suggest using softer organic cleansers. But, you again forgot to ask WHY? If you had, you might have discovered that the statues are far dirtier than expected. OK, now you’re finally learning and you now ask why and find out there is a problem with excessive bird scat. And, the use of simply metal spikes on the top of the statues solves the problem when all your previous ideas were but a waste of time and money.

            The same is true for ALL social ills and all the effort and money we spend on social programs are more likely only worsening the problems than actually solving anything. For example, Dambisa Moyo’s new book “How the West Was Lost” (famous for her “Dead Aid” in which American relief efforts were shown to be the actual CAUSE of most ALL hunger and violence in Africa) argues the reason efforts to change the world normally fail is that real world egos, nepotism, and codependent relationships are never addressed by wholly shortsighted policy decisions (pretending a society run by monsters can’t be real and you can’t be blamed for anything). Management gurus (like Dr. Deming who had to move to Japan when not a single American would listen to him – which wholly explains the success of companies like Honda and Toyota) have been similarly saying for half a century that ALL organizations are but over-managed and under-led with bureaucratic, arrogant, and uncreative cultures specifically due to delusional quality programs actually designed to fail. The resulting poorly implemented strategies, ineffective mergers, and costly re-engineering can carry a large personal toll on each of us because of the immense impact work and governments have on our identities (per Dr. Bruce Hood). Racism is not really about malice buy just great ignorance. War and murder are likewise not about malice and again just great ignorance. Hunger is NOT a long-term problem for anyone in America. It is but another symptom of great ignorance. There is no good reason for racism, violence, and hunger except for our love for ignorance, lack of respect for critical thinking, and strong preference for but the easy and self-confirming. And, you dare say my reaction to such easily preventable evils is somehow over the top?!? Moreover, you make belittling references to me being your bud, being little, narrow-minded, and a buffoon and dare to suggest my tone is inappropriate for such social ills that could be swept away if not for our narcissistic self-love? Wow! You may be right or you may just be crazy.

            The reference to “I’m not angry, I’m from Philly” (or New York) is in reference to children there Woofing, which is called Playing the Dozens (or Trash Talk) in New York. The game involves volleying taunts back and forth with another by kidding, snapping, teasing, toasting, or insulting others and their family (especially one’s mother) in a contest of wits and emotional strength. The first to get angry loses. The real lesson is that such stuff doesn’t really matter. I like to say I’m a male engineer from South Philly who was raised to believe WHAT someone said was more important than HOW. In fact, ALL subcultures have Dozens-like exchanges and such has been part of being considered literate ever since Greek orators deployed iambic mockery to deride speakers. For modern example, John Bright said about his UK political opponent, “He is a self-made man and worships his creator.” Abraham Lincoln said about an attorney, “He can compress the most words into the smallest idea of any man I know.” Winston Churchill said about Clement Atlee, “A modest little person, with much to be modest about.” William Faulkner said about Ernest Hemingway, “He has never been known to use a word that might send a reader to the dictionary.” Finally, Ernest Hemingway said about William Faulkner “Poor Faulkner, does he really think big emotions come from big words?” Dozens likely refers to the ultimate humiliation of broken slaves incapable of hard labor being sold by the dozen. If that doesn’t make you emotional, I just don’t know if there’s any humanity left in you. But, if you think you can better promote the cause – please show me how. I would appreciate a demonstration of your greater success with changing people’s opinions concerning this critical subject. Ideal would be if you could get the author to publish an apology. Now, that would convince me you know what you’re talking about. I wish you luck – now, show me the money!

  6. Rob says

    I’ve read TucsonJim’s comments and all I can say is wow. He is one angry, frustrated, bitter man. I feel sorry for him; hopefully he one day can find some internal peace.

    • TucsonJim says

      Hi Rob: So, when did you learn the most useful and intelligent way to add value to the world was to do nothing but belittle and insult anyone you didn’t like. I assume it was at a very young age (say Kindergarten) and that no one has ever helped you develop any skills typically found in adults. You don’t provide any opinions or any references – I assume because you’re education wholly ended at the age of six. I am a male engineer from South Philly who was raised to believe what you have to say is more important than how you say it and you don’t seem to have anything to say. Perhaps, you should wait to post until you have something to say or at least leave the big people ideas to people who actually have them. You only demonstrate the sad waste of a mind never provided a real education and are but a perfect example of my point. Thanks for the validation but I really didn’t need it. Have a nice day.

      • TucsonJim says

        BTW, it was big news a couple months ago when American computer company Apple (the world’s largest company currently) sent out thousands of interview offers to engineers and then hired about 300 of them. Was it a surprise to any one here with the common belief that tech jobs no longer require a real education that not a single one of those letters went to an American engineer. Previously when President Obama had asked Steve Jobs about reconsidering hiring Americans Jobs answered “those jobs are NEVER coming home again.” The only type of person this sad reality likely made by the very attitudes of this article and most commenters here does not make angry, frustrated, and bitter would be a completely cold hearted psychopath. And coincidently, two studies in 1991 (Epidemiologic Catchment Area study, sponsored by the National Institute of Mental Health) and 2011 have showed that in fact the number of psychopaths in America have doubled twice in the past 30 years. Dr. Martha Stout writes in The Sociopath Next Door one of their chief characteristics is a kind of glow or charisma making them more charming or interesting. That you do not find me charming or interesting is likely a good thing. Dr. Stout thinks American values and beliefs are the perfect breeding ground for psychopaths (which are far rarer in Asia). Tell me honestly, how does that make you feel. Might you feel no responsibility nor remorse? I’m not surprised. Dr. Hare (THE most highly respected expert) writes “our society is moving in the direction of permitting, reinforcing, and valuing the traits listed in [his] Psychopathy Checklist such as impulsivity, irresponsibility, lack of remorse.”

        • Pam Q says

          I’m not going to insult and bore everyone with statistics but give my experience. Raised by a single mom college didn’t seem a option 30+ years ago coming out of hs. I began working for my current employer at age 18 and I’ve done very well with hard work and by making good business decisions for my company. I will say I’m the exception. I’ve seen a lot of good and bad college educated employees come and go as well as good and bad non-college students. Many companies require a college degree because so many people have a degree, it’s really not hard to get a degree. I work at a mid-size manufacturing company and at least 75% of the jobs can be done well with a smart hard working employee without a degree. Hands on experience is what it takes for most jobs. With that said I have stressed throughout my kids lives they must get a college degree not because I think it will make them smarter but because it does give you options in life and options are always good. My daughter graduated from college 1 month ago and I’m dumb-founded by how little she will make and how hard it has been for her to get a job. She’s only expecting $30,000/year and she can’t find a job without work experience. When I came out of hs over 30 years ago I was offered multiple office jobs similar to what she is looking for every day and selected the one I wanted. My son went to school 1 year and chose to quit, he’s now looking at options for trade jobs, he’s had more employers interested in hiring him for trade apprentice jobs than she has with her 4 year degree and for more money. It’s tough for girls since most girls would struggle with trade jobs. I’m saying this as a woman who has been in the work force for over 30 years with a income over $90,000/year. It does not take a college education to perform most jobs at an exceptional level. With or without a degree companies need to give young people a chance to show what they can do…like we had in the old days. Everyone with and without a degree will need to learn business hands on and some will get it and some will not regardless of their education.Our work force is aging fast and I rarely see new employees under 30 years old, businesses today want education and work experience. Bottom line, I believe many jobs shouldn’t require a degree but bottom line…most companies require it so if you can get your kids to college send them even with the high cost. BTW, I never found any free college and my daughter wasn’t able to get any grants or loans due to our income. We paid every dime out of our pocket so she wouldn’t have debt and it’s a good thing because I have no idea how she would pay debt back on what she will earn coming out of college. FYI, we spent about $50,000 in 4 years and she went to a State University.

          • TucsonJim says

            Pam Q says “I never found any free college and my daughter wasn’t able to get any grants or loans due to our income.”

            Too bad no one told your daughter about merit based scholarships (which are not loans). I have a daughter whose parents made more than you and she was able to go for four years completely free. There are also scholarships for people who are left handed, one’s genealogy, field of study (becoming a physician assistant making at least $70,000 a year can be had for free), and then most state schools have lottery scholarships awarded at random. Finally, Drexel is a co-op school where 100% of ALL students are GUARANTEED employment while studying (providing the very experience you know to be so valuable). While the country has continued to move in the direction of need based assistance (whether that’s a good idea is certainly a topic for debate), there are still billions of dollars awarded not solely on need. Too bad your child didn’t have better sources for information. Of course, there’s also the Lifetime Learning Tax Credit. So, you need to have a real heart to heart with your tax preparer if you truly paid ALL the expenses.

            You didn’t say what your daughter’s degree is in or what type of job she is seeking. You may want to suggest she consider K-12 teaching. There are states where the minimum salary is $40,000 (working 25% fewer days than the norm) and Master Teachers in South Carolina can easily make $75,000 to $100,000. After a few years she could work to become an Elementary School Principal and make significantly more. Fortunately for her, such opportunities require a college degree. Moreover, such employment is highly biased in favor of women.

            Six Sigma is a manufacturing quality program created at Motorola that has long shown college statistics a prerequisite for excellence in any job. Again, it has long been shown that the value of one’s experience is greatly limited without an understanding of the underlying processes and technology. Alas, a lot of manufacturing has migrated overseas… not so much for a cheaper workforce but for one that is better educated (as per Bill Gates and chief executives from Intel and Cisco at a recent Governor’s Conference). Studies done years ago have shown that middle aged blue collar workers in Japan are years ahead in education than most American professionals. Being you are an American, I’m not surprised that you place little value on facts and statistics. As for women in trade jobs, my mother worked in construction and built (by herself) the home I grew up in, the local library, and half of the local community center. No one should ever suggest to any girl that she might not be suited to any particular careers just because she’s female… at least not IMHO.

  7. Ria says

    I’ve read every post in this communication dialog-and find the conversation very interesting.

    Personally, I choose to look at every person’s viewpoint/input as valuable. Stepping back and looking at the bigger picture in this dialogue — I’d like to offer my opinion (note it’s only “my” opinion)–as I’m not personally signaling out any one comment as the “right or wrong” point of view.

    I think there’s good points made on both sides of this discussion. Realistically-there’s no right or wrong answer here (again my”opinion”) -but rather a mixture of reality of factual truth from both sides I think.

    I don’t think there is a right answer. Every person is different. Every person learns differently. Every person’s situation (life, family, finances) is different. What’s works for some, won’t work for others.

    I can only look at examples of the many different individuals and scenarios I’ve witnessed through the years as proof. Starting with myself.

    My story. I came from a single mother home–a financially struggling home. I finished high school. I went to college– but after my sophomore year I simply ran out of money. So I returned home to Florida and got a job to “re-save” money to finish school. Like many in Florida-I went to work for Disney. And a funny thing happened while working there… My job was the “best education” I could ever have gotten– and I got paid to learn it. It was better than any university I could have attended… On so many fronts. Not only did I have the most talented mentors creatively, but the best work ethic training available–as doing things any less than perfect is not The Disney way–and they run a well oiled, tight ship in every way.

    I did return to school, but not to finish my original commercial art degree–as unless one wanted to teach, a degree didn’t matter. Only a good portfolio and talent mattered. I returned for a degree in sign design…which was a specialized program–a trade school is how I’d reference it. From there, I consistently took business, and professional seminars from the best coaches available in different industries to round out my business, marketing, and management skills. I admit… It was a very different course than many followed in my industry; but for me- it was the right path.

    Having said all that–It’s an undeniable fact that we live in a very different world today-and the reality is that information and technology is changing faster that people can learn it. A person no sooner learns a software program- only to have a new version released (which means re-learning commands and operational info in many programs)–you buy a new computer and within a few months it’s being replaced by the new/improved model. Technology is advancing so fast that most people barely process what they’ve learned one day only to face an on-slaught of new must-need-to-know info the next day.

    Employers (in most industries) now want a more diverse skill level for most positions- allowing them to hire less people… Which realistically puts more pressure on each employee to accomplish the workload of two people. Whether it happens via a down-sizing (eliminating a position & dividing up that person’s responsibilities to remaining personnel) or by adding it to the next new hire–it is now a reality in America’s business world. More stress, more pressure–making it harder in many situations to maintain, let alone advance.

    Technology can be a wonderful thing (and is in many ways)–but it has it’s down side too. Computers in general has given individuals that didn’t have the skill level to perform jobs before to do so today. And in some industries that is proving NOT to be a good thing. Let me provide one example that I know from 1st hand experience.

    Computers have given individuals with technical/production ability (whether it be natural born or via training) to sell themselves as designers (in both graphic design & web design). And I’m not trying to be demeaning–because there are some very talented production/technical & web individuals in the work force. But it’s extremely rare to see attractive, effective graphic/communication design come from either. One either has god-given creative talent or trained creative ability. One needs to have training, knowledge and skill to be able to create well executed communication materials- they need know/understand the basics of the good perspective, proper use of space, good balance, color theory, type useage, and effective strategic research that will achieve results for clients. Good communication design is more than computer generated layouts. Sadly today in the advertising industry, the computer is a two-edged sword. Untrained, non-artistically talented individuals now think themselves designers… Which has unfortunately led to much mediocrity in the fields of design and web. I can’t tell you how many web coders that regard themselves designers… And I’ve seen some scary websites as a result. And when this senario repeats itself over and over–design graduates-professionally trained, loose employment opportunities.

    Being a creative director, I lead a team of designers-and have had staff that took many different paths to become designers. Some went to universities, some specialized art institutes, some community colleges, and a few individuals that had no degree at all–but were born creatively gifted and learned the trade by entering the work force. So, I guess you can say I’ve experienced individuals from every venue.

    I will offer my perspective. It totally depends on the individual. Some need college…some don’t. College simply isn’t for everyone. People learn differently-which is okay. Some people are hands-on learners and do best in a real-world workplace environment (what = a mentor ship of sorts). Some do best in a dedicated apprentice program, and some at trade schools.

    Simply put… In my opinion it’s all good. Again, it depends on the individual (and discipline of course–nurses, doctors, lawyers, accountants, etc. are exceptions)… But even with these there are different venues to enter their discipline.

    One thing I do gave a “strong” opinion on is that: not all school’s are equal. Any and all schools are only as good as the professors! There used to be a saying: ” Those who can do-and those who can’t teach”. Now, while I don’t believe this accurate in the true sense of the word… I will say that I’ve had staff from 4 yr university programs that aren’t as good as staff from 2 yr community college programs. And probing into their education specifics regarding the methodology used by professors, the foundations that their education was based–I was disappointed at the shallow depth of knowledge some were taught, as well as the unrealistic expectations some schools are projecting to their graduates regarding the real world career path.

    It seems every year the attitude of entitlement of the younger generation’s graduates grows. Very few feel they need to earn their merits– but that they deserve them. And sadly, I find the more prestigious the school– the bigger the attitude issue.

    My closing thought… Perspective.

    Perspective is a funny thing… Sometimes it’s hard to find–but once found everything comes into alignment to guide one’s thought and vision. When asked by a young person today what school I recommend (no matter their financial situation), my answer is: Perspective. I tell them to ask themselves where they want to be 5 yrs from now–to search their minds until they can answer that… And then chart a course that will get them there-no matter the course that is right for them (trade school, community college, university, work force, etc.).

    I honestly believe that there’s not enough thought about what people want to do with their futures down the road-not the immediate, next year.

    Had I myself done that–I would have never gone to a university. Had I really took perspective on what I wanted, I would if researched different options available…and not just did what everyone has programmed into young people… and went automatically to college!

    No, check your perspective— and then let it lead each individual to the path that is right for them. Only by finding that perspective will people avoid going to the wrong higher priced school (when maybe a cheaper school really is a better school?)… maybe it would help people research career path options more carefully so they could make sure it was a growing field…. Just slowing the process down and finding one’s perspective can save so many errors. Research is the best venue for each individual.

    But you know… Having read of all your different experiences/expertise– it’d be nice to try and find a way to use your varied success/knowledge base to possibly offer suggestions to some individuals that have posted that are struggling and would probably welcome some guidance, encouragement from you…

    Have a great day everyone :)

    • TucsonJim says

      Hey Ria, Thanks for contributing.

      You say “I don’t think there is a right answer.”

      Well, two plus two is always four. There is always a “right” answer to an honest search for truth. Now, each answer might not be exactly correct such as F=MA being corrected (not disproved) by Relativity. Perhaps, you’ll say that LIFE can’t be solved by math and science and I would ask what scientific evidence might you have to support that opinion (ha ha). The only source can be the most powerful force in psychology – the self-confirmation bias. When I ask people, for example, what they learned from say reading the Bible most everyone starts their answer with “Well, like I’ve always said.” Except, that’s clearly NOT the way to start a real lesson story.

      You say “Every person learns differently.”

      While, this is a common belief, it’s not really true. Now, there might be slight differences. This is why a machine education can use “mass customization” to perfect a standard for each individual (a term invented by and for Dell computers). Let’s say I would like to build a K-12 school where EVERY child learns at EXACTLY the same rate – starting with advancing 4-5 years for the first year of the child. Now, I don’t mean just kids with high IQ’s (a meaningless measure even NO educators understand) but even kids with IQ’s say o 75 who school experts have identified as “learning disabled – unable to EVER learn to read or write.” If you are like most people, you will say such a dream is logically impossible. I would say, if you are such a person, that you clearly need to raise your opinion of what possible as Marva Collins actually built that school over 35 years ago in South Chicago. Sadly, as the South Chicago school district was complaining that twice the money spent by Marva on each of her students wasn’t enough to education ANY child properly, she had to close her school because no one in America wanted to attend.

      You say “I can only look at examples of the many different individuals and scenarios I’ve witnessed through the years as proof.”

      This is a foolish thing to say common to the uneducated. As you’re already read above in my posting, Dr. Deming (the father of Quality Mgt) ofen said, ““Experience by itself teaches nothing… without theory, experience has no meaning. Without theory, one has no questions to ask. Hence, without theory, there is no learning.” Sadly, Deming wasn’t able to find a single American Manager willing to listen (much like yourself) even though everything he’s ever said has only be repeatedly verified (which you would know if you ever valued an education or had any respect for those who’ve made the effort).

      You say “I went to college– but after my sophomore year I simply ran out of money.”

      There is $17 billion dollars in scholarship aid available each year and almost ALL is based on need. How much did you apply for? I often help the homeless here in Tucson and show the men how easily it is to get free education even if you haven’t had an address for years. Some have returned to tell me I saved their lives but the great majority of them (like others have demonstrated here) tell me such is impossible and continue to fail. My favorite line from the book America’s Greatest Teacher that didn’t make it into the movie Stand and Deliver is when a snotty reporter asked Dr. Jaime Escalante if he thought he could get more poor kids into college than Hollywood High could get rich kids. After hemming and hawing for a few minutes, Jaime said that in the end money mattered. But, he was wrong. Not only did he get over a quarter of all Mexican-American kids to pass AP exams after being his students, he got more poor kids (with NO money) into IVY schools than did Hollywood High with rich kids who had plenty of money. Again, if you read my postings above, you already know this but just prefer to believe what you what to believe (and that’s called bigotry).

      You say “My job was the “best education” I could ever have gotten–better than any university I could have attended.”

      And, how many universities have you attended? I assume thousands if not tens of thousands to be sure of such a statement. Right? BTW, what is your opinion on why Disney has a BIG dollar research lab at Carnegie (please, tell us YOUR experience with the people there) if they themselves wouldn’t recommend a college education for anyone who hopes to get a job there? (see http://www.cmu.edu/corporate/partnerships/disney_lab.shtml).

      You say “A person no sooner learns a software program- only to have a new version released.”

      There were tens of thousands of computer languages invented in the 60’s and 70’s (and I personally worked with most of them). There was about a hundred created in the 80’s and 90’s. Tell, how many computer languages does a person who learned C in the early 70’s, then learned C++ in the 80’s, and finally C# fifteen years ago (an natural thing to do as each one is based on the previous one), how many new programs do you think that 60 year old needs to learn to be employable today? If the answer is more than zero, you clearly don’t know what you’re talking about. It’s MUCH easier to be in technology today than 50 years ago. 25% of all computers in use today still use XP from 2001. CPU clock speeds haven’t increased, resolutions haven’t improved, and we’re still using Ethernet invented in the 70’s (so, becoming a certified ATM Engineer in the 90’s wasn’t all that useful). I find kids today are MORE ignorant of technology, it’s just a black box that does magic.

      Finally, you talk about natural born skills and “god-given creative talent.”

      Despite all the evidence suggesting the quality and fit of our environments trumps any genetics (Dr. Phelps, 2005), Americans refuse to consider anything but a fate from birth. It doesn’t matter that “the Cambridge Handbook of Expertise and Expert Performance (2006) makes a rather startling assertion: the trait we commonly call talent is highly overrated. Or, put another way, expert performers ‘whether in memory or surgery, ballet or computer programming’ are nearly always made, not born.” (Drs. Steven Leavitt and Stephen Dubner, from The New York Times Magazine, authors of Freakonomics). Malcolm Gladwell tells in Outliers: the Story of Success how today only lucky breaks and arbitrary advantages are the real source of most successes. He tells of Dr. Barnsley finding how the best hockey players are five times more likely born in January than November, baseball players are almost twice as likely born in August than July, and soccer players are most likely born in September (now January), due to the arbitrary age cut offs done in the respective kid’s leagues. Why is this? Young children born just after the cut off age are quite logically larger than those born just before and so perform better. Kids bigger from being older are called “naturally gifted” and receive the most encouragement and training, what is in reality key for any success. But, we completely reject any possibility that this might be true as doing so would open the door for facing the reality we must likewise take responsibility for creating “stories of failure” as well. And so, we all tell the lie that not everyone can be a champion, that only a few have the chance. Again, the only thing you’re demonstrating is your bigotry based on your ignorance. That’s not your real problem; it’s that you’re proud of it. In the education biz, you are known as a “functional illiterate.” Just because there are currently many paths to employment that doesn’t mean there isn’t an ideal path and one even better than that if people like you could somehow finally learn how to learn.

      You say “not all schools are equal.”

      I have a degree from an Ivy school and 1.5 from very NOT ivy schools. The alumni from the Ivy schools like to talk about how they are just naturally smarter than everyone else and the alumni from the NOT Ivy schools like to say their degree is just as good. I believe they’re both wrong and often get myself in trouble to telling them so. It’s also true that ALL schools could be better. But, following your advice we more often just try something else. I believe far more powerful than our vote in a democratic society is our checkbook. Newsweek’s #1 rated school in America is Basis (a Charter school that started in Arizona) which spends almost half of what most public schools spend. The problem IHMO is that we don’t know how to measure better (well, science does but you don’t) and we NEVER fight for it. When Dr. Jaime Escalante was fired shortly after the movie about him was released, the principal and counselor moved to other schools, and the seven teachers Jaime hired were pushed out, not a single parent complained.

      You say “It seems every year the attitude of entitlement of the younger generation’s graduates grows.”

      But, not in immigrants… that’s why they’re twice as likely to become millionaires in America (based both on less entitlement as well as greater value in education) than our own children. Immigrants are our countries only hope. Sadly, most companies have just given up and the most common jobs to be outsourced are middle class STEM jobs (to countries, even Canada, that value education more than us). Personally, I believe the biggest thing missing in our education is WHY get educated. I believe this is supposed to be the job of Social Studies. Marva first “trick” was to have her 2nd grade class read Plato, Shakespeare, and Emerson the FIRST day. Moreover, I believe the least educated person at my high school is still the dumbest person at today’s high schools… the employment counselor. Finally, I’ve always felt more schools should use the Drexel Univ model (my father taught there) of taking five years to get a four year degree (with 6 month of school and 6 month of guaranteed employment). But, even before that, I believe the Vocational Education Act of 1964 killed the Smith-Hughes Act of 1914, which, by intentional misinterpretation by every state killed our Dewey designed schools and made us forget that AMERICA invented what is today called a European Education. I believe fixing anything is only possible when you personally can admit to being the problem… so, what’s the chance of that?!?

      I piss them off at church when I say, “We don’t need another revival; we need another reformation.” Have a nice day.

      • TucsonJim says

        Speaking of outsourcing, such as Disney animation, one advantage of India is that their kids get more English education than ours do.

  8. RKawka says

    It’s great to have an “enthusiastic” discussion on education. However, the name-calling on all sides tends to detract from the discussion.

    Let’s look at this issue from a slightly different viewpoint. First, who can tell what the minimum reading and math requirements are for a person to survive in our society. All of the previous comments tend to center around some form of higher education. The need for additional training within one’s field or occupation is obvious in order to keep up with the wonderful advancements in science. However, let’s start with basics. What level of reading do the majority of jobs in the US require? What level of mathematics is required for the majority of jobs in the US? This is the first question we need to ask and then address our public school educational programs to ensure that the students have this basic level of education. Obviously, this is a great dissertation topic and would undoubtedly received generous funding from somebody. In a sample conversation with half a dozen local businesses ranging from employment of common laborers to hospital support personnel the results are basically simple. Most basic survival reading skills can be taught by 6th or 8th grade. (Trying to define 6th or 8th grade reading level is a another issue due to the different ways of measuring reading levels.) Basic math skills can be taught by the fifth or sixth grade. Before students can move on to additional training in their area of interest, they have to demonstrate that they know these basic skills. Then, through aptitude and interest testing they can be guided into a career field that currently interests them. However, again, you understand that the kids will probably change their minds during this course of training. An example of this concept is that a student who has an interest in farming would need to be guided to take courses in animal husbandry, basic chemistry, business, and computer research related to this occupation.
    In the past, our public school systems have been training people to be of assembly line workers. Example: “Class take out your social studies textbook, turn to page 54, Johnny read the first paragraph. As one can see this example requires little or no thinking. A better approach might be to ask the class what is next on the schedule, where did we leave off, who can summarize what we have read to date and who can summarize or explain the first paragraph? Obviously school districts, allowing teachers with this level of freedom are few and far between because many districts who receive state and federal funding are required to follow basically mandated programs. The students are tested to ensure that they have been taught these required programs. I received complaints constantly from interns and student teachers that they have to accomplish on a given day a given lesson regardless of the needs of the students. The other problem is that much of the teaching time is spent on teaching current “politically correct or socially correct” philosophies. Why don’t we define what the minimally required skills are needed for our children to survive in our society? At present, it appears that public schools are simply apprentice level training classes for colleges. There are many areas within our society that need skilled and enthusiastic workers just to maintain our society. These areas can include, but are not limited to: electricians, plumbers, veterinarian assistants, etc.. And Yes, there is a need for those with more training. Whether you call it advanced or college or something else to move our society beyond where we are now. But first, let’s make sure that the basic survival skills are provided to everybody, and they prove they have learned them. Then, based on testing, counseling (of course, we need to have enough counselors in our schools with caseloads that enable them to counsel not move numbers.) Move the students into areas that they have an interest, some aptitude, and support in. Just maybe more kids will stay in school longer and out of less desirable occupations like gangs and crime. Then we can argue about the merits of different types of advanced education, one must take to accomplish additional goals. Think about it.

    • TucsonJim says

      Hi RKawka,

      You ask “What level of mathematics is required?”

      I believe I can make a good argument that everyone should have an Elementary School proficiency in mathematics. First, that means they should be able to give change to any retail customer.

      True story, I walked into a bakery and had to wait 20 minutes for the cashier (the fastest growing profession in America that should be completely gone in say the next 20 years) to find a calculator since the person couldn’t even do this level of math on paper: I was buying two dozen cupcakes at $0.49 each. What did I owe? Personally, I believe to be “competent” that the person should have been able to solve this problem in but a couple of seconds in their heads. Alas, I have asked dozens of K-12 teachers and only one could do so after about 5 minutes. Clearly, the problem is that teachers can’t teach what they don’t know.

      Here’s another Elementary math problem. I can fill a hole in the ground with a hose in 30 minutes. I can also fill it with a smaller hose in 45 minutes. How long will it take to fill the hole using both hoses? I have asked not only dozens of K-12 teachers, I have asked many American engineers who all couldn’t answer this question. Now, I have also asked a dozen Asians (from China, Japan, South Korea, and Malaysia) who were shop owners, students, etc. and they could ALL easily answer this question in their head. Apple made the news last Spring for sending out thousand of interview letters and hiring hundreds of engineers. Alas, not a single letter went to an American as no American seems to have the education to handle Elementary School math. I say Elem math as the reason the Asians could all do this problem is that they were all required to answer this exact kind of question in under 60 seconds to graduate from Elem School.

      Finally, you aren’t really emotionally an adult of any kind unless you want to make the world better. But, to do this, one must know what “better” means and the science of better is statistics. So, what is the equation for the Degrees of Freedom and what is its significance for statistics. I also consider this Elem math as I could answer it by Fifth Grade. And again, not even a single college researcher could answer this question (and less than 10% could answer why there are phases of the moon or seasons).

      Does that answer your question? I believe the best way for things to change by firing any teacher or administrator who can’t answer these questions and that would mean firing ALL of them. Jaime Escalante (the motivation for the book America’s Greatest Teacher and the movie Stand and Deliver) was pushed out of education (where he could only get get a job in Bolivia) primarily due to his refusal to hire math teachers who couldn’t answer these types of questions (which was most of them) and NO parent complained. The competent teachers he hired did complain and so they were all likewise summarily dismissed. In response to their complaints as they were leaving, the incoming principal said, “They’re just disgruntled former employees, such backbiting only hurts the kids.” John Perex, VP of the Teachers Union, told the press (1990), “Jaime didn’t get along with some of the teachers at his school.” Jay Mathews, Washington Post columnist and author of The Best Teacher in America asked, “What’s up with a system that values working with others more highly than effectiveness?” Joe Williams, Executive Director of the Democrats for Education Reform, even wrote “I don’t understand why parents are not lighting fires and hurling rocks every night through the Mayor’s windows. I’m not joking – it’s astonishing.” I say the same thing… it’s astonishing.

      Then, you ask about reading skills.

      I believe every person should get an Eighth Grade reading education. Alas, the best state in the country, Connecticut, only provides this for half of their children. For example, what are the three classifications for the “CH” sound? In a spelling bee, the most important question a speller may ask is the nation of origin and I am basically asking the same thing. Not one of the dozens of K-12 teachers (and only two of the dozens of others) could answer this very basic English language question. As an American, you should be ashamed for allowing this to happen. I’m astonished! I was most concerned about the two English Grammar and Spelling tests I had to take in order to become a college instructor as an “Engneer” who only had a 485 on my English SAT. I scored an average of 92, the othertechies scored an average of 85, and the Masters in Education who were already teaching K-12 classes scored an average of 35. IF they had known any math or science they would have been considered too illiterate to be a STEM teachers but because their area of “expertise” was English they were the best to be found and they were all hired to teach English at the College level!

      Finally, before any math and science, there must be a moral education. You can rent the movie The Marva Collins story. She had her first Second Grade class in a public school in South Chicago on the very first day of school reading Shakespeare, Plato, and Emerson to create a basis for why to be in school. Within days, her kids were giving up watching TV to study and they all advanced four to five grades that year. The other teachers only sent her death threats (just like the other teachers had done to Dr. Escalante) and spread rumors that she beat her kids and did the work for them. By the end of her first year, she had her class taken away and that was the end of her career in public education. Fortunately, she didn’t give up and she started her own school where the Fifth graders were generally reading at a Tenth Grade level (past what I considered minimally required) and 13 of the 30 students had been formally labeled by education “experts” as “Learning Disabled and Unable to ever learn to Read or Write” and didn’t even know the alphabet at the beginning of the year. 60 Minutes did a show in 1980 about little Erica who had an IQ of 75 and had been so labeled in Forth Grade but was now reading at a Tenth Grade Level and they did a follow up story when she graduated from the University of Virginia Cum Laude with a 4.0 grade average. This was also true of the first class of Ron Clark in Harlem when his kids had the highest test scores in NYC by Christmas (as per the Ron Clark Story). You can also rent The Knights of the Bronx and see David McNulty or rent the George Mckenna Story (or Hard Lessons) and watch they do the same in the Bronx and LA. All these teachers produced 100% success (in fact, 26% of all Mexican-Americans passing AP exams were the students of Dr. Escalante) in neighborhoods where two thirds lived below the poverty line in the most violent neighborhoods with the greatest father absenteeism. So, why don’t we today expect this level of success in every school? Well, the two statisticians that wrote Freakonomics showed the profession containing the people most likely to cheat is K-12 teaching.

      RKawka, you seem to be suggesting that you don’t believe that EVERY child should be ready to enter Harvard by the time they graduate High School and that the schools that fail at this shouldn’t be fined. I find it odd that the dirt poor farming Pilgrims passed just such a law in 1650 (The General Education Laws) and seem to place a higher emphasis on the importance of a college education than you do today (almost four centuries later)? Why do you think that is? Personally, I assume it due to your great naiveté. Not to be insulting, just truthful. It’s time to allow incompetent teachers LESS freedom to… in the words of Bill Gates at a Governor’s Convention… “limiting, even ruining, the lives of millions of Americans every year.” NO state follows government regulations for one thing because Reading First federal monies are supposed to only go to schools that follow a scientifically based reading program and only 3% of our nation’s school districts do that. Clearly, it’s time to allow LESS freedom to schools as well. EVERY state is leaving kids behind and NO state is teaching all kids, even the fundamentals. While we have the world’s highest self-esteem, we have the worst test scores (just the opposite for South Korea). Few employees in any field have the required skills (seven of ten employees are neither motivated nor competent to perform the basic tasks of their job) and we’re not even talking about important life skills such as financial life skills.

      I again don’t mean to be insulting, but you seem to know absolutely nothing about education. You say “Move the students into areas that they have an interest, some aptitude.” Despite all the evidence suggesting the quality and fit of our environments trumps any genetics (Dr. Phelps, 2005), Americans like you refuse to consider anything but a fate from birth. It doesn’t matter that “the Cambridge Handbook of Expertise and Expert Performance (2006) makes a rather startling assertion: the trait we commonly call talent is highly overrated. Or, put another way, expert performers ‘whether in memory or surgery, ballet or computer programming’ are nearly always made, not born.” (Drs. Steven Leavitt and Stephen Dubner, authors of Freakonomics, quote from The New York Times). Harvard’s Dr. Howard Garner showed most children score genius level IQ’s up to the age of four, but that percentage goes down to 10% as teenagers and 2% for those over 20. While natural and statistical, this also happens primarily due to the discouragement from the mobbing efforts orchestrated by what Drs. Livingston and Rosenthal called Negative Pygmalions and Dr. Satir called False Levelers producing what Dr. Michael Ray calls the Voice of Judgment. Typically the greatest abuse comes from teachers (read Pygmalion in the Classroom by Dr. Rosenthal, 1962 or Blaming the Victim by William Ryan, 1970 – there are more current books, like Teaching Like a Champ, but you need to start with the basics). Malcolm Gladwell tells in Outliers: the Story of Success how today only lucky breaks and arbitrary advantages are the real source of most successes. He tells of Dr. Barnsley finding how the best hockey players are five times more likely born in January than November, baseball players are almost twice as likely born in August than July, and soccer players are most likely born in September (now January), due to the arbitrary age cut offs done in the respective kid’s leagues. Why is this? Young children born just after the cut off age are quite logically larger than those born just before and so perform better. Kids bigger from being older are called “naturally gifted” and receive the most encouragement and training, what is in reality key for any success. But, we completely reject any possibility that this might be true as doing so would open the door for facing the reality we must likewise take responsibility for creating “stories of failure” as well. And so, we all tell the lie that not everyone can be a champion, that only a few have the chance. I am astonished that you are not ashamed. My favorite scene from Stand and Deliver is when the principal asks all the teachers before an important standardized school-wide exam whether every teacher was doing all they could and only Escalante stated he knew he was not. Be honest, truth be told, you’re not doing anything useful (based on the science available).

  9. Charlie says

    This is the same old dog and pony show that we’ve heard for years that it is not necessary to have any education in order to get high paying jobs. If it is too good to be true… then it probably is, and that’s the honest truth. Tech school trades within the European nations such as Germany do pay trades people well with benefits… but US employers view and reward Tech graduates with less pay and benefits. There is definitely a glass ceiling with technical degrees and certainly very little opportunity for those with no education beyond high school. Publications like these really mislead young people and struggling adults by telling them that with little to no education you can make a sustainable occupation happen. It is just not true. Good pay and future requires education within a trade that is in demand a good outlook for the future. No education beyond high school will mean flipping hamburgers or cleaning other peoples messes in the service trades, period!

  10. Jeffrey says

    My brother is a landscape architect. He says you can not practice unless you are licensed, and you can not be licensed unless you have at least a bachelors degree. You can get a certificate, but most firms don’t hire you unless you have a bachelors – it’s a 5 year degree in most cases.

  11. Paul says

    I became a Cdl driver at 22 no highschool diploma doing honest work making $50,000 my first year. trucking is a great financial boost for a any person looking to take step up from minimum wage job I will be saving my money for further education the trick to making money on trucking is hold out for good jobs never be pushed around at work truckers are in such high demand a driver has much control over his or her workspace and can demand raises and such within reason … Also avoid Cdl schools learn on your own time and make freinds in the business save money and stay debt free.

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