Top Pro & Con Arguments


Many people would be better served learning a trade or pursuing work right out of high school.

Trade professions are necessary for society to function, require less than four years of training, and often pay above average wages. The high number of young adults choosing college over learning a trade has created a ‘skills gap’ in the US and there is now a shortage of ‘middle-skill’ trade workers like machinists, electricians, plumbers, and construction workers. One survey of US manufacturers found that 67% reported a “moderate to severe shortage of talent.” “Middle-skill” jobs represent half of all jobs in the US that pay middle-class wages. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, “middle-skill” jobs will make up 45% of projected job openings through 2014, but as of 2012 only 25% of the workforce had the skills to fill those jobs. [53] [54] [55]

Many people succeed without college degrees. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, of the 30 projected fastest growing jobs between 2010 and 2020, five do not require a high school diploma, nine require a high school diploma, four require an associate’s degree, six require a bachelor’s degree, and six require graduate degrees. The following successful people either never enrolled in college or never completed their college degrees: Richard Branson, founder and chairman of the Virgin Group; Charles Culpepper, owner and CEO of Coca Cola; Ellen Degeneres, comedian and actress; Michael Dell, founder of Dell, Inc.; Walt Disney, Disney Corporation founder; Bill Gates, Microsoft founder; Steve Jobs, co-founder of Apple; Wolfgang Puck, chef and restaurateur; Steve Wozniak, co-founder of Apple; Mark Zuckerberg, founder of Facebook. [43] [44]

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