It is not just university no. Trades too need a focus. You make a very good point. In my time I heard some say the costs were too high but in reality they were zip all compared to today.Sir Purrcival wrote:Actually what we really need to do is raise the profile of the trades. For years, post secondary education of the University Variety was often seen as the elite post secondary education option. To some extent, some of the highest paying jobs still do come as a result of a University Degree but now more than not, that means University Degrees and 8 -10 years of post secondary education. By contract, the trades are doing very well overall and the education commitment is much less. By the time a young person is 25, he may well have been engaged in steady, gainful employment for 3 years and making very good money whereas your University bound 25 year old may only just be getting through their second degree (if they are lucky)and still have more to go before the big money jobs begin to appear. And even at that, the debt load may be so high as to further reduce the meaningful amount of employed time that one has to achieve the things they want in life (home, family) and so on. There was a time that University was a ticket to a great job. No longer in many cases. In some ways, they may prepare you less for post education life because in many disciplines, they don't really give you marketable skills.
I think that there were more high paying jobs in the forest industry in the 1960 and 70s and management roles that would get you far ahead of univ. grads who toiled for four years. Students (males) could easily finance their educ with summer work in good paying jobs. Cities would take on summer workers then too. All good jobs. This stuff seems to have virtually disappeared.
Trades suffer from ups and downs in the economy - an issue. Getting funding for training never seems to get resolved. BC is just too small a population (as I look back here from HK which is small at a tight 7 million).
But to me the greatest folly we are making in North America is higher education costs being put out of the reach of far too many these days. It is discouraging to me as one who has had a very low cost high grade education in BC where I was able to get two degrees and come out of both debt free with good paying job options that I could pick and choose from.
We need more invested in R&D - critical issue for new industries. We need investments in social areas and get good training for people to solve old problems in new ways.