Five Ways Fracking Jobs Beat College Degrees
Are you attending a college or university, thinking about doing so, or know someone who is? Sadly, too many debt-saddled youths will find that they were overcharged, and yet ill-prepared, for the “real world” by the colleges that granted them diplomas. After several decades of having the mantra “you need to go to college” shoved down our collective throats by conventional wisdom (or lack of it), some people are finally questioning the value of a college degree. Meanwhile, some industries such as oil shale extraction are booming, and are seeking job-hunters of all stripes. While plenty of technical and engineering positions within the fracking industry require a degree, there are many positions that do not. Fracking Jobs decided to take a look at five ways that fracking jobs beat college degrees:
- College has gotten too expensive, and the return on your investment in time and money is diminishing. You may have heard of the notion of “bad debt” vs. “good debt”. Bad debt, for example, is debt incurred by using a credit card to purchase frivolous items like a weekend in Vegas or a new big-screen TV that you probably should save up and pay cash for. Good debt, by contrast (we are told), is any debt that is incurred where the item being purchased may increase in value or provide a worthwhile return on investment. Good debt can be used to purchase a home, for example, as one hopes a home will increase in value. (Although the entire U.S. has learned that this notion is not necessarily the case after the last couple of years). Good debt is also that debt, the thinking goes, to pay for a college education – because you are investing in yourself. But is racking up six-figures in tuition debt really a good thing? Will you feel as though you’ll get a fair return on your college investment if you’re waiting tables or flipping burgers upon graduation – and you have a mountainous tuition debt as well? Not likely.
- Your sky-high tuition bill is paying for a college president’s sky-high compensation package. Take a look at what college presidents are paid in the graph below. We charted out the top ten university president compensation packages. Every pay package is either well over, or just shy of, $1 million per year. Some would argue that many college presidents are actually worth the money that they make while acting as heads of large universities. There is plenty of room for debate on that point – especially when one learns that many college presidents got their jobs through connections and not because they have great skills at running educational institutions. The real point, however, is this: you’ll be saddled with extremely high costs in order to attend a university. Why should some of those costs be used to pay for your university’s overly generous compensation packages? Keep your money. You deserve it more than E. Gordon Gee of Ohio State University does.
- Why is that tuition bill so high? Don’t the sports programs bring in huge amounts of money? It’s puzzling that the universities that charge the most for tuition are also those institutions that receive the most revenue from their sports teams. For example, the University of Texas football team brought in over $71 million during the 2011 football season. That’s a lot of money for a program that pretends to cater to amateur athletes. If you want to pony up and help pay the lavish salaries of the average college football coach, that’s your choice. But aren’t you actually trying to get an education? It’s nice to brag to your buddies that you attended “Football Crazy University” and the team as been in several bowl games in recent years. But how much are you paying for those bragging rights? Probably far too much. For those who would argue that a football program brings in revenue independent of a school’s educational quality, then why isn’t some of that revenue used to offset tuition costs? Well, because apparently universities aren’t at all serious about making education available so much as making sure that their marquee staffers are lavishly compensated. If a coach or president wants to make top dollar, he or she should work within a private company, which universities are decidedly not. Let the buyer beware. If you’re spending thousands of dollars per year on college tuition, you should know where your money is going. Most folks spend more time doing a cost-analysis of a new vacuum cleaner, unfortunately.
- Speaking of sports programs, haven’t they become too much of a focus for institutions that used to, ahem – provide education? One can’t help but wonder whether students select colleges based on curriculum or based on sports prestige. After the recent Jerry Sandusky abuse scandal at the University or Pennsylvania, all college-bound students (and their parents) should be looking with a very critical eye at any university that elevates its sports programs above its educational programs. Penn State, of course, is a special case: its once legendary, and now tarnished, former football coach Joe Paterno was considered untouchable and above not only criticism – but above the law. Forget that Paterno looked the other way when Sandusky was abusing boys on Penn State property, which is bad enough. The real issue should have been: why was a man in his 80’s still coaching a Big Ten football team? Penn State let its football coach run the school, not Graham Spanier, who was the college president at the time of the abuse scandal. By the way, Spanier earned nearly $3 million in the fiscal 2011-2012 year, before the Sandusky scandal broke. Not bad for a guy who either covered up what he knew about the scandal, or didn’t have control over the organization that he was very well-compensated to manage effectively. Hope those students who earned diplomas during that period are gainfully employed. If not, then their family finances were abused as well.
- Universities have become leftist political indoctrination centers. You would think that institutions that aspire to teaching our youth how to be tolerant would themselves display tolerance to those who have varied political viewpoints. But that is not the case on college campuses, and hasn’t been for some time. The vast majority of college professors support liberal candidates and issues. Conservative thought is surpressed at every level. This is ironic, as left-leaning professors and students love to rail against “narrow mindedness”. By contrast, there are now stories being told of professors who teach open hostility toward politically conservative views. This isn’t tolerance. It’s brainwashing. And it’s going on within your son’s or daughter’s institution of higher learning. You might be writing gigantic checks to send your children to a university that is attempting to indoctrinate them with political views that you vehemently disagree with. It’s bad enough that those viewpoints are being forced onto your kids, but why should you pay – and pay dearly – for this force feeding?
Compensation figures from Money.CNN.com
If you don’t have a college degree (or, more importantly, if you do and have the huge debt to go with it) – then browse the pages here on Fracking Jobs and find a high-paying position to help you get out of debt or help you to purchase books that you can use to teach yourself additional skills. Or, consider other alternatives to college. Yes, knowledge is power – but it shouldn’t cost an arm and a leg or be dispensed by someone with no experience in the business world outside of the ivory tower. A popular slogan on college campuses during the 1960’s was: “Question Authority”. Today, it should be: “Question What you Get For Your Tuition Debt”. The answer should force every aspiring college student to look very critically at tuition costs, and consider finding lucrative work in a growing field, like oil shale extraction. A field, of course, that most college professors can’t stand – even though their Priuses and apartments use fossil fuels.
Update (8/23/2013): Fracking Jobs supports Prager University, an online series of courses which explain and teach basic American values to students (and their parents). As mentioned above, universities have largely become indoctrination centers for leftist thought. If you think this premise is false, then consider that the vast majority of college faculty members overwhelmingly vote for Democratic (therefore, liberal) political candidates. This herd-think is not only damaging to your children who attend a university, it is extremely damaging to the United States and encourages intolerance to viewpoints one doesn’t agree with (in sharp contrast to what liberals pretend to support). Visit Prager University by clicking on the logo at the bottom of this page.