Retraining is tough for ex-steelworkers

When RG Steel closed in Baltimore, laying off 2,000 well-paid steelworkers, Community College of Baltimore County offered workers a chance to retool. But college was a hard sell, despite federal retraining aid for displaced workers. “It’s a group of men who think college is for other people,” says Brian Penn, who runs the college’s heating, ventilating, air-conditioning, and energy technology program.

Smart people, stupid choices

Why Should Everyone Else Pay for Other People’s Dumb (and Hedonistic) Career Choices? asks Barry Rubin on PJ Media.

He starts with a hard-working 28-year-old man who is “puzzled and increasingly bitter that he cannot make a good living” with a degree in linguistics — to which he’s adding Oriental philosophy studies.

He cannot make a living because the market for people with degrees in linguistics and in Oriental philosophy is limited. He should have known that. Someone should have told him that. The calculation of practicality should have been made. It wasn’t.

Young people need to be taught “the world doesn’t owe them a living,” whatever politicians may say, Rubin writes.

If you have a profound passion for art, literature, or other such things, go for it. But be aware of what’s likely to happen afterward.

. . .  Studying the social sciences and humanities, not to mention all of the phony degree programs that have sprung up, does not make one employable, nor does a degree have written on it “hire this person at a high salary.” Even as they charge more, universities — especially certain departments in them — are creating neither qualified professionals nor serious intellectuals.

“Get a useful education, a job, and a hobby in that order,” Rubin concludes. “And don’t expect the hardworking people, who have had to make compromises in their own lives, to pay for you to do whatever you want.”

New center will study college-jobs link

A new research center will study the college-jobs link, including analyzing the effectiveness of college-based job retraining and the payoffs for short-term occupational degrees and certificates.

Also on Community College Spotlight:  Virginia community colleges are redesigning the remedial math curriculum to move students quickly to college-level classes.