21 October 2021

Trading Up

An alternative to taking on mountains of college debt? The College Administrators won't like that. Trading Up: Our Case For Trade Schools

Are universities the only ticket to a meaningful and financially rewarding career? Or is there another way? Opportunities in the trades are plentiful and profitable—setting young people up for rapid success compared to expensive and time-consuming college degrees.

This documentary tells the story of Chloe Hudson, who was focused on becoming a surgeon, when she realized - early on - that she hated the whole environment. She now has a good job, making decent money, has no college-loan-debt, etc. It includes a bit from Mike Rowe, since Ms. Hudson received a scholarship for trade school through his foundation. It also includes an interview with Robert Kiyosaki, the author or Rich Dad, Poor Dad, who talks about financial education, and the complete lack of it.

College degrees are expensive, and not all college degrees lead to a job that can pay off the debt.

One of my favorite coffee shops closed during the pandemic. While talking to the owner one day, she told me about some of the people who worked there. 4 year degrees, making sandwhiches and serving coffee. After the contraction in 2008, Costco decided that they were only going to hire people with college degrees, because there were enough of them, and it made their lives easier. So people with a 4 year degree and mountains of debt were stocking shelves at Costco. That has since changed.

The full documentary can be found at this link. It is a 30 minute program, but I think it is worth your time.

This is the trailer for Trading Up from Prager U.

Hat tip to Mike Rowe. Trading Up. Mike Rowe has a short article on his website that includes a link to a F*c*book video of an interview with Chloe Hudson. You can also find the interview at this link (on YouTube). That video is about 6 minutes, and it is also worth your time.


  1. Trade schools aren't free....and generally not cheap. And not all produce competent graduates. Just like traditional universities the product varies and the cost varies. Buyer beware.

  2. I took a two year course in Industrial Instrumentation in the late 1970s. I worked with one instrument manufacturer for a decade, then went into industrial construction/startups. I've been doing that since 1991. And I'm still working as a contractor.

    Two years ago my gross (for 2019) was over $300,000. Last year, about half of that. What a difference a year (and a President) makes.

  3. But remember that a lot of the jobs that didn't need advanced education have been offshored and the Corruptocrats have imported a huge labor force that will compete for un-licensed jobs. The "establishment" (i.e. GOPe) joined the Corruptocrats to accept the bogus "election". Don't expect them to play by the rules. "Gig Work" and consultants may be all that is left. A good number of corporations see no point in paying a professional full time, when they can hire a consultant to keep the "field hands" out of trouble. They assume that "repairs" are cheaper than doing something correctly. Be careful.....


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