“New Collar” Workers: 6 Months to a Hot, In-Demand Career


The “New Collar” worker is the common sense wave of the future.

I know for many decades parents have obsessed on doing whatever it takes to get their children a college education. The questions are, “Is that the best route for most young adults?”, or “Is it a colossal waste of money and a disservice to your child?”

Changing Times

Many parents even before the birth of their little bundle of joy have started college funds. Many didn't and then panicked when their child was in high school so they started looking at refinancing their homes to come up with the money. Grandparents frequently got involved wanting to help out.

According to an article by educator Chase Mielke, “How Our National Obsession with College Is Destroying Education”, Mielke says, “We are so fixated on just getting kids to college, we don't often ask why and for what purpose.”

Mielke couldn't be more right. Times change. You can count by the tens of thousands young adults racking up massive debt for themselves and their parents. Some overcome their disillusionment and actually graduate. Then, if they're lucky, they can work at Starbucks.

Sure, there are dubious statistics that say that a college degree will mean more income in a person's lifetime. Why do I say “dubious”? Just Google the various lawsuits waged against law schools for falsifying their post-graduation employment stats. 90 plus percent employment of graduates sounds pretty good, doesn't it? Not if you have $300,000.00 in debt while working at a job that doesn't even require a bachelor's degree.

Easy Loan Money is Easy to Squander

I just heard an entire segment on a TV Business network this weekend. It talked about how easy-to-get student loans provided tons of money to students so regular colleges and universities could inflate their already outrageous tuition and fees while forcing useless classes on the students. . . . Don't even get me started on the fact that teachers are giving extra credit for protesting rather than attending class. I guess these kids could get jobs as professional dissidents. I'll check to see how many openings there are for that.

Times have surely changed and it didn't happen recently. Somehow Mielke's fixation comment is evidence that bloated higher education systems that raise tuition and lower standards have blinded conscientious parents, educators and students. They've been putting out the self-promotional message for years that their way is the only way. They say, “Go to college no matter what”. I wouldn't be surprised if booze and pizza companies were behind this propaganda too.

The irony here according to IBM CEO Ginni Rometty is that, “Employers can't find the skilled workers they need even though job openings are at near record highs.” Why is that? I recall a cartoon I saw years ago in New Yorker Magazine. It was a Ph.D person at an employment office. The counselor said, “We have tons of BA's, MBA's and Ph.D.’s. What we need is a good body and fender man (sic person).”

Today's record high “body and fender” work is now electronic, computer and Internet related. True body and fender work is considered “Blue Collar”. Professional work like accounting, finance, executive banking, etc. is considered “White Collar.” Rometty is credited with coining the term “New Collar” work and that's what this article is about.

Put on Your New Collar

New Collar jobs are ones that don't require a college degree. Health care, manufacturing, and service businesses of many types utilize pretty much zero of the curricula forced down the throats of hapless, indoctrinated families and students.

You'd be better off burning your money rather than wasting 4 years or more of your child's life and burying them with debt.

Add to that the craziness the electives you're paying for that will certainly impress when interviewing for a job. I'm sure “Zombies in Popular Media” (Columbia College), “The Strategy of Starcraft” (U.C. Berkeley), and “The Textual Appeal of Tupac Shakur” (University of Washington) will have companies bidding against each other for your grad's services. Oh, and don't forget “Underwater Basket weaving” (I'm not kidding) at Reed College.

Many people have been credited with the quote, “Common sense is not so common”, but Holy Wasted Tuition Batman! Stop and think about this. You just may be risking your child's future and your own financial future because you have been made to feel guilty into thinking college is a must.

CNBC said, “Vocational Schools
are the forefront of
preparing students for
the 21st century workforce.”

Now before you fly off the handle saying, “My kid is too smart to work with his hands as a laborer”, let me tell you a quick story. Then I promise I'll show you that “vocational” doesn't always mean bricklaying, welding and plumbing (which, I might add, are all very lucrative vocations).

I saw an interview with a high school graduate female that was in an apprenticeship to be an electrician. Her friends who were all going to college were pretty much making fun of her. This young lady had a great head on her shoulders. She told the interviewer that she's already making good money as an apprentice. She's learning like crazy. And she's gaining a skill that's in super high demand.

(Sidebar here: If you think I'm kidding about being in demand, I referred the electrician I use at my house to my new neighbor. He was told it would be 2 to 3 months before my guy could get to him. Every day across our fence he's been telling me he's checked about 10 other places and none can get to his job for a couple months…now that's being in demand!)

Back to our young lady. . . . She told the interviewer she was making her own way. She's going to finish the apprenticeship program with money in the bank and no debt in less than a year. She said her friends are all a financial burden to their parents and are taking a bunch of worthless classes and partying way too much.

Vocational” Does Not Mean “Backbreaking”

OK, so maybe you can't picture your little girl pulling wire all day, but just because it's called a “vocation” doesn't mean it's manual labor where you have to wear a hard hat.

Here are a few vocations that favor brains over brawn: (and they don't require a 4-year degree)

  • Advertising
  • Bookkeeping
  • Chef
  • Computer Programmer
  • Concierge
  • Cost Estimator
  • Data Entry
  • Dental Assistant
  • Desktop Publisher
  • Hairstylist
  • Electronic Repair
  • Flight Attendant
  • Food Service Manager
  • Interpreter
  • All types of sales
  • Nursing
  • Limo Driver
  • Loan Officer
  • Marketing
  • Medical Assistant
  • Police
  • Social Media
  • Tour Guide
  • Truck Driver
  • Vet Assistant
  • Website Design

This is obviously just a smattering of the thousands of different types of lucrative non-degree, non-backbreaking jobs available all over the country and abroad.

Many also lend themselves to starting a small business either part time of full time. For instance, your child could start a bookkeeping service and could freelance evenings and weekends as a limo driver. (I know from hiring tons of limos the tip alone is a good day's pay for many people.) You could even purchase a used limo for way less than tuition, fees, and lodging for one semester at most universities.

To be totally transparent here, I run a vocational Internet marketing school. But far beyond my self-interest in writing this article I see young people all around drowning in debt and coming to me so overqualified for the jobs I offer, I almost feel bad hiring them. It's a sad state of affairs when I'd rather hire a computer geek high school kid who rides his bike to work, than someone with a Master’s degree in some obscure topic who is desperate for any kind of work.

So, it may be time for some soul searching and maybe a good sit down talk with your young adult to see if it makes sense to ship them off for 4 years, incur a great amount of debt and cross your fingers they’ll get a job upon graduation. Or, it just might make more sense to get them an in-demand skill where they can go to work quickly, incur little or no debt and then decide later if they’d like to go for a degree.

We at the Internet Marketing Training Center would love to discuss with you how your youngster could have a lucrative and totally sought after skill that will allow him / her to get a job, start a legitimate online business, or both. Please call and we can lay out a plan to make this happen in about 6 months, with no lodging expense as we’re a distance learning school, . . . AND for way less than the cost of that limo.

Call me Tom Antion at my office at 757-431-1366, or mobile at 301-346-7403 and I’ll be happy to answer all your questions.

Related Articles:
Is College Really Worth It?

The Future of Universities

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Categories : Career


  1. jim schuster says:

    Thanks for writing this Tom.
    We need more people standing up and saying the same thing. I am tired of hearing “we live in a global economy” so you must go to college and learn how to compete globally. Like, just tell your neighbor he is in a global economy and maybe he should look for a Micronesian company for his electrician!

    Seems that the country “leaders” believe Americans don’t make anything anymore. We just “consume.” Everything is made elsewhere. Maybe they need a real job making things people can use. That way they can learn, we live in a global economy alright. We’ll make here and sell it all over the world!

  2. Tom Antion says:

    You’re right on Jim and thanks for helping me spread the word!