Wyoming Ranks High For Practical Education
This morning I came across yet another "study" that compares each states rank for "higher education." Once again, Wyoming was ranked on the lower end of that scale. This tends to give folks across the country the impression that Wyomingites are not very smart, or educated.
Let's examine this for a moment.
One of my favorite memes is of Jim and Joe.
JIM - Bachelors' Degree in philosophy. Minor in literary arts. He is around $150,000 in debt. Jim works as a barista. He is broke and currently has no idea what he is going to do with his life.
JOE - Borrowed $20,000 to go to trade school and became an electrician. Got paid to work as an apprentice. Has already paid back his debt and makes $80,000 a year.
Joe just shut Jim's power off for nonpayment.
So, the idea that the rest of the nation should feel sorry for Wyoming because not as many people in this state go to ivy league schools is a faulty one.
On the other hand, Wyoming makes the top 10 list of states with the most trade skilled blue collar workers.
Wyoming is the first state in the top 10 where manufacturing doesn’t command the bulk of 17.5% of blue-collar jobs, only employing 3.3% of the workforce.
Construction employs about 7.5% of the workforce.
Mining & logging account for 6.7% of the blue-collar workforce.
Despite the downturn there is still a lot of work in coal, gas, and oil.
All of these jobs pay well and in each case those who trained for those jobs did not have to spend a lot of money and time sitting in a classroom to learn their profession.
So, who's the smart one now?