Back in January and February there was a great little campaign that most people in the GTA noticed. It was a parody on a new drug that would make child conform to their parent's will. Odd, no one was quite sure what it was about. In the end it was Ontario Colleges, an advocacy group encouraging... college.
The idea that many students are being herded into college so their parents can live through them is one many people have experienced. Looking back, I don't recall entertaining the idea of going to college. All through highschool it was all about going to university. Calling college a distant second doesn't do it justice. I don't think it was even an option. Realizing the opportunities my parents never had wasn't too big of an agenda, or so I think.
I see in my family now that my younger cousins are being strongly encouraged. I think it's a very valid debate. Colleges have gotten a bad rap. Universities have received a false title. College is for kids that couldn't get into university; university will get you a good job.
From a person with Computer Science degree I can still say that university is (and should be) about thinking - Not getting a job. University is about becoming a more well-rounded person, being able to critically think for yourself. The lines have been clouded by the idea that you can't get a job without university. Schools have created more and more specialization to make students more attractive to employers. Where have all the free-thinkers gone? I guess that's bound just to Liberal Arts now.
I've heard about the coming shortage of skilled trades with the bulk of baby boomers nearing retirement. However I haven't heard of rates for tradespeople going through the roof yet. Perhaps I should consider a new career now, by the time I get through school and an apprenticeship all the boomers will be retired, and I could rake it in at a Y2k consultant-type pace.