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Mike Rowe on Higher Education: ‘Is It Valuable? Sure. Is It Worth It At Any Cost? Well Of Course Not’

Photo from Mike Rowe’s Instagram

Mike Rowe on Higher Education: ‘Is It Valuable? Sure. Is It Worth It At Any Cost? Well Of Course Not’

By Movieguide® Staff

DIRTY JOBS star Mike Rowe recently announced the upcoming season for his latest show, HOW AMERICA WORKS.

The show, similar to DIRTY JOBS, shines a light on the importance and necessity of skilled laborers and the lack of appreciation that America’s current education system shows towards the men and women in those fields.

Following President Biden’s college debt-forgiveness announcement, Rowe said that it shunned the majority of the American workforce who never got a four-year degree.

“Politically, I understand what’s going on. Practically something else might be going on, legally, that’s a bit beyond my purview, how it shakes out in the courts,” he explained on FOX Business’ podcast, FOX NEWS EXTRA. “But I’ve always been in a strange spot with this because my foundation makes a big, noisy and I hope a persuasive case for jobs that don’t require a four-year degree. It’s not because I am opposed to four-year degrees, it’s just that right now the 11 million open positions we have in the country by and large don’t require one. They require training.”

“The diploma is a tool, it can be a very valuable tool, it is certainly a very expensive tool, but it’s not a more critical tool than a diesel truck that a contractor relies upon to build your house,” he continued. “It’s not a more important tool than a bulldozer that a contractor might purchase to do his job. Personally, I always felt like we are picking winners and losers when we decide what kind of investment in our future to forgive to forget; why this and not that?”

While Rowe attended college and had experience in both community college and at university, he said that he met countless men and women on his show DIRTY JOBS that felt under appreciated, even before the debt-forgiveness plan was announced.

“I am hesitant to speak too loudly for anybody but me, but I will tell you anecdotally I’ve talked to hundreds of people who I met on DIRTY JOBS, lots of people on HOW AMERICA WORKS. These are men and women who have expressed to me a fundamental sense that they are less valued. That their skill is less valued. That their work is less valued,” he explained. “There are thousands of ways that our society has passed all sorts of various judgements on various forms of education and various ways to earn a buck. By and large, they feel like they are not at the top.”

“[College] is a wonderful thing. I get pushback from people who say, ‘Mike, he’s ok he’s got his foundation but hes anti-education.’ Of course not. I am a product of a liberal arts degree, it served me well. In 1984, when the dust settled and I finished my community college and my university experience, the whole thing cost me $12,000,” he added. “Today, the exact same experience, the exact same course load would be about $92,000. Nothing in the history of this society thats valuable, has increased in cost faster; not energy, not health care, not food, not real estate. Nothing has become more expensive than the cost of a four-year degree.

“Is it valuable? Sure. Is it worth it at any cost? Well of course not. It really depends. We told an entire generation of kids that they’d be screwed if they didn’t go to college. At the same time, we removed shop class from high schools thereby proving, optically, ‘there’s truly nothing to see here.’”

While Rowe said that he supports the collegiate education route, he does not agree that it is the only way to a happy, financially stable life.

“Personally, I do believe that higher-ed need better PR. We needed a campaign in the 70s and 80s to encourage more people to explore that road, but we didn’t stop at simply making a case for college. We had to do it by saying, and if you don’t go, you’re going to get stuck turning a wrench. Or you’re going to get stuck at some dead-end job,” Rowe said. “Well guess what? Those dead-end jobs currently defined as welding and plumbing and so forth, they are six figure jobs. And the men and women I know who are doing them are happy, well-engaged, and balanced.”

Check out Rowe’s entire interview below:

Extra: Mike Rowe On America’s Millions Of Unfilled “Dirty Jobs” – Story Published on Fox News Radio

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4000+ Faith Based Articles and Movie Reviews – Will you Support Us?

Our small team works tirelessly to provide resources to protect families from harmful media, reviewing 415 movies/shows and writing 3,626 uplifting articles this year. We believe that the gospel can transform entertainment. That’s why we emphasize positive and faith-filled articles and entertainment news, and release hundreds of Christian movie reviews to the public, for free. No paywalls, just trusted, biblically sound content to bless you and your family. Online, Movieguide is the closest thing to a biblical entertainment expert at your fingertips. As a reader-funded operation, we welcome any and all contributions – so if you can, please give something. It won’t take more than 52 seconds (we timed it for you). Thank you.