professions to learn now that will be in demand during recession/collapse?

31 posts / 0 new
Last post
fiorgodx's picture
fiorgodx
Status: Member (Offline)
Joined: Aug 31 2011
Posts: 22
professions to learn now that will be in demand during recession/collapse?

 I have a family member who is ready to start over and learn a whole new profession. I see this as an opportunity to get into something that provides real value as opposed to the traditional seemingly attractive jobs like lawyers or government employees that actually do nothing for society. What are some professions that will likely be in demand as the economy scales back? Some professions I have thought might be in demand are the basic contractor professions (electricians, plumbers, carpenters, etc), locksmiths, security. Any other ideas? The more the better!

ccpetersmd's picture
ccpetersmd
Status: Martenson Brigade Member (Offline)
Joined: Oct 12 2008
Posts: 799
Medical Field...

Almost anything in the medical field will be a good bet. Not only physicians and physician extenders (PAs or NPs), but nurses, technologists (surgery, radiology, etc.), therapists (physical, occupational, etc.), medics (EMT), and others. There are shortages already in many of these fields, and those shortages seem only poised to worsen. Nursing, in particular, is a great place to start, as a basic nursing degree alone can provide a reliable job and flexibility of assignments, plus it opens doors to additional training, if desired. An open question is where funding will come from for some of these positions, particularly those that are primarily hospital-based. But, overall, the medical field is worth considering. You didn't provide any specifics with regard to age, education, skills and interests of your family member, and that would help to determine whether or not a career in medical field would be appropriate.

Damnthematrix's picture
Damnthematrix
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Aug 10 2008
Posts: 3998
Fixit man

I think Jacks of All Trades will be in high demand post TSHTF.

No_Fiat's picture
No_Fiat
Status: Silver Member (Offline)
Joined: Oct 20 2011
Posts: 104
Most Useful

 Farming! You eat and drink = you live.

Doug's picture
Doug
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Oct 1 2008
Posts: 3157
question re: medical professions
ccpetersmd wrote:

Almost anything in the medical field will be a good bet. Not only physicians and physician extenders (PAs or NPs), but nurses, technologists (surgery, radiology, etc.), therapists (physical, occupational, etc.), medics (EMT), and others. There are shortages already in many of these fields, and those shortages seem only poised to worsen. Nursing, in particular, is a great place to start, as a basic nursing degree alone can provide a reliable job and flexibility of assignments, plus it opens doors to additional training, if desired. An open question is where funding will come from for some of these positions, particularly those that are primarily hospital-based. But, overall, the medical field is worth considering. You didn't provide any specifics with regard to age, education, skills and interests of your family member, and that would help to determine whether or not a career in medical field would be appropriate.

Hey doc, my son is in his first year of a pre-med program with aspirations to eventually become an orthopedic surgeon.  Of course, this is very early and it is possible, maybe probable, that he will change his mind a few times along the traditional route to becoming a physician and surgeon.  What is your perspective on what kind of changes the profession is likely to see, particularly in schooling, internships and residencies, when the next decade is likely to bring so much change in our way of life?

Much appreciated,

Doug

Doug's picture
Doug
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Oct 1 2008
Posts: 3157
other occupations

I heartily endorse the list of occupations listed by fiorgodx.  I was an electrician for many years and loved the work.  The downside to the construction trades is that they tend to be physically demanding, and as the body ages we are less able to do that kind of work.  So, unless one plans on moving into management of some sort, maintaining your physical conditioning is important.  But, there is little doubt that the trades will become more important as time passes, and hopefully wages will balance out with the more sedentary, higher income jobs.  I got out of the trades because of the income disparity.

I've gotten to know a number of firearm dealers in the last couple years.  There is universal agreement among the ones I know that business is as good as its ever been.  I expect that trend to continue.

Doug

ccpetersmd's picture
ccpetersmd
Status: Martenson Brigade Member (Offline)
Joined: Oct 12 2008
Posts: 799
Doug...
Doug wrote:

Hey doc, my son is in his first year of a pre-med program with aspirations to eventually become an orthopedic surgeon.  Of course, this is very early and it is possible, maybe probable, that he will change his mind a few times along the traditional route to becoming a physician and surgeon.  What is your perspective on what kind of changes the profession is likely to see, particularly in schooling, internships and residencies, when the next decade is likely to bring so much change in our way of life?

Doug,

I certainly wish I had all the anwers to your question, as I'm in mid-career and the answers would help me make decisions, too! Still, here are my thoughts, for what they are worth...

Practices that rely upon hospital admissions (and especially procedures) potentially face huge challenges with regard to both economy and energy. The economic problems are the earlier concern, whether due to collapse of the dollar, freezing of banks and credit, disruption in the private insurance industry, or cutbacks in federal funding, and seem likely within the next 5-10 years. In my opinion, there is no way that these economic problems can be averted, and it will prove to be a very difficult transition for hospitals and the physicians (like surgeons) who rely upon them. Energy constraints will be a problem in the future, as hospitals, and particularly operating rooms, are extremely energy-intensive. I am not able to imagine with any accuracy what energy constraints will mean for hospitals and operating rooms, but I personally feel these are not likely to be a major issue within the next 10-20 years. I don't mean that energy constraints will not be an issue within that time frame, but that medical needs will likely take some priority over other needs.

Primary care practices (family medicine, internal medicine, pediatrics) and other primarily office-based practices (dermatology, etc.) will be better protected, or have other options, that will make them better able to withstand the perils of economy and energy. Cash-based primary care practices are gradually increasing in prevalence, and I think this trend will accelerate greatly in the years ahead. (I posted a couple of references in the recent Charles Hugh Smith column "Friction" about a cash-based primary care office in my hometown and a cash-based surgical center in Oklahoma.) In addition, primary care is already under-staffed, so that would be a very good field to consider. As the aging demographic gets even older, as money becomes tighter, and as hospitals are more fiscally challenged, the need for good outpatient primary care will increase substantially, and if free market principles still hold, will be compensated accordingly.

Tying the above back to the question you posed about schooling and training, I think we will see a gradual reallocation of resources (premed and medical students) into primary care fields. Specialists such as surgeons will still be needed, and training in those fields will still be more attractive to many (because they're more "exciting", I guess), but I believe the overall trend will be toward greater numbers of well-trained primary care physicians and fewer specialists (reversing the past three decade trend). As the vast majority of medical schools and training programs are associated with institutions dependent upon public funding, schools and residencies in such institutions would seem likely to decrease in number, possibly consolidating with other institutions. Residencies associated with community hospitals, which were fairly common in the past but not as common now, may increase again (pure speculation on my part here, even more than the rest).

As your son is just starting out, I think he should not overly concern himself with what I have written above, however. He should be aware of the challenges that medicine is likely to face, but ultimately, he will find something that he likes to do, has the ability to do, and the opportunity to do. If one of my sons turns out to be interested in medicine, I personally would encourage him to consider a career as a primary care physician, but if he chose to be a specialist, I would just urge him to be the best that he can be.

Full Moon's picture
Full Moon
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Oct 14 2008
Posts: 1258
help wanted

 Smidge off topic but last night I saw  Fox new advertize ...help wanted Astronaut s for NASA .   Pay $140K    I was blown away that this is all they get paid !!    Anyway I found the whole thing interesting ... in my day every little kid dreamed of being an astronaut .

   FM

ccpetersmd's picture
ccpetersmd
Status: Martenson Brigade Member (Offline)
Joined: Oct 12 2008
Posts: 799
Other Than Medical...

I also agree with DTM and Fiat: Jack-of-all-Trades (learning a wide variety of skills to build or repair secondary stores of wealth), farming and ranching (developing primary sources of wealth) would all be very useful.

In the Jack-of-all-Trades categories, I think that plumbing, electrical, HVAC and small-engine maintenance would be most in demand. General construction skill would also be very useful, but I certainly wouldn't plan a career in residential or commercial construction. Not only is construction physically demanding, as Doug mentioned, but I cannot foresee a buildup in demand for new construction for decades. Automotive maintenance would be another good, related field.

Farming and ranching, particularly organic, looks to continue its recent growth. Owning an organic farm and/or ranch, and acquiring the skills to run it well, would be an excellent investment of capital and time, in my opinion. There are numerous farms and ranches which offer courses to those who wish to acquire such skills and knowledge. Some are free workshops, some have fee-based courses, and some offer instruction in exchange for labor.

 

Doug's picture
Doug
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Oct 1 2008
Posts: 3157
Federal employees
Full Moon wrote:

 Smidge off topic but last night I saw  Fox new advertize ...help wanted Astronaut s for NASA .   Pay $140K    I was blown away that this is all they get paid !!    Anyway I found the whole thing interesting ... in my day every little kid dreamed of being an astronaut .

   FM

Don't be surprised.  Astronauts are Federal employees.  Contrary to the popular image of Federal employees as leaches on the system, their incomes are decidedly constrained, particularly at the upper levels.  Supreme Court justices don't make much more than astronauts.

It is notable that Congress has made itself, and no other Federal employees, immune from conflict-of-interest charges for insider trading, of which they apparently regularly take advantage.  Something like 2/3 of Congresspeople are millionaires.  I assure you the proportion among other Federal employees is much much smaller, although, as we know, there are many bureaucrats who leave Federal service and land in cushy well paid positions with companies they previously regulated.  Beltway bandits, as they are known, are well and thriving.

Doug

FAlley's picture
FAlley
Status: Bronze Member (Offline)
Joined: Nov 2 2010
Posts: 90
Captain Obvious

To point out the obvious- Chris' latest blog post is on exactly this topic.

http://www.peakprosperity.com/blog/future-work/64944

CLars's picture
CLars
Status: Member (Offline)
Joined: Jul 13 2011
Posts: 6
Future Jobs in Farming and Ranching

I totally agree with a Jack-of-all-Trades especially if there is a societal breakdown.  You will need to fix your own things and maybe your neighbors.

But I disagree with Farming or Ranching being a source of wealth, maybe subsistance or on a small scale.  The Obama admin. with the help of the UN is gaining HUGE control in the area of Agriculture.  He signed an Exec. Order (13575) on June 9th establishing THE White House Rural Council (WHRC) which is ultimately under UN Agenda 21.  PLEASE look this up.  This is scary !!  Kissinger said, "If you control the Oil then you control a country but if you control the food then you control the people".  See http://www.thenewamerican.com/usnews/politics/7958-obama-signs-agenda-21-related-executive-order and http://www.whitehouse.gov/administration/eop/rural-council

Look up who is on the WHRC http://www.whitehouse.gov/administration/eop/rural-council/members   This is for more control and regulations to control the food sources.  Another good article on this  http://www.canadafreepress.com/index.php/article/37561

Read this article and watch the video of an Organic farmer in Nevada having a Health Inspector show up to a farm dinner and make the farm throw AWAY all the food that was going to be served to guests on the farm.  She declared it unfit to eat and wouldn't even let them serve it to their pigs on the farm.  She MADE them dump it in trash cans and then poured BLEACH on it.  So then it couldn't even be composted !! http://quailhollowfarmcsa.com/30.html  and another article http://www.naturalnews.com/034125_food_freedom_picnic.html

video here http://www.reallyvegasphoto.com/Events/CSA-Farm-Government-Inspection/19707296_v2zFML#1546725033_K6n5zv7

On the East Coast (Pennsylvannia) many Amish farmers have been raided and their equipment confiscated.  I think flying under the radar or growing enough for your family or neighborhood might be all we can do.  The future does not look so bright.

ccpetersmd's picture
ccpetersmd
Status: Martenson Brigade Member (Offline)
Joined: Oct 12 2008
Posts: 799
Welcome, CLars!

CLars,

Welcome to the forums! You're points regarding farming are quite valid; I was appalled at the events at the Nevada organic farm when I saw the video last week. There have been many other incidents, too, as you point out. I think (hope) that the backlash over these incidents may ultimately diminish the likelihood of future occurences, but I certainly may be wrong. Flying under the radar is always a good idea!

Chris

ccpetersmd's picture
ccpetersmd
Status: Martenson Brigade Member (Offline)
Joined: Oct 12 2008
Posts: 799
Yes, Great Timing!
Tin Man wrote:

To point out the obvious- Chris' latest blog post is on exactly this topic.

http://www.peakprosperity.com/blog/future-work/64944

MrEnergyCzar's picture
MrEnergyCzar
Status: Bronze Member (Offline)
Joined: Oct 14 2010
Posts: 54
jobs post peak oil...

 Here's my video discussing future jobs post peak oil/constant recession....

 

MrEnergyCzar

 

Damnthematrix's picture
Damnthematrix
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Aug 10 2008
Posts: 3998
mirror mirror on the wall.....
MrEnergyCzar wrote:

 Here's my video discussing future jobs post peak oil/constant recession....

 

MrEnergyCzar

 

Why do you shoot yoursel from a mirror?

Mike

fiorgodx's picture
fiorgodx
Status: Member (Offline)
Joined: Aug 31 2011
Posts: 22
 Thanks for all the

 Thanks for all the responses. Totally missed that Chris just made a blog post about this topic. In regard to more info about my family member - he's in his mid 20s and currently has no aim. He tried to get into law enforcement but no one's hiring. I couldn't see him in any medical field or anything too 'complicated'. He is an athlete and former wrestler so security might be a good area. Any further ideas are welcome!

peter31's picture
peter31
Status: Bronze Member (Offline)
Joined: Apr 1 2009
Posts: 33
Medical

I'd endorse what Christopher Peters said about anything in the medical field being a good idea, and that generalists will be better positioned than specialists.  Having said that, I think there is going to be quite a lot of re-tooling and other adjustments needed, even for generalists.  I'm a family physician in Canada and my practice consists mainly of pushing pixels around a computer screen and doing large numbers of (mostly unnecessary) investigations and referrals.  I do these, not because they are particularly useful (in my view), but because patients expect them, lawyers expect them, and for the time being the Canadian provincial health insurance plan is willing to pay for them.  But I fully expect that as we go down the path of economic and energy descent, pushing pixels around computer screens will cease to be a useful activity and I will have to do more hands-on stuff like delivering babies - just like family physicians used to do in the old days.  The main difference between me and my colleagues is that I know that this is coming; they don't.  So to try to ease this transition I am putting together a book about how to practice post-peak medicine (mainly for professionals) which you can find here:

www.postpeakmedicine.com   

When it's done it will contain all sorts of useful and practical information like how to act ethically during an armed conflict, and how to manage practice finances in the absence of health insurance plans.

Good luck, Peter

ccpetersmd's picture
ccpetersmd
Status: Martenson Brigade Member (Offline)
Joined: Oct 12 2008
Posts: 799
Post Peak Medicine
peter31 wrote:

I'd endorse what Christopher Peters said about anything in the medical field being a good idea, and that generalists will be better positioned than specialists.  Having said that, I think there is going to be quite a lot of re-tooling and other adjustments needed, even for generalists.  I'm a family physician in Canada and my practice consists mainly of pushing pixels around a computer screen and doing large numbers of (mostly unnecessary) investigations and referrals.  I do these, not because they are particularly useful (in my view), but because patients expect them, lawyers expect them, and for the time being the Canadian provincial health insurance plan is willing to pay for them.  But I fully expect that as we go down the path of economic and energy descent, pushing pixels around computer screens will cease to be a useful activity and I will have to do more hands-on stuff like delivering babies - just like family physicians used to do in the old days.  The main difference between me and my colleagues is that I know that this is coming; they don't.  So to try to ease this transition I am putting together a book about how to practice post-peak medicine (mainly for professionals) which you can find here:

www.postpeakmedicine.com   

When it's done it will contain all sorts of useful and practical information like how to act ethically during an armed conflict, and how to manage practice finances in the absence of health insurance plans.

Good luck, Peter

Thanks for the reference to your website, Peter! I look forward to browsing through it; in fact, I'm going to do so now...

Where in Canada do you practice, if you don't mind answering?

Chris

MrEnergyCzar's picture
MrEnergyCzar
Status: Bronze Member (Offline)
Joined: Oct 14 2010
Posts: 54
reverse image
Damnthematrix wrote:
MrEnergyCzar wrote:

 Here's my video discussing future jobs post peak oil/constant recession....

 

MrEnergyCzar

 

Why do you shoot yoursel from a mirror?

Mike

For some reason the webcam on the laptop reverses the image making it look like a a mirror image...probably a default setting when using webcam.  If it was an actual mirror you'd probably see the camera....

Thanks

MrEnergyCzar

 

ccpetersmd's picture
ccpetersmd
Status: Martenson Brigade Member (Offline)
Joined: Oct 12 2008
Posts: 799
Follow Up for Peter

I've read almost all of your entries on your website, and was very impressed! I particularly enjoyed your discussion about legal and ethical issues, as I had not considered them previously. I notice you don't have a specialty section for thoracic surgery, although that is mentioned in passing in the general surgery section. I might be able to put a piece together, if you like. I did practice as a general surgeon in the U.S. Army for four years after my first residency, but that was over a decade ago. I'm not sure if I'd be much help to you in this regard, but thought I'd offer. I also know a urologist here who is 3E-aware, and I could ask him about a contribution, if you like.

Another resource you might enjoy investigating, and possibly mentioningo on your website is Health After Oil (http://healthafteroil.wordpress.com/about/) by Dan Bednarz. Dan and I have had a few email conversations, and while we differ politically regarding solutions, he seems like a very good guy.

Chris 

thatchmo's picture
thatchmo
Status: Gold Member (Offline)
Joined: Dec 14 2008
Posts: 456
gunsmithing?

I do consider myself a Jack of many Trades and very mechanical, but have always wanted to investigate the gunsmithing field.  Does anyone have any first-hand experience with any on-line (we used to call them "correspondence courses") gunsmithing schools?  Can this trade be taught or learned effectively online?  Got any experience?  Aloha,Steve

peter31's picture
peter31
Status: Bronze Member (Offline)
Joined: Apr 1 2009
Posts: 33
Chris

Chris, I'm practising in Belleville, Ontario.  Thanks for the offer of writing a contribution for the book, which I am happy to accept!  As you may have noticed, I've written the first section myself, but the second and larger section about medical specialties has no entries in it as yet.  I have had a number of offers from various peak-aware specialists to write sections, but nobody has actually produced anything yet, and I'm not pushing people to produce something at this time because it's probably a little early.  The way I can see this going is that the book will be completed, in the words of Ernest Hemingway, "slowly, then all at once" as we reach a tipping point of awareness about peak oil, peak money etc., so I'm probably looking at a completion / publication date about five years down the road.

I am planning to add a few new sections which I didn't think of when I first started this, such as post-peak medical record keeping, evidence based herbal medicine, pathology and thoracic surgery (thanks for that last suggestion).  

Peter

www.postpeakmedicine.com

RNcarl's picture
RNcarl
Status: Gold Member (Offline)
Joined: May 13 2008
Posts: 382
Jack and (Jills) of all trades

Well,

To be a Jack(or Jill) of all trades with consideration of the medical field, one should look first at whether or not they could stomach caring for another human being. I know that comment seems harsh, but many, many folks went into "Health Care" in the last couple of decades "for the money." Some of my clients who were trained in the "fee for service" days lament that their income has been cut in half with the current payor system. Further, other past clients of mine have no business in the healing field what-so-ever.

What I mean is, caring for others is not something that one can enter into "just because" the profession may be more stable, pay more money, pay lots of money or any other typical reason to enter a job field. Some are born healers, others can learn how to care for others.

If someone wanted to enter the medical field whether or not it was to enter medical school, nursing school or an allied health profession, I will suggest that they decide whether or not they could handle the sight of seeing another persons insides, (or what comes out of their insides) before they get too far invested. Some are thinking, "But I am going to be a family practice Doc, (or a psych nurse) I won't see any blood and gore." Well friends, besides what you will see in training, if the world really is moving toward doing more with less, those front line "family practice" folks may see more blood and guts emergencies than they care to see.

Somewhere in the legions of postings here on this site,I know what I am about to say has been discussed before. I would recommend that one take an EMT class. It is vocational, it will connect you with folks in your community and it is a simple and inexpensive investment to see if you can stomach caring for someone else.

I have become highly specialized in what I do currently in Health Care. My job depends on the status quo paying for expensive procedures, and my current job requires complex and expensive infrastructures (energy) to support my day to day tasks. What happens when TSHTF? I dunno. Will my current job go away? I dunno. My company just had another "right-sizing" just before Thanksgiving which has increased the work load on the remaining members of my team by 20% - each. That does not seem like much until you realize that my team (4 people) covers an area the size of the state of Rhode Island.

So what happens to those in such a specialized field? I think this is where the "Jack of all trades" title comes into play.

I am entering my fifth decade on this planet and have acquired a nice little skill set over the years. I have become the butcher, baker and candlestick maker. Not to mention carpenter, gardener and chief-cook-and-bottle-washer! Specifically, I can do electrical wiring, plumbing, car maintenance short of being able to rebuild the engine. I can tune gas and diesel engines. I can teach. I understand that growing food is harder than it looks but easier than it seems. I can bake, cook, and preserve food. I make soap and candles. I have built a house and all that it entails in doing so. I have known incredible sorrow and unspeakable joy. Folks have left this world... and have come into this world while I held them in my arms. I have held my finger on a burst blood vessel on the surface of a beating heart... and wiped a runny nose. Yet, for all those skills, there are many, many more that I don't have and will need to face the future.

It has taken me fifty years to be able to learn the above "skills." A few I do well, many I can do adequately, and others I really suck at doing but I can do them... plumbing comes to mind.

Let me outline some of the skills that I think we will all need that I don't have. - I can fire a gun, but don't have the skills for proper self defence. I don't network well. (Read community building) My debt ratio is still way too high. I don't have a grasp on how much food I will need to grow in a season. My personal fitness is a one on a 1-10 scale. I have never prepared any meat from the hoof, foot or claw. I have barely cleaned fish. I am sure there are more but I can't think of them.

So, it's time to get busy folks. It took me fifty years to acquire these skills. Do we have fifty more to acquire those that we will need in the future? I doubt it.

Become your own "Jack of all trades." If mono-cropping is a bad idea for agriculture, being "mono-skilled" is a bad idea for survival in the fuure.

C.

earthwise's picture
earthwise
Status: Platinum Member (Offline)
Joined: Aug 10 2009
Posts: 848
Jack-of-all-trades: many skills, many opportunities
RNcarl wrote:

I am entering my fifth decade on this planet and have acquired a nice little skill set over the years. I have become the butcher, baker and candlestick maker. Not to mention carpenter, gardener and chief-cook-and-bottle-washer! Specifically, I can do electrical wiring, plumbing, car maintenance short of being able to rebuild the engine. I can tune gas and diesel engines. I can teach. I understand that growing food is harder than it looks but easier than it seems. I can bake, cook, and preserve food. I make soap and candles. I have built a house and all that it entails in doing so. I have known incredible sorrow and unspeakable joy. Folks have left this world... and have come into this world while I held them in my arms. 

Dang, dude!! I'm truly impressed! If I lived by you I'd ask if I could hang around you.

RNcarl wrote:

I have held my finger on a burst blood vessel on the surface of a beating heart... and wiped a runny nose.

.

At the same time?

RNcarl wrote:

Become your own "Jack of all trades." If mono-cropping is a bad idea for agriculture, being "mono-skilled" is a bad idea for survival in the fuure.

True wisdom.

RNcarl's picture
RNcarl
Status: Gold Member (Offline)
Joined: May 13 2008
Posts: 382
Jack-of-all-trades: many skills, many opportunities
earthwise wrote:
RNcarl wrote:

I am entering my fifth decade on this planet and have acquired a nice little skill set over the years. I have become the butcher, baker and candlestick maker. Not to mention carpenter, gardener and chief-cook-and-bottle-washer! Specifically, I can do electrical wiring, plumbing, car maintenance short of being able to rebuild the engine. I can tune gas and diesel engines. I can teach. I understand that growing food is harder than it looks but easier than it seems. I can bake, cook, and preserve food. I make soap and candles. I have built a house and all that it entails in doing so. I have known incredible sorrow and unspeakable joy. Folks have left this world... and have come into this world while I held them in my arms. 

Dang, dude!! I'm truly impressed! If I lived by you I'd ask if I could hang around you.

At least my ADD has proven useful after all!

earthwise wrote:
RNcarl wrote:

I have held my finger on a burst blood vessel on the surface of a beating heart... and wiped a runny nose.

.

At the same time?

umm.. er... no. It was meant as an "A-Z" comment. As for the "finger in the dike" thing, I happened to be standing in the wrong place at the right time. See, while going to school to be an RN, I worked in the open-heart-surgery ICU as a student nurse/critical care tech and an open chest patient came up from the OR after having cornary bypass surgery and one of their grafts "sprung a leak" and there I was standing at the foot of the bed watching what was going on, when all of a sudden the surgeon pointed at me and said, "you, come here and put your finger there and don't move it until I tell you." So, there I was, finger on this poorly beating heart, riding the bed into the OR. The OR nurses eyes were big as full moons as we came crashing through the doors, me riding on the bed with my hand on the patient's heart. I remember it like it was yesterday... yes, the patient did make it but not after a long, long rehab. If it wasn't for THAT particular surgeon, I am sure the outcome would have been different. To this day, I would let him operate on me any time. Last I heard, he was the head of an open heart program somewhere in up-state New York.

earthwise wrote:
RNcarl wrote:

Become your own "Jack of all trades." If mono-cropping is a bad idea for agriculture, being "mono-skilled" is a bad idea for survival in the future.

True wisdom.

I don't know if it is wisdom or luck. At times it has been a curse. I can do a lot, but have become the master of not-so-much.

Now this is where I diverge with some of the developing opinion on this site. I am still a firm believer in a college education. Even if it is a major in History or Philosophy or what-not. What college teaches you is HOW to learn. To only learn a vocation, even one that seems well suited for the "big change" that is professed to be coming our way - only teaches you to do - one thing. Or if you will, one TYPE of skill. A good four year college or University teaches you how to learn and explore - many things. Chris M. is a Dukie. There is little argument that Duke is a good school. His training taught him how to use the scientific method to draw conclusions. I am not meaning to minimize his innate talents - what I am saying is that proper training helped shape his God given talent.

With that said, I don't mean the school has to be a Duke to be useful, but it really can't be a diploma mill either. Simple high school vocational training should be reserved for those who that particular training fits their personal gifts.

Perhaps, college will return to its proper place. A place where one goes to learn how to learn, how to lead, and how to do; not just a place that one goes to get a diploma that is a "key" to a corporate J.O.B. Just Over Broke.

FWIW - C.

Saffron's picture
Saffron
Status: Gold Member (Offline)
Joined: Aug 29 2009
Posts: 250
Leadership education
RNcarl wrote:

Now this is where I diverge with some of the developing opinion on this site. I am still a firm believer in a college education. Even if it is a major in History or Philosophy or what-not. What college teaches you is HOW to learn. To only learn a vocation, even one that seems well suited for the "big change" that is professed to be coming our way - only teaches you to do - one thing. Or if you will, one TYPE of skill. A good four year college or University teaches you how to learn and explore - many things. Chris M. is a Dukie. There is little argument that Duke is a good school. His training taught him how to use the scientific method to draw conclusions. I am not meaning to minimize his innate talents - what I am saying is that proper training helped shape his God given talent.

With that said, I don't mean the school has to be a Duke to be useful, but it really can't be a diploma mill either. Simple high school vocational training should be reserved for those who that particular training fits their personal gifts.

Perhaps, college will return to its proper place. A place where one goes to learn how to learn, how to lead, and how to do; not just a place that one goes to get a diploma that is a "key" to a corporate J.O.B. Just Over Broke.

FWIW - C.

What you are describing is Leadership education and since there are quite a few homeschoolers on this site, I highly recommend "A Thomas Jefferson Education" by Oliver DeMille to see how you can start the process at home.

Many colleges (today) have chosen Professional education which teaches you a specialty but not necessarily How to Think. A good college will still do this, but many allow students to choose the fast track into a profession which focuses on just those particular studies, creating Expertise in one area ... but doesn't necessarily teach you how you can use your training elsewhere (i.e. How to think.)   

Paraphrased from the book: a leadership education has three primary goals - first to train thinkers, leaders, entrepreneurs and statesmen; second to perpetuate freedom by preparing people who know what freedom is and what is required to maintain it; and these 2 goals are accomplished by the third: teaching students How to Think.

In regards to the second goal above, one of the most frustrating experiences I have these days when I try to talk to people about what is going on (though, for the most part I've given up, realizing how few want to know) is how few people realize the freedoms we have lost just in the last 10 years. If people don't even recognize when their freedoms are being taken away, how can they be motivated to fight for them!

~ s ... who did not receive a leadership education, but somehow knows when my rights are being trampled on

ccpetersmd's picture
ccpetersmd
Status: Martenson Brigade Member (Offline)
Joined: Oct 12 2008
Posts: 799
Saffron wrote: What you are
Saffron wrote:

What you are describing is Leadership education and since there are quite a few homeschoolers on this site, I highly recommend "A Thomas Jefferson Education" by Oliver DeMille to see how you can start the process at home.

This is indeed a great book! We have been using lessons learned from this book, and the accompanying website, in the education of our boys.

Wendy S. Delmater's picture
Wendy S. Delmater
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Dec 13 2009
Posts: 1988
the education bubble

Once upon a time we learned differently. College or University was somewhere you went to become a fully-rounded human being, with a side order of learning a specialty. You could work your way through school and not pile up obscene levels of debt.

I say this as someone who has a sense of what education used to be like since she reads a great deal of historical fiction. (Example: I just finished Alec Forbes of Howglen, an 1800s Scottish novel where the protagonist starts out going to college to be a doctor and ends up deciding to become a farmer.). I also say this as someone who straddled two generations in American college eduation. Now the specialists are so specialized that mostly what you learn is the specialty. There is no time for much else except the endless finacial aid paperwork.

I started college right after high school in 1973, with a year at Michigan State in pre-nursing. That was cut short due to a major family illness, and I did not go back to university (new major, Safey Management) until I was in my mid-forties. Because I was working full-time and raising three sons while in school, I burned out and took off my third year at Mercy College. And  this is relevant since it meant that when I returned I was "out of sequence" on my courses: especially troublesome since the school was dropping my major. I had to get acceptable courses at two other colleges (NYIT and UCONN) to finish my degree. I got the grand tour, if you will, of how colleges had changed including course work and finances. And I wrote a paper on how education was changing as a result. 

Simply put, as degrees got more and more specialized there was less and less coursework devoted to "how to learn." There was some mandatory rounding education, though, still--I was required to take a music appreciation course, one history course a year, a mandatory communtications course (public speaking and essay writing) but except for the communications course (public speaking is, after all, an in-person sort of thing) classes were all taken remotely, over the internet, and you were charged the same as if you were in a classroom. I can state for a FACT that when you take a couse on the internet it is incredibly easy to cut and paste your answers from other sources and file off the serial numbers. You routinely had B or C students saying, in effect, "Me, too" to the few actual learners like me, and they were adept at sliding through with a minumum of effort. These seat-warmers who were their high school's meal ticket to federal eduaction funds now skirted the very edges of plagerism and still got degrees - degrees that were paid for by federeal education funds and loans. Semi-plagerism on a computer is not conducive to a rounded education; heck it's not even conducive to learning your specialty. And it sure has made a glut of graduates, who are now finding their degrees are lowering in value almost as quickly as their over-inflated home values.

As to the specialties, the pace of change today is so horrific that a degree in some specialties is practically useless. The older the degree, the less relevant the stuff you learned was. My paper posited that a professional license, with continuing eduation credits, would eventually replace many degrees, since it meant you were up-to-date in your field. Some professions have done away with degrees all together: I personally know several IT guys who have all sorts of licenses and no degrees. We will always need doctors and scientists and certain engineers to go to college, especially since there is no substitute for many of the hands-on things they need to do to learn their specialties. But my experience tells me the higher eduaction landscape has changed, and this has directly contributed to the devaluation of college degrees.  But the gatekeepers' perceptions have not caught up yet.

That "sheepskin" got me past the HR gatekeepers. That is all a degree is nowadays, a way for Human Resources to cover their a** if you don't work out, as in, "How was I supposed to know so-and-so would not be a good fit here? they had a degree..."  Considering the state of higher eduation nowadays, I value my degree in the school of hard knocks even more.

berensma's picture
berensma
Status: Member (Offline)
Joined: Feb 10 2011
Posts: 14
PostPeakMed book

I'm a professional medical writer, and although I'm pretty slammed right now and for the indefinite future with paid work I will totally be reading your book, and I'd love to be kept in mind for the future -- I'm sure some of your writers would appreciate some pro bono help with editing and article preparation!

Best,
Caitlin

(www.medlitera.com

V2's picture
V2
Status: Bronze Member (Offline)
Joined: May 13 2010
Posts: 31
Generalist vs Specialist

I appreciate this thread and the recent post by CHS, so thanks to all. I find the generalist vs. specialist discussion very interesting, as I've been very aware of my own personal pidgeon hole for years now. My official job title even has the word "Specialist" in it! Crap!

Not only are my skills heavily specialized, but they are also in a declining industry: optical media. That's not a good mix. So, I basically need to make a total career change, mid-20s, without going back to school (I paid off student loans once already, and have NO desire to do it again. Debt is off the table.)

I'm mostly seeing medical and organic agriculture here. Can't stomach the bloody stuff, and I've done some seasonal farm work which totally broke my back. I have a small frame and probably wouldn't last long in the field. Well, at least it's food for thought.

I have a buddy in a steam fitter union...it's interesting because I've wondered about his future given the growing anti-union sentiment in America ,which is justified in many cases, but the skills he 's learned over the past 5 years or so will really serve him and his family well. I'm sure he's comfortable using just about any tool you hand to him.

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.
Login or Register to post comments