'Cool Careers Without College for People Who
Love to Fix Things'
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[MAY 25, 2005]
"Cool Careers Without College for
People Who Love to Fix Things," by Linda Bickerstaff, The Rosen Publishing
Group, 2004, 144 pages, young adult
After close to 30 years in the
educational field, including four in adult education, it is my
opinion that we do a disservice to young people when we insist that
everyone must attend college to have "the good life." Although
today's economic structure certainly does reward some who have
bachelor's, master's or doctorate degrees with large annual incomes,
many college graduates find themselves burdened with years of loan
payments and a job market glutted with college degrees in quite a
few fields. Often they are forced to work in a job unrelated to
their field of study just to make ends meet and to attain work
A number of young people find a
higher education is unattainable, perhaps because of family
financial situations or academic reasons. Should we consider these
bright, productive young adults as doomed to menial, low-paying
jobs? Certainly not!
So what are the options for someone
who is not quite certain they want to go on to college but would
like to make an income that will provide nicely for themselves and
the family they may wish to have someday? Linda Bickerstaff's book
"Cool Careers Without College for People Who Love to Fix Things"
could provide a steppingstone across that wide river of uncertainty.
Bickerstaff outlines and explores 12
different careers that do not require a traditional college degree.
She does caution that a high school degree or equivalency diploma
are necessary but tells us "specific training for the chosen career
is then obtained in trade schools, vocational or technical
institutions, one- or two-year community college programs, by
apprenticeships, by distance-learning programs, or by do-it-yourself
home-study courses." All it takes is effort and initiative, but it
pays off if college is not the path a young adult is considering.
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For each of the 12 careers outlined
in her book, Ms. Bickerstaff explains the characteristics needed in
a person to hold that job. She gives job descriptions and options,
types of training needed, salaries, and benefits. As an ending to
each chapter she lists associations, websites, books and periodicals
where more information can be obtained on each career. A glossary
and index are included at the end of the book.
Each easily read chapter is devoted
to one career. Sections clearly indicate specific information, and
photographs depict people working at the job. After obtaining
experience in the field, some of the careers listed have salaries of
over $40,000 per year!
The library offers this book along
with others on career choices. Visit us at 725 Pekin St. and let us
help you research a career of your choice. Check out some
information that may be of interest to your future.
[Louella Moreland, youth services