Bloomberg: Skip College and Become Plumbers

Heather Ginsberg

5/19/2013 8:36:00 AM - Heather Ginsberg

At an event on Friday the Mayor of New York City put his foot in his mouth…again. Michael Bloomberg attempted to give mediocre high school students some advice: skip college and become plumbers. He said students who were not above average should learn how to be plumbers instead of reaching for a career that would involve going to a prestigious college and obtaining a degree.

The people who are going to have the biggest problem are college graduates who aren’t rocket scientists, if you will, not at the top of their class. Compare a plumber to going to Harvard College — being a plumber, actually for the average person, probably would be a better deal. You don’t spend ... four years spending $40,000, $50,000 in tuition without earning income.

Not only does Bloomberg think that skipping college is a good plan, but he also went on to give some advice about finding jobs that won’t be outsourced. “It’s hard to farm that out ... and it’s hard to automate that,” he said. He went on to say that a number of studies indicate that people who learn plumbing skills have less debt and make more money than those who get college degrees.

An advisor who helps students with college financial planning who was also at the event was not completely supportive of Bloomberg’s comments. He said, “College is a good investment,” and continued, “The only schools that cost $40,000 or $50,000 like the mayor said are elite schools”.

So maybe it is time for Michael Bloomberg to lower his elitist standards. College degrees are a good investment and should be sought after. Not everyone has the ability to afford these elite schools, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t other options for them to be able to attend college.