- Category: Education
- Published: November 20, 2014
- Written by Brooke Chaplan
There was once a time when the pervasive school of thought was that college graduates went into white collar positions, and those without higher education went into blue collar fields.
However, in the wake of the recession, more and more college graduates have entered positions in the blue collar field. This has had a great influence on blue collar jobs. Here's how the national economy has changed blue collar work, and how college graduates and those without a degree can still benefit.
More College Graduates in Blue Collar Positions
With the economy in a downward trend, fewer college graduates can find opportunities in their chosen fields; especially if they majored in the humanities or liberal arts. This means that those without college degrees may have to compete with graduates for positions that previously required no higher education.
If you are a college graduate working in a blue collar position, however, you may find your degree useful despite the fact that it has little to do with your new career path at first glance. Graduates in entry level construction or engineering positions can go on to earn higher degrees like a masters in engineering management or administration. Combined with real-world experience, this degree can catapult one to the highest positions in the "blue collar" industry.
Higher Standards From Employers
With more college graduates working in blue collar positions, employers have come to expect more. Positions that may not have previously required things such as quality written communication skills, may now expect new employees to have these talents. However, the most valued trait at any blue collar position is and always will be a strong work ethic. Workers with a strong employment history and enthusiasm for their position can still compete with college grads.
New Positions In Old Industries
As technology advances, more and more industries are finding a need for employees with computer or technological backgrounds. While this seemingly might not benefit one without a college degree, it does offer an opportunity for those without degrees who have toyed with the idea of investing in higher education.
If a worker is willing to attend a community college or tech school part-time while working, there are many new positions popping up in blue collar fields that can offer workers high salary increases with only a minimal commitment to obtaining a degree. Now is a good time to invest in a technical education for blue collar workers.
No matter how the economy changes, there will always be a need for workers in blue collar fields. However, as technology advances and more college graduates flock to these fields, the employment landscape will invariably change. If you are willing to adapt and are looking to advance, there are plenty of opportunities for those motivated to move up in these industries.