In a recent article in News.com it is claimed that very lucrative jobs are going begging for an insane push to attend university.
The article cites example after example of how school leaving students are chasing the university idea rather than looking squarely at better options.
I have written of this many times over the years, in one case citing luminaries such as Richard Branson who a few years ago told Australian students to think entrepreneurial and business and go for it. University is not for everyone.
At this time I can site the television series Fortunes of War set in the late thirties and early forties in Romania with English academics teaching English in one of those national education agreements.
One memorable quote: “In Romania a law degree guaranteed you a job to lick stamps in the public service” …
In some sense, this philosophy applies to Australia in the 21st century, in that a university degree is a stepping stone to a job in an office somewhere. Off you go to work each morning, sign-off at 5.00pm, a bit of socialising, meet someone and the rest of it — buy a car, a home, the superannuation thing … all very predictable and boring.
There is plenty of survey evidence in the western world to illustrate that this motif is precisely the model and why university is so important. The corporate world needs such graduates. Shire Councils, the mining industry, marketing, banking needs them. The Commonwealth and State public services depend upon them.
It has become a case of way too many university graduates and no one in the store doing what needs to be done — hair dressers, electricians, plumbers, carpenters, and all those other essential trades.
In the cited article one of the young women tells her story, of always wanting to be a hairdresser and finally gave up her university studies and found her dream apprenticeship as a hairdresser. The work and the money is more than she ever dreamed.
Business is crying out for young people with ideas and get-up-and-go, the last thing they need is another mediocre university graduate whose experience of life is from a very narrow mind-set.
A growing group of young people are tossing out the university 'thing' and taking their chance in business, and many of them in self-starter IT business which finds a niche and makes a very handsome living with oodles of future prospects.
These young people are thinking outside the square and finding life's experiences are worth far more than 3 or 4 years of university indoctrination that a degree is the be-all and end-all of life.
Yes, there are long hours. Yes, there is much frustration. Yes, there are struggles, but the sense of achievement and self-fulfilment awards far out weight anything that might have been missed.
Missions and Churches
The InterChurch Trade and Industry Mission (ITIM) which provides Christian chaplains to industry and commerce insist that before any minister can become an industrial padre, they must have five years of pastoral experience.
What does that tell us? It reveals that getting life-ministry under your belt is a prerequisite to ministry in the work place. ITIM has always understood that life is a far more important ingredient for their kind of ministry than a university degree or a seminary graduate.
It happened I served for 12 years as a 2-day-a-week ITIM chaplain in Shell Australia in Sydney up to 1992. In that capacity I met the Chairman of Shell Australia Kevan Gosper AC who was also the Vice-President of the International Olympic Committee.
That link developed my Olympic Ministry whereby I was invited to be a chaplain at the 1984 LA Olympics and then subsequently appointed Olympic chaplains. In 2000 Kevan Gosper invited me to the IOC in Lausanne Switzerland to work with the IOC in developing a Transfer of Knowledge of Religious Services from one Olympic City to the next.
Missions and Churches have for many years sought men and women of work experience for seminary entrance and then their ministries into the future have a firm foundation of life rather than one of high-faluting words that mean very little. Take a cursory look at the disciples Jesus' selected — they were given responsibility to get the message out — the Great Commission.
Dr Mark Tronson is a Baptist minister (retired) who served as the Australian cricket team chaplain for 17 years (2000 ret) and established Life After Cricket in 2001. He was recognised by the Olympic Ministry Medal in 2009 presented by Carl Lewis Olympian of the Century. He mentors young writers and has written 24 books, and enjoys writing. He is married to Delma, with four adult children and grand-children. Dr Tronson writes a daily article for Christian Today Australia (since 2008) and in November 2016 established Christian Today New Zealand.
Mark Tronson's archive of articles can be viewed at http://www.pressserviceinternational.org/mark-tronson.html