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Appreciate blue-collar work and trade school, student says

A student at the University of Pittsburgh wants her peers to appreciate blue-collar workers and trade schools.

Staff writer Jessica Snyder shared how her brother took a different route than her and went to truck driving school. She appreciates how he took a different approach and is on the road to a stable career without debt.

Snyder wrote in The Pitt News:

My brother is 19 and is already Commercial Driver’s License certified in Pennsylvania to drive big 18-wheel vehicles. Although he has to wait until he turns 21 to be able to drive across state borders, he has a full-time job pretty early into his adult life.

Meanwhile, I am here, writing for a newspaper, racking up student loans and patiently waiting for a degree at 21.

“From time to time, I find myself jealous of my brother, as he has already embarked on the journey for his lifelong career,” she wrote. “Sometimes he might find himself jealous of me, living five hours away and receiving a higher education. My point is that we are experiencing life in two vastly different worlds, even though we grew up under the same roof.”

Snyder wants her fellow Pitt students to understand the “divide” between those that pursue trade school and blue-collar work and others that go to college. “[W]e have to see how essential all jobs are in our everyday lives.”

“Entering the workforce early came with the unintended consequence of not everyone understanding why some students take this route,” Snyder wrote. She said there is a “stigma” for those who choose not to go to college.

“We’re humans and shouldn’t be defined by the professions we take up,” she wrote. “Nonetheless, trade jobs are valid, necessary and commendable — my brother can change my car’s headlight in 15 minutes while I couldn’t even tell you where to begin with such a task.”

“Workers with and without degrees are essential for a functioning society,” she wrote.

Read the article.

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