I suspect "carpenter" was mentioned because that's the trade most "white
collar" types think about.
The "money" trades are: electrician, HVAC tech, and plumber.
Mechanic is close up there.
Painters, dry wall workers, rough and finish carpenters, and roofers are a
step above the grounds keepers and common laborers.
Actually, a very high portion of the foreigners "educated" in the US try
very hard to get employment here.
The key is whether you (or your kid) is "college matrial."
If the kid is literally, "Mensa Smart," he is college material even if he is
a tad on the lazy side.
If the kid is willing to work hard and got very good grades in HS, then he
is college material.
The rest really should look at careers that don't require college and try to
get a running start on life ahead of their peers. (Insurance and real
estate don't require college, for example.)
Kids who are reasonably bright but don't like school and CAN work hard
should look into going into business for themselves. Most of the
"tradesmen" mentioned above can, if they have the ambition, become
Guess what? Carpenters will also have to BE computer operators at some
point. Especially free-lance 'jack of all trades' guys doing remodels
from plans provided on disk or e-mail. (Go to any boutique kitchen shop,
and see how they do designs and takeoffs.) Production wood-working
machines, like at a mill, already are sort of like cad-cam machines.
Jobsite tools will likely be that way soon. Some basic level of computer
literacy will soon become a basic requirement of ALL jobs, just like
reading, writing, and basic math did a century ago, when many
blue-collar jobs were held by functional illiterates.
Supposing we get EMP bombed. A farmer with a donkey is worth more than
a programmer who knows three languages. The farmer's ass continues to
be useful. The computer programmer might get a job sitting on his
donkey all day.
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