CNN: Job Advice from the Guy who has tried them All

CNN)Mike Rowe is taking the bull by the horns (or, at the very least, trying not to get gored) in the season premiere of “Somebody’s Gotta Do It,” where he tries out niche jobs anywhere from bullfighting to water ballet.

Each week, Rowe will answer your questions about his latest escapades and career advice. To submit a question for the gutsy host in future weeks, tweet at @CNNOrigSeries with the hashtag #GottaDoIt.

The questions have been edited for brevity and clarity:

Laurie Blair: As a high school counselor, what can I do to make career and technical education pathways more attractive to parents who are determined that college is the end-all, be-all answer for their children?

Mike Rowe: Fantastic question. You, as you well know, are in a position of extraordinary influence. The fact that you are so focused on wanting to provide balanced advice to your kids makes you an exception, in my experience. I would say, if I remember my own hardheaded nature correctly at 17 years of age, the only truly convincing case to be made involves a person closer to my own age coming in to talk to me and share their firsthand experience. Better yet, if there is any way to get your kids out into the world, and on to an actual job site, do it. In my day, they called those “field trips.” The bad ones are a waste of time. But the good ones, are life changing. Good luck and give my regards to the kids.

Chris Atkins: I just heard an NPR segment about how successful apprenticeship programs are in Germany. They lead to good jobs and a growing middle class. Why can’t we do that here?

Rowe: The short answer is because we have convinced ourselves that certain jobs are “better” than other jobs. Consequently, we have approximately 3 million available opportunities that for whatever reason people aren’t excited about pursuing. You’re right, Germany doesn’t have that problem. But right now, the leader in celebrating the trades is probably Korea. They get it, so much so, that kids who decide to pursue an academic career are often looked at with the same measure of relative sympathy we in the United States apply toward those who pursue a vocational path. Weird, right?

Chris Cuomo: How does Mike stay so buff with his busy work schedule? Is there a Mike Rowe action figure? If so will it be a numbered series for collectors?

Rowe: There’s only one. It weighs 215 pounds. And it sings a song when you pull the hidden cord.

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