Off The Wall: Forbes Ranked Trade Schools

Hey Mike – If I’m reading this right, Forbes Magazine just gave you credit for inspiring their first ever ranking of Trade Schools. This is amazing. If you’re inclined to gloat, now would be the time…

Tim Henry

Hi Tim

I try not to brag, but gloating is another matter, and yes – at this moment – it’s entirely possible my normal grin has morphed into something more like a smirk. Here’s my favorite part of the article…

“I can think of nine magazines off the top of my head who every year will rank the top colleges. None of them ever include a trade school.”

“And so began a scathing critique of college rankings and the country’s attitude toward higher education by Mike Rowe, the Dirty Jobs and Somebody’s Gotta Do It television personality and social activist. As part of an interview with ATTN:, Rowe spoke about the benefits of choosing trade schools over academia, from affordable tuition to the availability of jobs in the field.

He has a point…”

What’s gratifying about this article, Tim, is not the “I told you so factor,” (ok, maybe a little,) but rather, the impact of social media on the mainstream press. The 90-second video that Forbes mentions was produced for very little money, and shared over 25 million times.

I’m continually amazed by the number of conversations that originate on this page that find their way into the national spotlight. Obviously, some conversations are more important than others, but none – so far anyway – is more important than this one. We simply have to change the way we approach and define a “good education,” and this is a step in the right direction.

I encourage everyone to read the article, and consider the long-term impact of ranking trade schools. The chronology is not important, and frankly, neither are the specific schools mentioned. (Lists are ultimately subjective things, and lots excellent schools never make the grade for all sorts of reasons.) What matters most here, is the undeniable fact that a major publication has finally treated Trade Schools and two year colleges with the same respect as four-year universities. That’s a big deal. Thanks, Forbes. Hopefully, others will follow your example.


PS. I’m here this week in Louisville, for the annual Skills USA National Championships. If you’re looking for another story – specifically, the story of 400,000 kids closing the skills gap more effectively than any government program could ever hope to do, check it out. I dare say it’s headline news…

Forbes – The Top 30 Two-Year Trade Schools: Colleges That Fight The Nation’s Skills Gap

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