Time Magazine has a article out today that’s highly relevant to the concerns of the construction industry in the United States.
Their headline (Who Needs College? The Swiss opt for Vocational School) or mine (above) are self explanatory, but get this: the average starting pay for a Swiss vocational school graduate is $50,000 a year with full benefits, and unemployment in this group is three percent.
I don’t have to tell you how miserable that makes the U.S. educational system seem by comparison.
Time’s writers explain the logic of Switzerland’s system, but what they fail to point out is why our system is so flawed. Having lived in Germany for three years and having written about their educational system (which runs more or less like the Swiss system) I have a pretty good idea of what’s wrong with our schools.
For one: colleges and universities in Switzerland, Germany, Austria and much of Europe are extremely hard to get into. Only the top high school students are allowed to even apply and even then they have to spend an additional year, a 13th grade if you will, studying and being tutored individually to prepare for the entrance exams. If you don’t speak English well and at least one other foriegn language passably, don’t even try