Gen Z Are Ditching Degrees for the Trades (Special Podcast Highlight)

Gen Z: The Next Tool Belt Generation 
Timmerie investigates the fascinating trend of Gen Z (ages 14-27) ditching traditional degrees for trade schools! Inspired by Mike Rowe of “Dirty Jobs” fame, she explores why young people, especially men, are flocking to trades like welding, electricity, and construction. 


Key Highlights:

Trade School Surge! 
Enrollment in trade schools is up by 16%, and there’s a 23% increase in students diving into construction jobs post-high school. This shift is a clear reaction to the skyrocketing student debt and uncertain job prospects for degree holders.


AI Impact
Mike Rowe says that while AI threatens white-collar jobs, blue-collar roles like electricians and pipe fitters are booming!


Debt-Free Ambition 
Gen Z is sidestepping massive student loans, opting instead for certifications and hands-on skills. Timmerie notes many millennials regret not taking this route, burdened by student debt that’s often more than a mortgage. 


Revaluing Work Ethic 
Timmerie emphasizes shifting from chasing prestige to valuing hard work and provision. Inspired by St. Thomas Aquinas, it’s about cultivating a solid work ethic and enjoying the fruits of labor now. 


Catholic Trade Schools 
Excitingly, Catholic trade schools are sprouting nationwide, combining skill training with spiritual formation! Examples include St. Joseph the Worker College in Ohio and Santiago Trade School in California. These institutions are not only teaching trades but also instilling theological values. 


Empowering Men 
Timmerie touches on how trades are turning boys into men, equipping them with life skills like changing a light bulb, fixing a doorknob, or checking car tires. It’s a pushback against the “anti-male” education bias in universities. 


Practical Advantages 
Blue-collar jobs often pay more and offer quicker paths to financial stability than many white-collar roles. They’re also seen as more fulfilling, with workers gaining confidence and potentially moving into self-employment. 


The St. Joseph Reminder 
Celebrating St. Joseph the Worker on May 1st, Timmerie reflects on restoring the dignity of labor, mentioning that meaningful work isn’t limited to corporate offices but thrives in hands-on trades. 



Encourage the next generation to explore trades! Not only do these careers offer financial stability without the heavy debt load, but they also provide fulfilling, hands-on work that contributes significantly to society.


Ready to get your hands dirty? 

Talk to a young person today about the exciting opportunities in trade schools and how they can start building a successful, debt-free future!

Timmerie works as a radio host and Catholic speaker educating in areas of theology and is an expert at responding to current trends of sexuality, feminism, and gender ideology. She hosts Trending with Timmerie on Relevant Radio. She holds a Masters Degree in Biblical Theology and Bachelor’s Degree in Communications Media with an emphasis in the New Evangelization from John Paul the Great Catholic University.