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Pipe dream: Skip college, become a plumber, NYC Mayor Bloomberg says

 

The heck with Harvard, says New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg.  Most high school grads should learn a trade  . . .  like plumbing.

Bloomberg -- he of the no-oversized sodas -- is now reportedly dispensing career advice via his weekly radio show.

 “The people who are going to have the biggest problem are college graduates who aren’t rocket scientists, if you will, not at the top of their class,” Bloomberg said Friday, according to the New York Daily News.

“Compare a plumber to going to Harvard College — being a plumber, actually for the average person, probably would be a better deal,” he reportedly said. “You don’t spend ... four years spending $40,000, $50,000 in tuition without earning income.”

“Success in college and careers requires good writing and critical thinking skills as well as good math and science skills."

- Mayor Bloomberg, in his last State of the City address

Bloomberg made the remark in response to a question on his weekly radio show appearance, according to a spokesman contacted by FoxNews.com, although a transcript of the remarks was not immediately available.

The mayor added that another benefit to learning a trade, like plumbing, is that it’s hard to outsource, or computerize.

 “It’s hard to farm that out,” he reportedly said, “and it’s hard to automate that.”

The mayor seemed to bookend those remarks the following day with an address to the graduating class of Ohio’s Kenyon College.

“I know that today’s job market is not easy,” he reportedly told those assembled for his address speech, “...today, if I interview a recent college grad who tells me he or she spent the summer curing cancer, bringing peace to the Middle East, and writing the Great American Novel – I’m impressed.

“But I’m more likely to hire the person who spent his or her summer working days, nights, and weekends for an auto-body shop or a construction company in order to pay tuition or help with family bills.”

In his final State of the City address, delivered in February, Bloomberg remarked:  “Success in college and careers requires good writing and critical thinking skills as well as good math and science skills. Unfortunately, the State has never tested for them. I’ve supported basing standards on those skills for many years and I’m glad to say that the State has now done that, by adopting what’s known as the Common Core standards. Starting this spring, State exams for grades 3-8 will test for these critical skills.”

In April, The New York Times reported that Bloomberg announced that 78 new schools would open in New York City during the coming academic year, seven of which would be vocational or technical schools.