My mom insisted that I get a degree. OK, I graduated, then the "fire went out", & I needed to feed my wife(at that time) & Son, so I went back to the shops where I'd worked to put myself through school. I LOVE fabrication, but after years of little respect & low pay finally got smart & became an outside UNION IRONWORKER. Finally had REAL Benefits : Retirement(beyond Social Security), Respect for my skills, Decent wages(Outside Ironworkers usually make between 1/3 to 1/2 more per hour than Shopworkers), & Good Medical. Could finally afford a house(& my cars!) on My wages alone. Don't knock trade unions : thanks to our apprenticeship programs we are usually the best trained workers on the job, & we take pride in our work!