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Daugaard to Future Philosophers, Historians, Teachers: Drop Dead

O.K., neither Gerald Ford nor Dennis Daugaard actually said "Drop dead." But South Dakota's Governor may as well have said that to future philosophers and other aspiring devotées of the humanities at Girls' State yesterday at USD:

“I’m not saying you shouldn’t follow your dreams,” he said. “If you’ve got your heart set on being a philosopher and you’re going to get a degree in philosophy, God bless you. Have at it. But know that at the end of that ... four-year road, it’s very difficult to get a job.”

While there are many good degrees, there are many others “that lead to virtually no opportunities,” he said [Travis Gulbrandson, "Daugaard to Girls Staters: Get Technical," Yankton Press & Dakotan, 2014.06.06].

Yes, because studying philosophy, literature, dance, or history offers no opportunity for reflection, appreciation of beauty, inspiration, hope, or commitment to something greater than filling one's belly.

What should the best and brightest young women in South Dakota do?

Rather than get just any degree, Daugaard suggested the girls seek a degree in one of the technical fields.

“In South Dakota particularly, the demands that we’re seeing are in the sciences, engineering, information technology, accounting, the health fields and in the skilled trades, machining, welding, construction trades, manufacturing trades,” he said.

There are both two-year and four-year degrees in these fields that yield “spectacular job opportunities,” the governor said [Gulbrandson, 2014.06.06].

Evidently the SDGOP is so hell-bent on driving liberals out of South Dakota that it doesn't even want the liberal arts around.

Governor Daugaard urged the Girls' Staters to check out the state's SDMyLife website, which includes a "Reality Check" income/salary calculator that tells students what jobs they could afford to do based on their anticipated expenses. I punched in moderate expenses for a single person in Sioux Falls, and the Department of Labor recommended lots of jobs: mechanical engineer, commercial pilot, database administrator, sales manager, public relations specialist, loan officer....

But you know which job the Department of Labor did not include in its recommendations for a single person living comfortably but not prodigally? K-12 teacher. And that's even before factoring in the $1,181 per month they say a worker will need to pay for adding just one child to the household.

So there you have it, teachers, historians, poets, thinkers, straight from Governor Daugaard and his website: there are no opportunities for you in South Dakota. Try to make a living here, and you'll probably drop dead.


  1. 96 Tears 2014.06.07

    The youth attending Girls State or Boys State are selected based on their academic and leadership qualities. Generally, they are future leaders and trailblazers. Telling them to settle for a technical job instead of fulfilling their scholastic potential is setting the bar low for people with much loftier aspirations. I'm surprised at Daugaard. Wrong message for this group.

  2. SD Teacher 2014.06.07

    Although I disagree with Daugaard's message, I'm not concerned. After spending the last several days working with the girls at girls state, I know they're too smart to listen to such bad advice.

    I'm wondering though, did he tell the boys the same thing?

  3. Jana 2014.06.07

    SD Teacher, what do you think of the SD MyLife site and program? The term low expectations came to mind.

  4. Doreen Allison Creed 2014.06.07

    The last time I looked, it took a four-year degree and brains to be an engineer or many of the other jobs cited by the governor. As someone, who made the mistake of getting my B.S. decades ago in psyc and sociology, I learned firsthand how worthless it was in the job market. I was lucky to have a Northwestern Journalism graduate as an editor, who was willing, to train me for an occupation. Journalism, like school teachers are demanding but amongst the lowest paid occupations, yet very demanding.

  5. Stan Gibilisco 2014.06.07

    When I was a student at the University of Minnesota in the 1970s, I majored in mathematics.

    At parties the girls would, of course, ask me about my "major." I said "pure mathematics, equally useless in all practical fields."

    In most cases they gobbled it up.

    Remember though, this was Minneapolis in 1975 ... weed was not a criminal deal, and we were still fresh out of Vietnam.

    Grads papered their walls with job rejection slips.

    I applied for one job, my dream job, hardly more than minimum wage, a thousand miles from home and mother, just one job, and I got it.

    Oh I was an arrogant son of a sea cook, I was. And still am I guess.

    My nephew majored in philosophy at Macalester College, a rather radical place in a radical part of the Twin Cities.

    He's doing fine last time I checked. Got a job as inapplicable to his major as my work has been to mine.

    Gals, don't listen to any bozo who gives you this crap about fitting in like a cog in the great failed machine of human society.

    Do your own thing, dammit. It's your life for hell's sake.

  6. Doreen Allison Creed 2014.06.07

    Oops - I hit the wrong button when trying to make corrections, the last sentence should read.: "Journalists, like school teachers, have demanding jobs, yet are amongst the lowest paid occupations."

  7. Jerry 2014.06.07

    Daugaard is a dope, Daugaard is a dope. All the cool kids chant that behind the emperor's back. How in the world did this clown get a position of trust? Oh yeah, I know, you look the other way in the middle of corruption and scandal, that is how you can disregard the fine arts. You can weasel enough out of the taxpayers to get what you want. Clever devils these in charge republicans

  8. Doreen Allison Creed 2014.06.07

    I know many people with technical degrees, who are well-rounded, intelligent and have a much high standard of living than other friends with an English or history degree.

    The cost of a college education is insane. The other night I was having a conversation with my daughter, who has a master's degree in occupation therapy. Yes, she makes a good wage; but by the time, she pays her school loans (most of which have a criminal interest rate of 6.8 to 7 percent), her take home pay is only slightly better than what she made working at McDonald's during high school or as a CNA while attending college. The next financial bubble to burst is going to be students loans.

    I believe our votech schools are underrated. I also believe, if one has a desire to learn and broaden their view of life, there are many cheaper alternatives than taking some of the required "social" classes demanded by universities. There is also less of a wage gap between male and female compensation rates in technical occupations.

    Sorry Cory, I disagree with Daugaard on many fronts....but not this one.

  9. mike from iowa 2014.06.07

    Really boys and girls,the message wingnuts love you to take away is the one about how hard you worked to pull yourself up in the world when you are born affluent. When you are born wealthy you needn't worry about store scanner thingies or going hungry or even having to get a job. The money is already there waiting for you to live off the interest and dividends and not have a care in the world.Just be sure to pick the right parents. Good luck.

  10. Chris S. 2014.06.07

    Sure it can be hard to find a job — especially in South Dakota — if you have a certain type of liberal arts degree. But in case people haven't noticed, it's hard finding any type of job these days, with any kind of degree, especially in South Dakota. If you're smart and talented and would be an asset to a company, you still probably won't get hired. Companies don't want to invest in employees and train them anymore. They want someone who comes with all the right boxes checked on their application. (It's so much easier to winnow out the field that way than to interview and evaluate an applicant.)

    Thanks to our MBA culture and our obsession on the short-term instead of investing in the future, Daugaard's specious advice isn't worth the hot air it came in. When all those good engineering and computer programming jobs are outsourced to "guest workers" from India and China (as is happening already), what will Daugaard say then? That students at SD Tech are just a bunch of childish dreamers who need to give up on engineering and set their sights on a "real" job that can't be outsourced, like sanitation worker?

  11. Kal Lis 2014.06.07

    Keeping a population servile demands that no one thinks about beauty, truth, or justice. It demands that no one be reminded that humans do not live by bread alone and that the soul and mind need fuel as well as the body. God forbid that anyone develop the skills to question them.

    Daugaard and his ilk want everyone to show up, do a job, and be a cog in the machine that drives the Ayn Rand inspired dystopia.

  12. Douglas Wiken 2014.06.07

    Daugaard's use of language leaves much to be desired, but he is in the neighborhood of making sense.

    It is possible to major in engineering and yet get a dose of liberal arts sufficient in most cases. Learning to communicate is as important as anything else likely to be learned in any college. That is often a failure of institutions offering degrees in science, math, and engineering. It is also often a failure in the professors of those institutions.

    Whatever Daugaard was advocating, I doubt it would be as useless as telling the students to major in languages, mythology of Egyption, Greek and Roman deities or divinity studies. It is rare that people without peculiarly great talents to begin with will "succeed" in arts, sports, etc., and many of them might succeed with zero college education.

    Best advice is probably to find work that seems like play to you and you know you are accomplishing something.

  13. Jana 2014.06.07

    Agreed Doreen. What bothers me is something that these are South Dakota's best and brightest. Kids we lose to other states every year, and then wonder why we have to spend taxpayer money to lure them back. The speech should have inspired them to new heights and to do great things right here in South Dakota...not just to get a job.

    I would add that the Tech Schools are not only under appreciated, but also grossly underfunded.

  14. John 2014.06.07

    Daugaard is the emperor of low expectations from the land of an infinite variety of low expectations.

  15. JeniW 2014.06.07

    What? There is no longer a need for mental health counselors, social workers, case managers, CD counselors, parole officers, and those trained to work with individuals with cognitive and/or other types of disabilities?

    Good thing that the governor has cured everyone of every issue!

  16. caheidelberger Post author | 2014.06.07

    So why not tell Girls' Staters that they can find opportunity, satisfaction, and a place in South Dakota no matter what field they choose to focus on? Why not say, "Hey! South Dakota needs welders and philosophers"?

  17. SD Teacher 2014.06.07

    My concern with what the governor is saying is that he assumes, and wishes for the girls to assume, that the only (or primary) purpose of higher education is to get a job. That instrumental view is damaging to our kids imho. Learning, especially learning how to think, is inherently valuable. But if SD insists on taking the instrumental approach, we should consider that when our kids expand their breadth and depth of knowledge and experience, and learn how to think critically, they will become innovators rather than drones.

    When he reduces college to a tool for getting a high paying job or for better serving the state, he cheapens both learning and personal development.

  18. Kathy 2014.06.07

    The liberal arts produces critical thinkers. This is why I believe the GOP is so against people majoring in the humanities or liberal arts. You can't pull one over on the masses if they're always questioning what you do.

  19. Tim 2014.06.07

    Doreen, I went to tech school back in the 70's, now after living in South Dakota for the last 28 years I make $52k a year, in total 34 years of my life dedicated to my trade for a broken down body and $52k a year, is this the life that idiot Daugaard and his f---ing republican party are so proud of? Today's kids can and should have better, to hell with the right wing a--holes that have had control of our state for too long!

  20. Roger Cornelius 2014.06.07

    Daugaard has provided us with one of the many reasons young people flee this state, the state government officially says they should.
    There is no place for a philosophy major that may lead to degree in theology, you know representing God. There is no place here for art majors, they may just as well move to a state that values art as a part of their economic development, places like Santa Fe or Taos, New Mexico.
    Daugaard's advice for the young women tells us that sometime in the future we are to become a state of old men and women, sort of like Florida, without year around warmth.
    Recently my niece was taking me on errands and she needed to stop by her workplace, her co-workers, 6 or 7, all young and working toward their life goals, discussed their plans. Not a single one of them had any plans of staying in South Dakota. Oddly their plans weren't all based on potential income, they were based on opportunity or lack thereof.
    Their dreams and ambitions have been stifled by guys like Daugaard that want them involved in manufacturing and industry.

  21. Chris S. 2014.06.07

    Not to mention, it's pretty shallow and wrong-headed to sneer at some majors or blithely dismiss them as irrelevant. I know art majors who do design work for software companies, and an art/pottery major who works for a company that manufactures ceramics. Gosh! Sometimes a liberal arts degree not only makes you a more rounded person, but also gives you skills that you can use.

    That is, of course, if the employer wants to bother investing in you, rather than hiring a drone from a diploma mill who got all the right boxes checked for the job — regardless of whether they actually know anything or have long-term potential.

  22. Chris S. 2014.06.07

    Also, as Atrios has noted, in real terms tuition today is more than double what it was 30 years ago. It's kind of bad form for us oldsters to yell at the kids for their "poor choice" of major, and their inability to get a good-paying job. They're leaving college with crushing debt — no matter how awesomely business-oriented their major is! — and there frankly aren't many jobs available.

    Again, for those of us lucky enough to catch a few breaks and to enter the job market at the right time, it's really poor form to blame "the kids today" for their economic misfortune when it's largely out of their control

  23. Joelie Hicks 2014.06.07

    A few years ago when the message of "get big or get out" was growing louder, assisted by politicians throughout the State, a few people around here tightened their belts and went organic. Beef, pork, dairy and crops. Now their children are beginning to grow up and a significant number of them want to follow in their parents footsteps. A few others are returning to farm differently than their parents or grandparents. There have always been a core of people who pay no attention to people like Daugaard and live a good life. Some of them farm, teach,write, paint, counsel, reflect, some even blog!

  24. Jerry 2014.06.07

    In Governor Daugaard's mind and his actions, who needs school in the first place? As a follower of ALEC, he knows full well that only the wealthy need to be schooled all of the rest just need to be smart enough to know how to turn a switch on and off and not question the authority that tells them what to do. I kind of sorta borrowed that from one of the greatest philosophers of all time, George Carlin, RIP.

  25. Douglas Wiken 2014.06.07

    SD Republicans haven't figured out yet how to get residents who are graduated to buy citizenship again.

    There are national attempts now to get more girls interested in science and match and engineering. There is a genuine shortage of women in those areas. Daugaard should have mentioned the opportunity, but also clearly stated that there are opportunities in other areas and if the other areas are your primary interests, you may be unhappy in one of the sciences.

    I suspect Daugaard is such a communication Klutz that no matter what his intention, he would have screwed this up.

    As for Liberal Arts making for critical thinking, such critical thinking is best when backed up with a fundamental understanding of science and the idea of testability,etc. Otherwise the "critical" thinking can become totally separated from reality and just generate more parts of an untestable whole..perhaps a bit like mathematics without the rigor.

  26. owen reitzel 2014.06.07

    sorry Doreen but I have to disagree with you. If a person wants to go into a certain profession he or she should. Duagaard wants people to go into these professions to help his business buddies.
    There is nothing wrong with people who do go into these professions, but don't rey to talk these young people out of what they want to do.
    I thought what Duagaard said was terrible.
    By the way I have a 2 year degree from a technical school.

  27. Deb Geelsdottir 2014.06.07

    I think DD is right about where the most money is currently available. Everyone is right about the exorbitant cost of education. I spent 5 years at NSC getting a teaching degree. (The first 2 years I was either drunk or stoned. Hence the need for 5 years and a 2.3 GPA.) I worked, got a couple grants and loans for the rest. My total indebtedness in 1976? $7000. I know, younger people just felt their brains crunch.

    So, if the Republicans in SD and America want to get more students in post high school education, it sure seems to me that making more money available in the form of scholarships and grants would be a really good incentive. I think I remember Republicans reducing the money available in various grant programs, and/or fighting increases hard. Am I right on that?

  28. Deb Geelsdottir 2014.06.07

    The other part of this post is about the value of a liberal arts education. From what I can see, it depends on where you are.

    I'm guessing that in Conservative Country, people like well-educated psychologists, writers, artists, philosophers, journalists, dancers, musicians, etc,

  29. Deb Geelsdottir 2014.06.07

    The other part of this post is about the value of a liberal arts education. From what I can see, it depends on where you are.

    I'm guessing that in Conservative Country, people like well-educated psychologists, writers, artists, philosophers, journalists, dancers, musicians, clergy, etc., will find much less demand for their skills than in Liberal Lands.

    If SDans want to major in liberal arts of any variety, my advice would be to head for a school in Liberal Land and plan to stay there after graduation. Their skills will be respected and adequately compensated.

  30. Deb Geelsdottir 2014.06.07

    Dammit! Cory, would you please delete my 18:53 comment? I didn't mean to publish it. Thanks.

  31. Richard Marmorstein 2014.06.07

    Come on. "God bless you" is not "drop dead." All Daugaard told these girls was the truth, it's easier these days to get a good job with a technical degree, particularly in South Dakota. Maybe you think this truth should be concealed from girls so that they are more likely to choose the type of degree that you think is best. Sure, it's a noble thing to sacrifice your own material well-being so that you can contribute to society in the intangible ways a philosopher does. But it's also a good thing to contribute in the tangible ways a welder does. The choice has to be made by each of these girls themselves. There's no excuse for trying to make the decision for them by hiding from them the fact that choosing a non-technical degree is more difficult financially.

  32. Anne Beal 2014.06.07

    CAH you really are a moron. I went to UMass, got a useless BA, all because I was supposed to be a housewife with a professional man for a husband and provider. Ten years later I was a single mom with 2 kids, and went to nursing school so that I would be employable. Young women need to understand that being a housewife is like being a movie star, great work if you can get it, but be prepared to support yourself doing something else. The same could be said to young men; a liberal arts education is a luxury few can actually afford. Going deep into debt to get a degree in philosophy is something only the independently wealthy can afford.

  33. larry kurtz 2014.06.07

    Anne you really are an imbecile.

  34. larry kurtz 2014.06.07

    Anne you really are obese.

  35. larry kurtz 2014.06.07

    Anne the SDGOP deserves you.

  36. larry kurtz 2014.06.07

    Anne your church has raped billions, your governor has seized thousands and you have learned nothing.

  37. larry kurtz 2014.06.07

    Shirley, would you like to go next?

  38. larry kurtz 2014.06.07

    South Dakota women: Anne and Shirley are what is wrong with my home state. It takes a village.

  39. Jessie 2014.06.07

    Jerry said, "one of the greatest philosophers of all time, George Carlin, RIP."

    Sir, my respect for you only increases with each post.

  40. Roger Cornelius 2014.06.07

    Everybody has a story and every youngster has a dream. What was omitted from Daugaard's message was individuality.
    How many of us can say that we ended up where we are now because of the training or education we received in college or technical schools. People evolve and continually search for that career that brings them satisfaction.
    Daugaard's attempts to create an industrial state are futile, we are far too rural to make that leap. There is life beyond industry, agricultural and tourism.
    The young women at Girls State should be encouraged to be the best that they can be regardless of their chosen career, and the governor has the responsibility to tell them that the state will help them fulfill their dream.
    Not all young women have a dream of being a welder, but a degree in philosophy may lead to being a writer or a minister.
    As long as South Dakota continues to close the door on liberal arts the faster we lose our young people and our future.

  41. Joan Brown 2014.06.07

    No matter what kind of education a person has, they aren't going to make near the money if they stay in SD as they can in other states.

  42. Deb Geelsdottir 2014.06.07

    Roger, you are on the right track. Clergy who are going to serve denominations which require them to be a well educated, often begin with a BA in philosophy. They follow that up with a Masters in theology. That's Lutherans, Methodists, Episcopalians, United Church of Christ, Disciples of Christ, Roman Catholic, and a few others.

    Revs like me who didn't expect to be a pastor got a variety of different Bachelors degrees.

    I wonder if Daugaard has any idea that he's discouraging people from pastorhood? No, he's not really doing that - is he?

  43. Sabrina 2014.06.07

    I might be living proof of why certain folks might want youngsters, particularly young girls, to get a "practical" degree rather than one of those which Daugaard considers the more useless. I majored in Political Science, widely accepted as a complete waste unless one attends law school, which I don't intend to do. However, I happen to be one of the lucky ones employed not only in South Dakota, but in my field; I also happen to use that political training in ways the entrenched politicos of the state likely don't appreciate. I have no doubt the political machine would rather I be a mining engineer than an organizer with extensive political training. I, for one, hope those girls pay him no mind and go on to take independent paths wherever their hearts may lead them.

  44. Jerry 2014.06.07

    I have read and re-read Governor Daugaard's words and I have come to the conclusion that he must have misspoke. What he really meant to say, more or less is this: "I was young once myself and I went to school just like you. I graduated and by some happenstance, I grew indifferent to the world around me. I did not take the philosophy that was taught to heart and I became a cold man with no vision for the future that did not include blind power. By not taking the arts into consideration, it became quite easy for me to look the other way when I could have done something to help those whose very lives depended on my open judgement....In closing students, you are achieving much in your young lives, please take the time to learn and love the classics so that you can better understand the complexities that life will bring to you. You may not have the same dream tomorrow that you have today, but with the guidance of the teachers and your knowledge of what is beautiful, you will have a quiver that is full of the tools that you will need to find your way in whatever vocation that comes"... But of course, I have been wrong before.

  45. Douglas Wiken 2014.06.07

    At one time SD had a funding program for doctors and teachers that forgave part or all of the education cost if they stayed in South Dakota to use the degree. That seemed to me to make sense even though nobody in our family has been able to take advantage of such a plan.

    Seems to me that makes a lot more sense than paying some out of state contractor a reward for getting educated or trained people to come to SD.

  46. Deb Geelsdottir 2014.06.07

    Yes Doug. My student loan bill was reduced by a percentage every year that I taught in a lower income school. "Lower income" encompassed just about every small town school in SD. I thought it was a great deal for me and a plus for those little schools. The little schools loved it because it helped them recruit teachers. It was a win/win program. I have no idea what happened to it.

  47. caheidelberger Post author | 2014.06.07

    Anne Beal, I don't need to call you a moron or anything else to critique your point. Are you really telling our young women that the metric for the value of an education is the resulting paycheck? Are you really saying that your inability to turn your BA into a good-paying job through hard work and personal responsibility means no other young woman should try to show you up? Are you really saying that, on gazing out at an audience of the most talented young women in South Dakota, the proper response is, "Wow! Look at all those potential technicians"?

    And Anne, are you really saying that I'm a moron, or are you just suffering side effects from your ill-spent time in Pat's comment section?

  48. Deb Geelsdottir 2014.06.07

    Good answer Cory.

  49. Donald Pay 2014.06.07

    Well, yeah, Daugaard is right, partly. STEM jobs need to be filled, but the need would be vastly more if we could get the Republican Party off their anti-science kick.

    The problem with Daugaard's advice is that it runs counter to a lot of Republican policy. First, nothing can be outsourced faster than STEM work, and the Republican's tend to support policies that encourage such outsourcing. Second, one of the fastest growing fields is stem cell research and associated medical applications, and Republicans seek to block that research. Third, a lot of engineering jobs would be needed for infrastructure improvement projects, climate change mitigation and renewable energy projects, but Republicans refuse to consider such investments.

    It would be nice if Daugaard would encourage the Republican Party to align its science policies with his advice.

  50. Roger Cornelius 2014.06.07

    Does anyone know the welding school Dauggard attended to learn how to be a governor (oops! He doesn't know how to be a governor, back to welding school).

  51. Jeff Barth 2014.06.08

    We don't need school to just teach people to be lawyers, carpenters or plumbers. We need to teach folks to be citizens and thinkers as well.

  52. Jeff Barth 2014.06.08

    The little Latin and Shakespeare I know seems to come in handy all time.

  53. barry freed 2014.06.08

    Einstein was not successful because he was a good Mathematician, it was because he was creative with Mathematics.

  54. mike from iowa 2014.06.08

    Any "red" state could be your oyster as long as you are not Gay,female,of color,poor,elderly,in the military,disabled,something other than hardcore christian,indifferent to equal pay,equal rights,pro-gun,pro-korporate amerika,anti-worker,anti-union,anti-abortion,pro-death penalty,pro-korporate and white male supremacy,pro-low wage,low tax-low service oriented,uneducated,unhealthy,Liberal,Progressive,bi-sexual,mentally ill,or have cooties.

  55. mike from iowa 2014.06.08

    Anne Beal-you spout liberal philosophy and yet you are a wingnut. Un-freakin'-believable. Your very own party is the official war on women,keep 'em barefoot and pregnant,uneducated,stay at home mommy hating party. Libs and progressives encourage women to stand up for themselves and not be dependent on the male of the species. Women can have it all,just not as wingnuts.

  56. Tim 2014.06.08

    Would seem Donald Pay has it all figured out. Don, don't hold your breath waiting on republicans to join you. Investing in the future doesn't return immediate profit, they won't be interested.

  57. Jana 2014.06.08

    What were the majors of the past 2 governors' kids? Did they all go on to learn a technical skill?

    As a parent and grandparent, I'm wondering if they are following their own advice that they gave to these incredibly smart and good girls.

  58. Tim 2014.06.08

    Jana, are you kidding? The stuff Daugaard preaches is for us minions, certainly not his chosen ones. You don't expect his or Rounds kids to carry the working torch into the manufacturing or service den do you?

  59. Lynn 2014.06.08

    Sorry I keep thinking non-critical thinking Borg Drones that know their place in life. lol

  60. Shelly 2014.06.08

    Why the hell would the incredibly smart women at Girls State invite an incredibly stupid man to talk at their program?

  61. Jerry 2014.06.08

    What is really missing here, in my judgement, is that these are veterans organizations that sponsor the Girls State and Boys State. Governor Daugaard has stained the honor of veterans in South Dakota with his death panel of not allowing the Medicaid Expansion for our states poor veteran population. Inviting or even allowing Governor Daugaard to speak at a veterans event is in poor taste given his proven hatred of veterans.

  62. caheidelberger Post author | 2014.06.08

    Jana, Governor Daugaard's kids and their spouses all went to SDSU. As I understand it, Sara got a degree in electrical engineering and works for Sencore. Laura got a B.S. in journalism and mass communication and works at Lawrence and Schiller. Chris got a B.S. in political science, worked for the PUC, and now is a financial advisor.

  63. Tim 2014.06.08

    Cory, I see none of them are welders.

  64. Tasi Livermont 2014.06.08

    What I tell my sons is that they should have a liberal arts degree to be a good citizen and back that up with technical experience. Learn to think. Be prepared to work hard, too, with your hands. What I caution most on is acquiring debt for any education because it limits your opportunities. If I was blessed with daughters I would tell them the same thing.

  65. Tasi Livermont 2014.06.08

    PS one thing I agreed vehemently with Susan Wismer is that education is gutted and probably no where felt as hard as our tech schools. I want my kids to be competent coming from any state school and I worry.

  66. Jerry 2014.06.08

    Indeed Stan, indeed

  67. Jerry 2014.06.08

    Speaking of filling one's belly, I hope that it is not fish we are speaking of. We need some really really smart people to take us out of the drop off we are in. Some want to poison our local water supply with nuclear waste while this is going on, what are we thinking?

  68. mike from iowa 2014.06.08

    Do they allow same sex weldings?

  69. grudznick 2014.06.08

    The acknowledged best and manliest welder in the state, who just happens to be the most conservative Conservative in South Dakota, Mr. Rhoden, is an equal opportunity weldist and allows both males and females and all combinations of males and females to perform in the same weldings. As long as they are tough.

  70. grudznick 2014.06.08

    Mr. Daugaard did not say to students of impractical studies "you should drop dead." Mr. H did.

  71. Roger Cornelius 2014.06.08

    It is a good thing Rhoden is totally irrelevant, as any loser usually is.

  72. grudznick 2014.06.08

    No more irrelevant than Weiland or Wismer then, eh, Mr. C?

    Yet Mr. Rhoden marches on, head held high, integrity intact. Weiland and Wismer, as irrelevant as they are, still have their integrity at significant risk. I'll point out to you as the days go by when it slips away.

  73. Steve Huff 2014.06.09

    This is a message brought to you by Governor WalMart.

    Did you make sure to get your two year votech job application from your counselor?


    Did you make sure that you will work for decades in a job that has limited advancement opportunities inside the state as opposed to other larger states?


    Did you make sure to take a blood oath not to become a teacher or some other fluffy liberal arts jobbo that will only lead to poverty?


  74. Doreen Allison Creed 2014.06.09

    This message board is dominated by men. Perhaps "Larry" knows "Anne" and his subsequent comments were "tongue-in-cheek" if not, calling people names is not the correct way to respond to someone else's opinion.

    Anne hit-it-on-head when she stated the need for women to be able to support their families when divorce occurs. Only someone, who has walked in her same footsteps can understand the situation in which she and so many women end up - me included.

    I believe this is a legit topic - no matter that it came about because of what DD said.

    It's a simple fact that BA degrees in English, history etc. are hard to earn a living at. I know many journalism grads, who are bidding for any low-paying media job they can get. I also know many liberal art grads working retail. These are not demeaning jobs, but I'm sure it wasn't their dream job when they walked across the stage to pick up their "costly" diploma.

    My complaint with the current university system is that too many grads are equipped to be the most interesting to talk with, may be the most read, but are struggling to pay the electrical bill. Degrees are suppose to equipped one for the job market. Many degrees do not do that. Specialized ones in the technical fields such as engineering, health, IT etc. do.

    Grads of vo tech schools are equipped to get a job when they get that far-less expensive certificate. Not all are welders - and if they were - why are is that occupation being demeaned? One welder I know, reads at least one high brow book a week. He can converse on any subject.

    Is this group made up of only "elite" who looks down on the blue collar worker? I hope not.

    I just know, like Anne, my liberal arts degree was worthless when it came to the job market. Did it help me become a more rounded person? Yes, but a degree must first prepare one for the job market, unless they are among those, who will never need to work.

    College advisors need to be more in-tuned with industry employment demands. And the regents need to address criteria.

    Like all of you, I do not know the full text of the DD speech, but I doubt he mentioned, most with a four-year technical degree, will probably have to leave SD in order to use that degree.

  75. Liberal arts degrees have always been meant to create our leaders of tomorrow, well-rounded, thoughtful, well-read, yes. NOT TO CREATE PEOPLE FOR EMPLOYMENT.

    And trying to shove the two together is idiotic. That's why I will refer to my last comment--our children who show aptitude for a liberal arts education ought to be sent their prepared to pay it as they go AND to also add in whatever technical TRAINING is necessary to put food on their tables and be productive family members.

    These two things combined set the stage for a good citizen in a democracy such as ours.

    I really don't totally disagree with Daugaard or this app. Historically, teachers were young people unmarried. Apparently, we are still expecting this of our teachers. If we truly don't, then paying them a wage on which to raise a family is crucial.

    PS This goes for men and women. There is no place for professional wifedom, if there ever really was one.

  76. Jeff Endrizzi 2014.06.09

    Governor Daugaard has given the same message at the ongoing Regional Workforce Summits. The issue for those of us in industry is finding enough workers to keep our facilities operational. I've seen study results that indicate the ratio of jobs for highly educated (Masters) to educated (Bachelors) to technically educated (one to two years) to high school or less has remained essentially unchanged for decades. About 10 percent of jobs require a Masters or Doctorate degree. About 30 percent require a Bachelor degree. 40 percent of jobs require a technical education, with the remainder fillable by those with no education further than high school. Jobs consistent with education level don't exist for the number of students graduating from the 4 year institutions, and there are more jobs available for technically educated candidates than there are graduates from those schools. The message given by Governor Daugaard has been shared with a broader audience than the participants in the Girls' State event. It's a message all of us should be willing to share with our youth....that it's great to follow your heart, and if you enjoy welding, turning wrenches, nursing at the LPN level, etc. there are good jobs available. A 4 year degree isn't a guaranteed ticket to a better life.

  77. Jeff, and you're right that our education and society is pushing children into four-year degrees with the expectation of jobs from those degrees.

    We also, as a society, need to support our manufacturing workers and destygmatize 'dirty' work. I think that starts with making sure workers are treated well. I know one manufacturer in SD who refused space for breastfeeding mothers to pump. A lot of these manufacturing jobs are working mothers (and fathers). Support is crucial.

    So is respect.

    We shouldn't respect a college-educated person any more than one who works a manufacturing job. We also need to realize that manufacturing labor is tough work and be prepared for when people can't do that work do to age or injury. We need to provide them with leadership tools as well as amazing retirement packages or teach them how to utilize what is already available.

  78. Deb Geelsdottir 2014.06.09

    Larry's link to the Politifact post is one we all ought to read. It describes, with ample evidence, the correlation between education and political affiliation.

    It did not surprise me that the higher one's education, the more likely one is to vote with the more liberal/progressive party - Democrats. Along with Ms. Livermont, i want to emphasize that I'm not making a value judgment, but stating factual information.

    Is there a longterm Republican/Corporate plan afoot? It wouldn't be the first time. The Right Wing Noise Machine was such a plan that was mostly under the radar for its first years. Same with voter suppression, gun law liberation, etc. These things didn't just suddenly pop up simultaneously in several states all at once.

    So I'm saying we would be silly to ignore the possibility, even likelihood, that education is in the plan too.

    Or should I say, "Republican Agenda." [Cue dark, ominous music.]

  79. larry kurtz 2014.06.09

    Deb: ALEC loves South Dakota because Liberal Arts grads leave while welders, CNAs, and cashiers stay leaving the GOP to hide money virtually tax-free. Brilliant really.

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