"Everybody needs to go to college" has done incredible damage to all the kids who really should have gone to trade school. And I'm not talking about smart versus dumb. Some people are into math, science, or writing. Some are into working with their hands and building things. And they generally know that by the time they are high school seniors. A tech-oriented motorhead might want to get a mechanical engineering degree. Another might want to go right into mechanic training, work on cars for 10 years, and then open his own repair shop. Both can be quite successful. The one who isn't, is somebody who goes to college and racks up a huge debt, and then ends up an auto mechanic with huge student loans to pay off.